I was Injured on the job on March 13, 2009. I was rushed to the ER ROOM. I was later released and went back to work 2 days later. I was informed my company was not going to pay my ER bill and my job was in fact in jeopardy due to I did not inform my company of a "pre existing condition." I was unaware of this condition and was eventually let go after a week of return employment.
I hired a lawyer to fight for my rights. I will keep the lawyers name private. I unfortunately chose a very unprofessional lawyer. It has been over 15 months, and I was informed by this Lawyer that is minimum time to reach a settlement. The defense lawyer has recommended payment of my hospital bills and payment for injury, this letter was sent to me April 15, 2010. I have since contacted my lawyer and he has informed me "we are waiting for a settlement."
My Question is. Can I switch Lawyers before a settlement is reached? I have a good friend of mine who is a Lawyer who has done more work and earned the 20% commission more so than my current lawyer.
I was unaware any lawyer can review a Case Number, although if a settlement is reach, I have to stick with my current lawyer.
Can I contact the defense Lawyer to see when a settlement will be reached, as my Lawyer refuses to meet with me or return my phone calls.
Can I write a formal compliant letter about this lawyer to the City of Chicago, or someone who will listen?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You can change lawyers at any time for any reason - however you are responsible to pay the attorney for the hours he has worked and the expenses he has incurred. Your current attorney has a lien and whether you know it or not, he has done work on your case.
Second, I am not sure what you are saying. Is all you want payment of your medical bills? If so, you are entitled to a lot more than just those expenses and your attorney may be trying to get those additional payments for you.
In any event, before you rush to judgment, I suggest you write a letter requesting detailed status of your case and send it certified mail with return receipt requested. Give him a two week period fron the date of the receipt to respond to you in writing about the status of your case. A lot of times, the issues I have seen come up between attorneys and their client is the result of poor communication. You are entitled to request status of your case within reasonable intervals. If you call your attorney every day asking for status, at some point he will stop taking your calls.
If the attorney does not respond to you mail request, you can then go ahead and start shopping for a new attorney-keeping in mind that the attorney lien won't go away.
The defense attorney won't talk to you since you are represented. Neither will the insurance company adjuster.
I hope this helps-
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