One of the most common questions we receive from our Brisbane law firm clients is whether or not it is in their best interest to switch lawyers and have East Coast Injury Lawyers take over their claim.
First of all, if you are having issues with your current law firm, it is most likely in your best interest to contact that firm first and discuss your concerns with them. This can potentially save a significant amount of time, as well as extra costs, if the problem is easily fixable or even just a misunderstanding or a simple mistake.
There are many law firms in Queensland, especially in large areas such as Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Choosing another law firm to represent you may become a time consuming, frustrating and perhaps even a costly endeavour to deal with.
Yet, the option to change a personal injury lawyer in Brisbane may always be a possibility, especially if you feel that you are not being adequately represented. When it comes to a personal injury claim, there are many strict deadlines and procedures that need to be followed. If these expectations are not being met, your rights to compensation may be seriously affected.
So how do you know if it is time to change law firms?
Remember that lawyers are also human – So always try to fix the relationship
Be polite and calm when dealing with your law firm, especially with the support staff.
It is also important that you respect your lawyer’s time. If you are calling numerous times every week with ‘quick questions’ and an answer occasionally doesn’t come right away, remember that lawyers have other clients too. The best way to remedy this situation is to schedule a set meeting with your lawyer and prepare a list of your concerns, questions and issues for that time.
A good tip is to also keep a record of your conversations with your lawyer. If they are not answering the phone, record the dates you have called. If you prefer, you can also email or send a letter (remember to make a copy for yourself) to the firm asking for a follow up.
What are the “Problem Signs?”
Watch out for the following:
- You are constantly being asked to provide or fill out documentation that you have already done.
- You are promised completed documents but they are not delivered when they are supposed to be.
- Your calls are not being returned within 48 hours or at the frequency that is promised by your lawyer.
- Your lawyer is constantly asking for time extensions from the court without a reasonable explanation.
- You receive court notices or letters from the opposing party about missed deadlines or that your case is being dismissed because of lack of activity.
- You were in an accident and you have not been medically assessed at least 12 months post-accident.
- The limitation period for your claim is about to expire.
How to Make the Change
It is very unfortunate if a lawyer is not properly looking after your claim and you cannot maintain your relationship with them. Sometimes, if you cannot change a lawyer, then you are going to have to “change” the lawyer. Be mindful of a few things when switching lawyers:
- Do your research and seek referrals from the Queensland Law Society or your friends. There is no point in leaving one lawyer only to move to another who may bring the same problems. A client who is constantly changing lawyers may be seen as a ‘difficult client’ and may lead to difficulty in finding a new lawyer to represent you.
- Avoid leaving a lawyer before you have planned the next lawyer you will hire. You do not want delays from the court that may be reluctant to allow the old lawyer to withdraw if you haven’t found new representation.
- The file held by your old lawyers may be held by them until you have signed an authority confirming that their fees will be paid on settlement of the claim.
Hire an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury
If your Brisbane personal injury claim is not being handled properly and you require new legal representation, contact East Coast Injury Lawyers today. Do not delay in seeking advice from an accredited specialist in personal injury because there are very strict deadlines that apply to your claim.
A good start is to contact our firm for a free consultation so you can tell us your story and receive some valuable initial advice in order to guide you on making the best decision to protect your legal rights.