Can You Get a Second Opinion on Personal Injury in Philadelphia?
Every personal injury claim is unique, and different attorneys will approach each case in their own fashion. Just because you’ve already met with one lawyer does not mean that you have to choose that lawyer to handle your case. You always have the right to take a step back, reconsider your options, and shop around for a different lawyer. Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm discuss some of the reasons getting a second opinion could be essential in achieving the best outcome in your case.
Do I Have to Hire a Lawyer after an Initial Consultation in Philadelphia?
You are not just the client in a lawsuit – you are the boss. Your personal injury attorney is working for you, and while a personal injury attorney will offer legal guidance and advice, you make all the final decisions in a case. Your initial consultation is essentially a job interview – and the attorney is looking to be hired.
Like any job interview, there is a good deal you can learn from an attorney in an initial consultation. Do you believe the lawyer is listening to your concerns and being attentive? Is their office in order? Do you feel like you can trust the attorney? If you do not have trust and confidence in your attorney, then no matter their skill, the working relationship might not be good. If that is the case, you usually have no obligation to hire them.
Just because an attorney scheduled a time to meet with you and answered your questions does not mean you are required to retain their services. The lawyer you meet with should make this clear from the outset – and they usually should not charge you for an initial consultation, either.
Common Warning Signs That You Should Consider a Different Philadelphia Injury Attorney
Sometimes it might just be a gut feeling that your relationship with your personal injury lawyer is not right for you. Maybe you do not believe they are making the best decisions or you are questioning their legal advice. Other times, there are more concrete warning signs and red flags that you should consider seeking a second legal opinion.
Lack of Communication
As with any relationship, communication is the cornerstone of success. A typical client complaint is that their lawyers do not adequately communicate with them. A lawyer for a Philadelphia car accident case or a slip and fall injury case should be transparent and consistent with providing information about your case. A client cannot make meaningful decisions if they are not given all the relevant information. If your attorney does not return phone calls or letters or makes legal decisions without consulting you, you should consider speaking with another lawyer.
Refusing to Tell You What Your Case is Worth
Sometimes a personal injury lawsuit will settle without a trial. However, you need to know the value of your case if you are going to make an informed decision about settlement offers. No matter how skilled an attorney is, a lawyer cannot estimate the exact value of your claim. However, our experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will provide a reasonably close estimate and discuss it with you so you understand what your case is worth. If your current counsel is unwilling or unable to give you a professional opinion as to the value of your claim, it is impossible to know if a settlement offer is fair how to proceed with your case.
Refusing to Take a Case to Trial
Some attorneys will work tirelessly to settle your case, and if they need to, they will take it to a judge and jury at trial. If an attorney is unwilling to take a case to trial, you will typically not receive the best possible outcome. Settling a lawsuit is often the quick and easy way out. The attorney does not have to commit the time or resources to a trial, and the injured party usually receives a check faster than they anticipated. However, once you settle, there is no going back. The full extent of your damages will never be recovered. To recover the most money, an attorney and their client must be willing to litigate the case. Our Philadelphia lawyers believe that fighting for your just compensation is more advantageous than settling for what an insurance company offers.
Does the Law Office Have the Resources to Litigate a Personal Injury Claim in Philadelphia?
A successful personal injury lawsuit depends upon the evidence as much as the skill of your lawyer. Gathering and evaluating evidence is a talent that requires time and resources. This includes having the staff to sort through evidence and a network of expert witnesses available to provide persuasive expert opinions at trial. Some cases settle to avoid the expense and effort necessary to collect the physical evidence and eyewitness accounts. If your attorney appears to lack the ability or time to build a successful personal injury case, you should contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorney for a second opinion.
Is it Too Late to Seek a Second Opinion from another Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney?
Remember, your lawyer works for you. At nearly any point during the process, you have the right to seek a second opinion or retain new counsel if you believe yours is ineffective. However, the further your case moves along, the more difficult it will be to change lawyers. Many personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia offer free consultations, so you should take the opportunity at the beginning of the process to find an attorney that you can trust.
If you are in the middle of your lawsuit and think your attorney is making poor decisions, is not communicating, or is not listening to your concerns, you usually have every right to seek new counsel. It may set your case back or require delays to switch lawyers while a case is already in progress. However, you usually still have the right to do so.
Our Philadelphia injury attorney will review your case and offer an experienced and honest opinion on the merits of your claim. While changing attorneys or seeking another opinion might appear to be a lot of work, you owe it to yourself to get the most out of your personal injury claim because you only get one shot with the case.
Call Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer for a Second Opinion in a Free Consultation
At the Reiff Law Firm, our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys know a personal injury lawsuit can be intimidating. We believe in building a relationship with our clients based on trust and communication. Our lawyers and staff are committed to providing our clients with professional representation and keeping them informed of every step and decision made. If you do not believe your current attorney is giving your case the attention it deserves, or if you have spoken with a couple of lawyers and have not found that fit yet, contact our experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free consultation to review your personal injury case.