Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case...
by Anonymous (Arizona)
Hello, I had a car accident around 2 months ago. I went to this attorney and did not really know what to expect since it was my first car wreck. I was trying to get some advice on what to do.
I was asked by his office staff to complete papers and didn't realize I signed an agreement. He initially sent me to physical therapy and referred me to a doctor which is about a 20 minute drive from where I live.
He did not even give me the option or consider that I'm a full-time worker and mother, or the inconvenience of going 3 days a week. When I tried to have him change me to a closer doctor I got a phone call from his office that it would not look good on my case for the other insurance if I changed doctors... this sounds kind of fishy.
Also, the physical therapy I get from this doctor doesn't seem to work, specifically for my shoulder problem. My gut tells me something does not sound right.
So, if I decide to change or terminate this lawyer can I do that without a problem? Does a person have the right to change lawyers and the retainer agreement without affecting their personal injury case? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case...":
Typically attorneys have relationships with medical providers and they may suggest or recommend that you seek treatment from one of these medical providers.
One of the reasons is that medical providers that work regularly with personal injury attorneys will take the case on a "lien" meaning that the patient/client would not have to pay out of pocket expenses until the case settles.
This often helps the patient/client financially due to the number of times the chiropractor or physical therapist wants to see you weekly. It is not uncommon for the doctor (not the lawyer) to prescribe treatment of 3-4 times per week initially.
The frequency should decrease, however with time and as your symptoms disappear. Eventually you should get to the point where you are seeing your provider once per week until you are 100% back to normal (or as close to normal as you can get).
When your current attorney tells you not to seek another doctor, he is giving you sound advice. In the eyes of the insurance adjuster, any change in treatment that is not by referral is viewed with skepticism.
Your ultimate settlement will be based upon your lost wages, out of pocket expenses and medical bills. So while it may seem very taxing on you now, a skilled attorney will articulate all the inconvenience and pain you are suffering into a well drafted demand for settlement.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.