Attorney-Client communication is paramount in any successful representation. When a person is looking for attorney representation in any area of law, it’s vital that there is an ongoing honest dialogue between attorney and client. This article will focus on the importance of this aspect as it pertains to the workers’ compensation, personal injury areas of law.
When I represent the injured, it typically starts with a brief phone call and followed by an in-person meeting. These initial consultations are free to the potential client, so there should be no anxiety about what the conversation is going to cost. It’s absolutely crucial that the client explain the injury in great detail to adequately inform the attorney all the facts. I can understand that this is typically a very nervous time for the injured as they have just likely experienced a traumatic incident that potentially has long-reaching ramifications (ie. missing work, needing medical care, etc.). With that said, a good attorney will help guide you in what information they need. However, it’s important to provide as much detail as possible (ie. how the incident occurred, symptoms, treatment, any preexisting injuries or conditions to the same body part injured). I also tell my clients that hiding any negative aspects of your case will only harm it. The more information to provide the better.
The next step is where I believe the disconnect occurs between attorney and client. It’s in the ongoing dialogue between the two. A personal injury case may last years before it settles or goes to trial, so both the attorney and client are in it for the long haul. The attorney is responsible for making routine check-in’s with the client. However, it’s also extremely important for the client to relay any updates to their attorney. These updates include doctors’ visits, changes in work restrictions, returning to work, reporting any new injuries, whether medical treatment has stopped, etc. It’s important to understand that your attorney typically does not have this information unless you provide it to them. A quick phone call or email is all that is typically necessary. All of these developments can have significant impact on your personal injury case and if your attorney has this information ahead of time, they can properly move your file forward as quickly and as favorably as possible.
Lastly, as the client, voice any concerns about your case with your attorney. This should include concerns you may have about your representation. As stated at the beginning of this article, honest dialogue between the attorney and client is absolutely crucial.
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