Communicating with a Busy Lawyer

Many workers' compensation law firms have to handle many cases at one time due to the cap on attorney fees. Most attorney fee awards are only 15%, compared to personal injury attorneys who charge one-third to 50%. Due to the busy day-to-day operations of a workers' compensation lawyer and law firm, you as a client need to understand how to best communicate with your lawyer about your case.

Most large firms will have a system in place so that questions by clients are answered by a paralegal or legal support staff. Only complex or unusual questions will be escallated to an attorney for a response. The turn-around time varies from lawyer to lawyer, but a good business practice is a reply within 3 business days.

Some lawyers, like this author, are most accessable via e-mail. It is easy for some lawyers to multi-task and reply to e-mails while waiting on hold on the phone, etc. E-mail is also preferred by this author because it forces focused and efficient communication that usually doesn't wander off-topic.

If after repeated attempts at reaching your workers' compensation lawyer, and you are not receiving any reply for weeks or months, then you have a problem. You may want to request a face-to-face to talk about your questions, and if that is denied, then you may want to seek new counsel.

Substituting a new lawyer in to your workers' compensation case means that the prior lawyer and the new lawyer will have to split the attorney fee. It does not cost you anything additional. Your prior lawyer cannot send you a bill or anything of the sort.

Remember that your lawyer is a busy professional so please respect his or her time and communicate only the information that they must know to better help you. When communication happens efficiently, it makes for a happy lawyer and a happy client.

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