Who is in charge of my personal injury case: me or my attorney?
You are in charge of your personal injury case, but you still need legal representation. Ultimately, your attorney works for you. Once you’ve become his client, he has a fiduciary responsibility to provide you with the best representation possible.
Code of Ethics
The Model Rules of Professional Conduct, developed by the American Bar Association, establishes the ethical guidelines attorneys are required to follow. These rules are enforced by every state bar association, and they exist to remind the attorney that it is his responsibility to serve the interests of his client.
You’re in Control
Your attorney cannot make any final decisions or commitments regarding your personal injury case without your approval. For instance, he cannot agree to a settlement that has been offered to you unless you give him permission to do so.
You Need an Attorney
While it’s true that you ultimately have the final say regarding your personal injury case, you still need professional representation. Here’s why:
- Your attorney is a professional communicator. He is accustomed to communicating and negotiating with insurance companies, and can serve as a liaison between you and the insurer. This can help alleviate stressful communications and save you from saying something that could damage your claim.
- Your attorney knows how to assess claims. He handles accident claims on a daily basis, and can provide you with an assessment of whether or not you have a viable claim.
- Your attorney knows the law. He can give you advice that prevents you from making mistakes that may adversely affect your claim. For instance, you could miss a filing deadline that permanently bars your case.
- Your attorney knows how to estimate settlement values. Because he routinely deals with cases like yours, your personal injury lawyer has a good idea of what a reasonable settlement figure would be in your case.
Partner With Your Attorney
The best way to think of your relationship with your attorney is as a partnership. You’re both essential to winning your case. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.