SWITCH LAWYERS AND SAVE YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE
If it’s been a couple weeks and your lawyer is still ignoring your calls, it’s probably time to change lawyers. People who have been seriously injured deserve to have absolute confidence in their attorneys. All too often, however, lawyers lose that trust by failing to respond to their clients’ emails and phone calls. The worst offenders ruin their clients’ cases through professional negligence, resulting in a permanent loss of the right to sue. For this reason, injury victims should never be expected to put up with an unresponsive lawyer. Switching to a new lawyer can save your case from permanent damage.
LET US RESTORE YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Rhein Law LLC is dedicated to representing clients who have been harmed by the negligence, unresponsiveness, and dishonesty of other lawyers. An integral part of that mission is taking over cases for individuals who no longer trust their current lawyer’s competence, diligence, or attention to their case. When other attorneys have abandoned personal injury cases, we have taken those same cases and achieved favorable settlements exceeding the clients’ expectations. Our clients tell us that switching to Rhein Law was the best decision that they could have made.
Lawyers are also glad when their former clients switch to Rhein Law. This is because the breakdown in attorney-client communication is usually due to personality differences or other factors that the lawyer feels “too busy” to address. In more troubling cases, a lawyer may have gone radio silent because he knows that he has made a mistake and doesn’t know how to fix it. The bottom line is that if your lawyer still wanted to represent you, he or she would ALREADY be giving you the attention you deserve. By the time we get involved, your former lawyer may be relieved to learn that you have found substitute counsel.
DON’T WAIT FOR YOUR LAWYER TO CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE
Most people don’t shop around enough when they hire their first lawyer. Instead, they call a number on a billboard or ask a friend for a referral. It is therefore extremely common for clients chose the wrong lawyer the first time around. The consequences of making the wrong choice can be devastating. Luckily, however, it is extremely easy to change lawyers in Georgia. If you call us, we can usually handle the rest at no additional cost to you.
Georgia law gives you the “absolute right” to fire your attorney. You can fire your lawyer for cause OR without cause. Additionally, the Rules of Professional Conduct require your lawyer to give you access to your case file and surrender any unearned retainer so that your new lawyer can take over the representation. So don’t let fear strong-arm you into staying with a lawyer who does not meet your expectations. Your personal injury case is valuable, and you only get one chance to win.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
February 2020. Confidential settlement for Uber driver.
Rhein represented an Uber driver who had suffered a back injury. Rhein entered the case as the second lawyer and began to prepare the case for trial. Within one month, Rhein settled the case for twenty times more than the client’s former lawyer had been able to obtain.
December 2019. Mediated settlement for rear-ended driver.
Rhein represented a woman who had been rear-ended in a low-damage, high-speed collision. Three prior law firms had withdrawn from the case because they could not see a way forward. Rhein entered the case as the fourth lawyer and used the client’s extensive medical record to negotiate a favorable settlement for the client at mediation.
March 2019. Confidential settlement for injured ride-share passenger.
Rhein represented a military veteran who had been injured due to distracted driving when his rideshare driver started looking at a cell phone app while exiting the highway. The client’s former lawyer withdrew from the case after the client demanded more frequent communication. Rhein entered the case as the second lawyer, persuaded the former lawyer to waive his claim for fees, and obtained a favorable settlement for the client within 90 days.
In Georgia, you should ALWAYS ask your lawyer whether he or she has current professional liability insurance. Lawyers in Georgia are not required to carry insurance or disclose their insurance status unless they are asked. Unfortunately, the worst lawyers are usually the same ones who don’t have insurance, either because (1) they are too irresponsible to care, (2) they can’t afford insurance because their business is in rough shape, or (3) they have already lost their insurance due to prior legal malpractice claims.
If your lawyer does not have insurance, or refuses to provide proof of insurance, you should consider IMMEDIATELY changing lawyers.
Our clients usually do not pay more in legal fees after switching to Rhein Law. Instead, we take over their contracts on similar terms that they had with their prior lawyers. If your prior lawyer was charging a contingent fee, we’ll do our best to match that price.
We have also been very successful in negotiating releases of any claims that prior lawyers might have on personal injury cases. Lawyers typically agree to release these claims because they are actually glad to see their “problem clients” go to another law firm. After all, if your lawyer really wanted your case, he or she would have been providing better service and communication all along.
Sometimes, a lawyer will have done a substantial amount of work on a case before being fired. When that happens, the lawyer is entitled to the fair market value of the services that he or she provided “in quantum meruit” (Latin for “as much as he or she deserves.”). If your lawyer will not agree to release his or her lien on your case, we will try to negotiate a fixed percentage or dollar amount with your former attorney. Depending on the circumstances, your former attorney will likely be paid out of Rhein Law’s portion of the recovery rather than yours.
The Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct generally require that a lawyer should keep the client informed about their case through “reasonable communication.” But since lawyers are so busy, they often fail to respond to client phone calls for weeks and even months. This makes some clients extremely nervous. At Rhein Law, we think that a client’s anxiety is usually more “reasonable” than the lawyer’s failure to respond. Reasonable communication does not permit a lawyer to ignore a client for weeks on end.
Our philosophy of “reasonable communication” is based on honesty, transparency, and humility. Here are some examples of how this works in practice:
- HONESTY. Instead of making promises that we can’t keep, we try to help our clients understand our business model. Part of our initial conversation with you will likely involve discussing how we can communicate with you effectively, and how you can get our attention when you need it. We want to learn your expectations from day one.
- TRANSPARENCY. We usually blind-copy (Bcc) our clients on emails to third parties and opposing counsel so that you stay “in the loop.” Upon request, we can also share access to your file at any time through a secure portal on our cloud-based filing system, so that you can follow along as your case progresses. Before filing any important document in court, we will send you a copy. Usually, we also send a draft in advance so that you will have a chance to give it your approval or make any necessary edits.
- HUMILITY. We appreciate constructive criticism. Despite our best efforts, there have been times when we have been so busy that a client feels forgotten. If that happens, we are quick to apologize for the delay and ask what we can do to make things right. A client should never be afraid to tell a lawyer that he or she is not meeting expectations.
If you’ve lost confidence in your lawyer due to lack of communication, we will do our best to restore your trust in the legal profession by giving your case the attention it deserves.
Communications with Rhein Law are 100% privileged and confidential under the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. We will NEVER speak with your current lawyer about you or your case unless you give us express permission to do so. If we have a prior relationship with your current lawyer, we will immediately notify you of the potential conflict of interest, and will keep confidentiality regardless of what we have heard.
We’re used to hearing lawyers say that their clients are a little “extra.” The “high maintenance client” is often the butt of jokes and jabs among members of the legal profession. But these jokes aren’t funny.
People who hire lawyers are suffering from serious problems that affect the most important aspects of their lives. They have a right to be a little “extra” and to have their concerns addressed. We are not going to think less of you just because your lawyer did not feel the same way we do about client communication.
We’re on your side.
Yes. Although most clients who switch to Rhein Law have personal injuries, we also take over cases for clients who are involved in ongoing civil litigation such as breach of contract, real estate disputes, and probate matters. We do not get involved in criminal cases until after trial.