There is almost nothing as frustrating as dealing with an attorney who won’t return your calls when you know there are deadlines and steps you need to take to file a claim or lawsuit. You understand that attorneys get busy, go to trials and have other matters to attend to, but after the first two times you called, you felt you should have gotten some sort of reply.
You’re not wrong. In fact, poor communication between an attorney and client can be a reason to seek a legal malpractice lawsuit later. Why? There are a few problems that not returning calls or other forms of communication can cause.
1. Your attorney could miss a deadline
You’re calling over and over to find out if your attorney received the latest information from you, and you know the statute of limitations is approaching based on previous conversations. With no return call in over a week, you reached out. Once again, you were told someone would call you back. If the statute of limitations passes without legal actions being taken, you’ll be out of luck with your original case thanks to a missed deadline.
2. Your attorney could be mishandling your case
Missing a deadline is an example of mishandling your case, but so is setting it aside and ignoring calls. Attorneys have a responsibility to keep in contact with clients. They need to meet deadlines and get documentation in order. If your attorney is billing you for time but you don’t see anything happening and can’t get in touch, this could be a sign that you need to seek another attorney’s opinion and break off the business relationship with your first attorney before things get worse.
3. Your attorney might cost you a win
Without good communication, there’s no way that any attorney can fully understand a client. An attorney has to communicate with you to know your story, successes and losses. Building up a good repertoire with clients is essential to creating a strong case, whether it’s for criminal defense, a personal injury or other issue. If your attorney doesn’t communicate, they may not be listening and could end up costing you the case completely.
It’s in your best interests to recognize when an attorney isn’t doing the job right as early as possible. If you suspect that there is a problem with communication, you should call at least twice to leave a message. Wait for a return call, and if you don’t get one, write a letter. You can also write an email seeking a reply. If you still don’t get one, it’s time to move on and look into a malpractice case.