Automotive

Lawyer troubles. What to do?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 22nd, 2020 10:52 am
[OP]
Newbie
May 21, 2020
6 posts
1 upvote

Lawyer troubles. What to do?

I was hit by a truck while on a bicycle on July 11th 2019 and fractured my wrist.

the first lawyer I went to gave me terrible service and threatened if I gave them a bad review (Alam Law Office)

the second lawyer was referred to me by a friend,

Its been over a year and I haven't spoken to the head lawyer in charge of my case and have only spoken to law clerks

They haven't told me the value of my settlement and are incredibly slow to respond to anything case relevant, they are however quick to respond to generic legal information but refuse to tell me why I can't speak to the head lawyer or how much the value of my case is.

Since I opened my case with them they fired TWO law clerks dealing with my file and are assigning a new third clerk (I assume this) to my file. This place seems really shady and I honestly don't know how to proceed because I've never been in a situation like this so I'm looking to you guys for help.

Any help is appreciated.
Last edited by DillonM92781 on Jul 17th, 2020 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
22 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jul 26, 2007
6575 posts
4105 upvotes
Toronto
Just gotta wait for the $10k settlement minus 50% for lawyer fees. Even when victim has loss of limbs and unable to work, the investigation and settlement can take years to conclude.
[OP]
Newbie
May 21, 2020
6 posts
1 upvote
the lawyer is charging 33% but do you really think the value of my case is $10k? with all the therapy, scars, etc..

I'm worried because my case is being bounced from one clerk to another and I haven't spoken to the head lawyer. My Shady radar is going off but I'm not sure if this is how these things are normally handled?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 26, 2007
6575 posts
4105 upvotes
Toronto
DillonM92781 wrote: the lawyer is charging 33% but do you really think the value of my case is $10k? with all the therapy, scars, etc..

I'm worried because my case is being bounced from one clerk to another and I haven't spoken to the head lawyer. My Shady radar is going off but I'm not sure if this is how these things are normally handled?
In a car accident, lawyer offered 30% but end up being 50% after fax fees, paper fees, courier fees, dog food fees, more $2 bs fees all adds up quickly to few thousands. Settlement was $40k and they took $22k. But this was years ago. Nowadays payoffs are getting smaller.

Unless you can prove you can't work and need full time nursing by your side, don't expect more then $50k minus 50%.
Deal Addict
Jan 20, 2012
1069 posts
712 upvotes
Toronto
I had my accident in Sept 2017 and just recently settled. From what I was told, it usually takes min. 2+ year before you will hear anything.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
12951 posts
4556 upvotes
Ontario
& thats only if OP actually wins. We don't know the full details maybe OP cut off the truck or the truck driver has video evidence and OP is not going to win.
Inclemental wrote: I had my accident in Sept 2017 and just recently settled. From what I was told, it usually takes min. 2+ year before you will hear anything.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 3, 2009
2156 posts
610 upvotes
Nova Scotia
OP its very simple - read your retainer agreement. It will likely confirm the lawyer has an obligation to keep you up to date and prompt. You should feel free to send an email confirming that you have not heard anything in a year and you're requesting an update or a meeting to discuss. If the lawyer doesn't want to answer, you'll have little choice but to consider terminating the retainer and reporting them to the law society or keep waiting. That said, I am not surprised things are moving slow. Dealing with insurance companies is like pulling teeth and they need multiple prompts to do anything at the adjuster level, let alone at the lawyer level. Keep in mind many provinces have a 2 year limitation to sue, and hopefully your lawyer is keeping track or has filed the claim or gotten assurance from the insurer it won't rely on a limitations defence.

The truth is that your case is very minimal in terms of damages, so the process is going to get less attention of the lawyer than bigger fish or more complicated files. Is that fair? No, but it's only natural to give your attention where it is needed or benefits most. That said, I wouldn't have taken any cases unless I could give it adequate attention, and what you're describing to me is another level and is venturing into the realm of professional misconduct. Lawyers have a duty to be access-to clients and to respond to questions in a reasonable manner. A phone call or email every month or couple of weeks is only fair.

People here have described their dissatisfaction with their lawyers bills. If you actually read the retainer agreement, it shouldn't be a surprise. Why would any lawyer take a case on a contingency fee basis, yet risk all their overhead costs like paper, faxes, postage, long distance, copying etc? You pay disbursements whether you win or lose, that's standard practice in the industry. You don't pay the hourly fee on a contingency fee basis.
Jr. Member
Dec 27, 2014
158 posts
170 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Ok I admit, I did chuckle when I read this.

The OP went to a 'slip and fall' lawyer and is surprised they felt a bit 'shady'?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
31759 posts
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Toronto
Just based on my related family case. My sister had a personal injury case filed against a homeowner about 5 yrs ago and from start to finish, it took about 7 months to get a settlement cheque from the defendant's insurance company.
Banned
Apr 5, 2013
5810 posts
3009 upvotes
keenland
my slip and fall "broken wrist"..clear cut....took about 18 months to settle about $20k all together
Newbie
Sep 15, 2019
25 posts
9 upvotes
You haven't heard from the lawyer because the lawyer knows nothing about your case.

Source: I work on the insurance end of these accidents.
Deal Guru
Oct 7, 2010
12616 posts
3736 upvotes
That's why we dont ride bikes on the road. Cars hit you and run away, you become disabled for life. No settlement would fix you.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
6979 posts
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sickcars wrote: & thats only if OP actually wins. We don't know the full details maybe OP cut off the truck or the truck driver has video evidence and OP is not going to win.
Most likely is other insurance will settle regardless as it's cheapest and most certain outcome. Trial is not cheap and any "savings" in potentially winning will be eaten up by lawyer fees, or they loose and out the money and fees. If it's under 100k, more than likely to just settle
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2013
3861 posts
3682 upvotes
Toronto
StatsGuy wrote: Most likely is other insurance will settle regardless as it's cheapest and most certain outcome. Trial is not cheap and any "savings" in potentially winning will be eaten up by lawyer fees, or they loose and out the money and fees. If it's under 100k, more than likely to just settle
Depends highly on the insurance company. Aviva for instance is known to play hardball, they will take even clear cut cases all the way to litigation because they know even if they lose the settlement will be small, they have been fined by courts for doing this as well so it's a known tactic by them.

Aviva also knows that in litigation jury's do not award large settlements because there are things the jury doesn't know. For instance they will award a plaintiff $70,000 a large sum but almost $40,000 goes to pay deductibles mandated by law, these deductibles aren't figured into what the jury awards the plaintiff because the jury isn't aware they exist and the lawyers cannot tell them it does either so unless a jury member has been through this before they are unaware.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 24, 2005
5756 posts
1589 upvotes
Hopefully you will learn a lesson from this and not go after the ambulance chasers when you have a minor injury.

the insurance company would have happily given you money 2 days after the claim before you got yourself involves with a web of lies with the shady lawyers looking for blood.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
16393 posts
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Toronto
DillonM92781 wrote: I was hit by a truck while on a bicycle on July 11th 2019 and fractured my wrist.

the first lawyer I went to gave me terrible service and threatened if I gave them a bad review (Alam Law Office)

the second lawyer was referred to me by a friend,

Its been over a year and I haven't spoken to the head lawyer in charge of my case and have only spoken to law clerks

They haven't told me the value of my settlement and are incredibly slow to respond to anything case relevant, they are however quick to respond to generic legal information but refuse to tell me why I can't speak to the head lawyer or how much the value of my case is.

Since I opened my case with them they fired TWO law clerks dealing with my file and are assigning a new third clerk (I assume this) to my file. This place seems really shady and I honestly don't know how to proceed because I've never been in a situation like this so I'm looking to you guys for help.

Any help is appreciated.
are you talking about your 1st party (accident benefits) or third party (tort) claim?

If it's 3rd party, your injury might not meet the threshold.....so the lawyer isn't wasting his/her time on your file as it won't exceed the deductible...meaning there's no money in it for him/her
[OP]
Newbie
May 21, 2020
6 posts
1 upvote
WMPCOT wrote: For instance they will award a plaintiff $70,000 a large sum but almost $40,000 goes to pay deductibles mandated by law, these deductibles aren't figured into what the jury awards the plaintiff because the jury isn't aware they exist and the lawyers cannot tell them it does either so unless a jury member has been through this before they are unaware.
I, unfortunately, am going against Aviva. I was hit by a cargo truck making a sudden turn so I'm assuming this is a clear cut case but i'm not sure. If this does go all the way to litigation, how can I make the Jury aware of these mandated deductibles so they can factor it into the settlement?
Jr. Member
Dec 27, 2014
158 posts
170 upvotes
Toronto, ON
DillonM92781 wrote:
glad you had a chuckle, I wish I had the knowledge to instantly know exactly what to do in this situation but I spent my time and brain capacity enjoying life and accomplishing goals. Maybe if I learned to post useless irrelevant comments to people seeking help I could hopefully achieve a fraction of your wisdom.
I will say, that was a bit insensitive of me, and there was no malice intended, although I realize how it came across.

I just envisioned those cheapo lawyers who advertise on American TV and was stereotyping.

Good luck with your case!
[OP]
Newbie
May 21, 2020
6 posts
1 upvote
WaterBoy49 wrote: I will say, that was a bit insensitive of me, and there was no malice intended, although I realize how it came across.

I just envisioned those cheapo lawyers who advertise on American TV and was stereotyping.

Good luck with your case!
apologies for the outburst, it is the internet so you have free speech. Just upset at the fact that this occurred to me and that there isn't a reliable resource around for solid guidance. With my knowledge of law and how this whole process works Its like a guppie trying to navigate around sharks

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