When you go to a doctor, you are regularly advised to seek an additional medical opinion. This is because medicine is not an exact science, so different physicians will see things differently. The same can be said about the law: It can be ambiguous. Every personal injury case is unique, and every attorney will approach each case in their own way. Our experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney will review the reasons why getting a second opinion on a personal injury claim could be crucial for getting the most out of your lawsuit.
Do You Have to Retain a Maryland Attorney After Your Initial Consultation?
Your lawyer is working for you, meaning that you ultimately make the decisions in any case with their advice and guidance. This principle applies when you are in the process of finding an attorney. Think of the initial consultation as an interview, with you as the employer. Do you trust the attorney? Does their office look in order, and are they attentively listening to your concerns? Trust is vital in the relationship between an attorney and their client. You want to be confident that your attorney is not only making the best decisions in your case but also listening to you; it is also important that they have the resources to pursue your claim. Just because an attorney took the time to meet with you does not mean that you are required to hire them.
Signs You Need a Second Opinion for Your Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuit
You might just have a feeling that your attorney is not making the best decisions in your case, but there may also be a number of concrete signs that a second opinion is necessary after retaining or consulting a Maryland personal injury attorney.
Failure to Communicate
Communication between an attorney and their client is key. One of the most common complaints clients have about their lawyers is a lack of adequate communication. A Maryland attorney must provide constant and transparent information regarding the progress of your case and any decisions being made. Remember, your attorney should be offering their experienced advice and guidance, but the final decision always rests with you, and you cannot make an informed decision without accurate information. Furthermore, under no circumstances should your attorney be making decisions without consulting you. If you believe your attorney is failing to communicate properly, you might want to consider a second opinion.
Failure to Determine the Value of Your Case
Often, personal injury lawsuits are settled without the need for a trial. To accomplish this, you need to know the value of your case to determine if a settlement offer is fair. While no attorney can predict the exact amount a case will settle for, an experienced lawyer should be able to estimate the value of your case within a reasonable range. If your current attorney is unable to provide a figure, then it becomes impossible to make an informed decision on whether to accept an offer or proceed to trial.
Unwillingness to Litigate
The possible need to proceed to a trial brings up another reason for a second opinion. Often, both plaintiff and defense attorneys will want to avoid a time-consuming and costly trial because their outcomes are often unpredictable. Typically, a settlement agreement is less than the amount that the injured party wanted but more than what the defendant was initially offering. Some attorneys are willing to accept lower-than-fair offers because they are unwilling to litigate a claim. While there are some advantages to settling a case without a trial, there are times when it is absolutely necessary to litigate your case. If you believe that a settlement offer is unfair and your current attorney is hesitant to take you lawsuit to trial, consider a second opinion.
Lack of Expert Witnesses
A successful personal injury lawsuit usually requires more than physical evidence and eyewitness testimony. An experienced Maryland attorney understands the importance and persuasiveness of expert opinions. If your current attorney is planning to take your case to trial and is unwilling or unable to employ the assistance of credible expert witnesses, then a second opinion might be required.
When Is It Too Late to Seek a Second Opinion on a Personal Injury Claim in Maryland?
As stated above, your attorney works for you. You have every right to seek additional counsel or hire a new attorney during any part of the process. However, the longer you wait, the more challenging it will become to change attorneys. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so before you retain an attorney, you should meet with several credible lawyers. This allows you to speak with a prospective attorney, listen to their ideas, meet their staff, and see their office.
If you are in the middle of an ongoing lawsuit, then it can become even more difficult to change lawyers. If you believe your attorney is making poor decisions or failing to respond to questions, or if you are feeling uncomfortable with their representation, you have every right to seek additional opinions. Another attorney will have to review your case file to offer a reasoned and informed opinion regarding your claim. While this might appear complicated, if you have lost trust or faith in your attorney, you owe it to yourself to seek a second opinion on your lawsuit.
Call Our Maryland Personal Injury Attorney for a Second Opinion in a Free Consultation
At the Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we understand that a lawsuit can be intimidating. We also recognize the importance of developing trust with our clients. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to providing clients with professional representation, ensuring they are fully informed and involved every step of the way. If you believe you need a second opinion or are dissatisfied with your current representation, our Baltimore personal injury lawyers are available to offer additional options. Call the Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free and private appointment.