Hi, this is Roger Ghai. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about how lawyers operate as far as communication with their clients and specifically about how I operate when I am representing a client. Let me say this that lawyers are very, very busy people. We are not usually just twiddling our thumbs and sitting around waiting for the next call to come in, and we’re not just working on one case at a time.
How I operate, and I think it’s a great thing, is via email usually. When I get a telephone call, obviously that’s going to interrupt me from what I’m doing, and so, I don’t usually take calls during unscheduled telephone calls during the day. For the simple reason that we’re doing a ton of work on various amounts of cases.
Now, if we were sitting there and answering telephone calls all day on case statuses and everything, we’d never get anything done. What I do do is this, I respond to emails within a 24-hour period or a 48-hour period. If you don’t get a response from me, then yes, go ahead and give me call, or sometimes we need to go ahead and schedule an in-office meeting. Typically, I try to explain the clients at the outset that there’s three stages to the case.
The first stage is resolving the property damages, typically, a car accident case, or if it’s a slip-and-fall case, we notify the insurance company. The second stage of your case is this, this is the stage of the case where you are trading with your medical provider. During that phase of the case, the lawyer can’t do anything. We can’t do anything at all. We can’t settle the case. We can’t talk really about settlement to the insurance company, for the simple reason that we don’t have the clients’– your medical records. We don’t know how many providers you’ve been to. We don’t have all of the bills.
During that stage, that is the second stage, what I call as a treatment stage of the case, I always tell clients, “You might not hear from me for two or three months. Now if you’re treating for six months, you might not hear from me for six months.” Obviously, during that time, you’re going to want to go ahead and update me as far as what’s going on with the treatment, but as far as actually making any action get the case resolved, not a lot is going on.
The third stage of the case is really where I get to roll up my sleeves and get to work on the case. By that time, we will have secured all of your medical bills, all of your medical records. Typically, what happens is that we send everything off to the insurance company and they’ve got 30 days by law to review it. Once those 30 days expires, then we can either file a suit or resolve the case.
Communication is really important on these cases but we can’t be — as lawyers, I mean, sometimes it’s very difficult, to be honest, to constantly do case statuses all day long because, like I said, we just can’t get work done. You have to trust your lawyer that he or she is doing a good job, that they’ve got your interest at heart. If you do do that, they should still be providing you updates and statuses, and things like that periodically.
Give me a call if you have any questions about whether your lawyer is handling the case the right way for you.