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Top 6 Telltale Signs You Hired a Bad Lawyer and How To Avoid It in the Future

Published on Apr 7, 2023 by Thomas Law Offices.

Top 6 Telltale Signs You Hired a Bad Lawyer and How To Avoid It in the Future
When you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, you need a competent, caring, and experienced legal advocate to guide you through the process of recovering compensation. A personal injury attorney from a reputable law firm can help secure the best possible outcome for your claim.

Not every attorney is the right fit for your claim, though. At Thomas Law Offices, we only take on cases that align with the services we offer. Our ability to successfully represent Chicago residents who have been wrongfully injured is a point of pride, and we strive to provide the best possible representation to each and every client that we work with.

We also want injury victims to feel confident in their choice to work with Thomas Law Offices. If you’ve recently had a bad experience with an attorney, are worried that your current lawyer isn’t right for you, or are wondering what warning signs to look for during a free consultation, consider the following information. We’ve compiled the top six telltale signs you hired a bad lawyer and provided guidance on how to avoid doing it again in the future.

The Top 6 Signs You Hired a Bad Lawyer

Your calls go unanswered. Your lawyer says they’ll find an answer to your question but never gets back to you. When you talk, your lawyer doesn’t seem to know the details of your case or how it’s progressing. You’re left feeling like there is little hope for your case.

Never ignore a gut feeling that something isn’t right. If you notice any of the following signs or simply feel like your current lawyer isn’t the right fit, don’t be afraid to take your case elsewhere. The outcome of your personal injury claim is key to your future physical, emotional, and financial recovery, and you should only entrust your legal matter to a lawyer who cares about your case.

#1 – You Can’t Get in Touch With Your Lawyer

No lawyer is available 24/7, so it’s to be expected that there will be times you reach out but find there is no one on the other line. However, the lawyer you work with should have clear lines of communication, including a reasonable window of time in which they get back to you.

If your calls and emails regularly go without any response, it’s possible you hired a bad lawyer.

#2 – You’re Unsure of When and How You’ll Pay Your Legal Fees

Choosing to hire a lawyer is a significant decision that should only be made when you have access to all facts and relevant information. Two of the most significant pieces of information you’ll need to make a fully informed decision are what your lawyer charges and when you’ll be expected to pay.

Is your lawyer dancing around questions of payments? Are you unclear about what your legal fees are and when you’re supposed to pay? You may end up with a bill that’s much larger than you were expecting.

#3 – Your Lawyer Seems Uninterested in What You Have To Say

Whether you were injured in a car accident or are trying to hold a negligent doctor responsible for a surgical error, you need the backing of a lawyer who will truly listen to what you have to say. Your account of what happened is critical to the success of your civil claim, so if your lawyer seems uninterested in truly listening to what you have to say, you may have hired a bad lawyer.

#4 – Your Lawyer Guarantees a Win

Having a very strong case is a good indicator of possible success. It is not a guarantee. There are many factors that may affect the outcome of your legal claim, including whether you played a role in the accident that caused your injuries and what percentage of fault you were assigned.

Be wary of any lawyer that guarantees a win on your behalf, as this is often a tactic used by lawyers who wish to recruit a large number of clients regardless of their ability to actually handle certain cases.

#5 – Your Lawyer Is Disorganized or Inattentive to Your Case

When you meet with your lawyer, do they have all information and documents related to your case prepared and ready to go? Do they seem familiar with the details of your case and are prepared to discuss relevant details and provide updates?

You rely on your lawyer to keep you in the loop about what’s going on with the progression of your legal claim. If they don’t seem to know how your car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, or medical malpractice case is going, it’s an indication that they are not dedicating the time and effort necessary to win your claim.

#6 – Your Lawyer Is Not Empathetic to Your Situation

You’ve been through a traumatic situation. Whether you were left with debilitating physical injuries, significant financial losses, or deep emotional scars, you deserve to be treated with empathy, compassion, and professionalism.

A lawyer who doesn’t seem to care about what you’re going through is a lawyer that won’t really care about the outcome of your case.

How To Avoid Hiring a Bad Lawyer in the Future

The time at which you are seeking the services of a lawyer may be one of the most difficult periods of your life. You deserve to work with the best possible lawyer for your personal injury case, which means that you need to avoid hiring a bad lawyer.

We can’t choose the right lawyer for you. But we can provide our top five tips for hiring the best possible lawyer for your case:

  • #1 – Ask about communication practices. During your very first meeting, ask how you can get in touch with your lawyer and the windows of time during which they are typically available. Ask how long it normally takes them to reply if they are unavailable when you first reach out.
  • #2 – Ask about legal fees. Legal fees should be addressed during your first initial case evaluation. If your lawyer does not bring up the subject of payment, do not be afraid to ask what their legal fees are, what their payment structure is, and when payment is expected.
  • #3 – Know that your case matters. When it’s time to find the right lawyer, you have to be your biggest advocate. Recognize that your case matters, and only choose to work with a lawyer who seems interested in listening to what you have to say.
  • #4 – Be realistic. A good lawyer will improve the likelihood of winning your case but cannot guarantee a win. Always choose a lawyer who is willing to be realistic with you about the potential outcome of your case.
  • #5 – Find someone you’re comfortable with. Your lawyer will be your guide and advocate through the legal process of securing compensation for your injury. Not only do you need to be confident in your lawyer’s ability to handle your case, but you also need to feel comfortable with them.

Is Thomas Law Offices the Right Fit for Your Personal Injury Case?

The lawyers at Thomas Law Offices are dedicated to providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance based on our years of experience representing injured clients in Illinois. We also provide our services to communities in Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri.

In all that we do, we aim to make sure that our clients walk away from every interaction feeling respected and confident in our abilities to handle their personal injury claims. If something is wrong, we want to know about it so that we can make it right.

For an opportunity to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers in Chicago in a no-cost, no-obligation setting, please contact our law office to schedule a free case evaluation.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion