Jason Stephens | March 15, 2022 | Personal Injury
Did you know that there are over one million lawyers in the U.S.? It’s likely that with that many lawyers, some of them simply aren’t good at their jobs. Whether you’re facing criminal charges, need help with a DUI, or were in a car accident, if you suspect you have a bad lawyer, replace them as early in your case as possible.
Here are six red flags to watch out for that may indicate that you have a bad lawyer.
1. They Aren’t Communicative
Lawyers, like the rest of us, are busy people. But if you aren’t getting your phone calls returned or your emails answered, there’s a problem. Your lawyer should give you regular updates about your case, keep you apprised of developments, and answer your questions.
If you can’t get a hold of anyone in the office, this could indicate that the lawyer doesn’t have much time to devote to your case. To prevent this from happening in the future, ask a potential lawyer about their preferred communication method during the initial consultation and how often they’ll update you about the case.
2. They Have a History of Bad Behavior
The State Bar of Texas holds its lawyers to high standards for professional conduct and will swiftly take action against lawyers who engage in unethical behavior. Attorney misconduct could make your case look weaker if it’s brought up before the judge and jury. It could even result in you losing your case.
Illegal or unethical behavior is a sign of a bad lawyer. Before hiring a lawyer, you can check their disciplinary records through the bar association. If you suspect misconduct, hire a new lawyer right away and report your old one to the State Bar of Texas.
3. Unclear Billing
Lawyers can be expensive, but the legal bills should clearly state what you’re charged for. If you see excessive charges and not a lot of results, then something might be wrong. Some lawyers will “pad” their bills, charging clients for extra time.
Other things to watch out for with your legal fees include:
- Hidden expenses
- Vague billing
- Services you didn’t agree to
- Surcharges in legal expenses
Each bill should clearly state what each charge is and who performed it (such as a private investigator or expert witness).
4. They Aren’t Enthusiastic About Your Case
Your lawyer is your advocate: someone who is on your side and fighting for your interests. Even if you don’t have a strong case, your lawyer is obligated to craft the best argument they can.
If your lawyer doesn’t seem eager to represent you or their efforts seem half-hearted, then choose a new lawyer. Lack of compassion and empathy from your lawyer will be evident to the judge and jury and could harm your chances in court.
5. Lack of Respect from Others
If your lawyer is the object of scorn or derision from peers, it could indicate that others know something about that lawyer that you don’t. Perhaps your lawyer is simply new, and veteran prosecutors or others in the courts are merely busting their chops. However, it could mean your lawyer might have a history of lackluster efforts in court.
Whatever the reason, if your lawyer isn’t respected, it may harm their efforts in front of a jury.
6. They Don’t Value Your Input
You’ve hired an expert for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that the strategy for your case should be their way or the highway.
You should take your lawyer’s advice, especially when it comes to talking to the police or the other party in a lawsuit. However, if your lawyer doesn’t listen to your suggestions or if you feel pushed into making a deal you don’t want to, you may need a different attorney.
Choosing a Great Lawyer
Your lawyer should work for you. If you feel like you aren’t getting adequate representation, choose a lawyer who demonstrates that they’re willing to fight for you.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107