When you hire a lawyer to help with your Uber/Lyft passenger injury claim, you want to make sure you end up with the right person for you and your case. And that expectation can work both ways. Just like you want a good lawyer to fight for you, every lawyer wants a "good client." But how much of being a "good client" is actually within your control? Here are some tips on working with your lawyer to ensure the best outcome for your lawsuit over injuries suffered in a rideshare vehicle.
During your first meetings with your lawyer, you'll discuss all relevant details of your case (and even some things that you might not necessarily think are relevant), including:
It's important to share all information with your lawyer, including facts that might not be pleasant, or details that could feel too personal. These first talks are a two-way process. Just as you should be thinking about whether this lawyer is right for you, the lawyer will be deciding whether the case, and you, are a good fit. Learn more about how lawyers decide whether to take a personal injury case.
Remember, the lawyer won't get paid unless you receive a court judgment or if your Uber/Lyft case reaches a settlement. So the lawyer might ultimately decline your case if it looks like you're unlikely to win, or if the value of your rideshare passenger injury case doesn't synch up with what it would take to pursue it.
Clients get pretty upset when their lawyer doesn't return phone calls. And lawyers feel the same way. If you don't return your lawyer's phone calls, emails, or text messages promptly, you're not just wasting your lawyer's time, you could also be hurting your case.
Medical treatment is a huge aspect of any lawsuit over injuries suffered in a rideshare vehicle. Your health care providers will note any appointment you miss, and if you miss too many, the at-fault party (and perhaps ultimately a jury) will assume that you must not have been injured as badly as you claim to be.
Once you file an Uber/Lyft passenger injury lawsuit in court, the defendant will send your lawyer written questions called interrogatories, as well as document requests. Your lawyer will send these on to you, and you'll need to promptly answer the interrogatories and provide your lawyer with the requested documents, or your case could be dismissed. Help your lawyer, and help yourself. Respond to all discovery as quickly as you can.
Practice for your deposition. Your deposition is a very important step in your rideshare passenger injury case. Your lawyer is there to help you prepare, to offer guidance during the proceedings, and even step in if the other side is taking a questionable approach. Follow your lawyer's advice and recommendations.
Clients who are convinced that their rideshare passenger injury case isn't going well may assume the lawyer is to blame. Some things are indeed a lawyer's fault, but some problems originate with the client, and other obstacles are no one's fault.
If you sincerely believe there are problems related to your case, you can't always be the "good client." You have to ask questions. Remember that this is your case, not your lawyer's. You have an absolute right to be kept informed about what is going on. It may seem like you are being pesky by asking questions about your case, but you need to protect your interests by staying informed.
Like most relationships, a good client-lawyer relationship is based on communication. State your concerns to your lawyer. Don't hold back. Find out what is holding up your Uber/Lyft case, or why your lawyer's outlook has changed. If the answers don't make sense or aren't satisfactory, there's nothing wrong with talking with another lawyer for a second opinion. You'll want to learn what a new lawyer would do differently in your case. If the answer is "not much," you'll want to think twice about changing lawyers, since a move like that would likely involve going over the same ground a second time.
In most instances, it makes sense to communicate your concerns with your lawyer so that you can find a suitable resolution, and get back to working toward the best result for your rideshare passenger injury case.