I spent Saturday night in OC, hanging out with some old friends at their beach house on the Newport Beach peninsula. A couple of their neighbors were having parties as well, and as is fairly typical down there, our party spilled over to their neighbor’s house. As introductions were made, and I told my new friends that I was a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents, the guys I was talking to immediately called their friend over. This guy, Bill (not his real name), told me that he had been in a motorcycle accident over a year ago. He was driving his Suzuki GSXR in Irvine (Orange County), when a woman had turned left in front of him at an intersection, cutting him off. His motorcycle slammed into the side of her car, and he sustained numerous injuries, including several broken bones. I listened, all-too familiar with this story.
“I wish I had met you a year ago,” he explained.
“Why’s that?” I asked, afraid I already knew the answer.
“Well,” he said, “I did a Google search for a lawyer, and I found a guy who’s website said that he was the best motorcycle accident attorney in California. I called up his firm, talked to him for awhile, and he told me how he’s handled thousands of motorcycle accident cases throughout Orange County and Los Angeles, and how he never loses.”
“I was convinced immediately,” he told me. “Problem is, it’s been a year and I haven’t heard from him since I hired him. This guy is supposed to be my lawyer, but he doesn’t return my phone calls, and I have no idea what’s going on with my case.”
I asked him who the lawyer was that he hired. It took him awhile to remember his own attorney’s name. He was actually embarrassed about this.
Bill should not be the one who was embarrassed. He is the victim of a bad lawyer. A lot of lawyers out there promise the world: they claim that they ride, that you’ll get personal service, get top results, etc.–everything they think you want to hear. But many of these clowns are nothing more than bad lawyer jokes. Once your name is on the dotted line, their work is done. They may have a secretary draft a couple letters or file a poorly-written law suit. But at the end of the day, all they care about is their bottom line. Quantity over quality. (And most of them haven’t been on a bike since they posed for their website photo.)
As it turns out, I knew the lawyer Bill had hired. Mostly by reputation, but I’ve met him a couple of times, and know someone who used to work for him. The lawyer in question typifies everything that’s wrong with the legal profession. He’s the reason people don’t trust lawyers. I refrained from telling Bill the details of what I knew, but suggested that, if he called his lawyer every day for two weeks and didn’t get a single call back, then maybe he should consider looking for new counsel.
Remember that your lawyer works for you, not the other way around. You don’t want to fire your attorney strictly because you think things aren’t moving fast enough. The wheels of justice move slowly, no matter how diligently your lawyer is working on your case. But if your attorney refuses to answer your phone calls, or if you haven’t heard his or her voice in over a year, that suggests a serious problem. Lawyers often won’t tell you this, but you always have the right to dump them.
Far better, however, is to take your time to find the right motorcycle accident attorney. Find someone that you feel comfortable with. Someone who is willing to answer your questions, and someone who you feel is really going to give your case its due. An attorney may have dozens or even hundreds of other clients, but you only get one shot at your case. When you file a claim for injuries you sustained from a motorcycle accident, what you get (or don’t get) from your settlement or lawsuit is a one-shot deal. Once the case is over, for good or bad, you can’t go back to the defendant and ask for more.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you’re welcome to give us a call. Our attorneys went to some of the top law schools in California, and our results speak for themselves. Just as important, we communicate with our clients, respond to their questions, and keep them involved in the process every step of the way. We call ourselves “California’s top motorcycle accident attorneys” because we believe it. Ask around about us–we have a hunch anyone who’s dealt with us believes it, too.