This Central and Syracuse New York personal injury lawyer got the boot! Yes, a client fired me! Why was I fired? Before I explain why, let me explain a little bit about the nature of what I do.
At any given time, I am handling about 100 cases. Many of those cases, however, are in the “pre-suit” stage. This means we are following the client’s medical progress, but are not yet ready to make a personal injury settlement demand. Why not? Because until the client is finished treating, or has reached a maximum level of medical improvement, we don’t know how much the case is worth. If the client is going to have a permanent injury, the case is worth more, and if it is a serious permanent injury, it is worth more still. Conversely, if she is going to reach a 100% recovery, the case is worth less. But the doctor can’t give us a “permanency” evaluation until the client is done treating or has reached maximum medical improvement, which can sometimes take more than a year and a half.
So in many cases, there is almost nothing we can do, except collect medical records, until a year or more has gone by. Here’s how we handle this with our clients: When we first meet with them, we explain this could take quite a while, depending on how their treatment goes. We explain that the doctors, not the lawyers, determine when their case is “ripe” for settlement. We even have a provision in our retainer agreement that tells the client we do not know how long the case will take and that it depends on their doctors.
So are you ready to hear why I was fired? Is the suspense killing you? Thought so. I was fired because the client thought nothing was happening in her case for the more than year I had been handling it. I wasn’t doing anything for her, she thought.
But I couldn’t! She was still actively treating and her doctor was unable to tell us where she would end up.
This client must have forgotten our early conversations about this. And I wish, oh how I wish, I had time to call every one of my 100 clients to remind them of this from time to time. Most do remember, and if they call me to ask the status of their case, I remind them again. And they are fine with that. The client who fired me never called to ask. She just assumed the delay was my fault. Now she will get another New York personal injury lawyer who will tell her, “sorry, we have to wait for your doctor to tell us you are done getting better”.
Hey, I wish her luck. And the old expression, “you can’t please all the people all the time” sure rings true today. Still, my goal is to please all my clients all the time. Maybe my striving for that goal, however unattainable, is why I can count on only one hand the number of times I’ve been fired.
Email me at: email@example.com I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.