What to Do When Your Personal Injury Lawyer Won’t Respond

Personal injury cases can be complex and emotionally draining, making effective communication between you and your lawyer essential for achieving a successful outcome. However, if your lawyer becomes unresponsive or difficult to reach, you might feel lost, stressed, and uncertain about the progress of your case. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the steps you can take to resolve the issue and ensure your case receives the attention it deserves.

Understanding the Problem

Assessing the Situation

Before taking any action, it’s crucial to objectively assess the situation. Determine whether your lawyer’s lack of communication is an isolated incident or a consistent pattern. Remember that lawyers often have multiple cases to handle, and their availability may be temporarily impacted by factors such as holidays, emergencies, or a particularly heavy workload.

Setting Realistic Expectations

To maintain a healthy attorney-client relationship, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding communication with your personal injury lawyer. The legal industry is known for its slow-moving processes, and personal injury cases, in particular, can take a considerable amount of time to resolve. While you may be eager for updates, it’s important to understand that there may not always be new information to share, or your lawyer may be waiting for responses from other parties involved.

Taking Action: Strategies for Reestablishing Communication

What to Do When Your Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Respond

Open Communication

If your lawyer remains unresponsive, it’s crucial to take a proactive approach. Reach out to them using various methods, such as phone calls, emails, text messages, or even a certified letter. When you do make contact, calmly express your concerns about the lack of communication and ask for a specific timeline for updates on your case. Maintaining a polite and professional tone can help keep the conversation productive and focused on resolving the issue.

Documenting Your Efforts

As you attempt to reestablish communication with your lawyer, be sure to document your efforts. Keep a detailed record of the dates, times, and methods of communication you’ve used, as well as any responses (or lack thereof) from your lawyer. This documentation may be helpful later on if you decide to take further action or need to present evidence of your attempts to communicate.

Escalating the Situation

If your attempts to reach your lawyer continue to be unsuccessful, consider escalating the situation. You can contact the law firm’s managing partner or a senior attorney to express your concerns. Provide them with the documentation of your attempts to communicate with your lawyer, as this may help them understand the severity of the issue. If this doesn’t lead to a resolution, you may need to file a complaint with your local or state bar association. Keep in mind that this step should be considered a last resort, as it may have long-lasting consequences for both you and your lawyer.

Evaluating Your Options: When It’s Time to Move On

Seeking a Second Opinion

If you’re concerned that your lawyer’s lack of communication may be negatively impacting your case, it may be beneficial to consult with another personal injury attorney for a second opinion. This can help you better understand your legal options, the strength of your case, and whether your current lawyer’s actions are jeopardizing your chances of success. Be sure to weigh the potential costs and benefits of switching representation before making a decision.

Terminating Your Agreement

If you’ve exhausted all other options and communication with your lawyer remains unsatisfactory, you may need to terminate your retainer agreement. Review the agreement to understand the termination clauses, and consult with another attorney if you’re unsure of your rights in this situation. To officially end the attorney-client relationship, notify your lawyer of your decision in writing, ensuring you follow any required procedures outlined in your retainer agreement.

Finding a New Personal Injury Lawyer: A Fresh Start

What to Do When Your Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Respond

Researching Potential Candidates

Start by asking friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations, or search online reviews to find potential candidates. Look for attorneys with a proven track record in personal injury cases and positive client testimonials.

Conducting Interviews

Prepare a list of questions to ask potential attorneys during the interview process. Evaluate their experience, success rates, and communication style to ensure they’re a good fit for your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask about their approach to handling cases like yours, as well as their strategy for maintaining open communication with clients.

Comparing Fees and Costs

Make sure to understand the different fee structures (contingency, hourly, etc.) and ask about any additional costs or expenses you might incur. This will help you make an informed decision when choosing a new personal injury lawyer.

Preventing Future Communication Issues: Building a Strong Foundation

What to Do When Your Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Respond

Setting Expectations Early

When you begin working with a new personal injury lawyer, discuss communication preferences and response times upfront. Establishing a regular update schedule can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure you stay informed about your case. Clear communication from the start will lay the groundwork for a successful attorney-client relationship.

Staying Proactive

Take the initiative to regularly check in with your lawyer and ask for updates on your case. Additionally, keep your lawyer informed about any changes in your situation or new information that may impact your case. By staying proactive, you can help ensure that your case progresses smoothly and avoid communication breakdowns.

Building a Strong Attorney-Client Relationship

Develop trust and rapport with your new personal injury lawyer by being open, honest, and respectful in all communications. A strong attorney-client relationship can contribute to a more successful outcome in your case. Foster this relationship by providing all necessary documentation and information promptly, and by being responsive to your lawyer’s requests.


Dealing with an unresponsive personal injury lawyer can be frustrating, but understanding your options and taking the appropriate steps can help resolve the issue. Remember, effective communication is key to a successful outcome in your case. By setting expectations early, staying proactive, and building a strong attorney-client relationship, you can help ensure that your personal injury case receives the attention and care it deserves. If you do find yourself needing to find a new lawyer, use the lessons learned from your previous experience to make a more informed choice and foster a healthier, more communicative relationship moving forward.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Do When Your Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Respond

How long should I wait for a response from my personal injury lawyer before taking action?

There is no strict rule on how long you should wait, as the appropriate response time may vary depending on the circumstances of your case and the lawyer’s workload. However, if you haven’t received a response within a week or two, consider following up with your lawyer using different communication methods. If the lack of communication persists, you may need to consider escalating the situation or seeking alternative representation.

Can I switch to a new personal injury lawyer in the middle of my case?

Yes, you have the right to change your lawyer at any time during your case. However, it’s important to consider the potential costs and disruptions that may come with switching representation. Before making a decision, consult with a new attorney to ensure that the benefits of changing lawyers outweigh the potential drawbacks.

Will I owe my original lawyer any fees if I switch to a new attorney?

It depends on the terms of your retainer agreement and the fee structure you agreed upon. In some cases, you may owe your original lawyer for work already completed on your case. Be sure to review your retainer agreement and consult with your new attorney to understand your obligations in this situation.

How can I avoid communication issues with my new personal injury lawyer?

To minimize communication issues, discuss your expectations for communication and response times at the beginning of your relationship with your new lawyer. Establish a regular update schedule and make sure you both agree on the preferred methods of communication (phone, email, etc.). Stay proactive by regularly checking in with your lawyer and providing any necessary information or documentation promptly. By fostering open and honest communication, you can help prevent misunderstandings and maintain a strong attorney-client relationship.

What if my lawyer is not only unresponsive but also providing inadequate legal representation?

A: If you believe that your lawyer is not only unresponsive but also providing subpar legal representation, it’s essential to take action to protect your interests. Consult with another personal injury attorney for a second opinion on your case and consider switching representation if necessary. If your lawyer’s actions are causing you harm, you may need to file a complaint with your local or state bar association. Keep in mind that this step should be considered a last resort, as it may have long-lasting consequences for both you and your lawyer.

Can I represent myself in a personal injury case?

A: While you have the right to represent yourself in a personal injury case, it’s generally not recommended. Personal injury cases can be complex and often require extensive knowledge of the law, negotiation skills, and the ability to navigate the legal system. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the expertise and resources necessary to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Get Your Free
Case Evaluation Today!

Contact Information


Verdict Report

$3.025 Million settlement by Mark R. Melrose and co-counsel in a medical malpractice case for 40 year old man who suffered a devastating stroke after his surgeon failed to diagnose the cause of his bowel infarction. The doctor failed to read the echocardiogram which had clear evidence of a blood clot. This clot then broke apart and caused the stroke.

Review Us