She had been in a car accident years before and had hired an attorney to represent her. She got an okay settlement but was never really too pleased with the attorney she hired. He never communicated with her. He never called her. She always had to call him and never knew what was going on with her case.

Years later she suffered injury as a result of improper medical care. This time she decided she was going to look for another attorney, but one who communicated with her on a regular basis.

Let me share with you today why I call every one of my clients each month personally.

I do not delegate this. My secretary does not make the phone call. I do. She will set up phone call each month but I personally speak to each and every one of my clients.

There is an important reason for doing this.

  1. During our monthly phone call I want to know how you are feeling. I want to know what is different from the last month I spoke to you. Has your medical condition improved? Are you feeling better this month than you were last month? How have your injuries affected your daily activities? How have your injuries affected your ability to interact with your family and your job?
  2. Are there things you are unable to do today that you're able to do before? Are you limited from doing certain types of activities now and over time have improved?
  3. Without talking to you on a regular basis, there is no way for me to know the answers to any of these questions. I like to call you every single month to find out how you are feeling. I like to find out how you are coping. I need to know whether you have gone for any additional medical care and treatment. I will need to get those medical records to support your claim.
  4. In addition, I also provide you with a monthly update to let you know what is happening from a legal standpoint on your case. This way you never have to track me down and ask me “Mr. Oginski, what is happening with my case?”

Even if there's nothing significant happening on your case at the time I call, I still let you know what has happened in the past and what will likely happen in the near future.

There are many instances where it will appear that there is nothing happening on your case.

We may be waiting for something to happen such as a court conference or depositions that have been scheduled. Whatever the reason, my goal while on the telephone, is to explain to you what the status update of your case it is. That's important for you to know in order to keep you in the loop and keep you informed about what is exactly happening in your case at every step of the process.

I truly believe that the reason some clients are dissatisfied with their attorneys is that the law firm simply does not have a consistent way to communicate with their clients since everyone gets busy. If more attorneys and law firms adopted a systematic approach to communicating with their clients either by e-mail, letter, or phone call I think more of their clients would be satisfied and would know exactly what's happening with their case at any given time.

The next time you are actively searching for an attorney to help you solve your legal problem, one of the key questions you'll want to ask the attorney and his law firm is “How often do you communicate with me to give me status updates and find out how I am doing?” The answer to that question will provide you with a great deal of information that will assist you in determining whether that lawyer and that law firm is right for you.

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer