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Should I find a New Lawyer for my MacLaren Hall Sex Abuse Case?

Should I find a New Lawyer for my MacLaren Hall Sex Abuse Case lawyer sue lawsuit compensation incident-06

Earlier this year, a lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles was filed by 12 plaintiffs that stayed at MacLaren Hall while they were in the foster care system. This residential group home was supposed to provide a safe and secure environment for children who were removed from situations involving abuse and neglect. Sadly, MacLaren Hall became a “house of horrors” for many of these kids, according to the recent lawsuit. After many years of being ignored, more and more victims are coming forward and demanding justice for their harm and suffering.

Are you a former resident of MacLaren Hall, who was subjected to sexual abuse while you were at the facility? If so, you are most likely in the middle of a compensation claim against L.A. County and other parties that are responsible for what you’ve gone through. However, you are finding that little to no progress has been made on your case due to a lawyer that’s hard to get in contact with. If lack of communication from your attorney is causing you to lose faith in the legal system, you may be wondering about the options that are available to you.

To assist you with this frustrating dilemma, we would like to offer you a free second opinion with one of our legal experts. With everything you’ve endured, the last thing you need is a lawyer who isn’t fully invested in your case. However, the decision to change attorneys is not something you should do lightly. To discuss the process of switching your lawyer, along with any other concerns about your MacLaren Hall sexual abuse claim, please contact us as soon as possible.

Why is it taking so long for my Lawyer to Return my Calls?

Over the last several months, we’ve received numerous calls from child sex abuse victims, who were interested in learning about their rights and legal options. Here is one issue that’s come up time and time again:

“My Maclaren Hall sexual abuse lawyer is not returning my calls. Can I get a new lawyer?”

With our many years of experience in child sexual assault cases, we are not surprised by the number of claimants who are dissatisfied with their current attorney. Though we can’t see into the mind of your own lawyer, some law firms see injury cases as a numbers game, meaning the more clients they sign up, the greater their potential profit.

This puts the client at a severe disadvantage when they are in need of legal advice or reassurance. No matter how busy we are, we know that it’s our duty to respond to each and every client in a timely manner. We also know that lack of communication is the number one source of frustration for those who are in the middle of a case. That’s why we make it a point to reach out to a client within 24 to 48 hours. So, what can you do if your lawyer is failing in their duty to you and your case?

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If my Lawyer is not getting back to me, what do I do?

It may have occurred to you to look into legal actions you can take against your attorney if they are not putting in the time and attention you deserve. There are a few things you can do if find yourself in this situation:

  • Draft a letter to your attorney that clearly explains your dissatisfaction with them, making sure to keep your tone professional and civil. You can send the letter as an email, which is easy to save / download. Alternatively, make a copy of the letter before mailing it to your lawyer or hand delivering it to your law firm. It at all possible, try to use a mail service that will provide you with confirmation of delivery.
  • Try filing a complaint with the California State Bar, which regulates professional and ethical conduct between lawyers and clients. The forms can be found online at their website, but you will need substantial evidence to back up your claims, as lack of communication in itself is not a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. That means you will need to prove that your lawyer’s action (or inaction) is negatively affecting your claim.
  • Find another lawyer to take over your case. Believe it or not, this is the most effective solution for most claimants, though whether it’s right for you remains to be seen. To discuss the option of switching your lawyer and continuing your MacLaren Hall sexual abuse claim with us, contact our office for a free second opinion.
Is Changing my Lawyer really the Right Choice?

We don’t blame you for asking this question, even if you’re certain that your current lawyer doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Changing legal representation with a pending lawsuit has various consequences, which you should be aware of before you take the plunge. However, there are red flags that you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to your attorney’s behavior. Warning signs that it may be time to switch lawyers include:

  • You’re unable to get a response to phone calls, emails, etc. within 48 hours (2 business days) from your attorney.
  • Your lawyer has missed at least one important deadline, which has put your case at risk of being dismissed.
  • You received a court notice advising you that your lawsuit may be dropped due to an extended period of inactivity.
  • Your lawyer repeatedly asks you to send in documents and other information that you’ve already given them.
  • Your attorney keeps asking the court for an extension, which is adding additional weeks and months to the case resolution process.

Keep in mind that these are not the only issues that may necessitate a change in legal counsel. Each case is different with its own set of circumstances, so it’s important to make an informed decision after speaking with an experienced attorney.

What do I do First – Fire my Lawyer or Find a New Attorney?

You can certainly go ahead and fire your attorney before you look for another one. However, we strongly recommend that you find a new lawyer first, as they can expedite the transfer process between your current law firm and the new one.

A lot of plaintiffs expect lawyers to be professional and hand over their case file as soon as they give notice that they wish to find another attorney. However, being fired can sometimes bring out the worst in people. While you are legally entitled to any information that pertains to your lawsuit, some law firms will demand payment on a remaining balance or try to charge you excessive processing / mailing fees in order to send you important documents that your new lawyer will need.

At DTLA Law Group, we take on the responsibility of contacting your law firm and working out a transfer agreement with them. We find that lawyers are much more cooperative when a fellow attorney reaches out to them. We will also take care of informing the courts and paying for any shipping fees if your case file needs to be mailed to us. In addition, we will do all this at no cost to you so that you won’t have to worry about any additional costs as you wait for your compensation award. 

Average Value of a MacLaren Hall Sex Abuse Lawsuit

There’s no such thing as a universal case value, as the losses suffered by each victim merit different levels of compensation. However, cases involving the sexual abuse of a minor typically bring in high settlements, usually in the range of $1 million to $7.5 million. This is still a fairly wide range, which is why it’s essential to examine all the relevant factors, such as your age at the time of the abuse, the specific acts that were involved, and the severity of your physical and/or mental injuries.

We know that these issues will be difficult to talk about, but we are here for you with the compassion and empathy you deserve as a victim of sexual assault at MacLaren Hall. Please take a moment to reach out to us and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

How long will it take to Recover my Payment?

When we set out to settle a case of child sexual abuse, our goal is to recover payment on behalf of a client within 6 to 8 months. However, MacLaren Hall cases go back many years, and as a result, the process of gathering evidence and fighting for the highest possible settlement can take longer than you may expect. Realistically, the negotiation process for a fair amount of damages can take around 12 to 18 months. If we get to a point where negotiating a settlement is not possible, we will move forward with a lawsuit, which may take around 2 or more years from start to finish.  

Should I find a New Lawyer for my MacLaren Hall Sex Abuse Case lawyer lawsuit compensation incident sue liability
Statute of Limitations to File a Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

California’s AB-218 (Assembly Bill 218) allows victims 22 years after turning the age of majority (up to 40 years old) to file a case for child sexual abuse. If they are not aware that they are abused or repressed memories of child sexual assault that are uncovered later, they have 5 years from the date of discovery to take legal action. The statute of limitations depends on the latter of these two dates, but it can still be confusing for victims to figure out the filing deadline for a sexual assault lawsuit. Just give us a call, and we will be happy to help you with this issue, along with any other questions you have about your rights.

Speak to a Lawyer Experienced in Child Sexual Assault Cases

When you have been let down by the system that’s supposed to protect you, the trauma of that experience lasts for a lifetime. Suing the responsible parties and receiving compensation for your suffering can help you move forward as a victim of sexual assault. Unfortunately, justice may seem impossible to achieve if your lawyer is not providing the level of service you deserve.

Our law firm operates on the principle of treating our clients like family. That means we will be there anytime you need answers or reassurance on how things are going with your case. While there may be numerous complications along the way, you can count on us to fight tirelessly for your settlement. Furthermore, we protect your finances with the Zero fee guarantee, since we would never charge family members for legal services. There is no cost to you when you sign up with us, since we only get paid by winning your case. If we don’t win your case, you owe us absolutely nothing.

If you’re in need of an experienced attorney to represent you in a MacLaren Hall sexual abuse lawsuit, call us right away to schedule a free case review.

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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 am PST – 9:00 pm PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.