If you have been through the nerve-wracking and painful experience of suffering an injury from a car accident, slip and fall incident or other accident due to someone else’s recklessness, you have the legal right to hire a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit.
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney will work with you at each step of the case, navigating the intricacies of a personal injury claim and dealing with the manipulative tricks of insurance companies.
However, there may be a point during the process where you may become dissatisfied with your lawyer and feel that they are not the right fit to help you get the desired outcome for your claim.
Accordingly, you may have second thoughts about firing your personal injury attorney and substituting them with a new one who can better represent your interests.
Keep reading to learn all you should know about terminating an attorney, the best reasons to do so, and the steps to take before ending the legal contract.
Can I Fire My Attorney Before a Settlement?
The short answer is yes. Whether there is a personality clash or your personal injury attorney is not handling the case as per expectations, you have the legal right to fire them at any point for any reason. You should consult any contracts and agreements that you signed. If your attorney has incurred expense on your behalf, you may owe reimbursement for those costs.
Top Potential Reasons to Fire An Attorney
Various reasons may prompt you to end your contract with the current personal injury attorney and approach a different law firm to take up your case.
The following are some red flags or warning signs to help you decide whether you should discharge your attorney:
Lack of Communication
Regular communication between a lawyer and their client is essential to any successful personal injury claim. If your attorney’s office is unresponsive and keeps missing appointments, does not respond to calls or emails promptly, or fails to share the details or progress of your case regularly, it may be time to bid goodbye to them.
An attorney must have the knowledge and skills to deal with your particular type of case. An inept or unknowledgeable attorney will diminish your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your losses.
If you observe that your lawyer is unprepared or not confident enough to handle the potential complexities of your case, you are better off terminating your relationship with them.
Poor Working Relationship
Another common reason that causes strife between clients and their attorneys is developing differences and not getting along well. That could be due to multiple reasons, from a personality clash to disagreement to vital decisions, such as taking a case to trial or agreeing on a settlement.
If you feel uncomfortable or hesitant to interact with your attorney at any point, it may be time to move on.
Lack of Empathy
A personal injury claim whereby the victim is going through mental and emotional trauma warrants an emphatic and compassionate attitude from an attorney.
They must realize the hardships their client is facing and go to lengths to facilitate them during the entire process so the client can focus more on their healing.
How to Fire Your Personal Injury Attorney
Before you decide to fire your personal injury attorney and make a switch, it is always best to communicate with them and try to resolve your disputes. The attorney may not be aware of the issues that need attention, and a simple discussion could be all that it takes for them to address your concerns and make amends.
If that doesn’t work, firing an attorney is a relatively simple process.
Review Your Contract
It is essential to review the terms and agreements of your legal contract by reading over it and following the prescribed procedure to end the contract if mentioned.
Hire a New Attorney
It is recommended to hire a new legal representation before moving ahead with the termination to avoid losing valuable time making the switch and delaying the legal proceedings.
Also, you don’t want the risk of having to deal with any legal matters by yourself should anything pop up during the gap.
Draft a Formal Letter
Next, write a termination letter detailing your reasons for ending your contract with them. Politely ask them to forward all case documents directly to you or the new attorney. It is always best to send the letter through email or mail and keep a copy of it with yourself.
Do I Have To Pay My Attorney if I Fired Them?
Lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, whereby they are paid a specific percentage of the amount from a settlement. That means they are not entitled to collect any fees until and unless they manage to secure a favorable verdict.
After your case resolves, the attorney fee will be divided among both personal injury lawyers who represented you. The larger chunk will belong to the attorney who put the most work into your case, while the first attorney fired will claim their rights to fee by filing an attorney’s lien and receive their amount based upon the value of their services provided.
Accordingly, you don’t have to pay any extra amount if you decide to part ways with an attorney in the middle of proceedings and hire a new one.
Hiring the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. If you don’t feel confident enough in your lawyer to deliver the justice you deserve, explore your options and consult multiple personal injury attorneys to ensure the right legal representation who can better protect your interests.
Remember, most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will only have to pay them once they have secured a favorable outcome for your case.
Request a Free Consultation with Brandon J. Broderick Today
The attorney team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, prides themselves on aggressive representation, compassionate client care and a track record of success. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience and a history of successful claims. Our clients consistently give us top ratings and reviews.
Passionately fighting for our clients. Putting them first. Working smarter to win. If you’re looking for the best personal injury lawyers, don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.
Offices and personal injury lawyers in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.