Can I Fire My Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you suffer injuries in an accident, you might hire the wrong personal injury lawyer for your case. In some cases, you may end up waiting two to three weeks just to speak to the lawyer about your accident. Maybe your personal injury lawyer isn’t obtaining the settlement you deserve.
If you realize that the personal injury lawyer you hired is not working for you, you’re probably wondering how to fire an attorney. Here are some things you should consider if you want to fire your personal injury lawyer.
Can I Fire My Lawyer Before They Reach a Settlement?
Yes, you can fire your lawyer before settlement. That’s why you should check your lawyers’ resume and previous experience before hiring. However, it is important to keep in mind that a personal injury lawyer must be paid for the value of their work. If you fire your lawyer within the first month of your claim and hire another, both your first lawyer and your second lawyer must receive 33.3% of your gross recovery.
Thankfully, your new lawyer handles this aspect of the settlement and there’s no upfront cost to fire your personal injury lawyer other than unpaid attorney’s fees.
What Are Valid Reasons to Fire My Lawyer?
There are several reasons why you might want to fire your personal injury lawyer. When figuring out how to fire your lawyer before settlement, consider these questions:
- Do you communicate with a case manager instead of the lawyer?
- Does your lawyer fail to return calls within two business days?
- Did the lawyer refuse to explain their strategy for your case?
- Did your lawyer fail to explain the potential value of your case after gathering proof of your injuries?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you should set up an in-person meeting with your lawyer and discuss these issues. You should consider firing your lawyer if none of these issues improve after your meeting.
How Do I Fire My Lawyer?
There are a few steps you should take when firing your lawyer to minimize conflict. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to fire an attorney in the early stages of a case.
#1: Look Over Your Contract
Usually, your contract for legal services has a procedure for termination. If your lawyer provides a reasonable way to end your client-attorney relationship, try to follow it.
#2: Hire a New Personal Injury Lawyer
Only follow this step if you decide to fire your current personal injury lawyer. Once you hire a new attorney, transferring your case information to them is much easier.
#3: Write a Formal Letter of Termination
To fire your lawyer, all you need to do is send an email or a letter stating the following:
“Dear [Lawyer’s Name],
I no longer need your services. [Insert reason here]. I have decided to handle my case with another attorney and need to pick up my case file within 14 days. Please call me at [Insert phone number] when my file is ready to be picked up.
Make sure you call your lawyer’s office the day after to confirm that they received your letter. You should also let the insurance company know, in writing, that your lawyer no longer handles your case. Some unprofessional lawyers might attempt to settle your case with the insurance company without your permission.
Once you receive your case files, deliver them to your new personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
#4: Notify the Court if You Have a Pending Case
If your case is pending before a court, submit a withdrawal or substitution of counsel. You should take this step immediately after or at the same time as your letter of termination. In most instances, your old lawyer files a motion to withdraw or your new lawyer files a motion for substitution of counsel on your behalf.
Should I Get a Second Opinion Before Firing My Lawyer?
Absolutely. Getting a second opinion is a good way to objectively evaluate your lawyer’s competence. Consider seeking out the opinion of another lawyer about your case. Other lawyers often identify areas where your lawyer isn’t doing their job well.
In some cases, other lawyers can identify ways to strengthen your case or potentially increase your settlement.
Do I Need to Pay Any Fees When I Fire My Personal Injury Lawyer?
This varies between firms. In many cases, you might owe attorney’s fees or other small costs when you terminate your contract. Depending on the language and requirements in your contract, your lawyer may hold onto your case files until you pay the undisputed amount.
Always pay the fees you owe when you fire your personal injury lawyer. If you don’t, they can either file a small claims action against you or file an attorney’s lien in court, which allows them to be reimbursed by your settlement for unpaid fees.
If My Case is Taking a Long Time to Settle, Does That Mean My Lawyer is Bad?
Not necessarily. Many personal injury cases take months or even years to settle. This usually happens because insurance companies and defendants try to delay the case as much as possible. Many large insurance companies have entire legal teams working against claims, and it takes personal injury lawyers several negotiations to get a fair settlement amount.
If You Need Money While Waiting for Your Settlement, Consider a Lawsuit Loan from Nova Legal Funding
At Nova Legal Funding, we understand that life doesn’t wait for your settlement. If you sustain injuries in an accident, you might find it difficult to pay medical bills and general living expenses while recovering, especially if you need to fire your personal injury lawyer and look for another.
We offer pre-settlement cash advances to help you pay for bills while you await your settlement. Not only do we approve applications within 24 hours, we also have the lowest interest rates guaranteed. Most importantly, our loans are risk-free. If you don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.
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