A positive attorney-client relationship is essential for a productive personal injury case. There should be mutual trust and respect for each other’s time. However, sometimes the relationship between a lawyer and their client goes sour due to unavoidable reasons.
What action can you take if you have lost confidence in your attorney? Could you hire another personal injury lawyer after signing a retainer with the first one? Will it have any financial consequences? Continue reading this post to find answers to these questions and others if you’re considering firing your personal injury attorney.
About Firing a Personal Injury Lawyer
You have the right to fire your personal injury lawyer if you think that he or she is not acting in your best interest, or not performing their duties to your expectations. You can also fire a personal injury lawyer for any reason. It may be that you think that the attorney doesn’t respond to your queries or if you believe that he or she has acted unprofessionally such as wasting time in the meeting, not being prepared for a court hearing, or mishandling documents or funds.
Whatever the reason for firing your lawyer, make sure that you do so in writing. Send a letter, email, or fax explaining why you do not wish the legal professional to work on your case anymore. Request the attorney to stop working on your case and tell them where they should send your documents. Also, it’s important that you retain a copy of any document that you send to the attorney.
When firing a lawyer, you should act courteously. Avoid making any threats or complaint. This will help smooth the transition process. After writing the termination letter, there is no need to call the lawyer. All further correspondence should take place with your new personal injury attorney.
Will It Cost More Money When Terminating a Relationship with an Attorney?
Keep in mind that the fired personal injury attorney is entitled to a fee for service rendered. However, you won’t have to pay for the services from your pocket. After the personal injury case is resolved, the attorney fee will be divided based on ‘quantum meruit‘ — a reasonable value of the work done by each attorney.
A major chunk of the fees will go to an attorney who performs most of the work. In case both the attorneys performed equal work, the fee will be divided equally. How the fee is divided up is not your concern or responsibility. The case will be resolved by the two attorneys.
Additionally, the original attorney is entitled to place a lien against your case settlement if he/she doesn’t believe that the new attorney will voluntarily pay the fee he/she is entitled to. This is perfectly legal and normal practice.
Can the Attorney I Fired Contact Me?
Once you have given written notice that you are changing attorneys, in many states it’s actually illegal for the prior lawyer lawyer to contact you to discuss. In California, they can’t even contact you to ask why you fired them. So there will never be an uncomfortable ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ conversation.
If you find yourself in need of a new personal injury attorney, use the Personal Injury Guru lawyer directory to find the best attorney for your specific case. Finding an choosing a new injury lawyer is a stressful process, but this particular directory makes it easy to find a “Verified Guru” who has the experience to take on common or complex injury cases.