Can You Fire Your Car Accident Lawyer?

Image of FireHiring a car accident attorney can help you with your personal injury claim and secure proper compensation when you get involved in a car accident. However, instances happen when, after hiring a lawyer, clients begin thinking of switching attorneys.

Some clients are no longer happy with the services of the car accident lawyer. Others think that there has been little progress with their car accident case. When the lawyer’s services are no longer desirable, clients can terminate them and hire a new one.

Your Right To Change Lawyers Under Personal Injury Law

You have the right to fire your attorney at any time. According to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer cannot withdraw from representing a client for no reason at all. On the other hand, a client can discharge their lawyer at any time, with or without cause.

Changing attorneys is part and parcel of a fair and legal justice system of the United States. Without the right to change lawyers, clients are at the mercy of their attorneys. If the attorney is inept, clients are left without a choice. They have to stick with their lawyers until the end of the case.

If you feel that your rights are not properly protected, know that you can fire your attorney anytime. It is your right to find a lawyer with whom you can trust your personal injury case.

What Happens When a Client Decide To End Their Relationship With Their Personal Injury Lawyer

Ending your relationship with your personal injury attorney means you already lose your trust in your lawyer. One reason for hiring a car accident lawyer is to help you recover compensation. Your lawyer should get you an acceptable settlement offer in car accident claims. When you terminate the lawyer’s services, they can no longer represent you in your legal battle.

Since this is a crucial decision, carefully evaluate the situation before ending your relationship with your injury lawyer. Discuss your issues with your current attorney so that the matters of concern will be addressed. After communicating the matter and the lawyer does not address the issue, then you can take appropriate action.

Reasons To Fire a Personal Injury Attorney

There could be many reasons to fire your lawyer. Some of them include the following:

Lack Of Communication

To have a successful case, the client and the lawyer should be able to communicate properly. Unfortunately, one of the main complaints of clients who fired their personal injury lawyer is the failure of the attorney to return their phone calls.

There could be many reasons for not returning a call; some are valid, while others are simply because the lawyer does not want to call back the client. If your attorney is unresponsive despite your repeated attempts to communicate, it may be the proper time to change your attorney.

Lack Of Confidence In The Ability Of The Injury Attorney

Your car accident lawyer should be competent. This means they should have the legal knowledge and skills needed for legal representation of a client.

If you think that your lawyer is not competent, seek a second opinion. This will determine if what you feel about your lawyer’s competency has a basis or not. If you think your lawyer cannot effectively represent you after seeking others’ opinions, then it may be time to terminate your relationship with your attorney.

Conflict And Disagreement

There may be times when the lawyer’s view conflicts with the client. For example, the client may want to accept the settlement offer, but the lawyer insists otherwise. To have a successful case, you and your lawyer should agree on the strategies and important case issues.

Is There Any Risk To Firing My Current Attorney?

In personal injury cases, lawyers are usually hired on a contingency basis. The lawyer’s fee will be paid at the end of the case. The fee will be based on a certain percentage of the proceeds of settlement or the verdict.

Just to be sure, review the contract that you signed when you hired the injury attorney. While switching attorneys is allowed by the law, it does not necessarily mean there are no legal consequences for doing so.

What Is An Attorney’s Lien, And Why Should You Pay An Outstanding Attorney’s Fee?

If legal fees have to be paid, an attorney can hold on to your case files until such payment is made. This is called an attorney’s lien.

Carefully read the terms of your agreement before deciding to end your relationship with your attorney. Pay your balance with the car accident lawyer before contract termination, if any. The attorney has the right to file a small claims action against you for the payment of the balance.

Usually, personal injury lawyers are paid on a contingency basis. Therefore, attorney fees will only be paid when the case is terminated. If you decide to get a new lawyer, the previous one will be paid in proportion to what the said lawyer had done.

What To Do Before You Fire Your Current Legal Counsel

Terminating the car accident lawyer involves hiring a replacement to take over your case. That is why it is best first to evaluate whether it is proper and timely to change attorneys.

Find out if your reasons are valid. You may want to speak with someone you trust with regard to the possible consequences of your actions. Seek out other lawyers’ opinions, but not necessarily from the new counsel of your choice.

If your reasons are valid, seek another lawyer to handle your case.

Steps To Fire Your Attorney

If you are ready to fire your attorney, here are some things that you can take in order to prevent some issues that could come afterward:

  • Review all contracts and agreements made with the previous attorney.
  • Pay the attorney fees, if needed.
  • Hire a new attorney.
  • Send a termination letter.
  • Notify the court that you have a new personal injury attorney.

When it comes to personal injury cases, clients are not usually required to pay additional fees to hire a new attorney. However, if you decide to replace your personal injury lawyer before the termination of the case, the percentage of the contingency fee will be proportionately distributed to all the lawyers or law firms that worked on the case.

Should I Still Pay The First Attorney?

Yes, the old attorney must still be paid based on the time spent working on your case. An exception to this is when payment advances have been made to the first lawyer.

Moreover, if other dues are yet to be paid to the fired lawyer, the client must pay the fees.

It is best to send an official letter when you terminate your personal injury attorney. Mention specifically that you are ending the attorney-client relationship. You should also request for the transfer of personal files to your new attorney.

What Questions To Ask Your New Attorney

When changing attorneys and looking for a new one, set up an in-person meeting to determine if they are the person you are looking for.

During your meeting, you may ask the following frequently asked questions:

  • Are you an experienced lawyer?
  • How long have you been practicing providing legal services?
  • How many cases of car accident claims have you handled?
  • What is the biggest verdict your law firm has ever achieved?
  • How much attorney fee do you charge?
  • How will you handle my case?
  • Can I call you anytime, and will you be able to answer my calls?
  • Can you negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company?
  • Do you think the insurance company will settle in my favor?

Ask as many questions as you want. If you had a problem with communication with your previous personal injury lawyer, you could ask about how his or her law firm handles client inquiries. Your initial interaction with the new lawyer will determine how you will be treated once you decide to hire them.

Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Who Will Really Fight For Your Best Interest.

Getting injured in a car accident can be stressful and traumatic. And when you’re represented by someone who is ineffective and inept, it is easy to just give up. Fortunately, you can always fire your attorney if you’re not satisfied with the services they provide.

At The Clark Law Office, we offer our clients personalized service where they can talk to their car accident lawyer whenever they need to. Personal injury law can be complicated, but we are ready to assist you in making your claims with the insurance company.

When you call us, you will receive a free consultation regarding your car accident injuries. Whatever legal issues you may have, we ensure that we always achieve the best possible settlement offer and result for our clients.

For a free consultation, don’t hesitate to call us at (517) 347-6900, email us at info@theclarkawoffice.com, or fill out our online contact form.  Initial consultations are completely free, and you pay no fees unless you win your injury case.

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