Mark Roman | November 23, 2023 | Personal Injury
Sustaining a personal injury can be traumatizing and overwhelming for you and your family. Deciding to move forward with a legal claim is an important decision, and hiring a lawyer to help you through the process is generally a wise move. But what are your options if you’re not happy with the attorney you’ve selected to represent you?
Ultimately, you should know that you do have the right to fire your personal injury lawyer. Doing so may even be in your best interest, depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation. Continue reading for further insight so that you can proceed appropriately.
Reasons Why Personal Injury Lawyers Are Fired
You may choose to fire your personal injury lawyer for several different reasons. Every attorney-client relationship is unique, and the context of your particular case will dictate the course of action you should take.
Some common reasons why personal injury lawyers are fired include the following.
Your attorney should be open and honest with you about your case at all times. They should also keep you apprised of your case’s status so that you aren’t caught off guard by any developments. Further, you should have the ability to contact your attorney at any time, and they should be responsive to your questions and concerns throughout the process.
If it’s difficult for you to get in touch with your lawyer, if they don’t return your calls or emails, and/or they aren’t making you aware of how your case is progressing, it may be best to make a change. A lack of communication is a sign that your lawyer may not be making your case a priority.
A Lack of Competency
The American Bar Association and the Florida Bar Association mandate that lawyers represent their clients competently. That means having the skills, knowledge, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for your case. If your personal injury lawyer lacks this requirement, hiring a different lawyer may make sense.
It can be difficult to determine whether your lawyer lacks competency, but there are some signs you can look out for. As an example, notice if your attorney doesn’t have the answers to many of the questions you have about your case – or if their responses seem vague and unclear. Ask about your lawyer’s experience and whether they have experience trying cases, many do not.
You Do Not Get Along With Your Lawyer
While you probably won’t feel like your attorney is your best friend, your relationship with your lawyer should be cordial and respectful. You shouldn’t feel like your lawyer is disinterested in your case or that they don’t have a sincere interest in helping you secure compensation.
Trust your gut instinct. If you have constant disagreements with your lawyer about how to proceed with your case or feel uneasy about how things are progressing, it never hurts to seek a second opinion.
It may make sense to fire your personal injury lawyer under many other contexts as well. The decision should not be taken lightly, but at the end of the day, you are well within your rights to do so. There can be financial exposure to your lawyer if you terminate your contract too late in the process. You can terminate your contract with no penalty if you have a legal “cause” to do so.
Steps To Take if You Want To Fire Your Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve decided that you’d like to fire your lawyer, consider the following before/during the process.
Review the Terms of Your Agreement
You signed an agreement when you hired your attorney. Check the terms of this agreement to see if it discusses the possibility of firing the lawyer. You can get a second opinion about the reasons that justify terminating representation. There are steps that need to take place to do so correctly.
Meet With Another Personal Injury Lawyer
Generally, you’ll want to find another attorney to replace the lawyer you are firing. It may make sense to set up a free consultation with the new lawyer you are considering before you follow through with the final decision to fire your previous lawyer. However, do not hire the new attorney until you are 100% certain about firing your old one.
Make Sure Your Previous Agreement Is Terminated
Ensure that the firing process is finalized once you’ve chosen that plan of action. Broadly speaking, the best way to do this is to send a formal letter to the lawyer that terminates the attorney-client relationship and includes language to that effect. If you’ve already hired a new attorney, they can send this letter on your behalf if you would prefer.
Let the Court Know of Your Decision
If your case is in litigation the court must be informed. This is also something that your new attorney must do on your behalf. Your previous lawyer will also usually need to file a motion to withdraw from your case, unless it is stipulated that there is a substitution of counsel between the old and new firm.
Keeping the above in mind can make the process go more smoothly and can ensure your legal rights are protected.
Finding the Right Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
Deciding to fire your personal injury lawyer can be a stressful event in and of itself. But because obtaining full compensation from the party responsible for your accident is so important for your future, it’s critical that your attorney is qualified to help you effectively and communicate with you.
If you have reasons to consider firing your personal injury attorney, we encourage you to reach out to us for a free case review. At that time, we can look into your situation and advise you on what you should do next.
Contact the Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyers of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Clearwater. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655