Unhappy With Your Personal Injury Attorney?
You were injured in an accident and needed a personal injury attorney. You may have been referred to a lawyer by friend, or found a local lawyer on the internet, or perhaps your doctor referred you to an attorney. However you found your attorney, it is possible that the relationship is not the right fit.
There could be many reasons why you are unhappy with your lawyer. Maybe your attorney is not returning your telephone calls. When you call the law firm, you only speak to a secretary or get voicemail. You never speak to the same person twice. When you finally get the attorney on the line, he is unfamiliar with your case. You have no idea what is going on with your case. Does any of this sound familiar?
You Have The Right To Change Attorneys At Any Time
If you are unhappy with your personal injury lawyer, you have the absolute right to fire your attorney at any time. Whether it’s the day after you hired him, a year after, or on the eve of trial, you can fire your attorney.
You and your attorney are partners in your case. You need to get along. You need to respect each other. You need to have an open line of communication. You need to have confidence in your attorney. If those things aren’t there, then you should get a second opinion from another personal injury lawyer.
Will It Cost You More Money If You Fire Your Attorney And Hire Another?
It will not cost you more if you fire your lawyer and hire another one. You will only pay one attorney fee. When your personal injury case resolves, the one attorney fee is then divided between the law firms that represented you, based on “quantum meruit,” i.e., the reasonable value of their services, or in other words, how much work each firm did. If the second attorney did the most work, he’ll get the biggest chunk of the attorney’s fees. If the two firms did about the same amount of work, they will divide the fee equally. How the fee is divided up need not be your concern. The law firms work that out after your case is resolved.
Will I Have A Hard Time Finding A Lawyer to Take Over My Case Because He Will Have To Share The Attorney’s Fee With My First Lawyer?
If your first lawyer has handled your case for quite some time, and has done a substantial amount of work on the case, then another attorney may be reluctant to take over the case because the second attorney will have to give up a large part of the attorney’s fee to the first attorney.
The second attorney will assess the value of your case, and the quantity of work done by your first attorney, and then make a decision on whether it makes economic sense to step into the case. If your case has significant value, then even if the first attorney did a lot of work on the file, the second attorney won’t be deterred from stepping in.
Bottom Line: If you have lost confidence in your lawyer, you should get a legal second opinion, and seriously consider changing attorneys. Your personal injury case is your one shot to seek full compensation for your injuries. Once your case is resolved, you can never go back and get more money. It is vital that your lawyer has confidence in your case, and be willing to go to war to get you the money to which you are entitled.