If you’re wondering Can I fire my personal injury lawyer? the answer is yes. But firing a personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer is a significant decision and shouldn’t be done rashly. There are certain scenarios in which firing your personal injury lawyer is absolutely the wise course of action. Maybe you’ve lost confidence in your attorney for one reason or another, or they don’t keep you in the loop on the details of your case. Maybe you’re dissatisfied with the results, or lack thereof, of your personal injury claim. So, can you fire your personal injury lawyer? Absolutely. In some cases, it’s advisable to seek out second opinions on your claim and swap out your legal counsel.
When should you consider firing a lawyer?
Good Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are ethical, communicative, trustworthy, detail-oriented, and will always have your best interests front of mind. Conversely, a not-so-good personal injury lawyer may display some red flags. Here are some warning signs that indicate that a lawyer may not be a great fit:
Lack of communication: Great communication is crucial in any collaboration, but this is especially so with legal matters. You should never feel like you’re being left in the dark with your legal case. Even if your case takes a long time, you should be getting regular updates. If your counsel is not responsive to your calls or emails, or if you feel like you’re not being kept in the loop about the progress of your case, this is a red flag. How often are you speaking with them or someone from your lawyer’s office? Are they willing to take the time to listen to and address your concerns?
Incompetent, disorganized or unprepared: If you believe that your lawyer lacks the experience, knowledge or expertise to handle your specific type of personal injury or wrongful death claim, and you’re asking yourself Can I fire my lawyer?, it may be time to go ahead and do just that. Does your attorney understand you and your case? Do they understand your injury (or injuries)? Or do they often forget the details of your accident and need to be reminded of them? If you’re uncomfortable with the knowledge your attorney has on your case and your injuries, it may be time to find an attorney with stronger expertise in that area of the law. At the Offices of John J Perlstein, you’ll be connected with the best personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles who will meet you for a free consultation, learn the details of your case, and discuss next steps with you in detail.
Conflict of interest: Nothing should compromise your lawyer’s ability to represent your best interests. For example, if your attorney is representing another party involved in your case or has a personal relationship with an individual connected to your case, you should consider finding a new representative.
Ethical violations: if you suspect your attorney of ethical violations, such as dishonesty or misconduct, it’s important to consider reporting these concerns to the appropriate legal authorities. If an attorney is asking you to lie, exaggerate the scope of your injuries, directing your treatment or medical care to specific providers or physicians or anything else similar, you need to find a new lawyer to represent you.
Your attorney is not the one handling your case: Many attorneys pass off parts of client cases to paralegals, assistants or junior associates. While this is standard practice and not necessarily cause for alarm, take note of how often this is happening. Having associates or paralegals draft letters and legal documents isn’t a red flag in itself. But if the helping party knows more about your case than your attorney does, pay attention. Your personal injury attorneys [Los Angeles] should be fully aware of what is happening in your case at all times and should directly handle the more complicated legal matters. Remember that individuals assisting your lawyer aren’t stand-ins for him or her. They may serve as liaisons and relay answers, but they shouldn’t be offering legal advice.
Missed deadlines: If your lawyer misses deadlines, it can jeopardize your legal rights and the success of your case. Attention to detail is crucial.
Lack of progress: If your case is stagnating and there is no apparent progress being made, it might be necessary to consult with a new attorney who can reevaluate and reinvigorate your case.
And of course, good old personality conflicts can be an issue, too. If you and your lawyer are simply mismatched personalities or have very different communication styles, it may be appropriate to seek new representation. No, your lawyer needn’t become your best friend, but, still, the lawyer-client relationship is a close one, so finding someone with whom you can get along is important.
If you’re considering firing your lawyer and are curious about how to get a new lawyer, consult with other attorneys to explore your options and make an informed decision. Keep in mind that changing lawyers can mean disruptions in your case, so it’s essential to consider all factors before making a move.
Remember that the decision to fire your personal injury lawyer should not be taken lightly, and it’s essential to consult with your new attorney before making the change in order to ensure a smooth transition. Clear communication, professionalism, and adherence to contractual obligations will help you navigate this process with minimal disruptions to your case.
How do you fire your lawyer? And how to get a new lawyer: a step-by-step
Firing your lawyer is a task you may dread. It’s very uncomfortable for most of us to terminate a working relationship. But firing your lawyer need not be a dramatic process. Here’s a guide to firing a lawyer and starting with a new one:
Review Your Contract: First, carefully review the agreement you signed with your current lawyer. Pay attention to any terms regarding termination, fees, and the process for ending the attorney-client relationship. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions set forth in the contract.
Contact Your New Attorney: If you have already found a new attorney to represent you, it’s essential to have the appropriate conversations with them before firing your current lawyer. Discuss your reasons for wanting to make the change, and ensure that the new attorney is willing and able to take over your case. You don’t want to find yourself without legal representation, especially if your claim hasn’t been settled or your case is active in court.
Communicate Your Decision: Schedule a meeting or have a phone call with your current attorney to communicate your decision. Of course, you’ll want to put this decision in writing—ideally in a letter sent via certified mail—to create a record of the communication. In this letter, be respectful and professional, explaining the reasons for your decision. Add any specified deadline as stated by the contract. If you have any questions about this process, your new attorney can be a resource.
Request Your Case Files: Ask your current attorney to provide you with copies of all documents related to your case, including correspondence, pleadings, medical records and any other relevant materials. They should also provide you with a final billing statement.
Pay Outstanding Fees: If there are any outstanding fees or expenses owed to your current attorney, settle these amounts. Failure to do so could result in a dispute or a lien on your case. Note whether or not your contract requires a termination fee.
Notify the Court and Opposing Parties: If your case is already in progress and you have filed a notice of appearance with the court, you may need to formally inform the court and opposing parties of the change in representation. Your new attorney can help you with this process, ensuring that there is no disruption in the proceedings.
Review the New Attorney’s Agreement: Before proceeding with your new attorney, carefully review and sign a new attorney-client agreement outlining the terms of representation, fees, and other relevant details.
Onboard With Your New Attorney: You’ll want to work closely with your new attorney to transition your case smoothly. Provide them with all the documents and information you received from your former attorney to ensure they have all the necessary information to continue your case effectively.
Keep in mind that there are some instances in which firing your lawyer isn’t necessarily warranted. For example, what if the settlement isn’t as large as you would have hoped, or the timeline isn’t as fast as you want it to be? In some cases, the case simply may not be valued at the amount that you’d wish, and no legal representative will be able to achieve the results you want. For this reason, having realistic expectations from the outset is crucial. When you first interview an attorney, make sure you are on the same page and clear on the expectations moving forward.
Connect with the best personal injury attorney [Los Angeles] today
At the Offices of John J. Perlstein, we work in a detail-oriented, efficient and compassionate way to gather evidence from the accident and understand each case thoroughly. Our law firm has over 25 years of experience and expertise in all aspects of personal injury and wrongful death services. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will handle compensation from insurance companies and responsible parties so that you don’t have to.
Our Los Angeles personal injury law firm is here to serve you and get you the damages that you are owed. For a free consultation about your personal injury case or wrongful death case, call (213) 252-1070 or fill out this form. A Los Angeles injury lawyer will be available to speak with you about any and all your concerns.