There are times when you may need to fire the injury lawyer you’ve chosen to represent you. While not an ideal situation, firing your lawyer and changing to a different lawyer could breathe new life into your case or potentially net you a larger settlement.
Before you do take such a drastic step, it is important to evaluate why you wish to terminate your attorney-client relationship. After all, this is a significant move that could have long-lasting effects on your case and your future.
Reasons You May Want to Fire Your Lawyer
While you don’t need a specific reason to fire your lawyer, firing your lawyer isn’t something you want to do without deliberation. According to the American Bar Association , there are many reasons why clients fire their attorneys, but the most common reasons are:
- Lack of communication
- Not spending enough time on case
- Pushing a quick settlement
- Unhappy with billing or fee structure
- Missing appointments or deadlines
- Disagreements over the way case is handled
- Unethical behavior
- Mishandling funds
- Breaking attorney-client privilege
- Conflict of interest
Can You Fire Your Lawyer?
If your case is not pending in court, then you are able to fire your lawyer at any time. Perhaps the communication between you isn’t what you hoped it would be. Perhaps you’ve discovered a conflict of interest. Or perhaps the attorney you chose has acted unethically.
No matter what your reason, you are allowed to fire your attorney at any time, as long as your case isn’t pending. If you do have a case pending in court, then you may need to receive permission from the court to fire your lawyer.
If you choose to fire your attorney, you should send them a letter stating that you are terminating your attorney-client relationship and that the attorney should cease working on your case effective immediately.
At this time, request your case files back or ask that they be sent directly to your new lawyer. Be forthcoming and honest with your lawyer as to the reasons for firing them, and be professional throughout the termination.
While this may be a highly emotional time for you, do not threaten your lawyer with legal action or with reporting to the local bar association unless you believe your attorney’s conduct has been illegal or unethical in nature. Your lawyer likely values their reputation and will release your files promptly and courteously as long as you remain professional.
Payment of Attorney Fees and Expenses
If you fire your lawyer, you are required to pay any undisputed amounts that are outstanding. Your lawyer may also file case action against you or recover their unpaid fees and costs.
If you read the fine print on your legal contract, most lawyer fees, costs, and medical liens are deducted from the total amount of your settlement or judgment. Even when you fire a lawyer, they will still have an attorney’s lien for the time spent and the cost of litigation they incurred up until the date of termination.
Contact Our Experienced Washington Personal Injury Lawyers
After an accident in Washington DC, injured accident victims need someone on their side that they trust and believe can help them. They need a competent and aggressive law firm that can level the playing field and protect their rights to compensation.
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our Washington DC personal injury attorneys want to help you through this difficult time. We listen to our clients and help them choose the legal option that is best for them. We are staunch legal advocates for injured accident victims and it shows.
To learn more about what you can do after an injury accident, contact our law firm by calling (202) 742-1500 or (888) 625-6635 or filling out our confidential contact form. We offer a free initial consultation for all injured accident victims so call today!