Did you know that if an attorney is doing a poor job, you are within your rights to fire him or her and hire a different attorney?
Many people believe that if you sign a fee contract, you must stick with an attorney even if he or she does not meet your needs or takes inappropriate action on your case, but this is not true. You are perfectly free to fire an attorney just as you would anyone else who works for you.
Why would you want to fire an attorney?
There are several reasons, and most of them hinge on lack of communication between you and your lawyer.
- Your attorney does not return calls or emails. An attorney who will not return your calls or offer you information when you need it is not a professional with whom you want to have a lasting relationship. It is very important that your attorney give you clear and understandable answers to your questions in a timely manner. It is reasonable to expect a return call or email within 48 hours of your query.
- Your attorney does not explain what is going on. You may not understand all the nuances of the entire legal process, but your attorney should be able to give you a general understanding of what to expect in your case. If he or she cannot, this can present very real problems during the settlement process.
- Your attorney does not share settlement offers with you. Attorneys are required to disclose all settlement offers to their clients. An attorney can advise you on your rights and can give you an opinion on whether you should or should not settle, but ultimately the decision is yours. If an attorney fails to tell you about a settlement offer, he or she is in violation of the code of ethics.
- Your attorney puts pressure on you to settle. At the other end of the spectrum from attorneys who hide settlement offers from their clients, are those who push their clients to settle quickly. Known as “settlement mills,” there are firms that specialize in a “grab and go” approach to lawsuit settlement, telling the client to quickly take the first offer an insurance company makes. This can result in the loss of thousands of dollars to the victim, who may not end up with enough to even pay medical bills.
Victims who have been injured in accidents need the help of a dependable, trustworthy personal injury attorney to assist them in collecting damages.