There are a number of reasons why you might decide to fire your injury lawyer and either go it alone or interview a new lawyer. The good news is, it is easy and painless to fire an injury lawyer so long as there are no offers on the case yet. These are the common questions;
- I signed a contract, am I stuck?
- If I fire the attorney, am I breaking the contract?
- Will I get a bill from the lawyer if I fire them?
- Can I get my file from the attorney?
- How exactly do I go about firing them?
These are pretty common so in this article, we will tackle the issue one by one
I signed a Contract!
Yes, you very likely did and I hope you kept a copy of it. Attorney’s fee contract have a couple of things in common and few variables.
- The percentage fee; you should be paying 33.3% for pre-suit settlements and 40% for anything that settles after suit is filed. If your rate is higher, renegotiate or fire them.
- It provides that if the lawyer has sent the demand to the insurance company and you fire them, they are entitled to their percentage on the offer that comes back. This is fair, they did their job and held up their end of the bargain.
- If there is no offer and the demand was not sent yet, then the contract says THEY GET PAID THE VALUE OF THEIR SERVICES (HOURLY RATE TIMES HOURS PUT IN) and this is important FROM THE NEW LAWYER WHEN THE CASE SETTLES. In other words you will not be getting a bill.
- Either party can fire the other one at any time subject to the above.
The bottom line is you can get out of the contract but your new lawyer will have to pay the old one for hours in the case if there is no offer already on the table when you fire them. If you fire your old lawyer and there is already an offer on the table then the lawyer gets their percentage of the old offer.
Will I get a Bill from the old Lawyer?
Nope. See above.
How Exactly Do I Go About Firing Them?
Follow this letter:
Dear Attorney Nevercallsback
I have tried to reach your office multiple times and I always get a secretary or case manager. You have not communicated with me and I am not comfortable working with you going forward. Please stop working on my case and you do not have permission to speak to the insurance company about settling my case. I will be calling to arrange a time to come pick up my file.
That’s it, there is nothing more to it and now you just decide if you want to hire a new lawyer or whether you want to try to get the case settled on your own. Lawyers hate getting fired but there is really nothing they can do about it. If you are getting push back on getting your file, call the Georgia State Bar and let them get involved. It will resolve quickly. Best of luck out there and be sure to interview your lawyers personally.