Can You Fire A Personal Injury Lawyer?
In the State of Nevada, you reserve the right to fire a personal injury attorney at any time, for almost any reason. However, it is important to remember that there are important considerations to account for when deciding whether you should fire your lawyer. We will discuss those reasons in this article.
Reasons Why People Fire Their Injury Attorneys
If you’re looking to fire your attorney, chances are you are less than impressed by their professional service. Typical reasons include:
- Unfavorable court rulings
- You question your attorney’s ability to successfully handle your case
- Attorneys fees and/or costs are too high
- Disagreement about a certain case issue
- Attorney’s lack of communication and/or attention to your case
Although firing an attorney will not completely destroy your claim, it is in your best interest to take the time to evaluate your reasons for firing them. For example, sometimes court rulings occur independently of how diligently your attorney works. If they’ve done everything in their power to structure a strong case, and based on the facts of your case the judge rules in favor of the defendant, there is not much they could have done differently to prevent the judge’s final decision.
That said, if your attorney is failing to communicate with you, or lacks attention to detail to your case, you should speak with your attorney about your dissatisfaction and ask if there is anything that can be done to improve the situation. This is an appropriate first step to take prior to deciding to fire your lawyer.
How To Fire Your Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve brought your dissatisfaction to light with your attorney and they fail to remedy the situation, here are some steps to take to successfully fire your personal injury lawyer:
Step 1: Review your legal contract. You will need to identify any provisions in the contract that pertain to the procedure for terminating the attorney-client relationship. If there is a reasonable procedure, you should follow it (and document the steps you’ve taken).
Step 2: Hire a new personal injury lawyer immediately. You should hire a new personal injury attorney as soon as you’ve decided to fire your existing one. By doing so, you can avoid handling any confusing and/or complicated legal issues on your own. It will better protect your case in the long-run.
Step 3: Issue written notice. You should write, sign, and send (preferably certified mail) a letter to your injury attorney announcing terminating of the client-attorney relationship. This letter should be short, concise, and adequately express termination. It should also request that your attorney provide all your case files to you and/or your new attorney. Note: if you paid a nonrefundable retainer, it is likely that you will not be entitled for reimbursement.
Step 4: If your case is pending court, you must advise the court of the withdrawal or substitution of counsel. This step should be performed in conjunction with the termination of legal counsel. In most cases, your new attorney will file a “motion for substitution of counsel.”
Paying Remaining Attorney’s Fees and Case Expenses
If you owe attorney’s fees and other case costs to your attorney, you are required to pay any undisputed amount. Your attorney may reserve the right to withhold your case files until payment is received. If you are unable to pay upfront, your lawyer may file an attorney’s lien that permits recovery of any unpaid fees out of the final settlement of your case.