How To Fire Your Ocala Personal Injury Attorney
Bill Allen | March 6, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you are unhappy with your current Ocala personal injury attorney, you must fire your lawyer before hiring another attorney. The attorney works for you, so you can fire your personal injury lawyer anytime. However, there are some things you need to know before you fire your personal injury attorney.
How Do I Fire My Ocala Personal Injury Lawyer?
There is no set rule for how to fire your attorney. Therefore, a simple letter will usually take care of the matter. You should advise the attorney in writing to stop working on your case.
The letter should direct the attorney to take no further action regarding your claim. Also, you need to request a complete copy of your file, including all documents related to the case.
Keep a copy of the letter for your files. You can email the letter to the attorney, but it is also wise to send a copy by mail with a request for a signature or delivery confirmation. You then have a record showing the attorney received your termination letter.
You are not obligated to explain why you fire your lawyer. Likewise, you are not required to meet with or talk to the attorney. However, you might need to communicate with the attorney to receive copies of your file or facilitate the file transfer to a new Ocala personal injury attorney.
You must notify the clerk of court when you fire your lawyer. If you hire another attorney within a few days, your new attorney notifies the court.
How Do I Hire a New Ocala Personal Injury Lawyer?
Typically, you can hire a new attorney as soon as you fire the old attorney. If you hire another personal injury lawyer, your new attorney can usually handle getting your file transferred from your old attorney’s office.
It is important that you seek legal advice about your personal injury case as soon as possible after firing an attorney. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit might be fast approaching. If you miss the deadline, the court will likely dismiss any lawsuit you file.
Also, there could be other deadlines or time-sensitive matters to address. Delays in your case could significantly hurt your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve after a personal injury or accident.
Review the Retainer Agree and Contingency Fee Agreement
Before writing a letter to fire your lawyer, review the contract you signed when you hired the attorney. There could be a specific procedure for terminating the service you agreed to use when you hired them.
Furthermore, you might have agreed to reimburse the law firm for costs if you terminate the attorney-client relationship before the case is resolved. Therefore, you could owe the law firm money for any costs they paid while handling your case.
Personal injury law firms typically accept cases on a contingency fee basis. The lawyer is paid based on a percentage of the amount recovered for the case. Therefore, you do not owe attorney’s fees if the lawyer does not recover any money.
However, if you fire the lawyer after three days from the date you hired the attorney, but before the case settles, you could owe the attorney money when the case is resolved. The attorney could have an attorney lien against the settlement proceeds if they can prove how much time they spent working on your case.
Reasons Why a Client Might Fire an Ocala Personal Injury Lawyer
There are many reasons why a client might want to fire their attorney. The client might not believe their attorney is working in their best interest, or they might not be happy with the progress of the case.
Common reasons given for firing a personal injury attorney include, but are not limited to:
- A disagreement about the strategy used to manage the case, such as insisting the attorney take the case to trial, but the lawyer insists on settlement.
- A lack of confidence in the lawyer’s ability to handle the case.
- Disputes regarding attorneys’ fees and costs of the case.
- Lack of communication from the lawyer or the law firm, including failing to return telephone calls and emails.
- There is no progress or a lack of progress in the case.
- An unfavorable court decision.
- An attorney does not seem motivated to work on the case or demonstratives little interest in the client’s needs.
- A poor relationship with the attorney, such as arguing or being hostile.
- Concern about the attorney’s judgment and ethics.
- The lawyer did not meet deadlines or show up for scheduled court hearings.
The decision to replace a personal injury lawyer in the middle of a case should not be made lightly. Sometimes, the reason for firing a lawyer amounts to a misunderstanding.
Scheduling a meeting with the attorney to discuss the matter could resolve the issue. If your lawyer has invested substantial time in your case, discussing your concern before firing the lawyer might be worthwhile. If the issues are not addressed to your satisfaction after the meeting, you can fire the lawyer and hire a new attorney.
Contact Our Ocala Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: