Unsurprisingly, being involved in a personal injury lawsuit can be a stressful and complicated process. As such, you’ll want to be guided through this process by a respectable and experienced personal injury attorney. Given how important having a personal injury attorney is, if you are unsatisfied with your legal representation, it is essential to remedy the issue as soon as possible.
If you are wondering whether you can fire your personal injury lawyer, the legal team at Bernstein & Maryanoff is here to answer all of your questions.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Contact Bernstein & Maryanoff to schedule a free legal consultation today.
Yes, you can fire your personal injury attorney
While firing your personal injury attorney may seem overwhelming and scary, it is possible, especially since it is your right to do so at any time during your personal injury lawsuit.
Valid reasons to consider changing counsel
Some of the most common reasons to consider changing counsel in your personal injury lawsuit include the following:
- Breakdown in communication: Unfortunately, the breakdown of communication between the attorney and client is a common reason for a person to seek new counsel. Part of an attorney’s job is to address your concerns, answer your questions, and keep you informed about the progress of your case. If you find that your attorney fails to communicate effectively with you, then you may wish to consider changing counsel.
- Lack of experience: When seeking counsel, it’s understandable to want an attorney with plenty of experience and expertise in order to handle your personal injury case. If you begin to feel that your attorney lacks the necessary knowledge and skills to properly defend you, you likely have a valid reason to change your counsel.
- Differing strategies: It’s reasonable to be confused by the process of the personal injury lawsuit, especially if you’ve never been exposed to the legal industry. However, if your attorney’s strategy is blatantly ineffective for you, it’s important to consult outside counsel to get their opinion and see if it’s worth considering a change.
- Ethical concern: If you are concerned about your attorney’s behavior and you think your attorney may be behaving in a questionable manner, you certainly must consider retaining new counsel. These concerns might be conflicts of interest, failure to disclose information, or unethical billing practices. Working with an unethical attorney can lead to more complicated issues down the line, making it essential for you to find and work with a trustworthy attorney.
- Inadequate progress: Most lawsuits seem to drag on forever; it’s a common feeling given how slow the legal process typically is. However, if you feel that your case is dragging and you’re beginning to get frustrated, you may have an inefficient attorney. Your attorney should be actively working toward a solution and keeping you in the loop about the process. If they are not maintaining this standard, you may have a valid reason to change counsel.
Reasons you may be unable to change counsel
Although you are allowed to change counsel during your personal injury lawsuit, there are certain situations where you may not be able to do so. One of the main reasons that a judge may not allow you to change counsel is that the court does not want to have a delay in the case. Judges are concerned with efficiency and avoiding delays, and if they believe changing attorneys will slow down the process, they may not allow you to do so.
Another common reason that a judge may not allow you to switch counsel is if they believe there may be a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest may jeopardize the fairness of the legal process. If this is clearly an issue, the judge may deny your request to change counsel to preserve the fairness and integrity of the case proceedings.
Despite these reasons for a judge to deny a request to change counsel, it is more likely than not that your request will be allowed. Be sure to communicate with your new attorney to ensure your request will be permitted by the judge, otherwise, you may be stuck with an unfavorable attorney and an even more stressful lawsuit than when you began.
Things to consider before firing your personal injury attorney
Since changing counsel is a big decision, there are plenty of things to take into consideration before pursuing this decision. Some of the main reasons to consider include the following:
Statute of limitations
One thing to consider when you are thinking about changing counsel includes the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction. The statute of limitations is a time limit on the number of years you have to file a claim after an incident. This specific limit varies by jurisdiction and the type of case, but usually ranges from one to several years after the incident. If your case is approaching that time limit, you may need to reconsider switching attorneys.
The doctrine of Quantum Meruit states that a person shouldn’t be unjustly compensated for another person’s work and that the appropriate person should be compensated for their own labor. This doctrine ensures that the appropriate attorney will receive compensation in situations where counsel has been changed.
Finding new counsel
If you are seeking new counsel, it helps to search for attorneys in your area. For anyone in Miami, Florida looking for a new personal injury attorney, our legal team at Bernstein & Maryanoff is eager to step in to make up for any issues you experienced with your original counsel.
Steps to take when you fire a personal injury attorney
To effectively change counsel, you will need to take the following steps to ensure you properly abide by this process:
- Notify the lawyer in writing and keep records
- Cite a clear cause for termination
- Request a copy of your files
Call Bernstein & Maryanoff for your free consultation
The personal injury attorneys at Bernstein & Maryanoff are renowned in the Miami, Florida area and have years of experience in handling some of the most complex personal injury cases. Our expertise makes us an excellent option for anyone seeking to change counsel during their personal injury lawsuit.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Bernstein & Maryanoff.
Horan, S. (2023). Quantum Meruit.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.