How Do I Fire My Car Accident Lawyer and Can I Change Lawyers?

In the chaos after a serious car accident, people sometimes make mistakes and hire the wrong lawyer. This realization usually dawns on the client two or three weeks after the crash when they still have not spoken to their injury lawyer and the lawyers assistant keeps telling the client everything is fine. If your lawyer has not laid out a detailed game plan in the first meeting and established short and long term goals, it is time to get a better lawyer.

1) How Easy is it to Fire a Car Accident Lawyer and Will I Owe Them Money?

Unless there are already offers on the table from the other driver's insurance company, it is very easy to fire a car accident or wrongful death lawyer. They will not present you with a bill and you are entitled to your complete file. If another lawyer takes over, they will have to pay off any attorney's lien that the original lawyer takes out but this does not come out of your pocket.

Example: You hire lawyer #1 and 3 months into treatment you decide that the lawyer is just not communicating. You signed a contract at 33.3% for the lawyers fee. You fire the lawyer and hire lawyer #2 . Lawyer number two eventually settles the case for $100,000.00 on the same contract bases. Lawyer #1 files an attorney's lien claiming they spent $3,500.00 worth of time on the file before you fired them. Lawyer #2 woul be paid the $33,333.33 from the gross and out of that money they would pay off the first lawyer. You still get the same client's share.

2) How Do I Know if I Should Change Lawyers?

A) Did the lawyer not explain their strategy for your case?

B) Did your lawyer fail to explain the value of the case or what facts must be discovered before they can?

C) Does the lawyer fail to return your call within 48 hours?

D) Do you deal with a "case manager"?

E) Did your lawyer refer you to a chiropractor even if you have health insurance?

If the answer to these questions is "yes", then you should insist on an in-person meeting with the lawyer and get these issues fixed. If you are still not satisfied, fire them.

Let's assume you made up your mind that you hired the wrong attorney and now you want to fire your injury lawyer. How do I fire my lawyer and what do I owe them if I do? Let's get into some detailed analysis:

How to Fire Your Injury Lawyer in the First Month

The law says that an injury lawyer is entitled to be paid for the value of the work they did unless there is an offer on the table. In the first month, it is unlikely there will be an offer so you will only owe the lawyer money based on the amount of time they spent working on your case. In month 1, that amount is very small. The best part is, if you fire your lawyer and hire another one, the money owed to the first lawyer comes out of the same 33.3% attorneys fee portion. In other words, if you hire lawyer 1 and fire them and then hire lawyer two, each of their contracts will have provided that they are entitled to 33.3% of the gross recovery pre-suit. (unless you are getting ripped off by a lawyer charging 40% fees pre-suit) So, when you fire lawyer 1, you pay them nothing at that time. If down the road, your car accident lawyer settles the case and recovers $25,000.00 for you, 1/3 of the money goes to lawyer 2 and he or she then has to deal with paying out to lawyer 1. It is not your problem. In summary, it does not cost anything extra to fire your first lawyer and hire a second one.

You Have a Low Offer and Want to Fire Your Car Accident Lawyer

Once an offer is made by the car insurance company, the lawyer's contract will provide that they are entitled to their fee no matter what. You cannot fire the lawyer and accept the offer because they will assert an attorney's lien with the insurance company. In this situation, it is difficult to get another injury lawyer involved. The best thing to do is, pick up the phone and call around and get a sampling of legal opinions. There are a number of low grade injury attorneys in Atlanta that regularly underprice and mishandle files. Sometimes, a more experienced lawyer can spot the value in the case or develop a stronger liability theory.

How Do I Fire My Injury Lawyer?

Simply send them a fax or email stating:

"Dear Lawyer

I am no longer in need of your services. (If there was a reason like failure to return calls, laziness, etc, insert that here ) I have decided to handle my case with another attorney (or you can say on your own) and I will need to pick up my file within 14 days. Please telephone me at xxx-xxxx when my file is ready to be picked up.


Unhappy Client"

Then telephone their office to confirm receipt of your letter the next day. You should also advise the insurance company in writing that the lawyer no longer represents you. An unscrupulous lawyer may try to call and settle your case without your permission.

If you have questions feel free to contact us.

Sample Questions From the Web:

Caller: My son just signed a contract to retain a lawyer to handle his slight injury in a car accident. but now my son does not want to go through with it because something about the attorney does not feel right. He just signed the contract about 1 hr ago so can he just send him a fax or email firing him?

Answer: Yes, you can absolutely fire the lawyer at this point. They have not done any work on your son's file. Follow you gut instinct.

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My wife and I were hit by a tractor trailer in 2014. After extensive research online, we were deeply impressed with the various reviews we read on Google and Avvo and chose Chris to represent us. We could not have a made a better decision. Chris and his firm treated us like we were their only clients, soothed our worries, and instantly gained our trust. Chris settled both of our cases for more than we expected. James
A co-worker of my wife recommended Chris to us. At the very beginning Chris showed that he cared and his knowledge is priceless. Going through this process can be aggravating but Chris did a great job guiding me through this and was always available to answer my questions. Chris fought to get what I deserved even though at times I wanted to give up. Tracy
I want to express my deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation to Attorney Chris Simon & Attorney Chris Carsten, for all the hard work that they put forth into my case (car accident filed after being hit by drunk driver). Their attention to detail and professionalism far surpasses their firm's reputation. Because of their diligence and dedication to their craft, they were able to bring my case to a successful close, one that I could live with. You will not find a better team for your case. Should I have a need for their services again in the future, or know of anyone looking for a top notch Auto Accident Law Firm, I would not hesitate to recommend them!!!! Elle
Wow...Chris is a very good attorney. Me and my son was in a very bad car accident an I was clueless on how to handle the situation. It's very hard to find an attorney who allows you to contact them personally instead of you contacting their asst. I was told that I didn't have a case because the hosiptal put a lien on my acct. Chris prove different and I was able to file my case with the insurance company. The process was very quickly and Im glad I selected the right attorney..Thanks Chris A Car Accident client
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