Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
As a client, you are free to retain whomever you desire to represent you. This means, you are free to change attorneys any time during your case. However, should you discharge an attorney without cause, that attorney will have what is known as a charging lien for his/her time and expended costs. Generally speaking, should a client change attorneys, the new attorney, at the conclusion of the case, will work out an agreement with the prior attorney to compensate them for their efforts.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
You are always free to switch attorneys. However, you should have a frank discussion with your lawyer about your concerns. If you still believe you want to switch, then do so. Typically, "lawyer #2" will share his fee with lawyer #1, and the two lawyers will work it out between them. I tell you this so you don't think you would have to pay a contingency fee twice.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You can terminate him anytime. Read your contract and make sure you know what it says. If you have trouble with him you can report it to the bar. Slip and fall cases are not well thought of by anyone, judge or jury or insurance co so be careful you know what you are doing
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
You may not agree with the "price" that he is asking for, but you need to ask yourself this question: who has more experience in dealing with personal injury cases, and has more of an idea of what your type of injury will bring by way of a verdict than your attorney does, you or your lawyer? It has been my experience after doing this for 30 years that I have had quite a few clients who believe I have "undervalued" their claim, but I just remind them that they are not the ones who have been in the courthouse frequently, they have not been the ones who have heard the amounts of the verdicts, and they are not the ones who have checked with their colleagues and peers on what the value of their case is. There also is a service known as Jury Verdict Research, Inc., which is available to lawyers and which monitors verdicts around the country. Personally, I am on a listserve where when I send an e-mail to one e-mail address, it sends my e-mail out to about 100 personal injury trial lawyers around Central Florida, and I occasionally describe the nature of the liability, the medical bills and the injury my client has experienced and I get feedback from those lawyers on what they believe the value of the case might be. You don't have those things available to you to determine the value of your injury. The value of your case is not what you think it is, but what a reasonable verdict would be for your injuries. If I went shopping for a used Ferrari, I would have no idea what price to expect because I have no experience in the used Ferrari market. If there have been a dozen 2008 Ferraris which have sold for around $100,000, then I would be out of line expecting to be able to buy one for $50,000. If there have been several of the type of injury you suffered tried in your geographic area, and the verdicts (or settlements) have consistently been in the mid-6 figures (like $50,000) then if you believe your case is worth $100,000, then I would say you are being unreasonable. You have e-mailed this question because you want to know what to do. My advice is to make an appointment with your lawyer, and meet with him, and give him an opportunity to explain to you how he came up with the demand which he did in your case. If he says that it is based upon his experience, and he is an experienced personal injury lawyer, and if he says that he consulted with several of his colleagues or friends, and based upon that he came up with the number he did, then I think you should accept the value of his expertise and contacts. If he only says that was the number on the dartboard that the dart hit (and he'd be an idiot to say that) or something like that, then you have the right to discharge him and retain another attorney to represent you. If you do that, however, he probably has the right to assert a charging lien for the value of the services he provided you, which might end up costing you even more in the long run. Start with a face-to-face meeting with him (or her) and discuss why he believes your case is worth what you believe it's worth, but be prepared for the question he is going to ask you back: upon what research or discussions with others are you forming your opinion as to the value of your case? Good luck! And the old adage that good communication breeds good relationships applies to business relationships, as well.
Answer Applies to: Florida
West law Office | Russell West
The attorney should have discussed the amount being asked for before sending in a settlement demand. Depending on your contract with the attorney you should be able to terminate the contract. However if the attorney has an offer on the table and you go to another attorney, at time of settlement the original attorney may be able to get his contingency fee based on the offer they had received from the insurance company. In addition, any costs the attorney has put up front for records, copies, postage, etc are subject to repayment.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
You have the right to change your attorney at any time. However, the attorney may have rights to lien your case for services rendered up to the time you discharge him. If you retain a new attorney, he or she should know how to handle the situation and would probably notify the insurance carrier right away that it was an unauthorized settlement demand. The new attorney should be able to tell you whether the prior attorneys offer was a reasonable one and if your idea of a settlement proposal is reasonable. The attorney should not make a demand without your prior approval unless you waived that right in your fee agreement. But that would be highly unusual.
Answer Applies to: California
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
If you are unhappy with your accident attorney, you can discharge him or her and retain new counsel. It is important to detail why you are firing your lawyer as a discharge for cause affects the lawyer's ability to claim a portion of the recovery as his fee for work performed. I think it is good practice for a lawyer to keep a client informed of all case developments, including settlement efforts. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
Slip and fall cases are very difficult cases. Oregon law favors the landowner or business over the injured party. Perhaps your attorney is trying to ask for a settlement that is a realistic figure. Injured parties have a very difficult time understanding that what they see on TV or hear about sensational cases are the exception and not the rule. This is especially true in slip and fall cases. I suggest you talk candidly with your attorney about expectations and realistic figures. He or she will talk to you and listen them, they probably have a little more experience in this area.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
You always have the right to switch attorneys, subject to a lien the current attorney may have for the work he/she has performed and any costs incurred. I would suggest that you first contact the attorney's office to discuss the demand figure.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, of course you can switch lawyers at any stage in any case. As for not agreeing with what your attorney asked for on your behalf, if it was too little, then tell him/her so and have them increase it. If it was too high, then do the same thing. OR change attorneys and set the figure with them ahead of time. Also, please remember that all attorneys ask for more than they actually want because they know the insurance company is going to try to knock them down as much as possible, so they give themselves room to move when it comes time to negotiate. If it was too little, then that's a completely different thing and you have the right to remove the attorney at any time. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
You can switch your attorney at any time. However, you probably had to sign a contract for him/her to take the case. That may entitle your attorney to have a lien against any settlement should you recover something. I suggest you speak to your attorney and explain how you are dissatisfied. Hopefully you can work it out.
Answer Applies to: Oregon