Shane Smith LawBy
Can you fire your personal injury lawyer? The answer is always yes. Almost all personal injury contracts from lawyers have a clause which discusses termination by either party. Usually this clause states that if the lawyer has gotten an offer on a case, that they are entitled to their percentage of that offer. If no offer has been made, then they are entitled to an hourly fee for the work that they have done on the case up to receiving the termination letter. This amount is normally negotiable by the new personal injury lawyer. Many times, when my firm has taken over a Georgia personal injury case, we have had to negotiate this lien amount with the prior law firm. Many times, we will cover the lien amount out of the fees that are due to our firm - but this is done on a case by case basis.
A better question that if you can fire your personal injury lawyer is should you? I always want to know the reason why a caller wants to fire their lawyer. Many times the reasons relate to communication. Callers say that they cannot get the lawyer on the phone or they don't know what is going on in the case. Either problem can be fixed quickly and easily. I almost always recommend calling and talking to the lawyer. For more issues related to answering the question, "should I fire my personal injury lawyer?" see our article on Second opinions in personal injury cases.
If you are going to fire your personal injury lawyer then you need to send them written notice. Please keep a copy of the notice you send your lawyer because you will need it to send to the insurance company so they will talk to you or give to your new lawyer. Also include in the letter a request for a copy of your personal injury case file be sent to you. For a sample letter click here for our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Termination Letter.
Once again, prior to firing your personal injury lawyer, we recommend two things. The first is to go here to our article on second opinions in personal injury cases in Atlanta and Georgia, and second that you talk to an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer or Law firm.