Not every attorney can see every case through to completion, and there are plenty of times where clients don’t want them to. If you think you aren’t getting effective representation in your personal injury suit, then you should consider firing your attorney.
Not everyone realizes that firing their attorney is even possible, but if you hire someone, then you generally have the power to turn down their services. Attorneys even have the power to drop their clients in some cases. That said, you should never end the client-attorney relationship on a whim. It’s something you must give a lot of careful consideration, not a decision you need to make in an instant. Here are things to consider before you pull the trigger and end the relationship.
Would better communication solve things?
Lawyers are known for a lot of things, but leaving the office at 5pm on the dot every day is not one of them. Depending on their speciality and where they’re at in their career, they can easily work 60, 70, or even 80 hour weeks. While you might think working 80 hours a week would give them plenty of time to respond to every client’s call, text, or email, that’s not always the case. Lawyers are people too, after all. They may intend to respond to your email after lunch, but then after lunch, something more urgent pops up. Even if you can’t communicate directly with your lawyer, you should at least be able to get a call back from someone in the office.
If they aren’t communicating with you at all, though, then that’s a major issue. You can let them know that you aren’t happy with the frequency of communication. With any luck, they’ll apologize and say they’ve been in court all week. But give them a chance to remedy the issue before you pull the plug. If you feel like you’re being ignored, it’s possible that your lawyer is acting unprofessionally, such as trying to ghost you because they don’t like working with you, but that’s also incredibly unlikely.
How far along is the case?
When you hire an injury lawyer, you’re hiring someone to do a lot of very complicated work. The farther the case progresses, the more complicated things get. It’s better to fire an attorney sooner rather than later, because each case has a point of no return when it becomes all but impossible for a new attorney to step in and get up to speed on the particulars of your case.
Attorneys also generally have to withdraw in court, and some judges won’t be thrilled at the idea of you firing your attorney three days before your personal injury suit is supposed to go to trial. That’s partly because court already has enough delays as is, and it probably took a long time for the case to even get to the point of trial. If you discover information about your attorney that’s truly alarming, like if they told you a major falsehood about the strength of your case, then that’s a reason to drop them. If they’re stealing from you, you should both fire them and call the police. But otherwise, it might be worth staying the course and hoping for the best.
Could someone else do better?
It’s possible to dislike the way your personal injury case is shaping up for reasons that have nothing to do with the lawyer who represents you. Sometimes a case that seemed really strong at first can weaken as the discovery process drags on. That’s not your fault, but it’s also probably not your attorney’s fault.
Courtroom matters should be decided on things like evidence and facts. You may be able to get a new attorney, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a new set of facts. An ethical injury attorney will level with you rather than give you false hope, so don’t punish them for doing their job.