You recently suffered injuries from a bike accident in New Bedford and you hired a bike accident lawyer to help you recover your losses. However, things aren’t going quite as well as you hoped they would. Your case seems to be taking too long to conclude, your lawyer is pressuring you to settle or you just doubt his ability to handle your case. You are now wondering if you should fire your lawyer and replace him with a better one.
Don’t Make A Hasty Decision
At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we sometimes receive clients who come to us asking if they should fire their lawyers. We have found that most of them assume their lawyers aren’t doing a good job when in fact, there was no basis for jumping to these conclusions. In fact, most of the problems that clients have with their lawyers can easily be resolved by setting up a face-to-face meeting and expressing their concerns. Notice that we didn’t mention sending an email because it’s very easy to misinterpret a text as opposed to a face-to-face meeting.
It’s not uncommon for bike accident victims to doubt their lawyer’s competence and the root cause of this problem is failure by their lawyer to communicate with them.
From experience, we can tell you that just because your lawyer does not update you every day about how your case is progressing doesn’t mean that he is not pursuing it diligently.
If you want an update about your case, it’s best to schedule a meeting with your lawyer instead of calling them out of the blues while they are at the office. This increases your chances of getting in touch with your lawyer. And when you speak to him, make sure you only discuss what’s relevant to your case.
As personal injury lawyers, we expect to do a little handholding during the entire course of our careers. However, some clients take advantage of this and try to convert their lawyers into therapists. So if you only call your lawyer to have a long-winded conversation about your current situation, he probably won’t pick your calls or return them when you next call.
We also understand that you might have other problems with your lawyer other than the fact that he does not communicate as often as you would like. If your lawyer appears disorganized during important meetings such as a deposition, then you should be very concerned.
If your lawyer also pressures you to settle for a ridiculously low settlement amount, then that should be a red flag. If you are facing such kind of issues, it’s best to start looking for another lawyer who is interested in protecting your rights and getting you the justice that you deserve.
If you strongly feel that you should fire your New Bedford bike accident lawyer, you shouldn’t do it in haste or at the heat of the moment. Make sure you have at least a one-on-one meeting with them to air your concerns. If they don’t reassure you or they don’t provide a legit reason as to why your case is moving along the way it is, then you should consider finding a new lawyer.
You Should Fire Your New Bedford Bike Accident Lawyer with Caution
Before you fire your lawyer, you should know that you might end up paying him his lawyer fee. And if you hire a lawyer immediately after firing the old one, you might end up paying double lawyer fee. This will of course depend on the type of contract you signed with the first lawyer and the one you will end up signing with the second one.
Secondly, it might be a little harder to find a second lawyer who will take your case after firing the first one. Lawyers are wary of clients who fire another lawyer. There are many reasons why they may hesitate to take your case and they include:
- You might have a rude or problematic client
- Your previous lawyer might have screwed your case
- You might not trust them enough to do their job well given that you had a problem with the previous lawyer.
- You might owe lawyer fees so they might be forced to take a smaller fee in order to allow you to offset the amount you owe the other lawyer.
Do You Have To Pay the New Bedford Bike Accident Lawyer You Fired?
If you fired your New Bedford bike accident lawyer without a valid reason, they will charge you a discharge lawyer fee. Most states allow lawyers to recover quantum meruit if they are fired before settling a case. Quantum meruit is a Latin phrase meaning “what one has earned”. So your lawyer will expect you to pay him for the work he has done.
The good news is that if you fired your lawyer because they violated a code of ethics, then they may not be allowed to recover any lawyer fee from you.
What Are Some of the Reasons for Firing a New Bedford Bike Accident Lawyer?
Any serious ethics violation is grounds for you to fire your New Bedford bike accident lawyer. These may include:
- Conflict of interest. For instance, they represent both you and the person responsible for your accident
- They ask you to perjure yourself
- They ask you to defraud your health insurer
In most cases, clients rarely fire their lawyers for ethics violation. Most of them fire their lawyers because they think they are not prioritizing their case, the value they put on their case is too low, lack of communication, etc. This is not to say that these causes may not eventually become “good cause” for firing a lawyer if not addressed early on. This is why we always encourage clients to try to talk it out with their lawyer first before firing them.
Do Your Due Diligence Before Hiring a New Lawyer
Always screen your lawyers before hiring them. We recently wrote a post about which questions you should ask a lawyer before hiring them
Have you been involved in a bike accident in New Bedford? Our Kevin P Landry Law Offices bike lawyers can help. Call us at 508-999-0800 or visit our New Bedford offices for a free initial consultation.