IF I FIRE MY PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
First the Florida Bar holds that as the client you have the right to choose any attorney you want. What that means is if you are not happy with your present attorney—whether it is because nothing is happening on your case, or you never get a call back, or it seems like the receptionist is the one who is actually handling your case—then you have the right under Florida law to fire that attorney. The attorney cannot force you to stay with them: it is your decision only.
What does it mean for your personal injury case if you change attorneys? Keep one thing in mind. In your personal injury case, you are the decision maker. Think about it: if a doctor advised you that surgery was an option for a medical condition, it is you who decides whether to undergo surgery or not after hearing from your doctor. At our 25-year Florida law firm we hear too many stories of: “the attorney told me that my case is “settling” for X amount and that is all I am getting”. That is not the way attorney representation is supposed to work in Florida, and it is not the way this law firm works. You are the decision maker in your case. When considering whether to fire your attorney do not forget the attorney works for you, not the other way around.
In our firm we do not assign numbers to cases. Every client is known by their name. We are mindful that our mission is to produce the best result for our client and not to just flip that case as quickly as possible. We also recognized many years ago that the better result we achieve for our client means the better result for us as well.
Many large firms are built on quick turnover of cases. Most law firms handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis—where if there is no recovery you do not pay anything—but some of them have terms in their signup papers which say you would owe for “costs” if you fire them. What we promise to you is that if you have to fire your present attorney and come to us that it will not cost you more than having had just one law firm represent you. While it is the law in Florida that a fired attorney can claim a “lien” for their costs or work done up to the time you fire them, we promise you if we represent you that it will not cost you more than just having had one attorney.
The point here is that you are entitled to have confidence in the attorneys and law firm you hire that they are working for your best recovery. When you lose that confidence it is time to move on. Ask yourself these questions to know if it is time to move on and retain new counsel:
- I never get to talk to the attorney.
- It does not seem like my case is moving forward at all.
- There is a high turnover of people assigned to my case.
- I have to repeat things over and over that I already covered with them.
- The law firm acts like I am an inconvenience to them.
- I don’t get call backs from anyone at the firm.
- They cannot find photos/names/papers I already gave them.
On how many of these 7 questions would you check “YES”. You do not have to put up with a law firm that is either not working for you or they project that you are not important to them.
Call us if you are ready to make a change on the direction of your case. We work on a basis of “Best for client—Best for us”. Contact us now to discuss your case at no charge to you and our 25 years of experience getting great results for clients.