The State of Nevada provides injury victims the right to fire a personal injury lawyer at any point in the case, for almost any reason. That said, it is worth noting that there can be serious considerations to take into account if you are debating whether or not you should fire your attorney.
Why fire your personal injury attorney?
If you are debating whether or not you should fire your lawyer, it is likely because: 1). you are not satisfied by their service, 2). they’ve achieved an unfavorable court ruling, 3). you are questioning your lawyers ability to settle your claim, 4). the attorney’s fees and case costs are too high, 5). you disagree about various important issues, 6). your lawyer has failed to communicate and place importance on your case.
Firing a lawyer will not ruin your case, per se, it is important that you take the time to analyze your reasons for wanting to fire them. Some issues, such as case costs, are out of your lawyer’s control. If your claim required a deposition, or a series of depositions, those fees are set by an independent, third-party provider and are out of your attorney’s control.
If your lawyer is not communicating with you or fails to place importance on your case, you should ask your lawyer if there is any way to resolve your concerns. This is an important first step to take before you decide to fire your attorney.
How to fire your personal injury lawyer
If you have voiced your concerns with your lawyer and they fail to improve the issue, below are a series of steps you should take to fire your personal injury attorney:
Look over your retainer agreement. You should identify any provisions in the agreement that pertain to terminating your attorney-client relationship. You should abide by this provision and document each step you have taken.
Hire a new personal injury attorney right away. You should hire a new personal injury lawyer almost immediately. By doing this, you can avoid any lapses in insurance company communications, important filing deadlines, medical records request, and so on. It will only strengthen your case in the long-haul.
Provide written notice. You will want to write, sign, and mail a written notice to your injury lawyer which clearly states you are terminating the service contract. The letter should be short and to the point. If you have hired a new lawyer, you should provide instructions for your fired attorney to send case documents to the new lawyer. View a sample notice on this helpful page.
Advise the court. If your case has escalated to court, you will need to notify the court via a Withdrawal of Substitution of Counsel. You should do this the same day you issue written notice to your lawyer.
What about existing costs billed by your lawyer?
If you owe your lawyer case costs, your old attorney may place a lien on your case. This is standard practice and simply means your new attorney will be responsible for paying them back at the conclusion of your case.