Thanks for all the help thus far!
I’ve lost faith in my lawyer, so please give me more advice instead of a “Talk to your lawyer.” Most likely, I’m done with him!
I'm feeling hopeless & confused. So far, all of the lawyers have stated that I need a new lawyer because the current lawyer is starting to side with the insurance company, giving up on our case even though I feel a good lawyer should be able to fight this better.
FULL details: A van made a sudden stop in front of us, the person I was riding with stopped, then made a slight turn of the tire to go around the van, before she could go around the van, we were banged HARD from behind pushing us into the van left side.
You can fire your old lawyer and may not have to pay the full 1/3 fee, depending on the amount, quality of his or her work, and depending on how your old lawyer originally obtained your case.
If your old lawyer handled your case appropriately, and obtained your case appropriately, you will have to pay his or her 1/3 fee. In most instances, a difference in opinion about the value of your case is not a justification for firing your lawyer.
Most attorneys will not have a substantive discussion with you about the facts of your case while you are still being represented by another. it is somewhat of a catch 22, but ethical rules prohibit those types of communications. In order for another attorney to speak with you, you will probably have to fire your current lawyer, As far as whether your former attorney is entitled to a fee, that will depend (as others have said) upon what work the attorney has done, and if his contract was properly obtained in the first place. The so-called "ambulance chaser" is not permitted by the ethical rules in Texas, and the punishment for that behavior is quite harsh - including disgorgement of fees.
At any time you can fire your attorney with a letter. It is always best to talk to them because a lot of the time it can be settled. I hope things get better for you.
Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com
I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference
The first thing you need to do is review your representation contract with your first attorney. Most attorney representation contracts concerning personal injury matters include language stating when you (the client) can terminate the representation, on what grounds and state what the consequences can be. The standard language used states that if the client fires the attorney without good cause (normally cause is based on applicable ethical rules), then the attorney can still hold an interest in the resolution of the case. This means that if the attorney is fired for reasons not considered "good cause" you may still owe an interest to the attorney, which could be up to 1/3 or possibly more, even if he did not assist you in obtaining the final settlement.
You say you would like more advice than "talk to your lawyer". However, this is the best course of action. Speaking with your original attorney in person, face-to-face, about any disagreements (who knows maybe it can be resolved easily) is the simplest route to take rather than getting additional attorneys involved and possibly being on the hook for paying two different attorneys, leaving much less for your portion. Saying that the disagreement stems from your lawyer siding with the insurance company and giving up on your case can't be the whole story. Make sure to keep an open mind when you are listening to your attorney. No personal injury attorney worth their salt changes their position for no reason. There may be more to it than you previously realized.
Bear in mind that this is helpful general information, not specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been established by this communication.
common warning signs that it may be time to switch to another lawyer:
•Your calls aren't returned within 48 hours (provided you're respectful of the lawyer's time and don't call several times a week with "just another quick question.")
•You are asked to provide documents you have already provided or to fill out forms you've already filled out. Mistakes do happen, but a good lawyer should keep organized files and be able to find all of the paperwork related to your case in one place.
•Your lawyer asks for repeated time extensions from the court without a good explanation.
•You receive notices from the court or from another party saying that a deadline has been missed or that your case is about to be dismissed for lack of activity.
•Documents you have been promised aren't ready when they're supposed to be. Everybody can have an emergency now and then, but if this happens repeatedly, there could be a problem.
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