If you’re not happy with the actions or performance of your workers compensation lawyer, know that you’re always able to switch—even right in the middle of your case.
But before you end your lawyer-client relationship, consider the potential consequences and how it could affect your case.
It may be more difficult for you to find a new lawyer after firing your old attorney. Many lawyers view it as a red flag when a client fires their attorney—rightly or wrongly. Another thing to consider is that lawyers may be reluctant to take on a client like this because the attorney will make less money after another lawyer has already worked on the case.
There are, of course, legitimate reasons for switching attorneys. Below we’ll go over some of the most common reasons clients hire new lawyers, when these are legitimate concerns, and when changing lawyers may not help.
Truth be told, nothing happens quickly in a legal case. Even requesting your medical records can take over a month. It could take even longer to schedule an independent medical evaluation. Workers compensation courts also tend to be extremely backed up, further adding to your wait time.
More often than not, it’s easy to blame attorneys for the excessive waiting, but the truth is that a new attorney can’t make courts or medical offices move more quickly. In fact, changing attorneys close to your hearing date can even make the process take longer.
Not staying updated on your case is frustrating. If you feel like your lawyer is unresponsive, try scheduling an in-office meeting or phone conference to voice your concerns. Make it clear that communication is an issue and that you expect better in the future. If your attorney still doesn’t improve, then you may have a valid reason for shopping around.
A great attorney will drive your case forward and make it their top priority to get results. It’s perfectly normal to want to know exactly which steps your lawyer has taken to work on your case—writing letters to your employer, arranging medical exams, engaging in negotiations, preparing for hearings, etc.
If your attorney hasn’t been taking these steps, you may have cause for concern. But keep in mind that you likely chose your lawyer for a reason, and it’s easy to get frustrated by the process—not the person.
Most workers compensation lawyers earn a percentage of the settlement awarded to their clients, and these percentages are usually capped (depending on the state) between 10% and 20%.
When more than one lawyer has contributed to your case, they will split the fee based on how much work each lawyer has done. When attorneys can’t agree on a fair percentage, your old attorney may file an “attorney’s lien” on your case, petitioning the court for their fee once your workers comp case has been resolved.
The fact is that most attorneys are reluctant to take on cases where they are earning even less than normal. Whether that’s fair or not depends on each case—but the truth is that it’s often better to avoid these situations in the first place by finding an attorney you can really trust.
Contact us today to set up a free case evaluation, and let’s figure out how to win you the compensation you truly deserve.
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