When you experience a workplace accident, you need someone on your side to help you navigate the legal path to compensation. You may trust your workers’ compensation attorney to fight for you. It’s understandable if you feel betrayed when your lawyer doesn’t put forth an adequate effort.
What can you do when you have a bad workers’ compensation attorney? If you’re wondering how to fire your workers’ comp attorney, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we present several tips for finding the right attorney and getting the money you deserve.
Can I Fire My Workers’ Comp Attorney?
You can always fire an attorney, though the reverse isn’t true. A lawyer can’t always abandon a client. Before you fire your attorney, you’ll want to think about the consequences of that action. Also, you want to make sure that you have a good attorney to take over your claim.
Why Should I Fire My Attorney?
Clients usually want to fire attorneys who aren’t doing a good job. Sometimes, delays or other inconveniences in the lawsuit process occur despite the attorney’s best efforts. Other times, an attorney may lack the knowledge or motivation to give your claim the attention it deserves.
Here are some of the top reasons why clients fire workers’ compensation attorneys:
- The case is taking too long,
- The attorney doesn’t understand the details of workers’ compensation,
- The attorney seems lazy, and
- The attorney doesn’t communicate well.
Though any of these are valid reasons to fire an attorney, you should not rush to sever your relationship. Find out if your perception of your attorney’s incompetence is accurate before taking action and changing workers’ comp lawyers.
Questions to Ask Before Firing Your Attorney
Before firing your attorney, you should ask a few questions to determine whether the relationship is worth saving. These questions should give you a better understanding of whether your attorney is giving their best effort to your case:
- What is causing the delay in my case?
- Is there anything you can do to speed up the claim resolution?
- Why haven’t you communicated with me regarding updates on my claim?
- Can we schedule regular phone calls or conferences to update me on my claim?
- How many workers’ compensation cases have you handled?
- Can I speak to any former clients who may be willing to share their experience regarding your representation?
- What steps have you taken to resolve my claim?
Sometimes, the answers to these questions will convince you that your attorney is doing their best. All legal matters require patience, and you may be blaming your attorney for delays caused by red tape. However, if your attorney’s answers to these questions put you further on edge, it may be time to look for better representation.
Consequences of Firing Your Attorney
While firing your attorney may be necessary for your claim to succeed, the action does have potential consequences. Be aware of these risks before you fire your attorney:
- It could delay your claim, as a new attorney takes time to catch up on the process;
- You could lose money on attorney fees;
- You could wind up with a worse attorney; and
- It may be challenging to find another attorney, as they may see you as a difficult client.
In addition to viewing you as a difficult client, other attorneys may hesitate to take your case if they think it won’t pay well. That’s because most workers’ compensation attorneys work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay them until they win your case.
At that point, your attorney takes a portion of your settlement (usually 10-20%) as their payment. When you fire one attorney, that attorney is entitled to payment for the portion of work they performed. A second attorney knows they’ll have to split attorney fees with someone else and may hesitate to work for less pay than they usually get.
Speak to Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you are unhappy with your legal representation, call the experienced attorneys at the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka.
Our lawyers have been representing injured workers for over a decade. We’re willing to take over workers’ comp cases where other lawyers have failed because we think every injured worker deserves superior legal representation.
Contact us for a free consultation. You can ask any questions, and we’ll let you know if we can help with your claim.
Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result. Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.