Knowing this, after the incident you sought legal counsel. Your attorney seemed to understand the case and to have a good plan of action moving forward. After signing your retainer, though, you’ve found that you’re not at all happy with your lawyer’s performance. You know that you signed a retainer agreement with your attorney and that you are now bound to them, but if things continue as they are going right now, that agreement could cost you a great deal of money in your settlement. What can you do? Can you fire your lawyer and seek other legal counsel after you’ve signed your retainer?
You Are Not Prohibited From Changing Lawyers
Yes, you can change lawyers after you’ve signed a retainer. Typically speaking, attorneys’ engagement letters do not prohibit clients from ending the relationship with the attorney and moving to a different attorney and/or a different firm.
In most personal injury cases, you will not pay your retainer in advance, but you will rather deduct a percentage of your settlement to pay your attorney once the case is completed. This means, if you want to change attorneys at any time, you will simply need to send a Stop Work letter to your old attorney and have them sign a “Consent to Change Attorney” form.
In general, retainer agreements will stipulate what, if anything, you will owe your attorney should you terminate your working relationship with them. If you are changing attorneys because you believe your case can be better handled by someone else, it is often worthwhile to agree to the lien and move forward. If you are simply changing lawyers because you think you’ve found a better deal with someone who will charge you less, you may want to rethink it.
Considerations Before You Sign Any Retainer Agreement
With all of this in mind, be aware that – unless you terminate your retainer within the first days of working with your attorney – you will most likely owe some compensation for their work. Before you agree to sign a retainer, you may want to do some research and follow up with your attorney’s references. Check their reviews online, and ask friends and colleagues if they have any experience with this particular lawyer or with one that they would recommend.
Finally, be sure to read your retainer agreement thoroughly. If any detail is unclear or makes you uncomfortable, make sure that you have a full understanding of it before you sign. If you have questions about your case and whether or not you should change lawyers, call a reputable personal injury attorney in Los Angeles today. You’ll be able to discuss your rights, how terminating your retainer agreement will affect your case, and what you can do to get the most compensation possible. These consultations are often free and can help you make the right decision for your case and your future.