Top 6 Telltale Signs You Hired A Bad Lawyer And How To Avoid It In The Future

One of the major factors affecting the actual value of your personal injury claim is the quality of your lawyer. However, despite your best efforts, you might have hired a bad lawyer. Although there is such a thing as legal malpractice , your lawyer’s performance does not have to sink to the level of legal malpractice to make dismissal a wise decision on your part.

What Are 6 Ways to Identify a Bad Lawyer? 

Identifying an incompetent attorney early in the hiring process, before the damage to your claim becomes irreparable, can be done in the following ways:

  • Your attorney is unable to contact you.
  • They should provide a free initial consultation, return your phone calls and emails within a reasonable amount of time, clearly explain their points, tell you the truth regardless of how unpleasant it is, and refrain from intimidating you into not asking questions.
  • Major case decisions are solely your responsibility, and you and your attorney must communicate effectively for you to make sound choices.
  • Your attorney guarantees victory in any case.
  • Such a guarantee is unethical because there is no way to guarantee that the claimant will prevail.
  • There is a distinction between asserting (if true) that you have a strong legal claim and guaranteeing your victory.
  • This is especially true if your case goes to trial, as an attorney cannot guarantee a jury or judge will rule in your favour unequivocally.
  • Your lawyer behaves unethically towards others.
  • Your attorney may recommend that you lie on the stand.
  • They may conspire with a third party to defraud the court or an insurance company.
  • If this occurs, keep in mind that if your attorney lies to others, they will also lie to you.
  • And, attorneys must act in accordance with the rules of professional conduct .
  • Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, such as suspension from practising law and revocation of their legal licence.
  • Others in the legal profession hold your attorney in contempt.
  • How do other professionals (judges, mediators, other attorneys, etc.) view your attorney?
  • If your attorney lacks respect, there may be a valid explanation.
  • Your attorney lacks compassion and regard for your difficulties.
  • Empathy is a necessary quality for a competent personal injury attorney.
  • A lawyer’s best performance cannot be coaxed out of him or her by the promise of a substantial income.
  • Caring is one of the essential characteristics that makes the best lawyers the best.
  • Your attorney uses unethical billing methods.
  • One example is a surprise invoice for the lawyer’s out-of-pocket expenses (not legal fees) that you must pay regardless of whether you recover any personal injury compensation.
  • You may have a valid complaint if these costs are excessive or unclear.
  • You also have a valid grievance if your attorney misled you into believing you would owe nothing unless you were awarded damages in your personal injury lawsuit.

What Happens If You Fire Your Lawyer During a Personal Injury Claim?

You are permitted to fire your attorney. Unfortunately, you may still owe them a certain amount of money if your claim is unsuccessful.

Almost all personal injury attorneys charge clients contingent fees. If your attorney obtains compensation on your behalf, you will owe them a predetermined percentage of your award. The average percentage ranges between 33 and 40 percent. If your attorney is unsuccessful in obtaining compensation for you, you will owe them nothing for the duration of the case.

This is the typical arrangement for contingent fees. Before signing a retainer agreement with your attorney, read it carefully because the terms may vary.

In accordance with the legal principle of quantum meruit, if you fire your contingency-fee attorney, they may demand payment from you. Indeed, your attorney may file a contract claim against you based on the retainer agreement you both signed.

Even if you received no compensation, the court could order you to pay reasonable legal fees in the worst-case scenario. Whether or not you had “good cause” to fire your attorney is crucial. The more convincingly you can demonstrate that you had a valid reason for dismissing your attorney, the more likely it is that the court will rule that you owe your former attorney little or nothing.

First, Recruit a New Attorney

If you decide to dismiss an incompetent attorney, you must first retain new legal counsel. Your new attorney will assist you in severing the attorney-client relationship with your previous attorney and will request all case-related documents.

Your new attorney will notify the court of the change in representation by filing a Consent to Change Attorney form, which you and your former attorney must sign.

How Do I Avoid Hiring a Bad Lawyer?

The best way to avoid the negative effects of hiring an incompetent attorney is to be cautious during the hiring process. The majority of personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to evaluate your case. Be sure to conduct research prior to the appointment and bring as much information as possible (medical bills, photographs, medical records, etc.) to guide the discussion.

Also bring a list of questions. During a stressful time, a competent attorney will thoughtfully answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable with the attorney, meet with several others to determine the best course of action. You deserve quality legal representation to ensure a smooth process during this challenging time in your life.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm

Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.

Abrams Law Group
104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 502
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 997-9797

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