When filing a personal injury claim for an injury sustained from an accident, your best bet is to hire a personal injury attorney that charges a contingency fee, which can be anywhere from 33% to 40% of the compensation awarded for the case. While a contingency fee agreement is quite fair, it opens up a lot of room for uncertainties should you decide to terminate the arrangement between you and the attorney. Before signing with an attorney, look at the contract for the following 3 terms and conditions involved with terminating the contingency agreement.
The Fees or Penalties for Terminating the Agreement and Whether an Hourly Charge Will Be Billed
While a contingency fee agreement means that your attorney will not charge you a penny if you lose the case, it doesn't mean that the attorney won't charge you at all if you decide to terminate your relationship with them without settling the case. In this situation, the attorney will want to be compensated for the time and effort that they have put into your case and will usually charge you certain fees. They might even add on penalties for terminating the arrangement. In most cases, the attorney will bill you by the hour for the amount of time they've already put into your case. Make sure that the contract you sign with the attorney specifies the attorney's hourly rate.
You also want to look at the terms and conditions to determine whether you might be charged and billed additional penalties for terminating the agreement. Some attorneys will charge varying rates of penalties based on how far along the case is.
The Process Involved with Terminating the Agreement
You need to go through certain processes in order to formally terminate your relationship with the attorney. In most cases, you can't simply call the attorney and tell them that you don't want to work with them anymore. Read over the terms and conditions of the contract you're signing with the personal injury attorney to determine what you have to do in order to terminate the agreement. For example, the attorney might require you to provide them with a signed statement.
Keep in mind that you might also be required to reimburse the personal injury attorney immediately and in full at that time for the law firm to close your account with them.
Whether the Attorney Will Forward All Evidence and Information Collected to a New Attorney
In the event that you are terminating your agreement and relationship with the personal injury attorney to work with another attorney, you also need to consider whether the contract specifies whether the attorney is willing and will send all of the documents filed in and evidences collected to your new attorney. If they are willing to do so, take a look at the contract to determine whether the contract specifies that the attorney will send all of the information associated with your account by a certain time.
It's also vital that you consider the format of the files that will be sent to your new attorney and whether you will be charged an additional fee for this service.
While it's unusual for clients to terminate an agreement with their personal injury attorney and switch to another, it does happen. Circumstances change. Maybe you simply feel more comfortable with working with another attorney or maybe you don't want to sue anymore. Regardless of what the reason might be, it's a good idea to make sure that you give yourself some leniency to terminate an agreement without having to face many consequences and penalties as a result.
For more information, talk with a personal injury attorney directly.