Firing Your Attorney and Hiring a New One

While firing a Nevada workers compensation attorney to hire a new one is not impossible, it can be extremely difficult and even costly depending on the terms in the representation agreement signed by the injured worker. Before firing a current lawyer regarding a Nevada workers compensation claim, an injured worker should be aware of the risks associated with such actions before making a decision that can negatively affect the chances for future legal representation in these cases.

Representation Agreements

When an injured worker hires a lawyer for legal representation in the State of Nevada, such as with a workers compensation claim, a legal agreement is signed by way of what is typically referred to as a “representation agreement”. This is a legal and binding document that outlines the client-attorney relationship as well as payment structures and timetables. By signing the document, the injured worker agrees to representation by the lawyer or the law firm and all of the components in the agreement. Additional components may include the extent to which the lawyer will represent the client, how the client-attorney relationship may be terminated, reasons for firing the lawyer, and the results of such termination or firing, and the specific powers that the injured worker grants to the lawyer regarding the case.

Attorney Fees in the Agreement

Any fees that the lawyer requires for representing the client should be listed in the document. Fees may be charged on an hourly basis, as a fixed fee, or on a contingency fee basis. Many lawyers charge by the hour, documenting the exact amount of time spent working on a case. A fixed fee is a total amount that a lawyer may choose to charge for a specific type of case. With a contingency fee, a lawyer does not get paid until a successful case outcome, after which the lawyer will collect a percentage of the award money amount. In addition to lawyer fees, there may be additional costs and fees associated with the case that could be the responsibility of the client. If there is a section on terminating the client-attorney relationship or firing the lawyer before the Nevada workers compensation claim is settled, there will also be noted how payment for already completed services will be charged and when such payment is due from the client. If the lawyer was working on a contingency basis, firing the lawyer may result in being charged an hourly rate for services already performed by the lawyer and any support staff. These hourly rates can be high, resulting in a large total due bill. Additionally, the lawyer may be entitled to a final percentage of any awards received, even if the lawyer was terminated before the settlement.

Secondary Attorney’s Point of View

Most lawyers will not accept a client who is already being represented by another attorney. The representation agreement is a legally binding document, and a secondary lawyer does not want to represent a client who will not honor legally signed documents. In addition, a lawyer will not wish to deal with any payment disputes that exist between the client and another lawyer. While there are good reasons for terminating a client-attorney relationship, firing a lawyer send warning signs to secondary lawyers. The new lawyer will be cautious and more likely to view the injured worker as a “problem client”. There are many lawyers who will not even meet with a client who has terminated other legal representation to determine if there was a legitimate problem or not.

7 Suggestions when Having Trouble with an Attorney

Clients who have issues with their lawyers should first try to resolve the problem with the following suggestions:

  • Schedule an appointment for a meeting. If an appointment cannot be made, write the lawyer and state how an appointment is needed.
  • Be honest and specific about the issues.
  • If communication is a problem, ask how this can be resolved and communication improved.
  • Be sure to understand what the lawyer can and cannot do in each situation.
  • Find out the fees and costs associated with termination as of the date of the appointment and if this can be paid at that time.
  • Be certain that another lawyer will handle the claim to avoid loss of representation.
  • Be sure the new lawyer terminates the first lawyer’s power of attorney with the adjuster.

Communicating with Your Attorney to Resolve Issues

The biggest problem between clients and lawyers is communication, or lack thereof. A lawyer does not always have the time to notify a client of every little step and bit of progress that is being made with the claim. This often leads to the injured worker mistakenly believing that the lawyer is not doing anything in regards to the case. Use other methods of communication to keep in touch, such as email, that can be completed when the lawyer has more time. When angry or frustrated, make an appointment for a meeting to resolve issues and improve communication.

Attorneys for Workers Compensation Claims in the State of Nevada

The Morris/Anderson Law Firm provides legal representation for workers who have suffered a work-related injury or illness and who need assistance in dealing with the workers compensation process in the State of Nevada. The qualified and experienced lawyers can help with all aspects of the claims process, including helping the client to fill out and submit the initial paperwork, finding a good treating physician from the qualified provider list, making sure the client receives the best permanent partial disability rating possible, and obtaining the best-suited vocational rehabilitation re-training program or an appropriate lump sum buy-out in lieu of such re-training. While there are variables to be considered that makes the results in each case different, the lawyers will work for the best results possible for each injured worker who retains the Law Firm’s services.

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