My Attorney Dropped Me. Now What?

attorney dropped me

By reading this article, you will learn:

  • Some of the reasons attorneys drop cases
  • What you should do if your lawyer drops your case

If your personal injury lawyer has dropped you, you probably have many questions, not to mention a feeling of betrayal. The first thing to recognize is that simply because one lawyer has withdrawn from your case, this doesn’t mean that it is necessarily hopeless and that you need to give up.

There are many reasons why an attorney may drop a client:

  1. The lawyer may have realized that there is a conflict of interest. If this is the case, you should discuss your case with another attorney. Nothing has changed with the merits of your case, so there is no reason not to continue with it.
  2. The lawyer may feel that you are difficult to work with. If this is the case, you can consult with another attorney and make sure that expectations are clear. Have you been making unreasonable demands or phoning and emailing constantly with the same questions? Here is your chance to start again with clear boundaries for the lawyer/client relationship.
  3. There may be a personality conflict. In this case, you may be relieved to work with another attorney and to have the opportunity at your initial consultation to make sure that you are a good fit for each other.
  4. The lawyer may drop you as a client because you broke the terms of the agreement. For example, you may have been delinquent in paying your bills. This generally doesn’t apply to personal injury cases, since they typically operate on a contingency basis.
  5. Working on the case may require the lawyer to violate the ethical and professional conduct rule.
  6. The lawyer may feel that your injuries don’t merit the amount of effort that would be expended on the case.

This last reason is one to focus on. At Poynter & Bucheri, we often get phone calls from people who have been represented by various attorneys, particularly bigger firms that advertise on television. They explain that their lawyer has dropped them and wonder what to do next.

Many times the scenario that has played out is that the lawyer entered into negotiations with the insurance company but didn’t get a reasonable offer for a settlement. The client wanted the attorney to fight for more compensation, and the lawyer then dropped him or her.

If this has happened to you, there are two possibilities for what may actually be occurring in this situation:

  1. It’s very possible that maybe your case is not as good as you thought it was. Maybe there’s a liability issue. Maybe your injuries are not as objectively severe as you think or as valuable as you think. It’s very important to get a second opinion from another injury attorney to determine whether or not you should have a reasonable expectation to be able to get more compensation from your case.
  2. It is also possible that your original law firm didn’t want to expend the necessary effort. There are many law firms that are only interested in picking “low hanging fruit,” the easy cases where there’s clear liability or where there’s serious objective injury, like broken bones and things like that. If there’s a situation where they have to question some witnesses or somehow actually fight to win the case, then they decide not to continue. These types of firms have so many cases that they aren’t in a position to litigate them all, so they keep the easy ones.

Some large companies drop what would otherwise be successful cases because they don’t want to deal with pushback from insurance companies. Despite what they may promise (or overpromise) in their TV commercials, they choose to simply concentrate on the easy “slam dunk” cases.

You should not take an attorney’s opinion on your case as the final word. Just as in medicine, you should always get a second opinion.

If you have a case where you were dropped and you want a second opinion, please feel free to contact us at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will be more objective about your case and will counsel you when it is in your best interest to accept or deny an insurance company’s offer.

Here’s one more important fact to keep in mind: The Statute of Limitations for Indiana lawsuits is two years. If you do not file your lawsuit within that time, you will be out of luck, so contact Poynter & Bucheri as soon as possible.  

Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.

Video Transcript
Okay. Hi, I’m Rich Bucheri from Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys. And this is a situation that we see a lot in the office. My lawyer dropped me, now what? And so a lot of times, we get phone calls from people that have been represented by various attorneys, but a lot of times, some of the bigger firms that they see on TV. And the people, these firms, they took their case, signed them up, and started negotiations with the insurance company. And then as it turns out, for whatever reason, they weren’t able to get a good offer from the insurance company or I wasn’t in agreement with what the attorney was saying. And so I wanted them to ask for more and they decided they were going to drop me. So there’s two possibilities of what could be happening in this situation.

First of all, it’s very possible that maybe your case is not as good as what you thought it was. Maybe there’s a liability issue. Maybe your injuries are not as objectively severe as what you think or as valuable as what you think. And so it’s very important to get a second opinion from another injury attorney, to determine whether or not you should have an expectation, a reasonable expectation to be able to get more out of your case. The second thing could be that there are many law firms out there that are interested in only picking what I would call the low-hanging fruit, the easy cases where there’s a clear liability, where there’s serious objective injury, like broken bones and things like that.

And if there’s a situation where you have to question some witnesses or somehow actually fight to win the case, then these insurance companies have so many cases that they’re not in a position to be able to litigate all of these cases. And so they simply drop what would otherwise be good cases because they don’t want to deal with it. And so that’s their business plan is basically to only take the good cases and only settle the good cases. And then if there’s any pushback from the insurance company, then they’re just not going to do it. Even though their commercials may say that that’s not what they’re doing, that ends up being the case. So every person will have to evaluate what their attorney, the job their attorneys are doing on a case-by-case basis. But if you do get dropped, as I said, it could be one of two reasons. And you should not take, the attorney that dropped you, their opinion as acceptance of the final word on what should happen. You should definitely get a second opinion. If you have a case where you were dropped and you want a second opinion, please feel free to contact us at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys. Thank you.