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Can a Worker Fire Their Lawyer for Bad Advice?

Burdine & Brown Nov. 8, 2021

Can a worker fire their lawyer when the lawyer gives (what the client feels is) bad advice? Of course, they can do so. How does one recognize bad advice? Here is an example:

A TV lawyer told an injured worker (we will call her Pam) the insurance company’s denial of a causal relationship between Pam’s hip and her accepted low back injury could not be overturned. Pam did not like this advice. She thought the lawyer was lazy. The insurance company offered a small settlement of her case and her lawyer told Pam to accept it and forget about her hip injury claim.

Pam fired this lawyer and came to me for continuing representation in her job injury claim.

I sent Pam to a well-qualified independent orthopedic doctor who said, after examining my client and all the evidence, that her hip problem was CLEARLY related to and caused by her original back injury.

The insurance company would not back down. They would not voluntarily accept our expert witness opinion.

Over the next 6 months, we litigated Pam’s case. I must have spent 30 hours combined with my paralegal collecting medical exhibit records, preparing for deposition, preparing for and attending a hearing, briefing the legal case for the Judge, and generally doing what a lawyer is supposed to do to win a client’s case. And we finally won. We received, on October 7, 2021, a fully favorable Award from the Judge who stated my client’s hip injury was part of her job injury and the responsibility of the insurance company to pay for all treatment necessary. Plus, we were awarded our expert orthopedic doctor as my client’s new treating doctor.

Pam’s former lawyer did not want to fight for her. She recognized this. She did something about it. She fired the first lawyer. Now, as she gets her much-needed medical treatment, she clearly knows the difference between a TV lawyer and a lawyer who is a fighter.

“I love it when a plan comes together.” (The A-Team, George Peppard-1980’s TV series)