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If I Need a New RI Injury Attorney, Will Old Lawyer Be Paid?

If I am unhappy with the Rhode Island personal injury lawyer who is handling my case, do I have the right to obtain a new attorney?

In Rhode Island (RI), if you are dissatisfied with your attorney’s legal representation, you have the right to obtain a new  Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney at any time. The old attorney must turn over the entire legal file to the new lawyers.

If I obtain a new lawyer who will pay for the legal services rendered by the old attorney?

Your old attorney may have a statutory lien against your personal injury, slip and fall or automobile accident case.  If you prevail or a settlement is reached in the future, your old attorney will have a right to be paid for the legal services that he provided you.  However, you will not be required to pay the old attorney upon obtaining a new attorney!

When your case is settled or when you receive funds as a result of a verdict,  the old and the new attorney will equitably divide the contingent legal fee.  In other words, it will cost you no additional funds, if you retain a new attorney. The old and new attorneys must come to an agreement as to the equitable share to be received by the old attorney.  If the client hires a new attorney then the old and new attorney will split the Thirty Three Percent (33%) between them. Most personal injury and auto accident cases are handled on a contingency fee basis in which the attorney agrees to take 33 % percent of the proceeds received by the client. If the client hires a new attorney then the old and new attorney will split the Thirty Three Percent (33%) between them.

The types of cases that are typically handled on a contingent fee basis are: slip and fall, premises liability, car accidents, motor vehicle accidents, etc.

If the attorneys cannot agree on how to divide the attorneys fee then they can submit the dispute to the Rhode Island Bar Association fee dispute arbitration. Otherwise the attorneys can litigate as to how much each attorney is entitled to.

It is not the clients problem how the attorneys divide the attorneys fees because there is no additional expense or cost to obtain a new attorney!   If the old and new attorney are disputing the division of the attorneys fees they must still give the client their share of the  personal injury or car accident proceeds prior to a resolution of the attorneys fees dispute.

david slepkowAbout the Author:
David Slepkow is a Rhode Island RI personal injury lawyer / attorney practicing personal injury, premises liability, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall, insurance claims, automobile /auto/ car accidents, slip and fall and serious accidents. David has been practicing for ten years and is licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Federal Court. David Also practices divorce and family law.
 
Legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer/ attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. Most cases of this type are not handled by this firm, but are referred to other attorneys.

 

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