Legal Question in Personal Injury in North Carolina
What if a personal injury attorney is hired and due to a lack of help from this attorney I
decide to see another attorney , do I owe any money to the first attorney?
3 Answers from Attorneys
You would possibly owe for any cost and fees for work done to date but that would be determined by your professional services agreement - if you signed on. Sometimes you can switch attorneys and the first attorney will put a lien on your potential future settlement and what you may owe can be paid that way instead of you paying the first attorney directly.
If the attorney is really not helping, then he or she is not really entitled to a fee. There is not a lot of authority on this in North Carolina. It's not uncommon for a client to switch attorneys, and normally there is not a problem. The lawyer typically charge a "lien," and in fact he is usually prohibited from doing so. (See the NC Bar's opinion on this at http://www.ncbar.com/ethics/eth_articles_12,4.asp.) It's possible that you could owe the first attorney some costs, but that should not be very much.
I agree you can change attorneys and I would advise the prior attorney to withdraw because an unhappy client is bad for the attorney