Switching Personal Injury Lawyers
Posted on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 at 10:41 pm
Many people will turn to a personal injury lawyer following a traumatic accident. When you sustain injuries and don’t know how to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, an experienced attorney can provide the legal representation, guidance, and support you need.
Unfortunately, there are times when clients aren’t happy with the attorney they hire. Whether there’s a lack of communication or the process is moving slower than you had hoped, you might have the option of finding a new lawyer to handle your case.
When Can I Hire a Different Lawyer to Handle My Case?
Generally, you can change lawyers at any time during your case. However, there could be some restrictions depending on the circumstances of your case. Additionally, hiring a new attorney at specific stages in the legal process could actually do more harm than good. It’s best to thoroughly review your options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this change before proceeding.
Common Reasons Accident Victims Switch to a New Lawyer
A range of reasons might result in a client finding a different attorney to handle their case. You might feel unsatisfied with the level of service you’re receiving or believe they could do a better job of moving things forward when faced with unnecessary delays.
Some of the most common reasons people decide they want to change lawyers include:
- The firm doesn’t return calls or emails
- The case stalled and doesn’t seem to be moving forward
- There isn’t a clear strategy in place
- The lawyer seems more concerned about meeting their own needs than the client’s
- The client doesn’t trust their attorney anymore
- The lawyer won’t answer questions or explain the legal process to their client
- The client insists on a decision about their case that the lawyer doesn’t follow through with
- The attorney tries to pressure their client into accepting a settlement or jury verdict they’re not comfortable accepting
- The client receives bills for legal fees that weren’t in the original attorney/client agreement
Most people don’t realize that they don’t have to stay with the lawyer they hired initially. If you’re not happy with your current attorney, it is your right to find someone else to represent you.
No two clients are alike, and it might take some trial and error before your lawyer understands the best way they can meet your needs. If you have an issue with the way they’re handling your case, talk to them. Discuss what you would like them to do and give them a chance to do it. If they don’t put in an effort and nothing changes, it might be time to consult a different firm.
How to Switch to Another Personal Injury Lawyer
There is a process you need to follow if you want to change lawyers. You should already have another one lined up before you fire your current one. If you fire your lawyer before you retain someone else’s services, it could significantly delay your case while you’re looking for someone else to hire.
If you’re in the middle of an insurance claim, switching to a different attorney is much easier. Since you’re not dealing with a court case, all you have to do is write your current lawyer a letter informing them that you no longer need their representation and they should stop working on your claim. It is best to send this letter by certified mail, so you receive a receipt that they received it. Also, include your new lawyer’s name and contact information so they can forward your case file.
If your current attorney has already filed a lawsuit, the change will have to go through court. After sending them your letter notifying them of your decision, they should file a motion with the court, so that all parties are aware of the change. At that point, they will cease working on your case.
Do I Have to Pay My Previous Lawyer’s Legal Fees?
It depends on the contract you signed when you initially hired them. Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency, meaning you only pay their legal fees and costs if they recover compensation for you during your case. However, if you decide to seek new representation, the attorney you hire should receive a record of all incurred expenses. If they also work on contingency, you will ultimately be responsible for paying these costs, but it will come out of the compensation they secure on your behalf.
If you’re not satisfied with your current lawyer and want to discuss hiring a new one, do not hesitate to contact Abel Law Firm. We have represented clients in their personal injury cases for over 40 years. You can count on our legal team to fight by your side for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Call us at (405) 239-7046 today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your personal injury case.