Can I Switch Attorneys In A Personal Injury Case?
15 August 2018No Comments
So you’ve started a personal injury case, and it’s really not going the way you’d hoped or thought it would. You feel like you’ve got a cut-and-dried case, but your attorney seems to be having a lot of trouble pushing it through. It could be that they’re inexperienced, it could be that the insurance companies have better attorneys, and it could even be that your case isn’t as solid as you thought.
Regardless, you’re wondering if you can fire your attorney and replace them with someone more in keeping with your needs. The simple answer is that you can. Unfortunately, it’s often more complicated than simply cutting ties and getting a new lawyer. Learn about the process of switching attorneys in a personal injury case, how to do it and why it’s vital to work with a personal injury attorney you trust.
Why You Might Fire Your Injury Lawyer
There are a number of reasons why people might fire their lawyer and look for a new one. It’s important to carefully consider your circumstances to be sure that replacing your attorney is the right move. For example, are you questioning the competence of your attorney? Is your relationship soured for some reason? Do they offer poor or inconsistent communication? Do you have issues with their judgment or possibly their ethics?
If any of these are the case, you may well have good cause to switch attorneys. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to answer these questions. You, after all, are not an attorney, so how do you know if your lawyer is incompetent or unethical? Certainly, you know if your relationship isn’t solid or communication isn’t what you’d like, but ethics and qualifications are something else entirely.
Ethics and Qualifications
Judging your personal injury attorney’s qualifications and ethics requires objectivity and care. Just as with relationship or communications issues, the first thing to do is to sit down with them and discuss your concerns. If your attorney refuses to do so, that’s definitely a red flag. Likewise, if you ask to see your file and they refuse, that’s another concern. Your attorney should have nothing to hide from you.
When you discuss the issues with your lawyer, try to bring up concrete examples, and don’t be accusatory. After discussing the situation calmly and rationally, you just may find that you have been mistaken. You may also find that it’s clearer than before that going your own way is better. Still, it’s best to try to work it out, as selecting a new attorney is, in a very real way, like starting all over again.
Why Your Attorney Might Leave You
In some cases, the attorney might actually choose to drop the case and move on from you. There are many reasons why this happens. They might feel that they won’t make enough money on the case and want to cut their losses. They might be overworked and have too many cases on their plate as it stands. This could mean they simply don’t have the resources to handle the case with the attention you need.
Attorneys are human beings, too, and sometimes their personal lives can interfere with cases. When this happens, it can be best to recuse themselves rather than cost you a win. Remember, however, that an attorney cannot simply withdraw right before a court date unless their withdrawal will not harm the client. To do this, they need to file a motion to withdraw, which must then be approved by the court.
Should I Fire My Attorney?
This is the million dollar question (sometimes literally). Before you cut ties, consider how much work your attorney has put into the case and how far along the case has moved. The further along your case is, the more you’ll have to start over. In addition, you’ll need to compensate your prior attorney for any out-of-pocket expenses they’ve put forth.
Finding the Right Attorney
Finding the right attorney to work on your case is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Choosing the right attorney off the bat will avoid stress and heartache, and it will create a winning combination. Even if you already have an attorney, however, speaking to another lawyer before ending the relationship can give you important perspective.
If you’re looking for a great personal injury attorney, the Bandas Law Firm is here to help. We bring decades of experience to the table and have handled a variety of injury cases. We are experienced and compassionate, and we’ll work to get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call for a free consultation on your case today or complete our contact form.