If you’re not happy with your legal representation during your case, you may be wondering if it’s possible to switch attorneys during a personal injury case. While your personal injury attorney will do everything they can to help you receive a fair and full settlement, in some cases, the relationship between attorney and client simply doesn’t work. Whether it’s a lack of communication, long delays, or lack of trust, seeking out a new personal injury lawyer could be the smart move for your personal injury case. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at why you may want to switch your personal injury lawyer during your case.
The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout the greater Denver area. First and foremost, we educate our clients so that they understand the specifications of their potential claim. We represent clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and more. Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers can ensure you get the justice you deserve. Even if you believe you were partially at fault, give us a call to see how we can help.
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Can I Change My Personal Injury Attorney During a Case?
The short answer is, yes, you can certainly switch your personal injury attorney during your personal injury case. Once agreeing to work with a certain lawyer, it may feel like you’re locked into this decision until the conclusion of your claim. But there are many reasons why a client would justifiably seek new counsel for their case. If you are considering new counsel, make sure you first have a new personal injury attorney before firing your previous one.
Why Would Someone Switch their Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring an attorney after a car accident is an essential first step—but what happens if you’re not happy with their work? As each personal injury case is unique, there are many different reasons why a client may want to switch out their legal representation. What’s most important, of course, is that you find a personal injury lawyer who’s right for you. Don’t feel pressured to “stick it out” just because you already chose representation. At the end of the day, this is your case, and your counsel should be serving your needs.
Some of the most common reasons why people switch personal injury lawyers during a case include:
- Poor communication (failing to respond promptly to calls, emails, etc.)
- Long delays in your case, often without explanation.
- It feels like your case isn’t going anywhere.
- Missing deadlines.
- The strategy doesn’t seem to make sense.
- Lack of trust.
- You and your attorney are split on which direction to take the case.
- They fail to significantly explain the legal proceedings.
- Your personal injury lawyer pressures you to accept a settlement you’re not comfortable with.
- The death or disbarment of your personal injury attorney.
How Do You Switch Your Attorney During a Personal Injury Case?
When switching attorneys in the middle of your personal injury case, the most important thing to know is that you first need to secure new counsel before firing your previous one. This is essential as you don’t want to be stuck without proper representation, finding yourself in legal limbo with the potential to significantly delay your case. Always find a new personal injury attorney before parting ways with your old one.
From there, the process is pretty seamless for the client. Your new attorney will handle all the paperwork and even determine how your previous lawyer should be paid for their work. You should also be aware that switching attorneys will most likely delay your case. The delay may not be significant, but your new personal injury lawyer will need time to become familiar with your case and to get caught up on key details and deadlines. They will also need to file substitution paperwork with the courts.
Do I Still Have to Pay My Old Personal Injury Attorney?
It’s important to note that even if you aren’t happy with a lawyer and you make the switch, you’re still responsible for paying them for their services. If your personal injury lawyer billed by the hour, you’ll be on the hook for the hours they already dedicated to your case. However, for most personal injury cases in Colorado, lawyers actually work on a different method known as contingency basis.
Working on a contingency fee means that your personal injury lawyer only receives payment if they win your case. If your personal injury claim is successful, they will then receive a percentage of the settlement that is previously determined. In these cases, your new personal injury attorney will need to write an agreement with your previous one that outlines what will be paid to them if the case is successful. This method is ideal for clients as they don’t need to bring any funds to the table to switch their attorney.
Are There any Scenarios Where I Couldn’t Change My Personal Injury Attorney?
While you can usually switch your legal representation, there are a few scenarios where you may be restricted. The most common reason why you may not be able to come down to the issue of time. If switching lawyers will cause a significant delay in the progress of your case, the court may not allow you to switch. Therefore, if you’re starting to suspect that you want different counsel, you should act as soon as possible. This rule is in place to prevent individuals from purposely delaying or drawing out a case by switching their attorney.
Additionally, you may not be able to switch your attorney if there’s a potential conflict of interest with your new representation. In some cases, the new lawyer may have a conflict of interest that restricts them from fairly representing your interests. They may represent the other party in some capacity or even have a conflict with the judge overseeing your case. While these scenarios are certainly rare, it is important to be aware of potential obstacles to switching your personal injury lawyer during a case.
Conclusion – Can I Switch Attorneys During a Personal Injury Case?
Matching a client with the right personal injury attorney is essential for improving your chances of a successful claim. However, in some cases, the client may wind up with a personal injury lawyer who does not fulfill their needs. In these instances, the client should not hesitate to seek new counsel that better suits their goals.
Unless the switch would significantly delay the case, or if your new potential lawyer has a conflict of interest, there should be no issue in switching your attorney. And if your previous attorney was working on a contingency fee (as most personal injury attorneys do), then your new counsel will determine the percentage they’ll earn if the claim is successful. Remember, at the end of the day, this is your claim. Never simply stick with poor legal counsel because you’re afraid to make a change. Do what’s in your best interest.
If you’re in Colorado and you happen to be involved in a personal injury case, contact us at the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. Call (303) 333-7285. It only takes a few minutes to learn more about the options available for you and your case. With Call Paul, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure you receive fair and full financial compensation for your injuries so that you receive the justice you deserve.