Are you involved in a legal dispute and has an Attorney representing you with legal matters but, maybe frustrated by the way they handle your case and wondering “Can You Switch Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case?”
And the answer is, Yes, You can fire and Switch Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case if you feel that they are NOT representing your interest in the dispute or they are not taking your case seriously enough.
But, before you go ahead and fire your Attorney/Lawyer in the middle of car accident dispute, it’d be safe to understand your rights and obligations…
So, let’s discuss the accident case…
Car accidents are usually brutal experience and can impact injuries or psychological impacts. When you are involved in a car accident as a result of another party’s negligence, you are always entitled to file a legal claim.
However, you might find it difficult doing all the paperwork associated with lawsuits. As such, you can decide to hire an attorney to help you facilitate the lawsuit process.
Hiring a lawyer basically means that you put all your trust in him for the case to be successful.
Therefore, you need to find a lawyer whom you fully trust and believe. Nonetheless, you may sometimes get unsatisfied with how your entrusted attorney is conducting your case.
For this reason, you can always change a lawyer even if you are in the middle of the car accident case. The attorney-client relationship is usually built upon mutual trust.
If that fundamental principle is infringed, the client can always reevaluate.
Nonetheless, even if it is possible for you to switch lawyers at such stages, it is not a good idea.
Navigating through a personal injury case from car accidents can indeed be stressful. Disagreements do occur between lawyers and their clients.
Poor communication to your lawyer or misrepresentation can always lead to a change of lawyers.
It is always good to have the right representation of your filed case in order to have a successful and satisfying outcome.
What to consider before firing your lawyer
It is always important to speak to the attorney before settling on their dismissal.
Sometimes, the lawyer may be making some quiet strategic and therefore may be reluctant to explain everything to you. In such cases, firing the lawyer may not be the best idea.
You, therefore, need to consider a second thought before proceeding with the dismissal.
Have a candid and open communication. Express to them why you feel they are discontented.
After listening to their side of the story, you can then decide whether or not to continue with the attorney.
Are there any rules when switching lawyers?
Majority of the states gives you the right to change lawyers at any time during your car accident case.
Before switching, you are encouraged to communicate your interests clearly to your lawyer. Mention why you prefer making the change. Also, attempt to work out on any differences that may exist between you two.
If you are changing lawyers, the rules of professional conducts must always apply. By this, your former lawyer is still bound to act in the manner that best protects your interest.
This includes maintaining and safeguarding all confidential information as required in a lawyer-client relationship.
In that regard, if your former lawyer violates this confidential rule, he or she may face sanctions from the courts.
Worse off, she/he may even lose their right to practice law in that particular state or country.
How to switch lawyer
If at all you question the quality of your representation, you can always opt to change your lawyer. This can always be done through signed writing.
You can handwrite a simple one-paragraph note with the date and a signature on it.
Once this is done, you can either mail, fax or hand-deliver the letter to your lawyer. Make sure you keep a copy of the later and any other paperwork documents you received with from your former lawyer.
Further, it is recommended that you hire a new lawyer before dismissing the existing one.
What happens for the case file?
Changing a lawyer when the case is underway doesn’t affect the proceedings in any way. This is because all the documents belonging to the car accident case belongs to the client, not the lawyer.
As such, the client will always have the right to retain the case file. Some lawyers may make this process difficult by failing to present the documents.
However, the majority of them will always forward the necessary documents to the new lawyers so that the case file can proceed smoothly.
How to pay for lawyers’ fees
In most states/countries, personal injury claims are always paid on a contingency basis. In other words, payment of lawyers only happens after your file case have been settled successfully.
This rule does not change even if you switch lawyers. Therefore, your new lawyer has to arrange how to pay your former lawyer any due after winning the compensation claim.
The amount that your previous lawyer should get does depend on several factors such:
- The number of hours they spend on your case file
- The total amount of fee you agreed upon.
- If you paid a retainer fee
- Any misconducts or unethical behaviors she portrayed during your case.
In case you paid a retainer fee, the former lawyer should always refund any unused portion at the time you requested him/her to withdraw from the case.
What’s the biggest impact of switching lawyers?
In most cases, switching lawyers brings some benefits. Nonetheless, one of the most significant impacts that you may experience is prolonged case period.
After changing the lawyer, the new one will require some time to learn your case.
This includes any motions that were applied by your first lawyer. Therefore, you need not switch the lawyer just before a court date. This helps you to avoid any time delays.
Finally, even though you do have every right to change your lawyer, you should always be keen to avoid a bad reputation.
Take your time and hire a lawyer you believe will best handle your case. Otherwise, you may find many lawyers declining to take your case.
This is because they know they stand a high chance of being dismissed at any point.
Did you learn a thing or two? Again, Can You Switch Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case? And again, yes but, be aware of the legal fee you may have to pay your current Attorney.