It is extremely important to hire a competent lawyer if you want to win. If you feel like your lawyer isn’t doing the best job, you might wonder whether you can switch your lawyer during the case.
The shortest answer to this is yes, you can change your personal injury lawyer at any moment. But there is a number of things you must consider before changing your lawyer. This article covers all the important elements of changing your lawyer during a case.
Your PI case and Importance of filling a case
Personal injury law enables the harmed party to get paid when another person’s careless or purposeful act caused the damage. Personal injury law, also known as tort law, falls into two categories: negligence and intentional torts.
Negligence cases include car crashes, product liabilities, slip and falls, and medical malpractices. On the other hand, intentional torts include damage done due to deliberate acts such as the battery, assault, wrongful imprisonment, abuse of procedure and defamation.
The injuries to the individual can be physical as well as psychological. The harmed individual may be affected by two kinds of harms: “special damages” (including hospital expenses, lost wages, and travel costs) and “general damages” also called pain and suffering (including the loss of pleasure in life due to the physical wounds caused by another individual’s activities).
No matter how much you try to stay at a distance from accidents, a mishap can still occur. In the case that such an event transpires, your life can be changed in a moment. Not only will you need to physically recoup, but your funds can be affected too.
This is the time when you need to hire the right type of personal injury lawyer so that they can fight your case on your behalf, make the offending party pay to help you recover your losses. If you think that your current lawyer isn’t doing a good job, then it’s time to think to swift your lawyer before its too late.
Why Would You Need to Change Your Lawyer?
There are various reasons (including professional malpractice) why a person may wish to change their lawyer. Below are some warning signs that indicate that the relation between an attorney and a client is not working out:
- Your lawyer does not attend your calls and does not respond within 48 hours.
- Your attorney requests unnecessary time extensions from the court without a good reason.
- You get notices from the court or the other party stating that a due date has been missed or that your case is going to be rejected due to no activity.
- You are asked to provide documents you have already provided or to fill out forms you’ve already filled out.
- Your legal counselor cannot satisfactorily explain the method they intend to use to win the case.
- You find out that the lawyer has a conflict of interest in the case.
The primary thing that a disappointed client ought to do is discuss with their legal advisor and determine the issues that have led to this situation.
On the off chance, the issues cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, you should look at the contract you signed with your lawyer and review the contingency fee agreement.
You need to know the exact procedure that can be followed to end the agreement. In the event that you want to make an inquiry about your rights, in this case, you can consult with another attorney.
Switching Lawyers – Steps to Follow
When the client has concluded that it is in their best interests to go separate ways with their legal counselor, they should begin searching for and meeting new legal advisors until they find the one that meets their expectations and is ready to take the case.
There are a few key steps you should follow when changing your lawyer:
- Do not fire your current lawyer until you have found a new one. This is because you might end up missing important deadlines while looking for a new lawyer and your case will end up being dismissed.
- Before hiring a new lawyer, look for referrals. Call your local bar association and request for somebody with the expertise your case requires.
- You will have to make a retainer agreement with your new lawyer. This is a simple agreement that allows your new legal advisor to speak on your behalf.
- Your new lawyer will set up an agreement called “Consent to Change Attorney.” It tells the court, your present lawyer and the various parties included that you have changed your lawyer.
- Your new lawyer will also make a “stop work” letter to send to your old lawyer. This tells the lawyer not to work for you anymore and to send all the case documents to your new lawyer.
- Depending on what phase of the procedures the case is in, your previous legal counselor might be entitled to be paid for their time. You will have to talk with your new lawyer about how your old attorney will need to be handled.
Remember not to change your lawyer unless it is necessary as it will waste your time. The new lawyer will need to start working on the case from scratch, which will require more time.
How to Prevent Having Lawyer Problems in the First Place
Not surprisingly, the best approach to take if you want to prevent having issues with your legal advisor is to make sure you thoroughly vet a lawyer before hiring them.
There are various resources available to clients where they can find as much data as required about any legal advisor in order to ensure they make the right decision. The idea is to match what you expect from the lawyer with his capabilities.
In all honesty, the quickest and simplest approach to find reliable data about any lawyer is their own site. Usually, lawyers will post all data about their qualifications and expertise on their sites.
Furthermore, all the data posted by legal advisors on their sites is investigated by the local bar association, so potential clients can safely depend on the reliability of any information provided.
On their websites, you will find information related to their years of experience with the law, the kinds of cases they have taken care of, the awards that they have won and the associations that they are a part of.
Peer acknowledgment is also significant, as different legal advisors and judges who assess a lawyer’s work can offer valuable insight into a legal counselor’s capabilities.
Potential clients can also check whether a legal counselor is eligible to practice in your state and whether the individual in question has ever been disciplined by the bar by visiting your state’s bar website.
On the off chance that you have lost trust in your legal counselor, you ought to get a second opinion and genuinely consider changing lawyers. Your case is your only shot to get compensation for your pain and injuries.
When your case has been settled, you can never sue again and get more cash. It is important that your attorney believes in your situation and is happy to fight for you.
Although changing lawyers can be a difficult and painful decision to make, finding the right legal counselor can have a significant effect on the result of your case. As long as you keep reasonable expectations, don’t ignore your instincts and make sure you are at ease with your lawyer.