Can I switch lawyers during my personal injury case?
Yes! You always have the right to chose your lawyer, even in the middle of a case. And switching lawyers is not hard. In fact, it happens all the time. In almost every case, switching lawyers costs the client nothing and can help the client get the best result.
One of the most common reasons people switch lawyers is because their current lawyer is hard to reach and never calls back. Sometimes the client realizes that their lawyer doesn’t have the right experience for their complex personal injury case. Some clients lose faith in their lawyer because the lawyer pushes them to take a bad deal or won’t fight for a better deal.
Regardless of the reason, you can always switch lawyers and hire someone who gives you the confidence you need to see your case through to the end. And even if you’re not sure that you want to switch lawyers, you can always get a second opinion. For many people, the first lawyer they hire to handle their personal injury case is the first and only lawyer they have ever had. Getting a second opinion from another lawyer can let you compare attorneys and determine whether the lawyer you hired is the right person to represent you and your family.
At our firm, we get at least three or four calls a day from people who want to change lawyers. They’re not satisfied with their current representation and they want to know if we can help. And I completely understand that. Hiring a lawyer in a serious criminal case or a serious civil case is an incredibly important decision. It can have lifelong consequences. To be represented by the right lawyer is probably one of the most important decisions you’re going to make, perhaps for the rest of your life.So you need someone that you can trust, someone you feel comfortable with, someone who you know is working for your best interests. So when people have decided that they want to change lawyers, they have two major concerns. The first, of course, is will this hurt my case? I mean, I have a lawyer now. If I change, is that going to somehow negatively impact my case? Usually not is the answer.
There are exceptions. If you have a trial scheduled for tomorrow morning, it’s not the time to switch lawyers. But in most cases, you have plenty of time to get a lawyer that you are comfortable with. And most lawyers won’t take it personally if you say, “Look, I need to find someone else. I’m just not comfortable with our current representation.” And if your lawyer does take that personally, well then you definitely need a different lawyer. Because this case is about you. It’s not about the lawyer.
The second concern people have, and this is totally understandable, is can I get my money back? I’ve paid this lawyer a lot of money to represent me but they’re not doing a good job. I want to get my money back and hire someone else. In a criminal case, that’s fairly simple. You simply look at the contract that you have with the current lawyer, and it should tell you exactly what your rights are if you decide to switch lawyers, how much money can be refunded to you.
And our state bar regulations do not allow lawyers to charge people money for work that they have not done. Now, if you have a civil case and you have a contingency fee agreement, where the lawyer is going to get a percentage of what you recover, well that’s easy. If you hire a firm like our firm, we will take over that agreement. Your contingency fee is not going to change. You’re not going to pay any more money to lawyers.
We will take care of the lawyer who represented you before. We’ll pay them for whatever time and effort they put into the case, but as far as additional fees, you’re not going to owe any more money to any other lawyer. If you have any questions about this process at all, or if you just want a second opinion, to make sure that your lawyer is doing what he or she is supposed to do in your case to make it as successful as possible, feel free to give me a call. I hope to hear from you soon.
Will switching attorneys hurt my case or cost me extra?
Many people want to switch lawyers in the middle of their cases but are afraid it will cost them extra or hurt their case. In fact, sometimes their lawyer will threaten to charge the client for expenses they’ve incurred or suggest that the client will hurt their case by hiring another lawyer.
Don’t fall for it. In most cases, it will cost you absolutely nothing to switch attorneys, even if you’re in the middle of the case. And if you hired the wrong attorney in the first place, switching to the right attorney won’t hurt your case—it will only help it!
If you retain the personal injury lawyers at our firm, we will pay any money your former attorney is owed. We also won’t charge you a nickel unless we win your case for you. But most importantly, we’ll prove to you that you made the right decision in hiring us by giving you and your family the respect you deserve and the justice you deserve.
Call our personal injury lawyers if you want to change lawyers or want a second opinion.
If you are thinking about switching lawyers, even if it’s during the middle of a pending case, don’t hesitate to contact our personal injury lawyers. From there, we will take care of all of the paperwork, expenses, and everything else that’s needed to help you change lawyers, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries while we work to get you the compensation you and your family deserve.
Even if you’re unsure about changing lawyers, it’s worth calling us to get a second opinion. If we can help you, we will, and the call is free and confidential.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.