Dealing with a personal injury can be a complicated and sometimes long journey. You may have hired a researched and trusted attorney to handle your case. But what happens when you start to doubt the effectiveness or fit of your legal advocate? Is it possible to switch lawyers in a personal injury case? We’re here to help answer your questions.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Turn to the experts at Bernstein & Maryanoff for a free legal consultation regarding your personal injury case.
Can I switch lawyers in a personal injury case?
While you shouldn’t take the decision to switch lawyers lightly, it’s sometimes necessary to consider it. The short answer is yes, in most cases, you can switch lawyers. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind.
Reasons to consider switching lawyers in a personal injury case
- Breakdown in communication: One of the most common reasons many people consider switching lawyers is a breakdown in communication. Part of an attorney’s job is to address your concerns, answer your questions, and keep you informed about the progress of your case.
- Lack of experience: When you hired your lawyer, you probably assumed they would have the experience and expertise needed to handle this type of case. If you start to sense that your lawyer lacks the necessary knowledge and skills to properly defend you, it’s possible you’ll need to seek new legal counsel.
- Differing strategies: In some cases, you may just not understand your attorney’s strategy, but you know that it’s proven to be effective for other clients. However, if you start to believe that your best interest isn’t at the heart of their strategy, it’s a valid reason to hire someone else.
- Ethical concerns: If you suspect unethical behavior or misconduct on the part of your attorney, it’s definitely time to seek different counsel. These concerns might be conflicts of interest, failure to disclose information, or unethical billing practices.
- Inadequate progress: If your case is dragging on without a clear direction, it can be frustrating. Your attorney should be actively working toward a resolution and keeping you in the loop about the progress.
While changing lawyers is technically possible, there are some instances where a judge may not allow it. One of those reasons could be that they believe it would cause a case delay. Judges are usually concerned with how quickly and efficiently a case is handled, so if they believe this will unnecessarily hold things up, they may deny your request.
The second reason a judge may not allow you to switch lawyers is if they feel it would be a conflict of interest. This is something that might jeopardize the fairness and integrity of the legal process.
In most cases, if you have a valid reason for wanting to switch, it’s more likely that the judge will consider it. However, it’s important to follow the proper procedures and consult with your new attorney ahead of time.
Do I have to pay the old attorney?
In most cases, you will still owe some type of payment to both your old attorney and your new one. However, your new lawyer will likely be able to negotiate a smaller amount. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency, meaning that they only get paid when you do. So, the good news is that you probably won’t have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your new attorney will pay your old attorney out of your settlement. After they take their cut, you will then receive the rest.
How do I change attorneys?
Changing attorneys in a personal injury case involves a series of steps to ensure a smooth transition.
- Review other attorneys: Before making the decision to switch attorneys, it’s important to do your research. Look for lawyers with experience in personal injury cases, particularly those with track records of handling these types of cases. Look for recommendations from trusted sources, check online reviews, and schedule consultations.
- Notify the attorney in writing: Once you’ve chosen a new attorney and are ready to switch, you’ll need to formally notify your current attorney in writing. Your new attorney can likely help you draft this letter.
- Hire your new attorney: After you’ve notified your old attorney, you can officially hire your new one. This will involve the same processes you had with your first attorney. You’ll sign a retainer and consult with them in detail about your case. They will then retrieve any records your old attorney had, such as medical records and other documents.
How long do I have to hire a new attorney for my personal injury case?
If you decide you need to hire a new attorney for your case, you should start the process immediately. However, you will need to take the statute of limitations into consideration. This is a limit on the number of years you have to file a claim after an incident.
This specific limit varies by jurisdiction and the type of case, but usually ranges from one to several years after the incident. In Florida, that statute of limitations is two years. If your case is approaching that time limit, you may need to reconsider switching attorneys.
How can Bernstein & Maryanoff help me?
At Bernstein & Maryanoff, we understand the challenges that come with personal injury cases. We are committed to helping you successfully navigate this situation to get the outcome and compensation you deserve.
Our Miami attorneys are highly experienced in the field of personal injury law, and we handle a wide range of cases. These include slip-and-fall incidents, medical malpractice, workplace injuries, and more. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and interests.
We also pride ourselves on open and honest communication. Your concerns and questions will always be a top priority.
Furthermore, your case is unique, and we will tailor our representation to meet your specific needs and objectives. At Bernstein & Maryanoff, we are in your corner every step of the way. You should be able to trust your attorney and we make every effort to win that trust.
If you decide to switch attorneys, our expert team will guide you through the entire process. We will work closely with you and your former attorney to keep your case on track. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll help you decide if switching attorneys is the right decision for you.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Turn to the legal experts at Bernstein & Maryanoff for help with your personal injury case.
Portman, J. (2023). Can I Change Defense Lawyers After I’ve Hired One?
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.