How to Change Injury or Accident Attorneys
After an accident, you may have hired a personal injury law firm to handle your claim against the at-fault party. As the weeks and months go by, however, you may find yourself dissatisfied with your representation. Are you stuck with the first personal injury lawyer that you hired?
If you want to change attorneys, you have a right to do so. With a few exceptions, you can switch to new legal representation for your personal injury claim. It won’t cost you any extra money to change attorneys, as the two accident lawyers will split any fee based on the amount of time that they spent on the case.
At the Odierno Law Firm, we are devoted to providing the highest quality representation to our clients. If you are unhappy with your current personal injury attorneys, we may be able to provide legal services for your case. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your injury claim.
Call The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. at (631) 752-8580 for a FREE consultation—discover your legal options!
Can You Switch Personal Injury Lawyers?
As a general rule, you have a right to the lawyer of your choice. If you have hired a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim and you aren’t happy with them for some reason, you can probably change attorneys.
There are a number of reasons why a person might want to find a new accident attorney. Clients may be dissatisfied because:
- Their lawyer doesn’t return their calls or answer their emails
- The attorney’s strategy doesn’t make sense, or they don’t seem to have a strategy
- They don’t have faith in the lawyer’s ability to take on big insurance companies
- Their case doesn’t seem to be moving forward
- They don’t trust their lawyer
- Their personality or communication style doesn’t mesh with their attorney’s
- Their lawyer is pressuring them to take a settlement that they don’t want
- Their attorney dies or is subject to disciplinary action
- Their lawyer doesn’t explain the legal process or what is happening in the case
It’s also possible to be discontented with your attorney for no real reason at all – to just have a general feeling that you aren’t thrilled and want to find a new personal injury lawyer.
Whatever the case may be, if you want new representation for your insurance claim, you can and should schedule consultations with other personal injury law firms. During these appointments, you can ask questions about how they would handle your case and get a sense for whether this attorney would be a better fit for you.
There are some limitations on your ability to switch lawyers. For example, if your case is heading to trial, then a judge may not permit you to change counsel if it delays the case. For this reason, it is important to start the process of finding a new lawyer as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the case is underway.
Alternatively, you may not be able to switch to a different lawyer if the new attorney has a conflict of interest. This may arise in a number of situations, such as if the lawyer previously represented a party involved in your case – or even if they represented one of the insurance companies before. Before taking your claim, a personal injury lawyer will run a conflict check to make sure that they can represent you consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct.
How Can You Change Accident Attorneys?
Depending on where you are at in the process, it may be relatively simple to switch from your current lawyer to a new legal team. If you have not formally filed a lawsuit yet, you will just have to find a new lawyer who wants to take your claim. Your new attorney can handle notifying the insurance company and any other interested parties that you have new legal representation.
If a case has been filed, however, then you will need to file a document known as substitution of counsel with the court. Your attorney can file this document on your behalf. If the judge approves, then you will be able to move forward with your claim with your new attorney.
Because most personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis, you won’t typically have to pay anything to your current attorney when you switch to a new lawyer. Instead, if and when a fair settlement is achieved, the accident attorneys will split the fee from the case based on how much work they each did on it.
If your original lawyer did 10% of the work on the case, for example, then they will be entitled to 10% of the total attorney’s fee, while your current lawyer will get 90% of the fee. The amount that you pay (as a percentage of your settlement or verdict at trial) will remain the same. For this reason, it won’t cost you anything to change accident attorneys if you want to make a switch.
Will Switching Lawyers Hurt My Case?
If you tell your current lawyer that you want to change to a new attorney, they may try to convince you to stick with their law firm. They may even tell you that if you switch, it’ll hurt your case. This is false.
If you are unhappy with your attorney, then making the change to a lawyer that you like and trust will only help your case. It will not hurt your personal injury claim. To learn more, reach out to the Odierno Law Firm for a free consultation.
I Got a Low Offer. Can I Change Injury Lawyers?
Yes. There are some personal injury attorneys who do the bare minimum on a case, focusing on quantity over quality. If you got a low settlement offer from the insurance company, it is possible that this number accurately represents the value of your claim. It is also possible that a more experienced attorney who puts in some additional work on your case can recover much more compensation for you.
The best way to find out if you may be able to get a higher settlement is by scheduling a consultation with a different personal injury attorney. They can help you determine the true value of your case, which may help you decide if you want to switch attorneys. To talk to a skilled Long Island personal lawyer about your claim, call the Odierno Law Firm for a free consultation.
Do I Have to Tell My Old Lawyer That I Am Switching to a New Attorney?
No. Your new personal injury attorney can communicate with your previous lawyer on your behalf. Remember that you have a right to terminate your lawyer’s services at any time, and without giving notice. If you aren’t comfortable telling your attorney that you have found new counsel, then that is fine – your new lawyer can do it for you.
Seeking out a new lawyer may seem uncomfortable, or as though you are betraying your current lawyer. However, these types of cases are incredibly personal – if you aren’t comfortable with your current lawyer, then you should not stick with them just to avoid hurting their feelings. To learn more, reach out to the Odierno Law Firm for a free consultation.
Unhappy with Your Current Representation? Give Our Law Firm a Call.
If you have been hurt in any type of accident, then a personal injury lawyer can help you get maximum compensation for your losses. However, if you find yourself dissatisfied with your current lawyer, then it may be time to make a change.
The Odierno Law Firm has more than 150 years of combined experience representing injury victims throughout Long Island. For each of our clients, we work hard to help them get a fair settlement for their medical bills, property damage, and other losses. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a New York personal injury lawyer, give our law office a call at 631-994-1918 or fill out our online contact form.