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On Changing Attorneys During a Personal Injury Case

There are many things that may come up within a given personal injury case or any other form of civil claim, and one of these may involve a need or desire to change attorneys. Whatever your reason for this desire, is this something that's possible? If so, what needs to be done to carry it out? 

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we're happy to provide a wide range of personal injury attorney solutions, including cases ranging from car accidents to dog bite injuries, wrongful death cases and numerous others. Here's a rundown on the world of changing attorneys during a personal injury case -- whether it's possible (hint: it is), why you might consider it, and how to go about this process if you've made this decision.

changing attorneys personal injury

Can You Change Attorneys During a Personal Injury Case?

The simple answer here, like in nearly all forms of legal practice, is "yes." It's entirely possible to change attorneys during a personal injury case. However, there are some things you'll want to consider and keep in mind as you go through this process.

Common Reasons for Attorney Changes

There are some cases where an attorney change is necessary or even legally required, such as if the attorney you're working with is unable or unwilling to continue with your case. However, there are also reasons that may be less legally mandated and simply driven by choice -- such as if you feel like the attorney isn't providing satisfactory legal services or acting in accordance with your interests.

For example, some of the common reasons for changing attorneys include the following:

  • Inadequate services: If you believe that your current attorney isn't providing the services you need and are thus seeking out an alternative, it's possible to do that.
  • Unwillingness/unavailability: Sometimes there may be circumstances where your current attorney is unable or unwilling to continue with your case. In these scenarios, both you and your original counsel will want to discuss this issue with your new attorney.
  • Inexperience with case type: If you believe that your current attorney doesn't have enough experience to handle the case or get the results you need but also aren't sure if another professional could help, it may be worth exploring this option.
  • Missed deadlines: If you're feeling like your attorney is missing important deadlines, whether it's with filing paperwork or moving forward in court, a switch may be necessary.
  • Personal reasons: It's also possible that the relationship between you and your attorney simply isn't working out for whatever reason. In this case, it may be worth getting another legal professional on board to help with your case.

In some cases, while less common, attorneys may actually come to their clients for the switch. For example, if you're a client but your attorney is leaving their firm for another job opportunity or other situation, it's possible that they'll recommend that you change attorneys. This can be an effective way to handle this type of situation, given that the relationship between the two parties is still intact and professional without being adversarial.

The Process of Changing Attorneys

If you've decided to change attorneys during your case, the process can be very similar to that of initially hiring a lawyer. There are a few important elements of research that you'll want to keep in mind as you go through this process, including these key factors:

  • Scope of representation: How is the attorney handling your case? Will they be acting on their own or as part of a larger firm, for instance?
  • Specialty focus: What type of cases does the attorney typically handle? This will have an impact on the type of expertise your new attorney will bring to the table.
  • Costs: In some cases, it can be helpful to know how much you'll be paying for the legal services that you may or may not receive. If this is a concern for you, take some time to discuss this issue with potential new attorneys.
  • Experience in your field: What type of experience does your attorney have? Different cases may require different kinds of expertise and experience.
  • Personal recommendations: Talking to others who have worked with this attorney can be a great way to gain insight into their abilities, as well as any potential red flags you'll want to look out for.

Once you've identified the attorney you want to switch to, move to our next section for the steps on doing so.

Steps for Switching Attorneys

Here are the simple steps to follow while switching lawyers in a personal injury case:

  • Write your existing attorney a letter explaining your reasons for switching and what you expect from your new attorney.
  • In this letter, also request a complete copy of your file to take with you.
  • If you've paid a retainer or other funds for legal costs, you may be entitled to a refund.
  • Be sure to discuss any outstanding costs, fees, or other expenses with your current attorney before leaving their practice.
  • Make an appointment with your new attorney to begin working on your case and transfer the file.

Keep in mind that some cases may also require you to notify opposing counsel of the switch and have them update their records accordingly.

Switching attorneys can be a difficult decision, but it may also be necessary to get the results you need in your case. If you're considering this option, take some time to discuss it with your attorney and prepare for the transition so that everything goes smoothly. With these steps, you'll be well on your way to a new attorney without any issues.

If you're looking for a quality personal injury law firm to consider for any such need, our team at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates is standing by. Contact us today!

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