If you’ve found yourself asking this question, then you are probably less than happy with your current auto accident attorney. Unfortunately, that can happen from time to time. Sometimes personalities don’t click or you may have found an attorney that you thought you could trust but find out later you cannot trust at all.
A client-attorney relationship is a lot more personal than people initially think.
So, Can you Switch Auto Accident Attorneys?
Yes, you can switch auto accident attorneys in the middle of a case. Don’t let your current attorney scare you! They will likely tell you that you will owe them money if you switch to a new attorney in the middle of a case.
It’s true that if you switch attorneys in the middle of a case, your previous attorney may be entitled to a lien against any settlement that you may receive at the end of your case. That lien amount will be deemed what is considered a reasonable amount for the services that the attorney rendered. That may be covered by your new personal injury attorney or it may come out of your settlement amount.
But if you are unhappy with your current auto accident attorney, you will likely make more by switching, so don’t be swayed to stay with an attorney you are uncomfortable with and could potentially earn less with.
However, if you switch attorneys before a case has begun, your current attorney will likely be owed nothing.
In Some Circumstances, You Cannot Switch
There are some circumstances in which you cannot switch auto accident attorneys in the middle of a case.
- If switching attorneys would delay the case, the judge may deny your request to switch.
- If switching attorneys will cause a conflict of interest in the case in some way. It could be that your new attorney has intimate knowledge of the other parties etc.
In almost all other situations, you can switch auto accident attorneys without any issues.
Will Firing My Attorney Ruin My Case?
No, it should not. The only thing that may ruin your case is waiting too long to find an attorney that you are comfortable working with. Finding the right attorney to work with is one of the most important things you can do to win your auto accident case.
So waiting could ruin your case far more than switching attorneys. The sooner you find a new attorney for your case, the better.
What Steps Should You Take?
Remember that your attorney relationship is based on what’s best for you so go into this situation with that in mind.
Your new attorney should do most of the work for you, so the most difficult part for you will be finding a new auto accident attorney to represent you. Follow the steps at the end of this page to find an attorney that will represent you to your liking.
Here are the 4 most important steps to follow:
Step 1: Find your new attorney. Before you make any moves and switch auto accident attorneys, the best thing you can do is find a new attorney to represent you.
Step 2: Once you’ve found your new attorney and discussed the switch, and you are comfortable with the new agreement, you will sign a new retainer with your new auto accident attorney. This will ensure that you will have legal representation and there will be no point in which you are not represented.
Step 3: Your new attorney will then prepare 2 forms. The first is a “Consent to Change Attorney” form which they will submit to the court to tell them that you have a new lawyer. The second will be a letter to “stop work” which they will send to your current lawyer informing them they no longer represent you. They may ask you to send it personally to make it legally binding.
Step 4: Make sure that you give your new attorney everything you have collected for your case and that you are honest with them about all the facts of your case.
For the rest of the process, let your new attorney handle the difficult ins and outs while you focus on recovery.
How To Find The Right Auto Accident Attorney
We believe there are 5 important questions to ask an auto accident attorney before you hire them. But we believe that if you are switching auto accident attorneys, then you will probably need to ask a few different questions to determine if this attorney is right for you.
We’ll summarize those questions here:
- Who can I speak with if I have questions? How long have you been with the firm?
- I was uncomfortable with my last attorney because of X… What do you think?
- Have you worked with insurance companies before?
- Will you take the case to trial if necessary?
Try to get a personal sense of the attorney and make sure you are comfortable with them. The attorney-client relationship is so important.
Are You Ready to Switch?
If you are ready to switch auto accident attorneys, we believe we can help. For over 20 years, our attorneys have been helped more than 30,000 people earn over $1 Billion in settlements. We have over 50 attorneys and 150 case managers. Our Orlando auto accident attorneys are here to help you get the most out of your case.