If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might wish to pursue an injury claim against the other party. One of the best decisions you can make is to hire an attorney to represent you and guide you through the process. But what happens when you are unsatisfied with your legal representation? You might be asking yourself, “Can I change my accident lawyer in the middle of my case?”
It’s a good question, since having the right injury lawyer is critical to your case. You will want to work with someone you trust and feel comfortable with, and who you think is the right person to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
The good news is that you can switch lawyers mid-case. In many cases, switching car accident lawyers is the right move, especially if you feel like you can’t trust your attorney or the advice they give you. Below, we provide more information to help answer your questions about how to change lawyers mid-case.
How Do I Know if I Should Change My Car Accident Lawyer?
There are many reasons why you might want to find a new car accident lawyer before your case has reached its end, including:
- Your lawyer isn’t returning your calls or emails
- Your case doesn’t seem to be progressing
- Your lawyer insists on going in one direction with your case while you wish to pursue a different course
- Your lawyer doesn’t seem to have a coherent strategy, or their approach doesn’t make sense to you
- Your lawyer is unwilling to explain the details of the legal proceedings when you ask
- Your lawyer is pressuring you to accept a settlement that seems unfair to you
- You don’t trust your lawyer, or you have a feeling that they aren’t getting the job done
- Your lawyer dies or is disbarred
Although these are some of the more common reasons that clients change lawyers, the bottom line is that your lawyer works for you, not the other way around. Under New York law, you can fire them at almost any time for nearly any reason.
Are There Any Reasons That You Can’t Switch Lawyers in the Middle of a Case?
The primary reason you may be blocked from getting a new lawyer is if doing so would delay your case. If your case has gone to trial, you’ll need to file a motion with the court to get a new attorney. If the judge believes changing lawyers will cause an unreasonable delay with your case, you may be denied the chance to change attorneys.
If you’re unsatisfied with your car accident lawyer, your best bet is to talk to a new lawyer as soon as you can, as this will make the process much easier and simpler.
Process for Changing a Car Accident Lawyer
So, if you’re thinking “Can I fire my accident attorney?”, you might also be wondering about how you would go about this. Switching car accident lawyers is relatively straightforward. All you have to do is meet with your new lawyer, sign a retainer agreement, and let your old lawyer know that they can stop work on your case. It’s up to your new lawyer to get your files from your prior attorney, and they’ll work out a fee-sharing agreement among themselves. Whatever fee your old lawyer gets will come from your new attorney’s share of the compensation you receive in a settlement.
If your case has gone to trial, however, switching car accident lawyers is a bit more complicated. You’ll have to file a formal motion with the court to change counsel, and the judge will have to approve it. To avoid delays and give yourself the best chance of having your motion approved, your best bet is to have a new lawyer lined up before asking to switch attorneys. Your new lawyer can assist you with making a motion to the court and work with your existing counsel to be substituted in their place.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
The New York car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz have decades of combined legal experience and have recovered more than $1 billion in total compensation for our clients. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation if you’re interested in retaining our firm for a car accident case.