Changing Your Lawyer in a Personal Injury or Medical Malpractice Case in New York
Can you Change Lawyers in a Personal Injury or Medical Malpractice case in New York?
If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, seeking compensation through a personal injury claim is often crucial to getting back on your feet. But what happens if the first lawyer you hired to represent you isn’t doing what he or she promised, or if you simply feel like that firm is no longer the right fit for you?
Your personal injury attorney should be someone you trust to vigorously fight on your behalf. You also have the right to expect that the attorney of your choice will aggressively represent your rights and interests.
When you have lost trust in your attorney and don’t believe that he or she is the best advocate you can have for your case, you have the right to change lawyers.
What You Need to Know About Changing Lawyers
If you decide that the time has come in your personal injury case to change attorneys, there are some important points to keep in mind:
- When you are dissatisfied with your attorney for any reason, you can terminate your lawyer’s services at any time without notice.
- You should review your fee or retainer agreement with your previous attorney to double-check whether you may be contractually obligated to cover some fees or costs in the event you terminate your attorney prior to the completion of your personal injury case. We can assist in interpreting that fee or retainer agreement for you.
- If your previous attorney and your new attorney are handling your personal injury case on a contingency basis, you will not need to pay an additional fee to your new attorney. Instead, all the attorneys who have worked on your case will share the legal fee in your case. Your attorneys will either come to an agreement over how to split the fee in your case, or they can apply to the court to render a decision on how to split the fee.
- You don’t even have to speak to your previous lawyer again if you have hired a new attorney. Instead, your new attorney can contact your previous attorney on your behalf to inform him or her that you have decided to terminate his or her services.
- Changing attorneys should not cause any serious delay in your case. Your previous attorney and new attorney will handle transferring your case file and updating the attorney-of-record if your case has already been filed in court.
At the end of the day, your attorney works for you. That means you are in charge. If you become dissatisfied with any aspect of your lawyer’s performance, you have the right to terminate your attorney’s representation in your personal injury case.
Common Reasons for Changing Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney
You are entitled to terminate your attorney’s services at any time for any reason when you become unhappy with your attorney’s representation. Examples of common reasons why clients tend to fire their personal injury lawyers include:
- You are personally uncomfortable with your attorney. Although you certainly don’t have to be friends with your attorney, ideally you should have a comfortable working relationship with your attorney. If you find yourself in a situation where you and your attorney simply don’t get along, you might decide to move on and find another attorney with whom you work better.
- You lose trust in your attorney. You should trust that your attorney will competently and vigorously advocate on your behalf and will always act in your best interests. However, things can happen in an attorney-client relationship that cause you to lose trust in your lawyer. Perhaps you feel that your attorney is pressuring you to pursue an option or outcome that you disagree with.
- You cannot reach your attorney. It goes without saying that any working attorney-client relationship requires that both sides communicate with one another. If you find yourself unable to reach your attorney, or your attorney fails to respond to requests for communication in a reasonably timely manner, or your attorney inadequately responds to your questions and requests, you may want to consider moving on from your existing attorney and hiring a new attorney.
- Your attorney misses deadlines. When your attorney misses court hearings or filing deadlines, you may end up permanently losing your right to pursue your personal injury case. You should consider moving on from an attorney who misses any deadline and as a result jeopardizes your legal rights.
- Your attorney makes sloppy errors. You expect your attorney to put a good face on your personal injury case. If your attorney makes sloppy mistakes like misspellings, errors, puts incorrect information on documents, or is not prepared for meetings or court hearings, you should consider finding a new attorney.
- Your attorney doesn’t have the skill, experience, and/or resources to adequately handle your case. Although you may like your attorney and appreciate the effort he or she puts into your case, he or she may simply lack the expertise and/or resources to competently handle your case. Your case may have factual or legal complexities that your attorney has never handled before, or your attorney and/or his or her practice may simply be overworked and lack sufficient time to dedicate to your case.
Why Choose Finz & Finz, P.C.?
When you’ve lost trust or confidence in your current personal injury attorney, you may wonder what exactly you should be looking for in a new attorney.
At Finz & Finz, P.C., we believe that our New York personal injury lawyers have the experience, track-record of success, and focus on client satisfaction that you need to maximize the outcome in your personal injury case. We are committed to obtaining full and fair compensation in your case. We never settle for anything less, and we never push our clients to accept anything less than the full compensation they deserve. We will keep you advised of all settlement discussions; remember, we work for you and not the other way around. All settlements require the full consent of our clients.
For over 35 years, the personal injury lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C., have litigated some of New York’s most complex personal injury cases. Our work has led us to compile a long track-record of six-figure, seven-figure, and even eight-figure settlements and verdicts obtained on behalf of our clients. Our firm’s legal team consists of a group of hand-picked litigators who focus exclusively on personal injury law. As a result, they have unparalleled knowledge and experience in the legal issues that may arise in your case.
Our attorneys are assisted by a compassionate and skilled support staff who ensure that our firm provides each of our clients with the top-quality service that they deserve. Our firm is also fortunate to have partnerships with industry-leading experts who consult on the complex liability, medical, financial, and other issues that may arise in our clients’ cases, so that we can build the most effective and persuasive case possible.
Talk to a Lawyer Now for Free
If you’ve become dissatisfied with your current personal injury attorney, you have the right to move on to another attorney with whom you may work better. Contact the New York personal injury lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case with us and learn more about how we work to secure maximum value in our clients’ cases.