Jason Stephens | February 2, 2024 | Personal Injury
The simple answer to the question posed here is, “Yes, you can usually switch personal injury lawyers.” However, there could be reasons why doing so could be complicated or not in your best interest. Let’s look at what you need to know about switching personal injury lawyers in a Fort Worth personal injury case.
Why Would You Want To Switch Personal Injury Lawyers?
There are many reasons why a person might want to switch personal injury attorneys in the middle of a case. Common reasons for changing lawyers during a personal injury case include:
- The attorney will not answer telephone calls or communicate with the client
- There is a lack of trust in the ability of the personal injury lawyer
- The client may want to take the case in a direction contrary to the direction the lawyer insists upon taking
- The case does not appear to be moving toward a resolution
- The attorney pressures the client to accept a settlement offer the client feels is unfair
- The lawyer does not appear to have a sound strategy for pursuing the personal injury claim
- The attorney’s strategy for the case does not make any sense
- The lawyer will not explain the legal proceedings or the personal injury claims process
- The attorney is disbarred or has a pending disciplinary action
- Lack of preparation or work on the case
Sometimes, clients may have a “bad feeling” about their lawyer. Something may not feel right about the situation. In that case, they may want to switch personal injury attorneys to protect their best interests.
Can I Hire Another Personal Injury Lawyer?
Generally, you have the right to choose the attorney who will represent you in a court proceeding. Therefore, you can fire your personal injury attorney and hire another lawyer.
There could be limitations on your right to change attorneys if your case is at a specific stage, but those instances are rare. Additionally, there could be other considerations if you want to switch personal injury lawyers, such as fees and costs.
How Do I Switch Attorneys in a Personal Injury Case?
There is a process for choosing a new personal injury lawyer. The process depends upon what stage your case is at when you decide to hire a new personal injury attorney.
If you have not filed a court case, the process may be simpler. You will need to sign forms to terminate your attorney-client relationship with your current lawyer before you can hire another personal injury attorney. If you have found a new attorney, they may inform your attorney of the switch and help you with the details.
However, the process is a bit more complicated if you have filed a court case. Your new personal injury lawyer must file a notice of appearance with the court and a motion for substitution of attorney. The motion and a proposed order are then sent to your current attorney and all interested parties.
Your current attorney may sign the proposed order consenting to the substation. If not, the court might hold a hearing to address any issues the attorney raises, such as their fees and costs. The court resolves the issues and enters an order substituting counsel.
Once the order has been filed, your old attorney transfers your file to the new law firm.
Will I Have To Pay Both Attorneys if I Switch Lawyers in a Texas Personal Injury Case?
Most Fort Worth personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you do not pay any attorney’s fees or costs when you hire the law firm. Instead, the attorney deducts their fees and costs from the money they recover for your case.
Therefore, if you switch attorneys during a personal injury case, you may have to reimburse your lawyer for any costs they have paid on your behalf. You may also owe your attorney fees according to your retainer agreement.
Your new lawyer would need to pay your original attorney from the proceeds recovered for your case. You would also owe your new attorney their fees and costs. Those amounts would also be deducted from the settlement proceeds or jury verdict before you receive any money for your claim.
Therefore, before switching lawyers in a personal injury case, ensure you understand how much you will owe your original lawyer and your new lawyer. This factor could influence your decision whether to switch attorneys in the middle of a case.
How Will Changing Attorneys Affect My Personal Injury Case?
Changing lawyers could benefit your case if your current attorney is not providing adequate representation. Your new attorney may obtain a better result for you.
Changing lawyers could also impact the timeline of a personal injury case. Your new attorney may require time to review your case, conduct additional research, and investigate your claim. If so, changing lawyers could slow down the progress of your personal injury case.
However, it is essential that your personal injury lawyer is working to resolve your case in your best interests. Changing attorneys may be the best option, even if your case takes a little longer to resolve.
You can discuss this matter with a new lawyer before hiring them. If you hire a law firm with sufficient resources to dedicate to your case, changing lawyers might not impact the timeline of your case.
Switching Lawyers in a Fort Worth, TX Personal Injury Case
You have the right to seek a second opinion about your personal injury case. Most attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case. However, you should inform the attorney that you are currently represented by counsel so they understand you are considering switching attorneys.
If you are concerned your lawyer is not representing your best interests, talk with another attorney as soon as possible. The Texas statute of limitations restricts your time to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to file a claim through the courts.
Switching attorneys could take time. Therefore, you want to act now to give your new lawyer the time to file a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107