Can You Change Attorneys in Your Case?
The short answer is yes that you can change attorneys in the middle of your case as long as you’re not stuck in a contract. Most attorneys do not “lock” their clients into contracts that prohibit them from leaving. Instead, what often happens is that the attorneys involved will try to move forward in the best direction for the client or make more resources available.
But, if you have a good reason for leaving and start looking for another attorney, then there’s usually not anything that can stop you from changing personal injury attorneys during your case.
Good Reasons to Leave Your Current Attorney
What would happen if you just couldn’t get in contact with your attorney? Or, what if they decided to tell the insurance company that you would accept a settlement that was far too low? There are many good reasons to leave an attorney, but often it’s a personality conflict.
Good reasons for leaving a Texas personal injury attorney often include communication problems. When you interview your attorney in a consultation, then you should ask about availability and contact preferences. Some attorneys do rely on their secretaries or office staff and only respond to calls through certain times of the day. These structures shouldn’t mean that you never get a call. If you don’t get a call, then there’s a problem.
Another good reason to leave is differences in the case. If you feel that this attorney is too aggressive or not aggressive enough, then you simply don’t have a good match. At that point, it may be best for both parties to go their own ways.
Is It Hard to Find Another Houston Personal Injury Attorney?
The most serious difficulty with switching between attorneys is telling the initial attorney that you’re leaving. Often they will try to talk clients out of leaving simply because they have put in time and effort on the case. It’s hard to see a good client walk out the door. There’s also ineptitude, which is difficult to approach because many clients simply don’t understand how to identify when their lawyers are failing them.
When you tell an attorney that you’re taking your case somewhere else, you’ll need to be blatant and strict. Inform them that you’ll be finding another attorney, or that you have already found another attorney. Then call your car insurance company and inform them that your attorney has changed that the first person can no longer work on your behalf and will not be handling your claim.
If you have trouble handling the attorney in Texas when you’re switching or informing them that you’ll be removing them from the case, then you can file a complaint — filing a grievance with the Texas State bar.
Should You Switch Attorneys?
The real question is should you switch attorneys. There may be specific statements in your contingency agreement that after so much work is done that the attorney may be able to collect. That means even if you switch. Then there are statements that the attorney won’t provide the new attorney or you with any of the information they gathered or work that they put onto the case.
What that means for victims is that the case will often restart; in essence, all the work that was done is then undone. That means that you won’t have access to the reports from their investigators, medical records, or anything else that they assembled for your evidence and to send over to your insurance provider.
There’s also the question of not only the time delay but also the lack of support. Deciding if changing your personal injury attorney is right for you or not is something personal, and you should take time to make that decision carefully.
Can Your Current Personal injury Lawyer in Houston Convince You to Stay?
Your current attorney might compel you to stick with them through it because of the work that they’ve already put in or the progress on your claim. For example, if you’re in the midst of settlement negotiations, they may argue that things are nearly wrapped up, and you’ll be out of the case sooner anyways.
At McDonald Worley, our Houston injury law firm helps the victims of personal injury cases. Whether you started your claim or case with our firm, or if you’re looking for a new attorney to take on your claim, then schedule a meeting with us to discuss why you would want to change attorneys. Contact our office soon to ensure that you have your questions answered quickly.