Almost every week, I get phone calls from individuals who have ongoing cases with personal injury lawyers, but who complain that their current attorney is not communicating with them. They do not receive regular updates on their cases and when they call their attorney they either are given the run around or worse yet – no return phone call at all.
In addition to lack of communication, there are other reasons why people may choose to switch lawyers during their personal injury case. In some instances, plaintiffs begin to realize that the person they hired lacks the experience to handle their case.
Other times, they grow dissatisfied because the attorney is not sufficiently aggressive or zealous in protecting their rights. And then there is the question of what you can do and what your options are if your attorney either passes away, files for bankruptcy or simply chooses to retire. And sometimes people are just looking for a second opinion or legal advice.
The short answer to the question is YES – a client always has the right to choose his or her own attorney at any time, and no attorney can prevent a client from doing so. In addition, while it may seem complicated, switching attorneys – even in the middle of a case – is not difficult and happens far more frequently than most people realize.
If I Contact a New Attorney, Am I Obligated to Switch?
Reaching out to another attorney about your personal injury case does not obligate you to do anything. You are the customer and you have the right to have a conversation with as many potential new attorneys as you like to determine who would be the best fit for you and your case.
Sometimes people contact another attorney because they simply want to explore their options or get a second opinion. Sometimes they are dissatisfied and specifically looking to fire their current attorney and hire a new one. And sometimes people weren’t looking to make a switch, but because their current attorney either filed for bankruptcy, died or was otherwise unable to handle their case, they are forced to look for another lawyer.
Regardless of the reason, you can always change lawyers and hire someone who gives you the confidence you need to know that your case will be handled correctly.
Will I Have to Pay Extra to Change Lawyers?
This is one of the primary concerns I hear from people who are considering switching attorneys. They obviously want their case in the hands of a good lawyer, but don’t believe they should have to pay more money since it’s the same case.
The good news is that in the overwhelming majority of situations, it will absolutely not cost you anything extra to change lawyers in your personal injury case. The only exception would be if the new attorney you hire charges more than the prior attorney, but you always have the right not to hire someone more expensive. As long as your new attorney charges the same or less than the first lawyer, you will not pay more to switch.
Will Changing Lawyers Hurt My Personal Injury Case?
If you believe that switching lawyers during your case will hurt or harm your case, you can always choose not to change. Again, you as the client maintain full and complete control over who handles your case.
But simply switching attorneys alone will not have an adverse affect on your case. And if you select a top rated trial attorney with experience and a proven track record, it will likely be tremendously beneficial.
It is important to remember that everyone who decides to make a phone call to another attorney is doing so for a specific reason. It may be because they are unhappy with their current attorney or it may be because that attorney is no longer able to handle their case moving forward. Whatever the reason may be, the mere fact that the client is making the phone call means something about their case is not being handled correctly.
So far from hurting their personal injury case, contacting a new lawyer to discuss switching can be the difference between a good result and a bad result. And if you choose the right lawyer, not only do you increase your chances of a favorable outcome, but you give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your case is being handled the way it should be, and by the right lawyer for you.
Is It Difficult to Switch Attorneys?
Once you’ve contacted a new attorney and decided that you want to make a change, your new lawyer will be able to handle everything from there. Normally, that involves your new attorney reaching out to the prior attorney to advise that they are taking over the handling of the case and obtaining your case file.
Other than signing an agreement with the new attorney and providing written notice to the prior attorney that you are terminating their representation (which the new lawyer will handle for you), there is nothing else that the client needs to do.
What Does This Mean For Me?
If you’re unhappy with your current representation and thinking about switching lawyers, do not let fear and uncertainty prevent you from making the right decision for your case. Maryland law is very complicated and without the benefit of excellent legal representation, you could find yourself without compensation for your injuries, including your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
So if you have a car accident, slip and fall or other personal injury claim in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or anywhere else in the state of Maryland, and your current attorney is not willing or able to handle your case in a way that is satisfactory to you, call us today at 443-275-NEIL (6345).
There is no charge for the phone call, even if you decide not to change lawyers – or you decide to go with another attorney. And if you do decide to switch your representation to Dubo Law, we will take care of everything with no additional cost to you, so you can focus on yourself, your family and your recovery.
There is also no cost or fee unless we ultimately recover on your behalf, so there is absolutely no risk to you at all. So Call Dubo Law today and let us fight for you!