In 2022, there were 33,729 active lawyers in the state of Georgia. Not all of these lawyers practice the same type of law. Yet, thousands probably still practice personal injury law and handle car accident cases.
While all lawyers must go to law school and pass the bar exam in Georgia, they don’t practice law the same way or even manage clients similarly.
If you’ve hired a lawyer who now doesn’t feel like the right fit, you might wonder, can I change my lawyer before settlement?
You want to know that you have a car accident lawyer that you feel confident with since your case and its outcome is crucial to you. Read on to learn more about switching attorneys.
What’s the Motivation for Switching Lawyers?
You hired a personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident case. It’s not uncommon following an accident to feel anxious and unsettled.
It can feel overwhelming if you’re dealing with injuries, medical bills, and car repairs. It might feel like nothing is happening with your case to get you some help.
Before you consider a change, it’s essential to pinpoint what’s making you frustrated with your current legal representation.
Are they not providing enough communication? Do you feel like they aren’t doing enough for your case? You may even feel like there’s a personality clash between you and the attorney.
Since switching can complicate your case, you first want to discuss your concerns with your attorney. Maybe they don’t realize your frustrations and could do some things to address them.
So, Can I Change My Lawyer Before Settlement?
So, if you’re still wondering, can I change my lawyer before settlement? The answer in most cases is yes, you can switch. If you have a less-than-scrupulous car accident lawyer, they may try to dissuade you from a switch.
Ultimately, you should switch if you can’t work it out with the current lawyer. You’ll feel more confident that you’ll get the compensation you deserve when you have an attorney you feel sure about.
Are There Times When You Can’t Switch to a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You may not be allowed to change attorneys in a few situations.
First, the court might decide that your case has progressed so far that switching attorneys would delay the case and bottleneck the court. A judge could decline a request to change if they felt this was the case.
The other time when changing attorneys might not work is if the new attorney creates a conflict of interest for some parties involved in the case. A new attorney should be bound not to accept a case where there might be this type of conflict.
Potential Challenges to Changing Lawyers
If you decide to proceed with a change, you should be aware of a few potential challenges. Let’s take a closer look.
Fees for First Lawyer
If the attorney you wish to dismiss has done work on your car accident case, they may be entitled to some of the proceeds from the case.
Most personal injury cases are handled on contingency. So, the attorney doesn’t get paid until there’s a settlement. Since the original attorney did work on the case, they may be due to some of the outcomes.
New Personal Injury Lawyer Needs to Play Catch-Up
Changing lawyers mid-case means your new attorney needs to quickly play catch up so they’re prepared to step in and keep the case moving along.
You want to be sure that you hire a new attorney with the time on their schedule to get caught up on the details of your case.
Statute of Limitations
Most states limit how long you have to file for your case. You want to be sure that changing lawyers won’t mean that you miss any important deadlines.
Steps to Take to Switch Your Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve decided it’s time to make a switch, you might still not be sure what steps to take. The attorney will handle the technical part of switching your attorney in the courts. You need to do the legwork to find a car accident lawyer that will be the right fit for you and your case.
First, you need to select a new attorney. It’s essential to take the time to get one that will be the right fit. Yet, you don’t want your case to progress along the way that a change is no longer acceptable to the courts-more on how to find the right personal injury attorney shortly.
Once you’ve selected a new attorney, you want to meet with them. You want to be sure you’re comfortable going forward.
You’ll want to sign a retainer agreement with the new attorney before dismissing the previous one. It’s crucial for your case that you never go without legal counsel at any point.
Your new attorney’s first task will be to create two forms. The first is a form submitted to the court stating you are changing attorneys. The second is a stop-work letter sent to the previous attorney.
Then, you’ll need to spend time with your new car accident lawyer to get them caught up on your case.
Finding the Right Car Accident Lawyer for Your Case
Since something didn’t work with the attorney you wish to dismiss, you want to ensure you get it right with the next one.
Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Do an online search and spend some time on the lawyer’s website. Read online reviews, but it’s important to remember to look at trends in the comments versus one good or not-so-good review.
It’s essential to meet with the new attorney and discuss your issues with your current lawyer. You want to ensure the same won’t be the case with your new lawyer.
Switching Lawyers for Your Car Accident Case
So, if you’re still wondering, can I change my lawyer before settlement? The answer is yes. You want to be sure you follow the correct procedure, and it’s okay with the courts.
You also want to find a new attorney to do the job right. If you’ve been in an auto accident, we can help. Learn more about how we represent our clients, and let us get to work on your case.