If you’ve had a car accident that wasn’t your fault and decide to pursue a personal injury case, choosing the right car accident attorney for you is the most important part. But what happens if, in the middle of your case, your attorney turns out to be not quite what you hoped for.
In this case, it is good to know that you can change lawyers in the middle of the case, no matter if it’s a car accident case or any other type of personal injury case. Here are all the details you need to know about changing attorneys in your car accident case.
When Can I Switch Car Accident Attorneys?
Usually, you can change attorneys anytime you want. You have the right to choose a car accident attorney you want to represent your case and if you already have one, but had changed your mind, usually you would be allowed to get a new attorney.
The U.S. legal system leans heavily on keeping every trial as fair as it can be. Giving you a right to choose who you want to speak on your behalf is an integral part of keeping things fair. This is why, in most cases, the courts will grant you the right to change a car accident attorney.
But there are some instances where the court may not give you this right. For example, if switching attorneys will cause delays in your case, your request for a new attorney may be denied. This is done in order to stop people from switching attorneys just to delay their case intentionally.
You may also be denied if your new car accident attorney has a conflict of interest in your case, or has a conflict with the judge that was assigned to your case. Whatever the reason, your new attorney can check for conflicts of interest before they agree to take you on as their client.
Reasons to Switch Attorneys
People may find themselves wishing for a new attorney for many reasons. Maybe they just don’t like their attorney or think they should be doing more for their car accident case. Take a look at the most common reasons why people decide to switch attorneys:
– The attorney does not answer email, return calls or give a regular update regarding your case
– The attorney does not have a strategy
– Your attorney does not want to explain how the legal process works, even though you asked many times
-You don’t trust your attorney
-Your attorney is pressuring you to accept the settlement you are not satisfied with
-You think your attorney is slacking off
-Your attorney died in the middle of your case
-Your attorney was disbarred in the middle of your case
How Do I Switch Attorneys Properly?
Depending on where you are in your case, there are two ways you can go about switching your car accident attorney. If you still haven’t filed a legal claim, you can switch your attorney anytime. Make sure you talk to your new attorney before terminating the contract with your old attorney. This is a much better way of making sure you are always legally represented.
But if you have already filed a lawsuit, you may be required to do one additional step. What you need to do is fill out the Substitution of Attorney form, also known as Substitution of Counsel, and present it to court. This form is actually a request for approval of the substitution of counsel, or in other words, you are requesting from the court to allow you to change attorneys.
This form will also be signed by your old attorney and in this way, they will agree to transfer the legal representation, as well as all details of your case to your new attorney.