Suppose you are heading down 3rd Avenue NE in Hickory, NC, on your way to the Hickory Museum of Art when a car runs a red light and T-Bones your vehicle. You decide to hire one of the personal injury lawyers who run constant TV commercials. However, after a month, you’re not satisfied with how they keep you updated on your car accident case. Now you’re wondering if you can switch lawyers. Read on to learn the answer to that question.
The answer is yes – you can switch personal injury lawyers in most cases. You are in control of your case, and you have the ability and the power to choose who represents you. If you decide to change your mind and want to switch lawyers, you can do so. There can be some limitations based on timing, but you can generally switch lawyers if you want to.
There is a multitude of reasons why someone may want to switch personal injury lawyers. Some of these can include, but are not limited to:
- Problems getting a hold of your lawyer. Your lawyer doesn’t return phone calls or emails in a timely matter.
- Feeling that your case has stalled or there is not much work being done to move it forward.
- Not agreeing on case strategy with your lawyer.
- Not getting along with your lawyer. You may have a very different personality than your lawyer, and the two of you don’t communicate well.
- Not having a good understanding of the legal process in general. Your lawyer has not thoroughly explained the process to you, and you feel lost.
- Lack of trust between you and your lawyer.
- Your lawyer has died.
- Disciplinary proceedings have been brought against your lawyer, such as a suspension of their license or disbarment
If you have decided to switch your personal injury lawyer, the process of switching depends on whether your case has already been filed in court, or in other words, a lawsuit has been filed on your behalf. If a lawsuit has not yet been filed, switching your personal injury lawyer can be as simple as instructing your former lawyer to transfer your file to your new lawyer. Your new lawyer can request the file as well, and your former lawyer must transfer your file to the new lawyer.
If your case has already been filed in court, the process is similar; however, one extra step needs to be taken by your new lawyer. Your new lawyer needs to file what’s called a Substitution of Counsel form with the court, which advises the court that you have retained a new lawyer to represent you.
There are some limitations to switching your lawyer. If your case has been filed and is ready for trial, or if changing your lawyer will result in a significant delay in the case, a court may deny your request to switch your lawyer. In addition, the new lawyer you want to take over your case may have a conflict of interest. They may represent the adverse party in your case in another capacity or know the Judge presiding over the case. In that instance, the new lawyer likely would not be able to represent you.
If you have questions about your personal injury case or car accident case in Hickory, NC, and are thinking about switching your personal injury lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. Our experienced attorneys are here to assist you.