As the victim of an accident, always remember that the personal injury attorney you have partnered with works for you. For this reason, there are instances when a victim will discover, mid-case, that the attorney representing them may no longer be an ideal match for their needs. Given this scenario, the victim has the legal right to seek new counsel. However, while this change is legal, it is important to understand that some consequences come with this change.
You Need a New Attorney First
Should you decide a change is best for your needs, you need to take the time to find a new attorney first. There should never be a moment in the claims process when you are not being represented. The insurance company could send over a form or request a deposition during this lapse, and you will likely be unprepared. Interview attorneys before the change and secure representation.
Case Delays Are Possible
Changing attorneys can lead to a potential delay in the settlement of your case. Attorneys aim to represent their clients to the best of their abilities, and the only way they can achieve this goal is to know all the facts. Depending on the complexity of your case, your attorney may need some time to review the record before moving forward, so it may take some time.
A Tripartite Agreement May Be Required
Personal injury attorneys typically do not require fees from their clients upfront. Instead, they are paid for their services once the settlement is received. If your previous attorney worked on the case for some time, your new attorney may have to enter into a tripartite agreement, which states that they must pay the previous attorney's expenses out of your settlement before you are paid.
Always Address Concerns First
Remember, an attorney is there to serve the needs of their clients. More often than not, misinformation leads to a client feeling like their attorney is not a good match or that they are not working in their best interest. Before you make an immediate decision to change attorneys, it is a good idea to address your concerns with your previous attorney first. Often time, clients can come to a resolve without such a major move.
Changing an attorney while in the middle of an injury case is a major process, so it is always a good idea to take the time to consider this change before you make it.