Can I Change Lawyers in the Middle of a Case?

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Can I Change Lawyers in the Middle of a Case

You can change lawyers in the middle of a case. If you are not satisfied with your personal injury attorney’s services, you can change representation for almost any reason at nearly any time. However, you should hire new counsel before you fire your current lawyer.

Read on to learn more about switching lawyers and how to choose the right attorney for you.

Reasons You Could Change Lawyers in the Middle of a Personal Injury Case

The personal injury lawyer representing you can make a big difference in your case’s outcome and how you feel throughout the process. If you are unhappy at any point with your current representation, you can choose a new attorney.

Reasons you may want to change lawyers in the middle of a case include the following:

You Do Not Think Your Attorney Cares About Your Case

A lot of work goes into building a solid personal injury case. Your lawyer must investigate the cause of your injury, collect evidence, prove liability, and take care of paperwork, deadlines, and other important details. Completing these tasks is vital to your claim’s success, so your attorney should prioritize completing them. In addition, your lawyer should know about your legal issues.

If you believe your lawyer isn’t promptly taking care of your case, it could be a sign they do not care enough to give it the attention it deserves. If they fail to build your claim, forget your case’s details, misstate the case’s facts, or seem unclear on its status, you may want to consider changing counsel.

You Do Not Think Your Lawyer Has the Experience to Handle Your Case

Your lawyer should project confidence in their ability to represent you. Be wary if your attorney seems harried, unknowledgeable, or unprepared to handle your legal issue. Signs your attorney may not have the experience needed to represent you include the following:

  • They repeatedly make mistakes on insurance paperwork or legal documents.
  • They miss filing deadlines and other important case dates.
  • They often do not have answers to your questions or fail to promptly get back to you with more information.
  • They seem unwilling or unable to escalate your case (i.e., fight for you during negotiations, file a lawsuit, pursue an appeal).

Your Lawyer Isn’t Keeping You Informed

Healthy attorney-client communications are vital to a successful injury case. Your lawyer must inform and keep you up to date for relevant case updates. In addition, your lawyer should take the time to listen to you, understand your desired outcome, and consider your input when deciding how to move forward.

While your attorney will (and should) advise you based on the law and their case experience, ultimately, you have the final say. Your legal team should never ignore your wishes or pressure you to do something you do not want to do.

You Are Not Happy With Your Case’s Outcome

Your lawyers should negotiate on your behalf. They should never pressure you to accept a lowball settlement or unfair compensation to secure a speedy resolution. Furthermore, your attorney should be willing and able to represent you at trial or appeal an unfavorable case outcome.

If you do not want to accept the settlement on offer and your lawyer will not continue to negotiate, file a lawsuit, or take other steps to achieve a better resolution for your case, you can hire a lawyer who will.

When Is It Too Late to Change Lawyers?

You can change lawyers at any time. However, per Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805, you have three years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If your case involves No-Fault insurance, you have one year to sue for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under Michigan Compiled Laws § 500.3145.

The statute of limitations is important because if you do not pursue your case within the allotted time, the court will likely dismiss your lawsuit. If the statute expires, it will hurt your chances of securing an advantageous insurance settlement because you no longer have the threat of legal action behind your claim.

Therefore, you do not want to change lawyers so close to the filing deadline that you cannot adhere to the time limit. Additionally, once you file your lawsuit, switching lawyers will become more challenging the closer you get to trial. Doing so could delay your case’s resolution.

What to Consider When Selecting a Lawyer While in the Middle of a Case

If you must hire an attorney, the best thing you can do is ensure you choose the right lawyer from the start. If you do need to change lawyers in the middle of a case, you want to hire the right person this time.

When selecting an attorney or hiring a new lawyer mid-case, you should:

  • Ensure they have personal injury case experience. You want a lawyer who handles cases involving the accident or injury you suffered. For example, if you sustained a car crash injury, ideally, you want an attorney who has taken numerous motor vehicle accident cases and resolved them successfully (including cases that went to trial).
  • Ask about their client service. You have many choices when hiring representation, so ask any firm you consider what sets them apart. For example, what client support services do they offer, and how will they keep you informed? Ask for referrals, testimonials, and reviews from previous clients to get a feel for how they treat those they work with. Ensure their legal team is prepared to manage every detail of your case, from investigating your accident to representing you in civil court.
  • Ensure you feel comfortable. Any firm you choose should make you feel comfortable and welcome. Those you work with should project professionalism, confidence, and compassion. You need to feel good about who handles your case so you can be open and honest when discussing your accident and injuries.

Contact Christensen Law About Your Personal Injury Case Today

Christensen Law has represented personal injury victims in Michigan since 1991. Our compassionate team can handle every detail of your case so you can focus on healing. We have served thousands of hurt individuals and their families, taken hundreds of cases to trial, and won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for those harmed by negligence.

Contact us online or call 248-900-9000 to learn more about how our attorneys can serve you. We can help you get started or take over if you want to change lawyers in the middle of a case. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we never charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees for our legal services.