Is It Possible to Change Accident Attorney Mid-Case
The attorney-client relationship is meant to be mutually beneficial, where the attorney provides legal advice and services to the client. However, suppose a client feels that the attorney is not providing adequate representation or is not a good fit. In that case, they have the right to end the relationship and switch to a different attorney at any time during their injury case for the following reasons:
- The customer is unable to connect with their legal representative.
- The lawyer is not responding to any communication or queries.
- The lawyer has yet to disclose their plan of action regarding the case.
- The lawyer still needs to provide updates or information about the case’s progress.
- The claimant no longer trusts the lawyer to do their job correctly and provide the necessary support and guidance in their case.
Is it possible to change accident attorney mid-case? Yes, you can always change lawyers in the middle of a case. However, before deciding to terminate your legal representative, take some time to ponder the potential consequences. You can change your counsel anytime, but weighing the pros and cons before making this move is best.
It is likely to be a complex process if you need to change attorneys. The current lawyer may have an assignment or attorney lien, making it hard for a new lawyer to receive the right compensation for their work. This could be especially true if the lien is substantial.
Fire Your Accident Attorney Properly with These Steps
If a client is dissatisfied with their legal representation, the best course of action is to first meet with their lawyer to discuss the problem. Never do this virtually or via private messaging. If the two parties cannot agree, the client should review their contingency fee agreement and see the conditions for ending the contract.
Review the agreement you signed with your lawyer at the start of your legal representation. In addition to any fees agreed upon, you must notify your attorney formally that the relationship is ending.
To terminate the lawyer-client relationship, you need to send a certified or registered note to the attorney’s place of business. The letter should state that you are ending the professional relationship and that the accident attorney should immediately stop working on any matters related to your case. Lastly, you should also ask for an itemized billing of all charges and review it for discrepancies.
Following Texas law, a lawyer must return all documents related to the case to the client, and any payment received that they have not earned. This is a requirement upon the termination of a lawyer.
When termination happens, an attorney should do all that is feasible to safeguard their client’s best interests, like giving them a proper notification, providing a reasonable time to find a replacement lawyer, returning all items belonging to the client, and reimbursing any unearned fees.
It has been held by some Texas courts and the Fifth Circuit that a lawyer is entitled to retain a client’s records as collateral for outstanding fees. This was established in cases such as Nolan v. Foreman, 665 F.2d 738 (5th Cir. 1982) and Griffith v. Geffen & Jacobsen, P.C., 693 S.W.2d 724 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1985, no writ).
If you are unsure about your legal rights, it is best to consult with another lawyer to get a better understanding.
Hire a New Lawyer with These Steps
Once the claimant has determined that it is time to move on from their current lawyer, they should begin the search for a new one.
It’s essential to thoroughly research your new legal advisor before making a decision. Make sure to look into their reviews and recommendations. Our firm typically can work out an arrangement with the former lawyer that is agreeable to both parties and takes into account their past services.
When a client has already hired a lawyer, we may agree to take over the case and pay the original lawyer a fair amount from the attorney’s fees portion of the contingency fee. This means that the client will only have to pay the extra money.
The client needs to know that when they switch lawyers, the new attorney may need some time to become familiar with all facts and facets of their case.
Additionally, there are protocols to legally change attorneys and remove the old one from the case. Whether the case is on trial will determine which steps are necessary.
You need to terminate your current attorney’s services if there is a failure to communicate properly between the client and the legal representative. There must be a good cause to change lawyers. Consider the time and effort costs, as well. Your case will start from scratch, making it difficult to obtain enough recovery time.
AK Law Firm Makes Legal Representation Easier for You
Concerned about changing a Houston accident attorney mid-case? With the AK Law Firm, you don’t have to be. We’re committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve, charging only when we win a case. If you’re dissatisfied with your current representation, let us know so we can find a suitable replacement. Call us for a free consultation at (832) 699-5559!