Switching Personal Injury Lawyers in Georgia
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, who you choose to be your lawyer will have a major impact on your case. You will need to work closely with your personal injury attorney for many months, possibly even years. You will also be relying on their knowledge, experience, and skill to help you recover as much compensation as possible.
Sometimes, though, things do not work out between a personal injury plaintiff and their attorney. There are many reasons this might happen, but the bottom line is you do not want to stick with a lawyer you cannot work with. Fortunately, switching lawyers in a Georgia personal injury case is fairly straightforward.
Keep reading to learn more about how to change your attorney if necessary.
Reasons to Find a New Personal Injury Attorney
You do not necessarily need a reason to find a new personal lawyer if you are not getting along with your current one, though there are certain complications that come with hiring a new lawyer in the middle of the case. That said, some of the most common reasons people choose to hire a new personal injury attorney include:
- Your lawyer is not responding to your emails, calls, or other attempts to reach them
- Your case seems to have stalled
- Your lawyer wants to pursue one approach with your case while you want to go in a different direction
- Your lawyer does not appear to have a clear legal strategy, or their strategy does not make sense to you
- Your lawyer will not explain the details of your case if you ask them
- Your lawyer is pressuring you to accept a settlement offer that you do not agree with or seems unfair
- You do not trust your lawyer or feel like they are not doing enough to adequately represent you
- Your lawyer is disbarred or dies
How to Change Your Personal Injury Attorney
As long as you have not filed a lawsuit yet, changing your personal injury lawyer is pretty easy and straightforward. You simply have to meet with your new attorney, sign a new retainer agreement with them, and inform your prior lawyer that they can stop working on your case. Your new lawyer will take care of getting your case file from your prior lawyer, and the two lawyers will work out a fee agreement among themselves. Any fees your old lawyer receives will come from your new lawyer’s share of your insurance settlement or jury award.
If your case has made it to trial, the process to change lawyers is a bit more involved. You will need to submit a petition to the judge, who will have to approve the change. Having a new attorney ready to step in before submitting your petition will give you a better chance of having your petition approved.
Is There Any Reason You Cannot Change Personal Injury Attorneys?
There are two main reasons why you cannot or should not change personal injury attorneys in the middle of your case. The first reason is if the insurance company has already made a formal settlement offer. If an offer is on the table, your attorney is entitled to whatever fee you have agreed on, so while you technically can switch lawyers, doing so could cost you a lot of money.
The other reason you may not be allowed to switch your lawyer is if the change would lead to a delay in your case. Once a personal injury case has gone to trial, you will need to ask the judge before you would be allowed to hire a new lawyer. If the judge thinks hiring a new attorney will cause an unreasonable delay, the judge may block your petition, and you will be stuck with your current attorney.
With all this in mind, you should move quickly if you are unsatisfied with your current lawyer. Waiting too long to switch attorneys could damage your case and cost you a lot of money, so do not wait to speak to a new attorney. Most attorneys are professionals and will not be upset by your request for new representation, so you should not worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.
Need a New Personal Injury Attorney? Call Us Today for a Free Case Review
The legal team of Augusta personal injury attorneys of Chris Hudson Law Group are ready to jump in and get to work on your case if you are not satisfied with your current legal representation. We have an excellent reputation in our community, with our past clients, and with our collegaues. We also have a history of getting results.
Call (706) 863-6600 or visit our contact page today for a free consultation.