Can I Switch Attorneys If I’m Unhappy? | When Should I Change Lawyers In An Injury Case | South Carolina | Steinberg Law Firm

Can I Switch Injury Attorneys if I am Unhappy?

Changing Injury or Workers’ Compensation Attorneys During Your Case Is Possible

When it comes to selecting an attorney, you want the best person qualified to represent you. But what if you selected your attorney, and after all the research you conducted or the great recommendations you received, you are still unsatisfied with their representation and services? Well, do not fret because you may have options to switch attorneys, even after the case has been filed.

Why A Case May Take Longer Than Expected

Clients can become dissatisfied with their lawyer for several reasons, the biggest one being communication. While your attorney is probably handling other cases in addition to yours, that does not mean the communication should falter. A great lawyer and their team are responsive with phone calls and emails and keep you informed frequently throughout your case.

Sometimes clients get frustrated with how long a case may take, and they relate the slow process to the attorney and place blame on the attorney. In fact, a case may take time for many reasons that an attorney cannot control. For instance:

  • A case involving severe or complex injuries may require time for all the parties to understand exactly what you face.
  • Complex auto and truck accidents, such as those involving multiple cars or a commercial vehicle, require time to coordinate between all the parties and exchange information.
  • Insurance companies may drag their feet to avoid paying bills or may attempt to get another insurer to cover the bills instead.

Length of time alone is not a reason to change attorneys. Unfortunately, a personal injury case is usually not going to settle in just a few weeks; it is going to take months and possibly even years, depending on the severity of the injuries and the complexity of the case. 

Reasons to Switch Attorneys

As you begin working with an attorney, you may realize at some point that they are not a great fit for you. When this happens, you may be concerned about whether or not you can hire another attorney. Common reasons to switch to a different attorney include the following: 

  • Lack of timely communication.
  • Failure to take quick action to preserve evidence.
  • Mistakes are made on your paperwork.
  • You are not getting the medical treatment you need.

If there has been no discussion about settlement options within the first 365 days of taking your case, it may be time to consider another attorney who can better represent you in court. Also, if your gut tells you the person does not have your best interest at heart, you will always wonder if you received the best representation for your case. 

How to Change Attorneys

Before seeking another attorney, it is best to set a time to personally meet with your attorney to discuss any issues. Have this meeting in person, not on the phone. Take this time to explain your concerns and how the attorney will address them. You will find a face-to-face meeting will fix many misunderstandings you might have between the two of you. You can always seek a second opinion, but be aware that another attorney cannot give you legal advice until your current attorney releases you and you have a letter stating the relationship has been terminated with your current attorney.

When can I hire a new attorney?

You can always hire a new attorney if you are not currently represented by a lawyer. If you currently have an attorney, however, you need to end that relationship before seeking a new lawyer. 

Attorneys have a professional obligation not to interfere with the work of fellow attorneys. They are also obligated to maintain confidentiality for their clients. These rules prevent your current lawyer from sharing information about your case. They also prevent a new potential lawyer from discussing your case with you. 

If you already have an attorney, you will need to end the contract with that lawyer before you hire a new one. 

How do I break my current contract with my lawyer?

First, read your current agreement with your lawyer. It may contain specific instructions for how to break the contract. 

In most cases, you will need to contact your attorney in writing. State that you wish to end the contract and that you no longer wish to have the lawyer represent you. Include a sentence stating that you give the lawyer permission to share information as needed with any new attorney you hire. Also, put the current date on the letter and sign it. 

How do I choose a new lawyer when I’m still in a contract with my previous lawyer?

While you can switch attorneys at any point in your case, it is best to research the attorney and the law firm prior to hiring them. Ask your friends and family for their opinions, read client reviews and testimonials, and look up the law firm’s ratings on sites like Google or Better Business Bureau. Taking the time to thoroughly research attorneys will only benefit you in the long run.

Many personal injury lawyers offer free initial case evaluations. An attorney can give you better feedback during this evaluation if you end your agreement with your previous lawyer first. Research attorneys and law firms until you find one or more promising options. End the contract with your current lawyer before reaching out to a potential new lawyer.

The Steinberg Law Firm was founded in 1927 by Irving Steinberg. The firm has nearly 100 years of experience advocating for injured people and treats each case with the utmost care and attention. The firm handles personal injury, workers’ compensation, construction defects, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and wrongful death cases. Call us today at (843) 720-2800 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our online contact form.

Updated on August 4, 2023

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