Can I Change Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death or Medical Malpractice Case?
A client has the right to change lawyers at any point during a car accident, wrongful death, medical malpractice, cruise ship injury, pharmacy error or any other type of personal injury case. The client does not need a reason to do so, but when this happens, it is typically because:
- The client finds it difficult to reach the lawyer;
- The client feels that there has not been enough progress in his or her case;
- The lawyer failed to adequately explain the strategy he or she planned to follow to win the case;
- The client lost faith on the lawyer’s ability to win the case;
- The client does not trust the lawyer anymore;
- The client has found that the lawyer has a conflict of interest.
The first thing that a dissatisfied client should do is talk to his or her lawyer and try to resolve the issues that have brought the situation to this point. If the issues cannot be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, the client should review the terms of the contingency fee agreement and see what are the terms to terminate the agreement. If you have a question as to your rights, speak with another lawyer.How to Proceed Hiring a New Lawyer
Once the client has decided that it is in his or her best interest to part ways with their lawyer, the client should start looking for and interviewing new lawyers until the client finds one that satisfies his/her expectations and is willing to take the case. Please remember that depending on what stage of the proceedings the case is in, the old lawyer may be entitled to be paid for their time working on the file. You need to discuss with your new attorney how your old lawyer will be compensated. Our firm usually is able to work out an agreement with the former lawyer when we agree to take on an existing case as to what their fee will be and often we pay those monies out of our contingency fee, so as to not cost the client additional money.
It is important for the client to understand that the new lawyer will need time to familiarize him or herself with the facts of your case. Also there are procedures to follow in order to retain new counsel. These change depending upon whether the case is in litigation or not. Your old attorney is obligated to protect any confidential information he or she has about you and must deliver all the documents contained in your file to you or to your new lawyer.How to Prevent Having Lawyer Problems in the First Place
As usual, the best way to avoid having problems with your lawyer later in the case is to do a thorough job searching for the right attorney from the start. There are many resources readily available to clients where they can find out as much information as necessary about any lawyer in Florida.
Believe it or not, the fastest and easiest way to find reliable information about an attorney is on the lawyer’s own website. Typically, attorneys will post on their websites all information relevant to their qualifications. The Florida Bar closely scrutinizes all the information posted by lawyers on their website, so potential clients can safely rely on the veracity of any statements made. Years of experience in a certain area of law, the types of cases handled, the awards they have won and the associations that they belong to are usually displayed for all to see. Peer recognition is also important, as other lawyers and judges who evaluate an attorney’s work confidentially usually offer an insight into a lawyer’s qualifications. Potential clients can check whether a lawyer is admitted to practice in Florida and whether he or she have been subject to disciplinary actions by visiting the Florida Bar website.
For example, our firm’s managing partner, Stewart G. Greenberg, Esq. has been practicing law for over 33 years. Martindale Hubbell has rated him AV (the highest rating possible) since the first year he was eligible to receive the rating and he has kept it ever since, as has partner, Mark Stone. Another prestigious organization, Who’s Who in American Law, has recognized Stewart’s fine work in it’s Millennium Edition. Moreover, Super Lawyers has rated Stewart Greenberg as a member. Every year since the awards’ inception, Stewart is a member of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA) and serves on the Florida Advisory Board for that organization. To read all about Mr. Greenberg’s qualifications please visit his profile page or for Mark Stone read his profile page in our website.We Can Help
If you are dissatisfied with the services of your current lawyer or are just seeking representation and would like to talk to an attorney, please contact us as soon as possible at 305-595-2400. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling all kinds of personal injury cases, including car accident cases, and we will be more than happy to talk to you during our free initial consultation and thoroughly explain to you our strategy for accomplishing the best results possible in your case. Please note that we handle all personal injury matters on contingent fees, which means that you do not owe us anything unless we obtain compensation for you.