Can I Change Lawyers Halfway Through A Car Accident Case?

If you’re not happy with your current car accident lawyer, you are allowing to change your legal representation.
Cars In Traffic
Madeleine Jones
September 14, 2020

If you have been involved in a serious car accident, you know how chaotic it can get. People sometimes make a mistake and hire the wrong attorney. This comes as a daunting realization to the client a week or two after the accident when they still haven’t talked to their auto accident attorney and their assistants keep telling them everything is fine. If your attorney has not given you a detailed plan the first time you speak to them or gives you short and long term goals, we recommend you change lawyers halfway through a car accident case.

changing lawyers on a car accident case

How Do I Know I Have To Change Lawyers?

If the answer to the following questions is yes, then you should request a meeting with your lawyer and try to get these issues fixed. If you are not satisfied, you can fire them.

  • Did the attorney not clearly explain their case strategy?
  • Are they not explaining the value of your case or what facts need to be discovered before they can?
  • Did they fail to return your calls within 48 hours?
  • Is there a “case manager” you have to deal with?
  • Did your attorney refer you to a chiropractor even if you already have health insurance?

Getting a Second Opinion

It can be difficult to know whether the issue is with your attorney or something much bigger. It could be uncooperative third parties or a court system with delays. You can schedule an appointment with another lawyer to evaluate your case, just make sure to bring your file.

Doublecheck the Lawyer’s State Bar Status

Hopefully, you ran your lawyer’s name through Nevada’s bar association’s website before hiring them. However, now it might a good time to do it again. Even if your lawyer is in good standing right now, they could have past suspensions or disciplinary actions for substance abuse or other issues.

Let’s say that you already decided you hired the wrong attorney and you want to fire them. How do you fire them?

How To Fire A Car Accident Lawyer

It is fairly easy to fire a car accident lawyer unless there are offers already on the table from the other driver’s insurance company. The lawyer you fire will not send you a bill and you are actually entitled to have your complete file. If your case is taken over by another auto accident lawyer, they will have to pay off any attorney lien that the first lawyer takes out but you won’t have to pay for it.

For example, let’s say you hire a lawyer, and three months after the car accident you decide they are just not communicating well. You already signed a contract at 33.3% for their fee. You fire that lawyer and you hire a new one. The new lawyer eventually settles your case for $120,000.00 on the same contract bases. The first hired lawyer files an attorney’s lien saying they spent $3,000.00 worth of time on your claim before you fired them. The new lawyer would be paid $33,300.00 from the gross and from that money he would pay the first lawyer off. 

Switching Car Accident Lawyers In Las Vegas

If you still think the relationship with your attorney is unsalvageable, it’s okay to fire them and switch to a new lawyer. However, there a few factors you need to consider:

  • Don’t fire a lawyer before you have a new one you’re planning on hiring unless it is absolutely necessary. If you’re halfway through your case, the judge may not let your old lawyer go until you have a new lawyer to replace them.
  • For your next lawyer, make sure you seek referrals. You can call the Nevada bar association and ask for someone with the skill and expertise your case needs.
  • Changing attorneys repeatedly is seen by many lawyers as the mark of a difficult client or a client with unreasonable expectations.

When you change lawyers halfway through a car accident case it might be a painful decision to make. But, once you find the right lawyer it can make all the difference in your case outcome. As long as you have reasonable expectations, follow your gut, and be sure you are happy with your new attorney.

Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas

When car accident victims switch to working with J. Cogburn Law, we manage every aspect of the transition. From working with your previous attorney to change the lawyer of record with the court, to allocating attorney lien according to Nevada Law. Call today at (702) 748-7777 for a free initial consultation. 

Do you want to learn more about the auto accident claim process? Add your email below and we will send you our guide free of charge. It includes useful tips on things to avoid when going through a personal injury claim and how you can give yourself the best chance of winning it.

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I was hesitant about getting a lawyer for many reasons, however the entire staff at Cogburn reassured me that everything would be okay. They were always very attentive and provided detailed answers to any questions I had. I would like to thank the entire staff for all of your hard work, making sure that my daughters and I were compensated for the car accident, and making sure we received all the necessary treatment. You were awesome. If you need an attorney that won’t look at you as just another case, that’ll return your calls/emails I definitely recommend this team.

Jessica L.