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There are numerous lawyers for all kinds of situations, and one of the most common reasons to hire an attorney is to handle a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits come about when you suffer some kind of bodily or physical harm in an accident or incident, whether it is a car crash, assault, medical situation, slip and fall on someone else’s property, and more. Although you sign contracts to be represented by these attorneys, they are not fully binding: you always retain the right to break off the agreement and seek legal representation elsewhere. Not many people are aware that you can switch lawyers with no repercussions. However, there is generally a protocol that must be followed in order for you to switch lawyers, but you are well within your rights to find another lawyer if you are dissatisfied with your current legal counsel. Our team of attorneys at Kenmore Law Group has, on many occasions, helped clients acquire new attorneys after a period of strife with previous counsel. Clients often come to us with questions about the process, some of which include:

  • Can I switch my lawyer?
  • How does the fee increase after switching attorneys?
  • How do I switch my accident lawyer?
  • Can I fire my lawyer and hire a new one?
  • How can I fire my current attorney and get a new one?

Reasons to Change Lawyers

When you seek legal representation, you should do your due diligence and research plenty of possible options. Choosing the first attorney and law firm that shows up on a Google search is not usually a good judgment call; just like any professional relationship, you should meet with the lawyer to determine if he is a right fit for you and your case. Of course, even though he may seem a worthwhile selection at first glance, his business practice and decisions may make him the wrong choice in hindsight, at which point you may want to consider switching lawyers. If you are wondering, “Can I fire my lawyer and hire a new one,” the answer is absolutely.

Some of the reasons that people become unsatisfied with their attorneys include:

  • Lack of Competence: There are times when an attorney claims to be able to handle a certain type of case, but in reality, he has little to no experience in that field. Some lawyers are experts in medical malpractice lawsuits while others almost exclusively handle car accident claims. The assurance that the lawyer can handle your case when it is vastly different from what he usually represents can indicate a lack of competence, which may result in your case being thrown out.
  • Poor Working Relationship: It is not uncommon for some lawyers and clients to butt heads and be unable to reach agreements with one another. It is crucial that you have a decent working relationship with your lawyer so that you can both work towards a common goal and successfully win your case, but if that is not possible, you may be better off finding an attorney with whom you have positive synergy.
  • Lack of Communication: Unfortunately, the most common reason that clients complain about their attorneys is because of a lack of communication. It may be extremely difficult to get a hold of the lawyer, despite numerous phone calls, voicemails, messages, and emails. Sometimes, you wind up speaking to assistants, secretaries, and paralegals more often than you speak to the attorney, which can be frustrating. Clients want to be assured by the person representing them, not by staff or employees.
  • No Progress on Case: Your lawyer should keep you updated on where the negotiations are, the expected time before the next step can be taken, and when certain deadlines need to be met. If you find out that your attorney has not taken timely action or if you feel that the statute of limitations is beginning to run out, you should look into finding another lawyer.
  • Closed-off Personality or No Explanation for Case Strategies: Attorneys that are secretive or unwilling to divulge their strategies for your case may not be the best option for you. You deserve to know what the attorney representing you plans to do to win, and being left in the dark can lead to frustration and confusion.
  • Conflict of Interest: Your attorney should not represent another party if it conflicts with the best interests of your case. For example, if you are involved in a car accident and both you and the other driver approach the same lawyer, it would be in your best interest to look elsewhere. Attorneys should dedicate their time and efforts into one interest in a case, and representing both sides of a lawsuit can warp judgment and sway decisions.
  • Immorality or Lack of Ethics: It is within reason for you to switch attorneys if you feel that your current lawyer is acting with a lack of ethics or with a disregard for morality. He may be privy to lying or using manipulative tactics to get his way.

If you feel that your lawyer behaves in any of the above manners, or if you have a different reason for wanting to switch counsel, contact our law firm today to receive assistance in firing your current lawyer and hiring a new one. The answer to the question “Can I switch my lawyer?” is a resounding yes.

The process of Firing Your Lawyer

Generally, there are two ways that you can go about ending the relationship with your current attorney. One is to send a letter explaining that you will be ending the relationship effective immediately, and that you wish to pick up a copy of your case file.

Alternatively, you may already have found another attorney who will be able to take care of the process for you. He will send a termination letter, or “stop work” letter, on your behalf, as well as a form that expresses your consent to change attorneys. This form will usually be given to the insurance agency or court. You will sign a new retainer agreement with the attorney and cut ties with the old firm.

A common question that comes out of this process is simple: How does the fee increase? The simple answer is it doesn’t. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a percentage of the total settlement once the case has been won. However, once you switch lawyers, you won’t be expected to pay two different attorneys two separate percentages.

The old lawyer will usually have a lien for time spent working on your case, which may amount to a few thousand dollars. If your new attorney wins your case and collects his fee, the old lawyer’s lien will be taken from that percentage; you will retain the same amount of compensation.

Malpractice

In some instances, your choice to switch lawyers may always prompt you to sue for malpractice. Suing for legal malpractice can be difficult, however, as one of the key components is being able to prove that you would have successfully won your case with a different attorney. You can show that you were owed a duty of care and that your previous attorney violated that duty by behaving in negative manners, but there is no guarantee that you would have won the case with different representation – there may be questionable evidence involved, for instance, or the jury may not think your case is particularly strong.

Some common forms of legal malpractice include abandoning or ignoring your case, refusing to contact you or update you on your case’s status, misusing your retainer funds, and settling the case without your permission. Further, your lawyer may actively work against you by representing another client, refuse to conduct research or effective negotiations, or make errors in judgment and decisions that led to your case being thrown out.

Keep in mind that some acts may not fulfill malpractice. If your attorney tries to force you to settle your case for a very small amount or if he recommends taking a low settlement offer, he is allowed to do so; you should get a second opinion to prevent this from being the outcome of your case. Your attorney may also socialize with other lawyers, even those who represent the opposition in your case; while this is not malpractice in and of itself, if there are discussions that could compromise your case, that may be considered a breach of duty.

Choosing the Right Law Firm

Kenmore Law Group in Los Angeles, California, is the premier firm to help you receive the compensation you deserve from a personal injury lawsuit. We will tirelessly work to bring you your fair restitution from a claim. Our aggressive attorneys constantly hound insurance agents until you receive a settlement offer you are satisfied with. If necessary, we will take your case to court. We also offer free second opinions and evaluations of your case so we can help you determine if your current lawyer is acting appropriately or if he is not representing you with due diligence.

Call our offices today to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You can ask us any questions you want about your current attorney and your case, and we will give you our perspective and advice on how best to move forward. Keep in mind that all of our consultations are completely confidential, so you will never have to worry about your private details being exposed to anyone outside of our office doors.

Reach out to an expert attorney today to learn more about our services, our zero fee guarantee, and how we can help you switch lawyers.

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I am very satisfied with the service that I received from this law group. I was in a car accident and I needed an attorney and I am glad I found these attorneys. Experience is very important in law. Because if someone has experience they are better at what they do. If you need an experienced car accident lawyer I would not hesitate to call them.
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