Exploring Social Security Cases and Outcomes

Choose The Right Attorney: Changing Isn't Always Easy

by Marie Caldwell

After an accident, most victims want to protect their rights. As a result, some people hire the first car accident attorney they meet. While swift action is always helpful, not every attorney-client dynamic will work. In the event the car accident attorney is not the ideal match for your needs, there are some challenges that can surface should you decide to change representation.

State Law Provisions

In some states, it's not enough to tell your attorney that you no longer want to be represented by him or her. There are some states that have provisions in the law that requires a judge to hear and determine the outcome of such requests. Generally, in these cases, the judge will weigh the reason for the request and the status of the case. In the event that the judge believes the request is frivolous or the case is close to completion, the request could be denied. 

Contingency Fee

Accident victims aren't typically required to pay any fees for their legal representation upfront. Instead, the attorney is paid once the case is settled. However, depending on the contract agreement, if the client decides to hire new representation after the case has started to move forward, the agreement might state that the client has to pay for the services provided thus far. You should also make sure you understand the terms of your attorney-client agreement before moving forward. 

Claim Extension

You should expect a least a slight delay in the processing of your claim. Attorneys pride themselves on being informed and prepared. Consequently, the new attorney won't likely move forward with your case until they've been brought up to speed, which can take some time. Not only can the new attorney ask for an extension with the case, but the legal representation on the other side can also extend the same request in this situation. 

Limited Selection

Attorneys need cooperative clients to be successful. Accident victims that don't return calls or attend their medical appointments as necessary typically don't fall into this category. When this type of client decides they want to change representation, but there is evidence that the client is not upholding their end of the agreement, it might be hard to find new representation. A new attorney will always ask why a client wants to change representation, and they might even do some digging on their own. 

Keep in mind, your case and your goals are most important. No matter the consequences, if you feel the need to change your representation, you should do so. However, taking the time to find a good attorney in the first place can help you avoid these scenarios.