I Want To Change My Seattle Car Accident Lawyer. Can I?
Many victims of car accidents in Seattle find themselves wondering if they can change their Seattle car accident attorney in the middle of their case. The short answer to that question is yes: you can change your auto accident attorney if you are unsatisfied with the service. However, switching attorneys or suddenly dropping your lawyer to represent yourself might not always be the best option for your case.
As we’ve explained in our What Does A Seattle Car Accident Lawyer Do? article, car accident attorneys provide legal services to victims of negligent third parties whose cases often benefit from the expertise and qualifications of a well-established attorney. In many cases, however, attorneys fail to meet the client’s needs and expectations. If disagreements arise and nothing can be done to resolve them, consulting a different Seattle lawyer who specializes in car accidents might be the next best option.
Reasons For Changing A Lawyer Mid-Case
Car accidents are often traumatic and leave victims feeling overwhelmed and isolated. The lasting physical, financial, and even emotional consequences also contribute to the issues a car accident victim suffers. Due to these and other reasons, hiring an attorney to fight for your rights and just compensation might be a good option for you. Sometimes, however, we realize mid-case that the attorney we’ve hired is not meeting our needs.
Before making up your mind, it is important to understand why you might consider changing your lawyer.
There are several reasons why you might feel dissatisfied with your current legal representation. Some of the reasons for changing your attorney may include:
If your lawyer or their team is not communicating with you effectively and you feel like they do not respond promptly when you ask questions.
Personal injury attorneys who might not have enough experience in the field might not be as familiar with certain types of cases.
Pushing for an unfavorable settlement
An attorney who is not comfortable in the courtroom tends to push their clients to settle too early or accept a settlement that is lower than what the client deserves.
An attorney who’s unprepared is an attorney who is not taking your life seriously. If the lawyer representing you shows signs they do not know your case like the back of their hand, you might want to consider switching professionals.
If any of these issues arise, you may feel that they are not providing you with the best possible service. Especially if ethical violations or malpractice also occur, leading to a breakdown in trust between you and your lawyer.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, it’s worth considering whether changing your car accident lawyer is the right decision for you.
How to Change a Lawyer
So, how do you go about changing your Seattle car accident lawyer? The process can be relatively straightforward, but there are a few steps you’ll need to take to ensure a smooth transition.
Steps to Take
First, you should communicate your concerns with your current attorney in a clear and considerate manner. If after you’ve attempted to resolve your differences you remain unhappy with the service, you could contact a new attorney. Once you make your mind as to what lawyer you would like to hire, their office will work out the details concerning the change by sending a discharge letter to your old attorney.
In any case, it is important to evaluate your current contract or agreement prior to switching lawyers for a clear outline of the terms of your legal representation, including any fees, obligations, or conditions for terminating the relationship. After going over this document and making sure you understand the terms of your agreement, you can take further action.
Keep in mind that Washington State law protects you even when you decide to change who represents you. The state’s Rules of Professional Conduct states that even after switching attorneys, protections such as confidentiality remain in place. An attorney who violates these rules may face sanctions from the Washington State Bar. Depending on the severity of the attorney’s behavior, they might even lose their right to practice law.
Consulting a Lawyer
Finding a new lawyer to represent you in the middle of a case can be a daunting task, but there are several resources available to help you find the right lawyer for your needs.
Asking for referrals from friends or family members who have been in similar situations might be a good place to start your search. You can also search online for reputable lawyers in your community.
Once you’ve found an attorney you trust, they will need to review the details of your case and familiarize themselves with any relevant information. This can take some time, but it’s important to ensure that your new lawyer is fully up-to-speed before proceeding with your case.
Important Things to Know Before Changing Your Lawyer
While changing your car accident lawyer may seem like a simple process, there are some challenges you may encounter along the way such as:
Terminating your relationship with your current lawyer might result in financial consequences that should be considered such as unpaid fees or obligations. Review your current contract carefully and look for any potential financial implications before making a decision.
Switching attorneys can cause delays in the resolution of your case. Transferring your case to a new lawyer can take time, resulting in a longer legal process. Remain patient and work closely with your new lawyer to ensure your case is moving forward as efficiently as possible.
Contact The Bernard Law Group For Help
The attorneys at Bernard Law Group have over 30 years of experience helping Seattle car accident victims.
If you are concerned about your current legal representation and would like to talk to a car accident attorney at our law firm about your case, take advantage of our free case evaluations.
Call 1-800-418-8282 for more information.