Changing lawyers in the middle of a personal injury case is not something you should do lightly. However, it is the right move in certain circumstances. You are counting on your lawyer to help you recover the money you need and hold the liable parties accountable. If they are not getting the job done, it may be time to switch your personal injury lawyer. But how do you know if it’s time to make such a significant change?
At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we have worked with many people who were frustrated with their personal injury lawyer. They often either did not get along with their lawyer or were disappointed in how the lawyer handled their case. This is an understandably frustrating position to be in. That’s why we wanted to offer advice on when you should change personal injury attorneys, the process of switching attorneys, and how to select a skilled legal advocate you can trust. For more information, don’t hesitate to call us for a free case review with a trusted personal injury lawyer in West Virginia.
6 Reasons You May Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer in the Middle of a Case
If you’re reading this page, you likely have concerns about the lawyer you’re currently working with. But how do you know if those issues are serious enough to warrant a change in attorneys? These six red flags could indicate that it’s time to move on and find someone better suited to you and your case.
You cannot reach your attorney
Lawyers are generally busy people. However, a good lawyer understands that their clients are their livelihood and respects them enough to take their calls. Even if a lawyer cannot respond to a client immediately, they should reach out as soon as possible or have their staff get in touch. A lawyer should also regularly update their client on their case’s progress. If you are having trouble reaching your lawyer or they’re keeping you in the dark about the progress of your case, it may be time to find new representation.
Your attorney brushes off your questions or concerns
Some lawyers will promptly return a client’s call or email, only to ignore the client’s questions or concerns. This is not only rude, but it also wears away at the foundation of the attorney-client relationship. Regardless of the circumstances, your lawyer should always take your concerns seriously and treat you with common courtesy. If your lawyer cannot do that much, you deserve a better lawyer.
Your case has stalled without explanation
Personal injury cases can take months or even years to resolve, and some delays are expected. However, your lawyer should be able to give you a clear reason for the delay and let you know what they are doing to get things back on track. If your lawyer cannot tell you why your case has stalled, it may be a sign that they are in over their head or have encountered unexpected problems they don’t know how to solve.
Your lawyer is rushing to settle the case
Most personal injury cases end in insurance settlements. But a good personal injury lawyer should know better than to take the insurance company’s first offer. It is up to your attorney to negotiate the best possible settlement agreement so you have financial security in the years to come. If your lawyer is rushing to settle, it could mean that they either do not care about your case’s outcome or do not have the skills and experience to obtain a better offer.
You disagree with your lawyer’s strategy
It’s a bad sign if you and your personal injury lawyer are not on the same page with your legal strategy. Your lawyer should not be pursuing a strategy you have not agreed to. If you cannot agree on a plan, then it is likely time to find a new lawyer.
You and your lawyer are not getting along
While you and your lawyer do not need to be best friends, you should be able to work together without getting angry or upset. Occasional disagreements are okay and to be expected. But at a certain point, you need to be able to work with your lawyer without tempers boiling over. If you cannot do that, find a new attorney.
Challenges When Changing Personal Injury Lawyers
While it might be time for you to change your lawyer in the middle of a personal injury case, there are a few potential issues to keep in mind, such as:
- You may have to pay your current lawyer for the time and effort they have already put into your case.
- It will take time and money for your new lawyer to get up to speed, which could delay your case.
- You have a limited time to file a lawsuit, and finding a new attorney could put you in a time crunch.
While none of these issues are impossible to overcome, they can complicate your case. Be sure to think carefully before switching attorneys.
Resources to Find a Reliable and Trustworthy Lawyer
Finding the right lawyer for your personal injury case can be difficult, especially if you’ve never worked with an attorney before. However, there are a few ways you can make the decision easier, such as:
- Asking your friends and family for recommendations
- Consulting a legal referral service, such as the one offered by the West Virginia State Bar
- Research firms’ results, testimonials, awards, and practice areas
- Getting a free consultation with a prospective attorney before you hire them
Contact an Experienced and Dedicated West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we understand the stress you likely feel as you consider a change in representation. That’s why we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced, compassionate personal injury attorney in West Virginia. We look forward to meeting you, learning more about your concerns, and finding out how we can help you demand the money and accountability you deserve.
Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.