Starting a lawsuit after suffering injuries in an accident is a tough decision, but what can be even more challenging is choosing the right lawyer for you. After an accident, you get one chance to claim compensation for someone else’s wrongdoing, and there is a lot on the line, especially if you have been seriously hurt.
What happens if you find that you are unhappy with your representation after you start a claim? Can you change lawyers in the middle of your claim? Good news is that, with a lawyer, just like with any other service provider, you can terminate the relationship at any time. Here is a step-by-step guide to changing your representation.
Steps to Changing Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury claims can be very complex, but the process to change personal injury lawyers is quite simple. Here are the three easy steps to change personal injury lawyers:
STEP 1: Consider why you are dissatisfied with your current lawyer. Is it a lack of communication? Is your claim moving too slowly? Have you lost confidence or trust in your current lawyer? Do you disagree with them on the value of your claim? Understanding what is not working will guide you in finding the right lawyer.
STEP 2: Research other personal injury lawyers. Look at law firm websites to find lawyers who specialize in personal injury claims like yours (e.g. ICBC claims, slip and falls, medical malpractice). Read Google reviews to see what clients have to say about the lawyer’s skills, abilities, and success rate.
STEP 3: Once you’ve narrowed the list, reach out to prospective lawyers. Many offer a free legal consultation to review your claim. This is your opportunity to screen lawyers to get a feel for whether they will be a good fit. The prep work you did at Step 1 comes into play at this stage. You know what issues are important to you and what kind of legal representation you want. Ask the lawyer for their opinion on your claim, their proposed strategy, their policy on client communication, etc. It is also important to discuss the following points:
- Upcoming deadlines in your claim.
- Fees – including your current lawyer’s. It is vital to ask about your prospective lawyer’s fees, but it is also essential to discuss how your current lawyer will get paid for the work they have already done in your claim. In many cases, the prospective lawyer will agree to pay your current lawyer out of their fees once settlement or judgment is obtained, which means you do not have to pay representation fees twice.
- How the new lawyer will assist with the orderly transfer of your file from your existing lawyer.
What Happens Next?
Once you have decided on a new lawyer, the relationship with your existing lawyer must be terminated in writing. This can be done by you or by your new personal injury lawyer on your behalf. Your new personal injury lawyer will ensure a smooth transfer of your file from the previous lawyer and handle the details so you can focus on recovery.
Stay in the Know
Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to receive our latest blog posts and news about ICBC regulations and personal injury.