If you are in the middle of a personal injury claim that is not going well, you may find yourself wondering whether or not you can switch attorneys. You’ve signed a retainer agreement, your lawyer has worked on your case.. Can you switch lawyers in the middle of a personal injury case? Typically speaking, the answer is yes. Here is everything you need to know about switching personal injury lawyers:
Can I Switch Personal Injury Lawyers?
In most cases, yes, you can switch personal injury lawyers as you have the right to decide which attorney represents you. If at some point you decide your lawyer is no longer right for you, you may switch lawyers. There are some limitations on your right to change lawyers, however.
Why Do People Switch Lawyers in a Personal Injury Case?
There are a multitude of reasons why people may switch lawyers in the middle of a personal injury case. Usually, it is because they feel their needs are not being met. Here are some reasons why they may feel that way:
Their attorney doesn’t return their phone calls
They feel their case is not progressing
Their attorney disregards their desires and does what they want
The attorney’s game plan does not make sense
Their attorney does not have a game plan at all
Their attorney does not spend time explaining the process to them
The lawyer pressures them to accept a less-than-favorable settlement offer
They lose faith in their lawyer
Their attorney fires them/dies/or stops responding all-together.
How Do I Go About Switching Lawyers in a Personal Injury Case?
To switch personal injury lawyers, you need to follow a process. What you need to do depends on where you’re at in the case. If you’ve already filed your court case, you need to do what’s called a substitution of counsel. A substitution of counsel is a formal notice to the court and to the other parties involved in the case that you’re changing attorneys. Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 5 mentions substitution of counsel, but most rules for substitution of attorneys in Nevada come from local court rules that are unique to the court that’s overseeing your case.
If you haven’t formally filed a legal claim yet, it’s easier to switch lawyers. Your new lawyer can be the one to tell your old lawyer that you’re making a switch. In addition, your lawyer can inform the insurance company and the other parties that you have new representation.
Are There Any Reasons That You Can’t Switch Lawyers in the Middle of a Case?
There are a few limitations to switching lawyers in the middle of a case. If switching lawyers delays the case, the court may not let you change lawyers. The purpose of the rule is to make sure that people don’t switch lawyers just to cause case delays. If you’re thinking about switching lawyers, it’s essential to secure your new lawyer right away. The sooner you change lawyers, the less risk you have that the court isn’t going to approve the switch because of time delays.
Another scenario where you can’t switch lawyers is if the lawyer you want to work with has a conflict of interest in the case. Maybe the lawyer represents one of the parties in another capacity. Perhaps the lawyer has a conflict with the judge that oversees the case. Generally, the right to choose your attorney is absolute; however, there are some circumstances where you can’t have the attorney you want because of these conflicts of interest. An attorney can check whether they have a conflict before they take your case.
Where Does the Right to Switch Personal Injury Lawyers Come From?
The right to choose the attorney that you want to represent you is a long-settled rule in Nevada and throughout the United States. Most of the case law that talks about the right to choose your lawyer talks about criminal cases, but the rule extends to civil cases. The right to choose your lawyer in a criminal case comes from the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Sixth Amendment gives criminal defendants the right to assistance of counsel. The courts have ruled that assistance of counsel means that you have the right to choose the lawyer that you want. Nevada courts agree. Millen v. Dist. Ct. is a Nevada Supreme Court case that talks about a person’s right to choose their attorney.
Why Do You Have the Right to Choose Your Own Attorney?
You have the right to choose your attorney because the courts think that it’s an integral part of making sure that you get a fair trial. Making sure you get a fair trial is an important concept in our legal system. We all agree that court cases should be fair. The courts think that allowing you to choose your own attorney is crucial to providing just treatment for you.
When you choose your own lawyer, they act on your behalf. In other words, choosing your lawyer gives you control over your case. Whether your choice is good or bad, you live with the consequences of your choice. The courts believe that choosing your lawyer is vital to the integrity of the judicial system.
Switching Lawyers in a Personal Injury Case
If you have questions about your case, contact our Las Vegas personal injury lawyer, Brian M. Boyer, immediately. He’s happy to sit down with you to talk about your case and examine it up until this point. He understands the process is complicated, and all consultations are confidential, so you can have the confidence to know you’re making the right decisions in your case. Call us or message us today to set up your consultation.
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