You’ve suffered an injury and you started the process of fighting for your rights by choosing a personal injury attorney. But now time has gone by, and you’re no longer pleased with how your case is going. You may be wondering – are you allowed to change your personal injury attorney? Yes, you can, and you should!
If you are unhappy with the treatment you are receiving at your doctor’s office, you should seek out another physician. If your mechanic does a bad job on your car, you should find another. It’s just the same for your personal injury case. You should not accept poor representation from your personal injury attorney. You only have one chance to receive the compensation you deserve for your injury, and you should make sure you have selected a firm that will fight aggressively and tirelessly for your rights. Don’t settle for less!
What warning signs should I look out for?
If this is your first time bringing a lawsuit, you may be wondering what frustrations are normal for a personal injury case and which are unacceptable. Overall, if your attorney is making you feel that they are not looking out for your best interests, you should trust your instincts even if you can’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong. It is your right to choose an attorney that you feel wholly comfortable with. Below are some of the top reasons you might want to change your personal injury attorney.
- Your attorney is unresponsive. If your attorney isn’t picking up your calls for days and not returning your emails, this may be one of the first signs that you should switch attorneys. Everyone gets busy, and hopefully your attorney is hard at work on your case, but they should still get back to you promptly.
- You don’t understand what’s happening. It’s expected that there will be some nuances to your case that, as someone who’s not an attorney, you won’t understand. However, you deserve a thorough explanation of your attorney’s plan, your case’s current status, and all of your questions answered. If your attorney isn’t giving you the information you need, then you may want to find a different attorney.
- Your attorney doesn’t have enough experience. When you selected your attorney, they seemed like the right person for the job. Now you know a little more about personal injury cases, you’ve realized that there are other firms with much more experience and better results. Because you don’t pay out of pocket for a personal injury attorney, there’s no reason not to pick the absolute best attorney available. There’s no shame in admitting you chose wrong initially – you can always take your case to an attorney you feel will fight hardest for your rights.
- You’re feeling pressured to take a settlement. Your attorney has come back to you with a settlement, but it’s much lower than what you expected and what your case deserves. You want to fight for a higher settlement, or perhaps take the case to court, but your attorney is putting pressure on you to accept the settlement as it is. One thing you need to know about personal injury attorneys is that some will not take a case to trial. They will only settle out of court. So if you feel you’re being offered a bad deal, your attorney may attempt to convince you to take it so that they can make their return on investment and move onto another case. Do not accept a settlement that you aren’t comfortable with! Seek out a firm that will take your case to trial if necessary and who will not rest until you have recovered the compensation you deserve.
These are the most common reasons you may feel the need to change your personal injury attorney. However, even if you don’t see a reason you identify with on this list, you may still wish to seek out a new attorney. When it comes to something as important as your personal injury case, you should trust your intuition.
What should I look for in a new attorney?
If you’re seriously considering switching attorneys, your first step is to find a new attorney that you feel comfortable with. You may wish to be extra certain that your new choice is definitely the right fit for you. However, for those who are not familiar with the legal field, you may not be sure what questions to ask. Below is a list of some of the most important things to research in order to select the best attorney.
- Look at their results. The best law firms will proudly display their results on their website. It shouldn’t take too much digging to find it. Take a look at the results they have achieved for their clients. Hopefully, they should have some impressive numbers well over just a couple thousand, and preferably a few in the millions. You want to know that this law firm has the experience to take on a big case. However, smaller numbers are good to see as well, as some firms will not take on a case if they don’t feel it is worth enough for their time. Without knowing exactly how much your case is worth, you should look for a wide range so that no matter what happens, this firm can take it.
- Look at their practice areas. While you’re on their website, take a look at their practice areas. You want to make sure that your case is within their purview, so that you can find an attorney who has solid experience with your type of case. This is particularly important if you are in a complicated field, like a railroad FELA case. You do not want to select an attorney who has never taken on a FELA case if you were injured while working on the railroad. Even with your particular injury, like a medical malpractice, traumatic brain injury, slip and fall, and others, you should select a firm that has experience in these areas. This way, they will be able to evaluate your case for how much it is likely worth, and they will not accept less than what you deserve. If you pick a personal injury attorney who hasn’t taken on a case like yours, he or she may not understand exactly how much you are entitled to and could offer you a settlement for much less than you should be getting.
- Look at their awards. The larger firms will have their awards prominently displayed, so these shouldn’t be hard to find. If you can’t find any, you may want to steer clear. Well established, highly rated law firms will certainly have at least a few awards. These shouldn’t be the only thing you base your decision on, but you should at least see them on their website. Look specifically for national awards, like SuperLawyers, Best Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates, and AVVO ratings.
- Look at their testimonials. An honest review is worth its weight in gold. It’s important to take a close look at a firm’s online presence before selecting them. They may have some reviews on their website, but if not, take a look at their listing on Google. Be sure to read a good number of reviews before coming to a conclusion. One or two people are bound to be unhappy, but it shouldn’t deter you if the rest of the reviews are great. Also, pay attention to how recent their reviews are. You want a firm who is active and has many cases currently running, so a busy firm would probably have recent reviews. If they don’t have a Google listing, you can’t find reviews on them elsewhere, and their website looks outdated, you may want to steer clear. The firm may be too new to have developed an online presence, and they may not have the experience needed to give your case the attention and dedication it deserves.
- Ask the right questions. For someone who is not familiar with how an attorney works, it can be difficult to think of the best questions to ask in order to evaluate their experience. After you’ve done your research, have a conversation with the attorney, and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. Ask them how many years they’ve been handling personal injury cases and ask them about their results in those cases. Ask them specifically about your case – ask how much they think your case is worth, and if they anticipate any difficulties. Ask them how they plan to win your case, and if they will take your case to trial if it is necessary. Ask them how they receive compensation and if they take cases on a contingency fee basis. Ask them about their communication, if they will be able to answer your questions as your case progresses, and if they will provide you with regular updates. The right attorney for you will be able to answer all of these questions without hesitation. An experienced and successful personal injury attorney will not be deterred by hard questions, and will be happy to answer you.
This research should be pretty simple to complete. You should be able to find most of it on the firm’s website. Make sure you take your time considering your options before you settle on an attorney. Because personal injury cases are paid on a contingency fee basis, there is no reason you shouldn’t select the absolute best attorney you can find.
How do I switch lawyers in a personal injury case?
Now that you’ve done your homework and have selected an attorney that you feel confident about, you can approach the firm. Depending on how far along you are in your case, this process will be different based on the stage you’re in. If your case has already been filed, your attorney will file a substitution of counsel, which informs the courts that you are changing attorneys. If your case is still in the early stages and you haven’t filed a claim yet, it’s even easier. You won’t need to file anything.
However, you shouldn’t need to worry about any of this. Your first step is to reach out to the law firm you’ve selected and explain your injury to them. Let them know that you have already started the process with an attorney, but you aren’t happy with the progress on your case. Once your new attorney has agreed to take on your case, they will take care of the rest.
What paperwork is involved when I switch attorneys?
When you switch law firms, you will be asked to sign a letter informing your old law firm that you have switched to a new law firm. When they receive the letter, your old law firm will send their expenses to the new law firm. The new law firm will review those expenses and reimburse the old law firm for all reasonable costs. At that point, the old law firm will transfer your file to the new law firm. You will not be required to lay out any money from your own pocket, nor will you be required to speak to your old law firm at any time. Your new law firm will handle these things for you. This process is generally simple and can happen very quickly, and you’ll be able to move forward with your case and your new law firm.
How do I pay my attorneys?
Personal injury cases are paid on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you’re not paying out of pocket for any expenses. In New York State, the legal fee for a personal injury case is one third of the recovery. Your attorney will collect their fee from the amount you recover at the conclusion of your case. However, you may be wondering how this will work if you switch attorneys halfway through your case. Rest assured that switching attorneys will not impact your recovery. When you switch attorneys your new law firm will share the same one third of the recovery with any prior law firms that you had working for you. The legal fees do not increase when you switch law firms. The amount that you collect will not be affected, and your current and former attorneys will split the fees.
Choose the attorney that’s right for you.
If you aren’t feeling completely confident in the attorney you’ve chosen for your personal injury case, you should find a new attorney. You deserve to have the best representation, an attorney who will fight aggressively for your rights, and who will not rest until you have been compensated with the funds you need.
The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to help, even if your previous attorney was unable to get you the results you need. They have the experience to understand your personal injury case and they will not accept any result that’s less than what you deserve. You only have one chance to get the compensation you need when you have been injured, and you should choose the absolute best representation. Don’t accept anything less!
No matter if your case is complicated or straightforward, Hach & Rose, LLP treats every client with the utmost attention and care. Below are just some of the results we have achieved on behalf of our clients. Visit our results page to see even more outcomes we have obtained. All cases are different, and past successes are no guarantee of a future recovery.
- $8,000,000 — Jury verdict obtained for the victim of a motorcycle accident.
- $3,800,000 — Settlement for medical malpractice.
- $2,775,000 — Recovered for a pedestrian who was injured during the course of a police chase.
- $1,500,000 — For a trip and fall on a misleveled elevator.
- $825,000 — For a woman who was struck by a van after getting off a bus.
- $300,000 — For school teacher that slipped and fell during course of employment.
We are proud of the work that we do, and we are honored to work with our clients who put their trust in us to achieve the results they deserve. Our results speak for themselves, and our grateful clients have shared what our work has meant to them and their families. Below is one of the recent reviews we have received from a client we were able to assist.
“After reviewing several law firms for my Personal Injury case, I met with Hach & Rose and Michael Rose, and his team. I was immediately at ease and trusted their opinion of my case and knew they would have my best interests at heart. As my case progressed, Hach & Rose kept me up to date on all actions they were taking, the status of the case of the aggressive stance and filings they were pursuing on my behalf. Even as Covid hit and a massive slow down occurred within the court system in NY, Hach & Rose stayed aggressive and looked for ways to bring my case to a settlement/conclusion. In July 2021, they were able to settle my case successfully and to my 100% satisfaction. I cannot recommend Hach & Rose and in particular Mike Rose any higher. In short, they are firm, fair, aggressive, responsive, super smart and know the numerous ins and outs of Personal Injury cases (which can be quite complicated). Upon hiring them you get a law firm that will leave you confident that your case will be handled expertly and with your interests front and center. After time you’ll also realize that you’ve not only gained a great law firm and advocate, but you’ve also gained a group of trusted friends that you can count on for years to come. Thank you, Hach & Rose and Mike Rose, for doing an amazing job with my case!” — Jeff McClelland
Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you are unhappy with the representation you have chosen for your accident, don’t wait another moment. You only get one chance at compensation after your accident, and it is crucial that you fully trust the attorney you have chosen. The New York personal injury attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have earned their reputation through two decades of achieving results for our clients. If you have been hurt due to the negligent actions or inactions of another party, our dedicated personal injury attorneys are ready to help. Call us now at (212) 779-0057 to set up a free and confidential consultation.