When you’re involved in a personal injury case, you might start wondering about whether you can switch attorneys. In fact, if you’ve found this page, you might be looking for answers on how to go about changing lawyers in your car accident, slip and fall or other personal injury cases.
Can you switch lawyers in a personal injury case? Usually, the answer is yes. Here’s what you need to know about changing attorneys in a personal injury case:
Can I Switch Personal Injury Lawyers?
Yes, you can switch personal injury lawyers in most cases. Generally, you have the right to choose what attorney you want to represent you. If you change your mind about who you want to be your lawyer, you can switch and get a new lawyer. There are some limitations on your right to change lawyers. But usually, you can switch lawyers at any stage of your case.
Why Do People Switch Lawyers in a Personal Injury Case?
There are multiple reasons that people switch lawyers in personal injury cases. Most people get the feeling that something just isn’t right with their representation. Here are some of the reasons that people choose to change lawyers:
- The lawyer doesn’t return calls or emails
- It seems like your case isn’t going anywhere
- You want to go one direction in the case and your lawyer insists on doing something else
- The lawyer’s strategy doesn’t make any sense
- They don’t seem to have a strategy at all
- You want to understand the legal proceedings, but your lawyer doesn’t seem interested in explaining how the legal process works
- The lawyer pressures you to accept a settlement that you’re not okay with
- Lack of trust with your lawyer
- An instinctively bad feeling that your lawyer isn’t getting the job done
- Death or disbarment of your attorney
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 personal injury case, contact our attorneys. We’re happy to sit down with you to talk about your case and examine it up until this point. We know that it’s complicated, but we offer confidential consultations so you can have the confidence to know you’re making the right decisions in your case. Call us or message us today to immediately speak with a member of our legal team.
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