Can You Switch Personal Injury Lawyers?
If you’re undertaking a personal injury lawsuit, the last thing on your mind should be concerns about the reliability and trustworthiness of your attorney. However, not all personal injury lawyers are created equal, and it is not as uncommon as you might imagine for someone to switch lawyers in the midst of a case.
Incompetence and ethical Issues
There are a variety of reasons why someone may wish to fire their personal injury lawyer. The uninitiated may believe that since an injury lawyer has successfully passed the bar and chosen to practice a particular area of law involving vulnerable individuals in disabling conditions, they will display the utmost in competence and professionalism.
The opposite is sadly true in many cases. Incompetence, a disregard for ethics, poor judgment, and a lack of respect for the client are common reasons clients switch lawyers in the middle of a case, despite the hassle.
Disrespect, lack of compassion, and disregard for client’s well-being
Of course, every attorney should understand the responsibility required of their profession and treat their clientele with the utmost respect. However, personal injury law is a particularly personal area in which clients expect their attorneys to fight for them. In many personal injury cases, plaintiffs require thousands and even millions of dollars in compensation in order to pay for hospitalization, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and in some cases, treatment for psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder, which can debilitate individuals for many years.
Many victims of personal injury become permanently or temporarily disabled due to negligence on the behalf of another party. If an attorney is incapable of showing the simplest level of compassion to the situation faced by their vulnerable client, they are probably not the best person for the job.
Poor professional relationship
If you find yourself unable to connect with your lawyer on a personal level or they are somewhat cold and aloof towards you, this could be a dealbreaker for some. On the other hand, many clients don’t mind if their lawyer is disinterested in being their friend, they simply want their legal expertise and don’t care if they get along on a personal level or not.
Some people may find the traditionally ruthless “bulldog” lawyer stereotype off-putting. Others may appreciate the fact that their injury lawyer comes off like a fighter in and out of court, simply because it lends credibility to their case.
A strong argument inevitably matters, and when delivered by someone with a cool, self-assured, and even aggressive personality, it can be comforting to the plaintiff. If you’re bothered by an attorney’s cold demeanor or tendency to send terse one-word replies to your emails, you may wish to look elsewhere. If not, it probably isn’t worth the hassle of hiring a new lawyer.
Lack of response
A client seeking legal aid expects their personal injury attorney to be quick to respond to questions and issues that arise during the process. If your lawyer fails to get in touch with you on a regular basis, especially by phone or email, this is a huge red flag. Sure, lawyers lead busy and often stressful lives, but their clients deserve to feel they are within reach and accessible during a personal injury case.
Some excuses for a lawyer’s failure to get in touch with you are reasonable, such as the fact that they are very likely busy with other clients at the same time as you. If there is nothing new to inform you about a case’s proceedings, your lawyer is under no obligation to send you an email.
However, a blatant disregard for your emails or calls, understandably, indicates that they are not very invested in your case. If you feel you are being intentionally ignored, it might be time to move on.