How and When to Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois | Staver
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How and When to Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury

A lawyer can make or break your personal injury case. Whether you had a slip and fall, a car crash, a truck accident, or another personal injury, choosing the “right” attorney for you can be a lot of pressure.

Sometimes you make the wrong first choice. But you don’t have to be stuck with the wrong lawyer.

Illinois law allows you to change legal representation no matter where you are in your personal injury case. Learn more about when you can switch lawyers and the process.

Can I Change Personal Injury Lawyers?

Yes, you can change your personal injury lawyer anytime during your case. Laws protect a client’s right to an attorney, which includes changing or firing counsel.

However, you should always try to mend your relationship with a lawyer before taking drastic measures. Discussing your concerns and frustrations might help them better cater their services to you. If you are still unhappy with them, you can hire someone else and fire your current lawyer.

Is there any Reason I Can’t Change Lawyers?

There may be exceptions to switching personal injury attorneys. The judge in your case must approve your request. If you are too close to the court date, or there’s a conflict of interest with the lawyer you want, the court might not allow you to change counsel.

Common Reasons for Switching Lawyers

If you want to change your legal representation, you don’t need a specific reason. The decision is yours to make, even if it’s just a gut feeling.

However, changing counsel is often a last resort. It will likely impact the time and money you spend on your case. Depending on your contract, you may owe the former lawyer a percentage of their fees, and the new lawyer will need to catch up on your case thus far.

You might decide to change lawyers if:

  • Your lawyer is unavailable or unresponsive, i.e., not returning your calls
  • Your lawyer is unorganized or doesn’t have a good strategy
  • Your lawyer ignores the opinions, questions, or concerns you have
  • Your lawyer treats you poorly, such as screaming at or lying to you
  • Your lawyer doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing
  • Your lawyer pressures you to accept an offer you don’t want
  • Your lawyer doesn’t build any trust and communication between you
  • Your lawyer only cares about what they’ll get from your case and not about you
  • Your lawyer is disbarred, falls seriously ill, or dies during your case
  • Your lawyer is overwhelmed or unqualified
  • Your case doesn’t seem to be progressing

Knowing the source of your dissatisfaction can help you pinpoint your needs moving forward. It will also help you fire the lawyer with concrete reasoning.

How to Change Lawyers in a Personal Injury Case

The process of changing counsel can vary depending on where you are in your case.

Steps to Take Before Changing Lawyers

No matter how far along you are in your case, you should refer to any agreements you made when you hired a lawyer before terminating their services. They may have a procedure for firing them or financial strings attached.

Follow any steps they outline. If you disagree with any, your new lawyer might be able to negotiate with them.

You should also ensure you have another lawyer before officially firing your current one. Otherwise, you could be left without representation for some time. Secure any files related to your case, so progress isn’t hindered.

Changing Lawyers Before Filing a Claim or Lawsuit

Changing lawyers can be straightforward if you have yet to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Once you hire a new attorney, they could draft a letter explaining the situation to your former lawyer.

Your former lawyer can transfer the case files to the new lawyer helping you.

Hiring a New Lawyer While Your Case is Active

If you’ve already filed a claim or lawsuit, you must follow a procedure with the courts to change counsel.

Your former lawyer will file a motion to withdraw. This will remove them from the case and restart your claim or lawsuit.

Your new lawyer will then file a motion and order requesting to substitute as your legal representation. You and your former lawyer must sign the documents before a judge approves them.

What to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer

The hardest step was deciding to change personal injury lawyers. You should be proud for taking the initiative in your case and recovery.

Hopefully, now that you know what didn’t work with your last personal injury attorney, you can recognize what will. Here are some “green flags” to look for in the next personal injury lawyer:

  • They listen to you and your needs. A good legal advocate will amplify your voice rather than silence it.
  • They have a strategy that works. Their process is dependable and organized without being rigid.
  • They have a record of success with similar cases. The firm’s results and reviews speak for themselves and show experience handling personal injury cases like yours.
  • They’re in it for the right reasons. They view you as a person to help, not a check to cash.
  • They are available, knowledgeable, and committed. They reply when you reach out. They have answers when you have questions. Their focus is 100% on you—and it shows.
  • You trust them. Maybe it’s their reputation. Maybe it’s your instinct. Regardless of what draws you towards a law firm, you likely feel that way for a reason. You trust they’re the right choice to help.

Our Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers are Here for You

Nothing is more frustrating than putting recovery on hold after a personal injury to pick up a lawyer’s slack. Or feeling like your attorney isn’t 100% on your side. You shouldn’t have to handle legal burdens on top of financial and health concerns. That’s why changing legal counsel might be the right option for most Illinois cases.

When you trust a legal professional who turns out to be the wrong fit, it can be hard to know who to trust next. Let Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. show you why thousands of Illinois clients believe in our skills. Our Chicago attorneys can reveal the full potential of your case and help you recover smoothly.

Contact our team at (312) 736-0773 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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