I have a personal injury claim that's one year old. Can I get a new attorney?

Asked over 1 year ago - San Diego, CA

The accident was caused by a rented car carrier, attached to a moving truck, that broke. Though the rental truck company has admitted responsibility, but their offer to settle the case is too low.
My lawyer has been difficult to work with and I feel that he has not advocated my case well. I would like to move forward with better representation, if possible.

Attorney answers (15)

  1. Steven Ronald Kuhn

    Contributor Level 15

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . You have a right to change lawyers at any time. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who is willing to take your case to trial if needed. He will have to share his fee with your present attorney so he will only take the case if he thinks he can get more than the present offer.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as”AVVO.com are not,... more
  2. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    14

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    Answered . There's certainly no rule that prevents you from changing attorneys, at any time. If your case was close to the point of trial you might find it hard to find a new attorney since he or she would have to share a good share, if not most of the fee with your first attorney, but it doesn't sound like that is the case. It can't hurt to speak to a few local lawyers and see if they are interested.

  3. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    15

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    Answered . Yes you can obtain new counsel. Keep in mind that your soon-to-be former counsel may have a claim to some compensation as a result of his or her work up to the date of the switch.

    Good luck.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  4. David Phillip Beeson

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . I suggest that you arrange an office appointment with your attorney to discuss your case. Listen carefully to what your attorney says during that consultation. You can also ask that your attorney write a letter to you detailing your office appointment. After your appointment make an informed decision about seeking alternative representation. Before discharging your attorney consult with potential new representation. Make sure you have alternative representation before discharging your attorney.

    The responses here are not intended as legal advice. Do not rely upon the responses herein. Consult an attorney... more
  5. Robert Joseph Kaiser

    Contributor Level 8

    9

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    Answered . Yes, you can hire a new attorney. It's your case. You are in charge of who represents you. However, there are certain difficulties with switching attorneys. 1) The attorney you fire will have a lien on your case for attorney fees and costs. His name will likely be put on any settlement check the responsible party writes to you. You don't have to necessarily pay him his full contingency fee percentage, but he is entitled to a reasonable fee on the work he did on the case while he was your attorney. The retainer agreement may state what his hourly rate would be in such a situation. If you fire him, and don't get a better offer than the current offer, he could reasonably argue he is entitled to his full fee percentage. 2) when deciding whether or not to accept a case, attorneys take into consideration whether or not there is a prior attorney involved who will be asserting a lien when the case is resolved. If the case is smaller, a prior attorney lien is a significant turn-off to accepting a case. That being said, qualified personal injury attorneys usually welcome phone calls to discuss new cases free of charge. Call a local attorney to discuss your situation.

  6. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would suggest that you first arrange an immediate face to face meeting with your attorney, not a para-legal; secretary; etc, to fully discuss your questions & concerns

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  7. Debra Fink Bogaards

    Contributor Level 3

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you may fire your current attorney and hire a new one. I would suggest you get a copy of your file and bring it to your new potential attorney. Meet with several potential attorneys to find the one that you feel most comfortable with. However, be aware that your former attorney can assert a lien for his or her costs and time. That may be an impediment to finding a new attorney.

  8. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I've had cases against enterprise and other rental companies all the time in San Diego. They don't simply "settle". You have to file a lawsuit with them and go through the whole "shabang" so to speak. You have a right to change your attorney at any time.

    Direct Line to Attorney: 877-427-2752 or Email: Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com; Website: www.KingofPi.com... more
  9. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Yes

  10. Charles Owen Geerhart

    Contributor Level 7

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can always fire your old attorney and get a new one

  11. John N. Demas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As the client you have the absolute right to select new counsel if you feel your interests are not being properly represented.

  12. Peter Cameron

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have the right to change an attorney if you are not competent with him anymore. However, keep in mind that you need to inform the judge about this. There are a lot of competent San Diego Lawyers that can assist you with this.

    877-603-8473 - Peter S. Cameron, Esq. 2445 Fifth Ave. #350, San Diego, CA 92101 - Call 24/7 for a FREE CONSULTATION!
  13. Raymond Young Ryan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 5

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Rental car companies are usually self insured and play hardball claiming that they are only exposed to $15,000 in damages. If you have not been able to get a face to face meeting with your lawyer give me a call.

  14. Tatiana Kadetskaya

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. What were your injuries?

  15. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Changing attorneys is absolutely possible. You may want to meet with the attorney currently representing you to review the progress made and what needs to happen. Directly communicating with your car accident attorney can clear up many problems. That is why I tend to contact my clients often, such that any misunderstandings are cleared away. I have over 20 years of experience representing my clients in a variety of car accident cases. Regarding the representation, I routinely use experts to write reports and assessments and force insurance companies into recognizing the extent of the damage done. I wish you the best of luck.

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