Question from Gerty, Can I Continue My Personal Injury Case with a New Lawyer After 2 Years?
Answer from AI:
Generally, you have the right to change your lawyer at any time. However, there are several factors to consider when deciding to switch lawyers in the middle of a personal injury case, especially after a significant amount of time has passed.
Considerations When Changing Lawyers
Here are some important points to consider:
- Statute of Limitations: In the United States, each state has a specific time limit, known as the statute of limitations, within which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. If the statute of limitations has expired, you may not be able to continue your case, regardless of whether you change lawyers. The time limit varies by state and by the type of injury, so it’s important to check the specific laws in your state.
- Fee Arrangements: If you signed a contingency fee agreement with your original lawyer (which is common in personal injury cases), you may still owe them a fee for the work they’ve done on your case, even if they didn’t finish it. The specifics will depend on the terms of your agreement.
- Case Progress: Depending on how far your case has progressed, a new lawyer may need to spend significant time getting up to speed, which could potentially delay your case further.
Steps to Change Lawyers
If you decide to change lawyers, here are the general steps you might take:
- Find a new lawyer who is willing to take your case.
- Inform your current lawyer that you wish to end your professional relationship. This is typically done in writing.
- Your new lawyer will likely need to file a notice of appearance in court, indicating that they are now representing you.
Before making a decision, it’s recommended that you consult with a legal professional to understand the potential implications. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and the laws in your state.
For more information on changing lawyers, you can refer to the American Bar Association’s resources.
Note: This information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to provide legal advice. Please consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.