David Tapalian
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Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case

Experienced Attorney Helping Crash Victims in Providence and Surrounding Areas

Choosing an attorney is an important decision to make when bringing a claim to pursue damages for injuries sustained in a car accident. Often, this decision involves consideration not only of an attorney’s experience and cost but also how well you work together and understand each other. When the match is not right, it is important to know your options with regard to changing lawyers in the middle of a car accident case. Providence car accident lawyer David Tapalian understands the challenges facing people who no longer feel comfortable with their current legal representation. Knowing your options in the middle of a car accident case is important to ensure that your interests are served in the end.

Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case

The decision to change attorneys is not one to take lightly. Establishing a lawyer-client relationship is based on mutual trust and the expectation on both sides to remain honest and dedicated to the same goals. It is also a business relationship, in which the client contracts with an attorney or law firm that agrees to perform certain services. If one of the parties fails to perform their end of the deal, they may be able to withdraw from the case. There are stricter rules for when an attorney may decide to withdraw from a case, especially in the middle of proceedings. However, a client is mostly free to discharge a lawyer and find alternate representation if they choose.

When a client wishes to change lawyers in the middle of a car accident case, the outgoing attorney may file a notice of withdrawal in order to be released of responsibility by the court. After a withdrawal, the lawyer must return any of the client’s original documents or property, as well as refund any retainer money that has not been used. If attorney fees are still due at the time of replacement, a lien may be placed on any compensation awarded to the client at the conclusion of the case. A client may not change lawyers at the outset of or during the course of a trial, unless they have procured representation that is immediately ready to begin the case. In these situations, it is up to a court’s discretion whether or not to allow a replacement, considering any inconvenience or prejudice that a change would cause.

There are some important factors to consider if you are thinking of replacing your representation in the middle of a car accident case. First, a new lawyer will likely require a retainer fee, and it might be more costly because they need to become familiar with the case more quickly than the original attorney, who was working with more time. Also, you will want to make sure that the new attorney is adequately prepared before further action needs to be taken. The statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in Rhode Island is three years from the date of the injury. Thus, depending on whether a case has been filed and the progression of the proceedings, timing may be an important consideration in deciding to switch lawyers during the course of a case.

Seek Assistance from a Providence Lawyer Following a Car Accident

Trusting a lawyer to competently represent you in legal proceedings is important following a car accident, since you need to focus on recovering from your injuries and other aspects of the aftermath. Providence attorney David Tapalian works with clients from the beginning until the end of their legal journey, taking the time to ensure that they feel comfortable with the process. Tapalian Law represents injured people across Rhode Island and Massachusetts from our offices in Providence and Seekonk. If you have been injured in a car accident and are seeking legal advice, contact our office online or call (401) 552-5000 to discuss your case at no charge with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.