How to Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer in New York 2023

Can I Change My Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?

Yes. You can change from your lawyer to a new personal injury lawyer in New York at any time, for any reason, and as many times as you want without any extra cost to you but it may be difficult to change your personal injury lawyer more than twice. You can change your lawyer in the middle of your accident case and even at the end of your case.

Note: If your accident was not in New York State, you should change to a personal injury attorney in the state where your accident happened.

Note: If your accident happened in New York State, you should change to a personal injury attorney in New York. Sometimes, lawyers in other states will take your case because you have a big injury, and they think they can get a quick settlement, but they will either screw up your case or settle for pennies on the dollar. If you’re being represented by a lawyer from another state, call us now. Many of our clients were previously represented by a lawyer from another state and called us to find out how they can change their lawyer to us.

3 Tips on How to Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer in New York

Tip 1: Get a free consultation with another personal injury lawyer for a second opinion before you fire your current personal injury lawyer.

Although you are allowed to change your personal injury attorney, you may not be able to find another personal injury lawyer willing to take your accident case. That’s why you should always get a second opinion before you fire your current personal injury lawyer.

TIP 2: Never fire your current personal injury lawyer. Have your new personal injury lawyer fire your current lawyer and transfer your case to the new lawyer.

TIP 3: If your personal injury attorney doesn’t want to represent you anymore, call other personal injury lawyers but don’t tell them your lawyer doesn’t want to represent you anymore. That’s a big red flag to personal injury attorneys, and they will likely not even want to consider your case.

BONUS TIP: If you can’t find a new personal injury lawyer, keep your current lawyer.

Note: If you already changed your personal injury lawyer and are trying to change your personal injury lawyer again to a 3rd lawyer, be careful. It may be more difficult to find a new lawyer unless you have a very valuable personal injury case. The reason is that while it will not cost you any extra money, each of your previous lawyers is entitled to part of the legal fee, leaving less money for your new lawyer.

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How Can I Find a New Personal Injury Lawyer?

Since you are looking for information about how to change your personal injury lawyer, you may realize that already made a mistake once when looking for a personal injury lawyer.

So, how can you be sure not to make a mistake again? Read our tips about the signs of a bad attorney and How to Find a Top-Rated Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me.

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Reasons Why You May Want to Change Your Lawyer

Often you liked the personal injury lawyer when you signed the retainer, but afterward, the lawyer doesn’t seem interested in you or your case, and the lawyer won’t communicate with you anymore.

There are many reasons why you may want to change your lawyer to a new lawyer, but here are a few reasons people told us they wanted to change their personal injury lawyer:

  1. I want to be able to speak with my lawyer when I call – Call us!
  2. My lawyer doesn’t return my phone calls, emails, or texts, within two days, and I cannot get to speak with my lawyer.
  3. I only get to speak to my lawyer’s secretary.
  4. I don’t get along with my lawyer.
  5. My lawyer isn’t interested in my case.
  6. My lawyer actually said, “I’m too busy to handle your case.”
  7. My lawyer wants me to get my medical records.
  8. My lawyer hasn’t filed a lawsuit since 12 months after my accident.
  9. My case is taking too long to settle.
  10. My lawyer wants me to settle my case for too little.
  11. My lawyer doesn’t want to take my case to trial.
  12. I can’t find out what’s going on with my case.
  13. I get the feeling that I am bothering my lawyer.
  14. My lawyer doesn’t seem to know me or my case when I call.
  15. My lawyer doesn’t want to represent me anymore.

We Got 4X More Than Cellino & Barnes!

We had a client who changed his lawyer from Cellino & Barnes to us because he was unhappy that they wanted him to settle his accident case for $25,000. We settled his case for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.

He had a motorcycle accident when his motorcycle was hit by a car. The car then drove into a gas station. The driver denied being involved in the motorcycle accident, and her insurance company denied the claim filed by Cellino & Barnes. Cellino & Barnes wanted their client to settle for his $25,000 uninsured policy for a hit-and-run accident, and that’s when he called us to change his lawyer.

We investigated, got the video from the gas station, and forced the driver’s insurance company to pay their entire $100,000 insurance policy.

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Why Is My Lawyer Taking So Long to Settle My Case

There are many reasons why your case may be taking a long time to settle. The two biggest reasons are that

  1. Your lawyer has been ignoring your case.
  2. The court is very slow, and once your case is on the trial calendar, it can take a couple of years of waiting.

If you think your personal injury case is taking too long and want to know how long a personal injury case takes, see our timeline of a personal injury case. If you want to change your personal injury lawyer, call us!

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Can I Change My Lawyer Before Settlement?

Yes. Even if your lawyer already got a settlement offer, but you don’t think the settlement offer is enough, you can still change your lawyer to a new personal injury lawyer. As long as you didn’t sign a settlement release, you can change your personal injury lawyer at any time.

My first personal injury case was for John V., who I met while working part-time at ABC Monday Night Baseball and Wide World of Sports. John was a graphic artist and had a neck injury from a hit-in-the-rear car accident. Two cars hit him in the rear. The rear car had a $300,000 State Farm insurance policy, and the middle car had two insurance policies, one for the owner and one for a repair garage that was working on the car. An unauthorized driver was driving the car for the repair shop, so its insurance denied the claim.

His lawyer never tried to get settlement offers from the middle car. He did get an insurance company settlement offer of $75,000 from State Farm for the rear car and recommended that John take the offer, but John wasn’t happy with the settlement offer and asked me what I thought. I told John I would like to represent him.

After I took his case, I got a settlement offer of $300,000, another $10,000 from the middle car’s insurance (the entire minimum insurance at that time), and another $10,000 from John’s uninsured policy (the entire minimum insurance at that time).

John’s previous lawyer never filed an uninsured claim, and by the time I got the case, it was too late. I filed anyway and still got the entire insurance policy.

John used his personal injury settlement money to buy a house. I used my legal fee for a deposit on my house.

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Can I Change My Personal Injury Lawyer Before a Trial?

Yes. You can still change your lawyer to a new personal injury lawyer even if your case is about to go to trial. It may be more difficult to change your lawyer at this stage of your personal injury case, but it is possible, especially if you have a serious injury.

When Is It Too Late to Fire Your Attorney

Technically, it’s never too late to fire your lawyer. However, it can be very difficult, if not impossible to hire a new lawyer at certain times or under certain conditions.

For example, it can be difficult or impossible to hire a new personal injury lawyer when:

  • You had too many prior lawyers and a new lawyer won’t earn enough money after sharing the 1/3 contingency fee with your prior lawyers.
  • You have a case that may have unseen legal problems, and a new lawyer may be afraid that your current lawyer made tactical errors that could destroy your case, especially after you already had a deposition. We have seen many situations like this such as a slip and fall on ice, during a snowstorm. We did not take the case because we had concerns. Eventually, the first lawyer lost the case because he made a fatal error.
  • Your case is too close to a trial date, so a new lawyer doesn’t have time to review the case file and prepare for trial.

Can I Get a Second Opinion From a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Yes. People frequently get a second opinion from another doctor. It’s the same with lawyers, and personal injury lawyers don’t charge a fee for a consultation or a second opinion.

What Are My Rights as a Client of a Lawyer?

See the New York State required Statement of Client’s Rights

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What Should I Do if My Personal Injury Lawyer Dropped My Case?

Surprisingly, we get a lot of calls from people who said their personal injury attorney dropped their case or said he or she doesn’t want to represent them anymore.

Find out what to do if your personal injury lawyer dropped your case, or just call us now!

4 Reasons Your Lawyer May Fire You or Tell You to Get Another Lawyer

  • Your lawyer doesn’t get along with you.
  • Your lawyer no longer thinks you have a good case.
  • Your lawyer disagrees with you about how much your case is worth.
  • Your lawyer wants you to settle for much less money than you want.

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Will It Cost Me More Money to Change My Personal Injury Lawyer?

No. Your legal fee will remain the same at 1/3 of what the personal injury lawyer gets you, no matter how many times you change your personal injury lawyer.

We will work out with your previous lawyer how much of the 1/3 legal fee will be paid by us to your previous personal injury lawyer.

How to change your personal injury lawyer and get enough personal injury settlement money to fill these money bags

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Will Changing Lawyers Hurt or Delay My Personal Injury Case?

No. Another lawyer will probably be able to get you more money and maybe even quicker. If you are unhappy with your current lawyer, it’s probably for a good reason. The sooner you get a new personal injury lawyer, the better it will be for you.

Do I have to Call My Personal Injury Lawyer to Change Lawyers?

No. Your new personal injury lawyer will contact your previous personal injury lawyer to arrange to transfer your file.

Should I Call Another Personal Injury Lawyer if a Lawyer Didn’t Want My Case?

Yes. You should always get a second opinion if you went to a personal injury lawyer who did not want your case or after taking your case, your personal injury lawyer no longer wants to represent you.

We represented many personal injury clients who were turned down by other personal injury lawyers.

We settled a car accident case for $750,000 for a client in the Bronx who had back pain and went to a lawyer who didn’t want the case until she got some medical treatment. If that lawyer took her case, she probably wouldn’t have been happy with him, and he probably would have settled it for $15,000.

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What Should I Do Now?

Now that you know how to change your personal injury lawyer in New York to a new lawyer, just call us or give your name and number to the operator in the chat window for a free second opinion with no pressure.

If you sign a retainer with us, we will contact your personal injury lawyer and arrange everything for you. You won’t have to speak with your previous lawyer or do anything!

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is well-known in New York and has been a personal injury lawyer since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

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