Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case...

by Anonymous
(Arizona)

Hello, I had a car accident around 2 months ago. I went to this attorney and did not really know what to expect since it was my first car wreck. I was trying to get some advice on what to do.

I was asked by his office staff to complete papers and didn't realize I signed an agreement. He initially sent me to physical therapy and referred me to a doctor which is about a 20 minute drive from where I live.

He did not even give me the option or consider that I'm a full-time worker and mother, or the inconvenience of going 3 days a week. When I tried to have him change me to a closer doctor I got a phone call from his office that it would not look good on my case for the other insurance if I changed doctors... this sounds kind of fishy.

Also, the physical therapy I get from this doctor doesn't seem to work, specifically for my shoulder problem. My gut tells me something does not sound right.

So, if I decide to change or terminate this lawyer can I do that without a problem? Does a person have the right to change lawyers and the retainer agreement without affecting their personal injury case? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case...":

Typically attorneys have relationships with medical providers and they may suggest or recommend that you seek treatment from one of these medical providers.

One of the reasons is that medical providers that work regularly with personal injury attorneys will take the case on a "lien" meaning that the patient/client would not have to pay out of pocket expenses until the case settles.

This often helps the patient/client financially due to the number of times the chiropractor or physical therapist wants to see you weekly. It is not uncommon for the doctor (not the lawyer) to prescribe treatment of 3-4 times per week initially.

The frequency should decrease, however with time and as your symptoms disappear. Eventually you should get to the point where you are seeing your provider once per week until you are 100% back to normal (or as close to normal as you can get).

When your current attorney tells you not to seek another doctor, he is giving you sound advice. In the eyes of the insurance adjuster, any change in treatment that is not by referral is viewed with skepticism.

Your ultimate settlement will be based upon your lost wages, out of pocket expenses and medical bills. So while it may seem very taxing on you now, a skilled attorney will articulate all the inconvenience and pain you are suffering into a well drafted demand for settlement.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for Changing Lawyers in the Middle of a Car Accident Case...

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Weltmanbernstein.com
by: Elvin M. Blass

It's not a big issue to change the lawyer in the middle of a case that's just a car accident case. All you need to do is try to bring all the files that were given to the former lawyer and settle the accounts with him. There is even a benefit of restarting the case with more effect.

The proper treatment
by: Anonymous

What if the current physical therapy that I'm getting is not really working for my shoulder problem. Can I still change the doctor/clinic for my shoulder treatment?

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