Choosing the right car accident lawyer in Houston is the most important step toward getting compensation for your injuries. A lawyer’s commitment to maximizing your payout is a major factor that determines the outcome of your claim. While there are many lawyers to choose from in Houston, TX, it is important that you find someone who will give your case the time and professionalism it deserves. If you feel that your Houston car accident lawyer is not performing the way you hoped, it might be time to switch.
6 Signs You Need a New Houston Car Accident Lawyer
Maybe your car accident attorney looked great online and spoke well at your free consultation but isn’t delivering on his or her promises. Maybe you find your lawyer hard to communicate with, or maybe you notice them making careless errors. The good news is that in Texas, you usually have the option to change lawyers, even if you are part-way through a case. Here are some signs indicating that you might get better results with a new attorney:
1. You Cannot Speak With Your lawyer Directly
When you have a question about your case, you should be able to speak with your attorney when you need to, rather than his or her legal assistant. If your attorney seems to have passed the communications off to someone else in the law firm all the time, the lack of personal attention could show that he or she does not have enough time for your case.
While an attorney should have a wealth of experience dealing with cases that are similar to yours, every car accident is unique. Skimming the details of your accident and relying on previous cases is not a winning strategy. A lawyer who does not make the time to speak with you directly might also be neglecting to thoroughly examine your accident for evidence and arguing points.
2. Your car accident Lawyer Will Not Explain His or Her Strategy
Your attorney should never make you feel like it is wrong to ask questions. You have the right to understand how he or she plans to collect evidence, conduct negotiations with the insurance company, and go to trial if necessary. If your lawyer does not provide satisfactory answers to your questions about strategy, chances are, there isn’t one.
3. Your Lawyer Lacks Good Communication Skills
Beyond talking about the strategy for your case, your lawyer should possess the ability to communicate well in general. Submitting a claim or filing a lawsuit for a personal injury involves a lot of back and forth between you and your lawyer. The two of you will need to be able to communicate on the details of the accident, the status of your claim, the legal protocols which must be followed, and the options you must consider.
A great car accident lawyer for one client is not necessarily the best fit for every case. Your lawyer might be perfectly knowledgeable on the workings of the legal system, but if he or she does not make you feel comfortable talking about your accident, you would probably be better-matched with a different lawyer.
4. Your Attorney Does Not Give Your Case Enough Consideration
If you feel that your attorney is taking shortcuts with your case, you might have concerns about getting a payout large enough to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Some car accident attorneys in Houston try to maximize their profits by resolving a lot of cases quickly, rather than focusing on getting a few clients as much money as possible.
Did your attorney go through your case with a fine-toothed comb, looking for damages? Did he or she conduct a thorough investigation of the accident? Did he or she review your first settlement offer to make sure it was enough? You don’t need to settle for a car accident lawyer in Houston who will call it quits before all means of maximizing your payout have been explored.
5. Your Attorney Appears Unprofessional
Does your attorney forget details about your case? Are there typos in the correspondence coming from the law firm? Is there something about your lawyer that just feels unprofessional?
You should always remember that the professionalism your lawyer displays with you will probably be similar to his or her demeanor while negotiating with the insurance company or litigating in front of a judge. You should only work with a lawyer who appears competent and convincing at all times.
6. Your Attorney Seems Unwilling to Go to Trial
While it is your legal right to take your claim all the way to court, your attorney might not be willing to litigate. Some Houston car accident attorneys find that arguing cases in court requires more time or risk-taking than they are willing to commit.
There is nothing wrong with accepting a settlement from an insurance company instead of going to trial. In fact, most personal injury cases end that way. Settling outside of court can help you save time and avoid the risk of walking away with nothing. However, in the event that the insurance company flat-out refuses to give you a reasonable offer, your attorney should be willing to litigate on your behalf.
How to Get a New Car Accident Attorney in Houston, TX
In Texas, you do not need to have a specific reason for changing attorneys, even if you are in the middle of a case. Unless you have already gone to court and the judge feels that switching would hold up the trial significantly, you will be able to get a new attorney by simply hiring a new one. The first step is to find a new attorney who agrees to take you on as a client.
Upholding the Client-Attorney Relationship
Your old attorney is still obligated to uphold their obligations to you according to the client-attorney relationship, even after you stop working with them. Accordingly, they must keep the details of your claim confidential and they need to turn over all of the documentation pertaining to your case so that you can pursue compensation with your new attorney.
You do not need to worry about your old attorney sabotaging your case or retaliating against you because failure to act according to your best interests is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers. Lawyers who do not uphold the tenants of the client-attorney relationship can lose their license.
Your New car accident lawyer Will Help You Through the Transition
Your new Houston car accident lawyer will help you through the process of changing lawyers by:
- providing you with a new retainer to sign
- receiving documentation from your old lawyer
- arranging compensation for the old lawyer if your case is successful.
As soon as you begin working together, he or she should take a little time to review your case in depth, including going over some details that your old attorney may have glossed over.
Don’t Settle When It Comes to Maximizing Your Settlement
There are plenty of car accident attorneys in Houston, TX that can give your case a cursory review, but holding a liable party accountable for significant damages requires a compassionate commitment to providing legal expertise. Car accidents often result in costly injuries, and you don’t want to risk walking away with less money than you deserve. If you feel that your current attorney is not a good match for your case, contact Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, today!