Can I Change My Personal Injury Solicitor During a Claim?
Reasons for Changing Solicitors
Many reasons would make you want to change your personal injury solicitors.
- When you don’t get regular updates, or the current solicitor communicates poorly making you feel completely out of the loop.
- When the solicitor fails to provide adequate support for you or members of your family.
- When there are delays in your case, and you feel the solicitor is not doing enough to speed up the progress of your case.
- When your solicitor advises you to settle your case at a valuation which you believe is inadequate.
- When the law firm you’re dealing with keeps assigning different handlers to your case, and you’re left with no single contact person whenever you need some answers.
- When you’re concerned with the quality of the legal advice you’re getting if you’re talking to different legal personnel every time you make contact and being offered different advice.
- When you realize that your solicitors are coercing you into agreeing to settle your claim too early.
No matter the circumstances, you are at liberty to change solicitors and seamlessly transfer your files to a new solicitor. Parties involved must be willing to make the process as straightforward as possible.
What to Look for in a Personal Injury Solicitor
The whole idea behind a personal injury claim is to get adequately compensated not only for the injuries sustained by you, but also for losses resulting directly from the accident. When you embark on the plan to switch solicitors, consider the following in your next solicitor:
- Is the firm of solicitors recognized by the Law Society of Ireland?
- Is your solicitor a specialist in claims of personal injury?
- Are they willing to meet you face-to-face to discuss your case?
- Are they assigning a particular individual to handle your claims from the onset?
- Do they promise to provide regular updates on the progress of your personal injury compensation?
- Are they upfront in discussing legal fee, including fees that may be due to your previous solicitor?
The Process of Changing Solicitors During Personal Injury Compensation Claim
The process of changing your solicitor during a personal injury case is well-stipulated under The Law Society of Ireland’s guidelines. It must be smooth and transparent, and all parties must adhere to these guidelines.
Step #1 You will be required to authorise your new solicitors, through signing a Form of Authority, authorising them to take over your relevant files from the previous firm. Your new firm then proceeds to write to your old firm of solicitors advising them of their intention to take over your case.
Step #2 Upon receiving a request to transfer files to your new solicitors firm, the previous firm should confirm all the conditions of transfer, including outstanding costs (bill of costs).
Step #3 It is time for you to review outstanding bills as outlined by your previous firm, where you may accept or dispute the costs. Disputes can be resolved through negotiation, a referral to the Taxing Master of Ireland, or a complaint to the Law Society of Ireland.
Step #4 Once all the conditions and fee agreement have been reached, your previous solicitors should readily relinquish your file to your new legal firm. After settling fees with the old solicitors, the file becomes the property of the client.
The moment you feel the need to change solicitors during a personal injury claim or to seek a second opinion, it is advisable not to waste any more time. It is best to make decisions before any further progress to your case, as you may end up incurring more expenses in legal fees with your current solicitors. It also ensures that you stand a far better chance of faster and a more reasonable outcome.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin