Can I Change Lawyers During a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The short answer is yes! You can definitely change lawyers in the middle of a workers’ compensation claim.

Maybe they don’t communicate clearly with you, or regularly enough. Maybe they make you feel as though you ask too many questions and give you answers full of legal jargon that doesn’t make any sense. Or, maybe you just get a bad feeling about the whole thing. Regardless of the ‘why’, the point is that your lawyer should be a respected confidante in both high-pressure and highly-sensitive matters. If that does not ring true to your current situation, then it could be of value to consider alternative possibilities. Changing your lawyer during a workers’ compensation claim can be simple when choosing the right team, so, how does it work?

Will it cost me money to change lawyers?

The first thing that springs to mind for most, is more than likely ‘what will it cost me to change lawyers?’. For a majority of personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, you may have signed a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement which means you are not required to pay up until your case has been finalised. In other words, if your original legal team did a number of hours in preparation for your claim etc, you will still need to pay for the work that has been completed, but only once you have won your claim. Be certain that the firm you are moving to has the same conditions, and be candid about questioning any upfront costs (if there are any) so you don’t get caught in the dark.

Bear in mind that there are factors that are out of your lawyer’s hands and if the reason for moving on is purely based on things taking too long, beware this will likely not change even with a new lawyer. Your new lawyer should take control of the ‘handover’ and lead you through the process as you move on, but it is important to note that while it might be for the best overall outcome of the case, there are considerations to be aware of:

Before considering a change of lawyer, take these steps

  • Do your research; be aware of the delays it might cause, but also acknowledge why you are wanting to move on in the first place to ensure you don’t run into the same problems with your next lawyer.
  • Don’t be hasty. Even if you are at your wit’s end with your current lawyer, it’s important the transition is smooth and seamless so before you fire them, make sure you have read your current agreement, and understand the costs and necessary next steps to conclude your existing agreement.
  • Ensure your new team is ready to go as cases can move quickly and it would be less than ideal to be caught off-guard in the middle of everything.
  • Ask questions. While it’s not your job to understand the nitty-gritty of compensation claims, be sure you have a lawyer you can put your full trust in to do the work for you.

If you are in the midst of a workers’ compensation claim and are considering changing lawyers, whatever the reason might be, we’ll be here for you at Gouldson Legal when you need us to make the transition as uninterrupted as possible.