In a previous post, it was mentioned that – for many good reasons – a change of lawyer in personal injury litigation can be necessary. Indeed, it is your absolute legal right to choose what legal representation you want for your affairs, personal injury or otherwise.
In that previous post ( http://www.compensationclaims.co/advice/changing-lawyers/) it was mentioned that it was a straightforward process of legal administration to switch lawyers. However, sometimes that is not the case. In some cases, there are unfortunate barriers to changing lawyers.
With many firms, a pattern often seen starts with the first lawyers missing an important fact in a case. From that, the conclusion is that the client does not have a good personal injury claim. The client is advised as such – and the lawyers prepare to close the file. The client requests a second opinion, or fresh legal representation, or even believes that something has been missed. The new lawyers instructed contact the previous lawyers requesting their case files. The previous lawyers should send over their records without delay and cost (excepting reasonable costs and delays due to storage and related) – but sometimes that does not happen.
In quite a few instances, some firms refuse to release the case files unless the new lawyers agree to accept responsibility for the costs incurred in working on the case, on behalf of the client. In this way, the fees and costs originally considered as lost when the case file was closed will be recoverable by the first lawyers, as those costs will be added to any settlement arrived at, either out of court or by a court order. In personal injury litigation, the defendant pays the claimant’s costs – in addition to compensation – if the claimant is successful. Under the terms of most “no with , no fee” agreements, if the claimant loses, those costs are generally cancelled.
If successful, the costs and fees incurred by the first lawyers remains payable, and is reflected in any settlement agreement. Those costs are added to the costs incurred by the second lawyers, and passed on to the original lawyers – provided that the case file is still open, and the advice was to carry on with the case.
However, if the advice was to end the litigation, or the case file was closed, in many cases, those costs and fees incurred are cancelled, and are a loss on the firm’s balance sheets. The client does not owe the first lawyers anything. As such, there is rarely good legal reason for the original firm to ask for the client – via the new lawyers – to guarantee the costs they incurred. However, those fees and costs can indirectly be recovered.
Although in many instances it is easy to transfer a personal injury claim to another lawyer, in some cases it is more difficult, or can impact upon the final settlements and agreements because of how personal injury litigation is funded and resolved finanacially. As such, some lawyers will attempt to hang on to the file, which often delays legal proceedings.
Rest assured, at CompensationClaims.co, we are proactive in transferring cases. We have many years experience in taking over personal injury cases from other legal firms as swiftly as possible, to minimise delays. Your case will be handled professionally and efficiently by our experts, and we will complete the file transfer process with the least delay or fuss possible to you. Many personal injury claims have been successfully resolved by our team at CompensationClaims.co after being transferred from other lawyers.
Contact us today to discuss transferring your personal injury claim to the personal injury experts at CompensationClaims.co.