Can I Change My Workers’ Compensation Attorney? —Tips from a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Albany


As a client, you may expect a certain quality of consulting service from your Workers’ Compensation attorney. When you do not receive that level, you may start exploring your options for changing attorneys. It is important to note, however, that making a switch mid-case can open up several complex issues, all of which you should consider carefully before doing so.

Reasons to Change Attorneys

There are some common reasons clients wish to switch to a different Workers’ Compensation lawyer. Just some of those reasons include:

  1. The Case is Taking Too Long to Resolve – Workers’ Compensation cases do not resolve themselves quickly. Sometimes, even simple requests like medical records can take over one month to complete. If, however, you feel the delays in your case are related to your attorney and not a typical timeline, you can switch to another attorney.
  2. Communication Issues With Your Attorney – You should feel comfortable speaking to the attorney you hire and that individual should be readily available to address any concerns you may have. If you can rarely get a hold of your attorney or their office is reluctant to return calls or emails, you may want to try an attorney that has more time for communication.
  3. Your Attorney Does Not Specialize in Workers’ Compensation – It is important that the attorney you hire for your case understands New York workers’ compensation laws. If you are not confident in your attorney’s experience and ability to grasp these laws and regulations, consider moving to an attorney that does.

Making the Switch

To end the attorney-client relationship, you may want to consult with another attorney first. Some attorneys are reluctant to take a case after the first attorney has been dismissed, because that first attorney may still be entitled to compensation for their services from your case.

While you have the right to dismiss counsel and hire another attorney, make sure your reasons are legitimate and not based on impatience. To end the relationship, you will need to officially notify your attorney that you are ceasing the attorney-client relationship. You will also need to sign a retainer agreement with a new attorney. Then, both attorneys will need to negotiate the settlement fee for any benefits awarded. In addition, the attorneys will have to split their fee based on the time that each attorney has spent working on your case. However, you will not have to pay a higher fee because of the change, and a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge will be required to approve all fees requested by any lawyer.

If you are dissatisfied with your Workers’ Comp attorney, contact Erwin, McCane & Daly today. We can discuss the facts of your case and if you are ready to make the switch, we will assist you in the process so that it is as seamless as possible.

Call us today at 518-449-2245 to discuss the process of changing workers’ compensation lawyers or contact us online to schedule your free consultation .