With you and your family’s health and finances in jeopardy, you cannot afford to work with anyone but the best attorney possible.
But how do you distinguish a mediocre attorney from a great one? How do you find an attorney who is best suited to handle your unique case and accommodate your personal needs, values, and goals? Finding the right personal injury lawyer is no small task, especially since a simple Google search for “Florida personal injury lawyer” will yield thousands of results. Many lawyers claim to offer personal injury representation, but have very little actual experience in the courtroom. Others may not have the time or resources to give your case the individual attention it requires.
To help find the best attorney for your personal injury case as quickly as possible, we’ve included a list of questions you should ask before choosing a personal injury attorney.
What kind of cases do you handle regularly?
Many lawyers who claim to specialize in personal injury are actually jacks of all trades, working in many different areas of the law. But the best personal injury attorneys are the ones who focus their practice on this unique area of the law and handle these types of cases every day. Only an attorney who specializes in personal injury lawsuits will know the unique nuances of personal injury law, and only a personal injury attorney will be able to practice at the highest skill level and obtain the best results for their client.
Have you successfully handled similar cases before?
A good lawyer should be able to point to a track record of successful cases that are similar to your own. Inquire about past cases and results, and ask to speak to former clients. As with the vast majority of practices, experience helps.
Are you prepared to go to court?
This very important question is often overlooked. If you hire an attorney who always settles and never takes cases to trial, you can be almost certain you will not receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney should be prepared to take your case to court and not be eager to secure a quick turnover. Lawyers who try to settle personal injury claims in as little time as possible may shortchange their client in their haste for their contingency fee.
Do you have time to work on my case?
Oftentimes, big-name attorneys will sign up clients and wait months before filing the suit as they continue to sign other clients. The longer your attorney waits to file your claim, the longer you’ll have to wait to receive the compensation you need and deserve. Before hiring your attorney, ask how much time he or she plans on devoting to your case, and how many other cases he or she has pending.
How do you handle upfront expenses?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they will collect a percentage of the amount recovered and will charge no fee if they lose your case. However, some attorneys will require clients to pay litigation fees upfront. Talk to your attorney about their firm’s unique approach to case expenses so you can understand exactly what you are getting into.
How do you handle situations where you and a client are in disagreement?
Some attorneys may try to demand that you accept a settlement, even if you feel it is not fair or sufficient. While you should never feel pressured to settle a case against your wishes, some attorneys will withdraw from your case if you disagree with them and refuse to accept a settlement. Before choosing a lawyer, make sure your attorney will honor your wishes.
What is my case worth?
You attorney should be able to provide you with a basic idea of how much your case is worth, free of charge. This can be a spectrum based upon unknown factors such as medical complications and liability.
How can you help me improve my case’s chances for success?
Your personal injury attorney should invest extensive time, energy, and resources into your case to ensure you are in the best position to obtain a favorable outcome. That means collecting evidence, gathering witnesses, and consulting with experts.
When finding the right lawyer for your personal injury case, time is of the essence. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today, and find out how an attorney help you get the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to recovery.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 15-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
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