Searching for a personal injury lawyer can feel overwhelming. You may be hurt, in pain and angry, as well as know little about the process of hiring an attorney. Fortunately, with the right information and enough research, you can make the right decision for your individual case. Here are some of the things you should be sure to look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Experience Handling Similar Cases
There are many types of personal injury cases, and different law firms and attorneys may specialize in different kinds of cases. Some types of personal injury specialization include:
- Slip and fall
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- And more
You should ask any lawyer you are considering about their past experience handling cases such as yours. An attorney who has worked in the field for a long time and handled many cases similar to yours is likely to be a safe bet. Consider the prestige of the firm and whether they have won any high profile cases in your area as well.
Recommendations and Reviews
While online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, they can provide valuable information about various personal injury law firms in your area. Look for patterns rather than individual positive or negative reviews. Doing so will help you get the most accurate idea of client satisfaction with a certain firm or lawyer. Recommendations from friends and people you know are usually a more reliable method, so this should be done as well if possible. Ask everyone you know that you are looking, but take care to avoid disclosing information about any potential case to the wrong people.
Personal injury law is one of the only areas of law where attorneys are frequently paid on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney will be paid from any settlement you win in court. The percentage the attorney charges may vary depending on the stage of the case, such as whether you got your settlement before filing a lawsuit or after. State regulations may specify how large that percentage can be. There are also other expenses that may be necessary to presenting your case, such as for obtaining medical records, expert witness fees, investigators and more. These fees are frequently subtracted from a settlement as well. Attorneys may also charge a flat fee or by the hour.
You should always look for signs of professionalism when looking into hiring a lawyer. Attorneys should be polite, respectful of your time and willing to answer your questions. They should not talk down to you or be dismissive. Watch for other signs of professionalism at the firm as well. For example, is the office clean and professional-looking? Are the receptionists and paralegals polite and helpful? Are your calls and e-mails returned promptly? Consider all of these factors during your search.
You will want to find a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about not only personal injury law but also the specific statutes regarding personal injury law in the state of Florida. The lawyer should also be able to explain legal terms and concepts in a way that is easy to understand for the layperson. The best lawyers understand that law is most effective when it is simple and clear. Avoid lawyers who appear to try and confuse or dazzle you by heavily using legalese terms you do not understand.
Finally, it is critically important that you find an attorney you feel comfortable working with. You must be willing to trust him or her completely to handle your case, so you want to find an attorney who appeals to you personally. Your personal injury attorney will need to know every detail about the case in order to provide you the best representation. This means you must be able to truthfully divulge all information about the case, including information that may be deeply personal, embarrassing or negative. The upside to working with a personal injury lawyer who charges on contingency is that you will not owe legal fees if you lose your case. This can increase your trust in your attorney because you know they have a strong incentive to do everything possible to win your case.
The choice of an attorney is a very personal one. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut at the end of the day, even though it is also important to approach the process more scientifically. Explore your options and do your research, and you will be able to find the best personal injury attorney to handle your case.
Call Fenster & Cohen P.A. today 954-473-1500