Selecting A Good Personal Injury Lawyer
You can't always control your own destiny. Life may go your way most of the time, but odds are that you will have to deal with being the victim of negligence at some point in your life. When it happens, you'll need to consult a lawyer who deals with personal injury. You may be entitlted to compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of others. So the question is: "How do you find the best personal injury lawyer for you?" In this article we are going to discuss the important aspects of selecting the right personal injury lawyer for your case in St. Petersburg Florida.
Move Fast: You shouldn’t waste time after the accident. There are time limitations known as the statute of limitations, and they vary of different types of cases. If you are seriously injured after the accident then you'll need to rely on close friends or family members, or family physician to recommend a lawyer they know and trust. It will protect your rights if you retain a lawyer very soon after the accident, so that your lawyer may begin his or her own investigation, preserve evidence, and advise you on your rights.
Injury Type: There many types of injury laws and most good lawyers tend to focus their practice in a particular area of law. Be sure to select a lawyer who devotes their practice to the type of injury you have sustained so that you can be assured that they have experience in similar cases. There are many types of accidents such as car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, drunk driving accidents, medical malpractice, etc.
Go Online: Nowadays most lawyers have a website and there you can learn more information about the lawyer and his practice. You normally can learn about the education and experience of a lawyer from their website. The down side of using a lawyers website as an informational resource about their own services is that it was likely written by the lawyers themselves and any opinions may be biased in favor of selecting their firm. A good way to verify other people's experiences is to check a ratings website like martindale hubbel, lawyers.com, Avvo, Superlawyers, or the Better Business Bureau so you can get a realistic view as the client of what to expect from your attorney.
Search for a Local Lawyer: You should always try to search for local lawyers so that you can build up a good long-term relationship. All search engines have the ability to include location based search results, and you can always reference your yellow pages as a starting point.
Fees: When hiring a lawyer for an accident or injury case, most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, only taking their fee as a percentage of any recovery they obtain. Some attorneys will even go as far as to provide a No Recovery, No Fee Promise to all clients which ensures that you'll receive the most dedicated service they can provide. Some lawyers will even reduce their fee if at the end of the case the attorneys fee is greater than that which the client would receive. You should ask your lawyer if they will ever reduce their fees.
Experience: There is no substitute for experience when it comes to legal matters and there is no doubt that you should go for the knowledgeable lawyer who has experience handling similar cases in the St. Petersburg area.
- Hire a lawyer who focuses their practice on car accident or personal injury cases. A lawyer who limits their practice in this area may be more knowledgeable about the procedures and laws involved in car accident cases. Just like you would only want a heart surgeon operating on your heart, you should hire a lawyer who knows about car accidents.
- Interview several lawyers and ask them about their experience. Ask yourself how comfortable you feel talking to each lawyer. You should hire a lawyer who proves that they have a genuine interest in helping you. You don’t want a lawyer who only cares about collecting money from you, and you especially don't want a lawyer who only allows you to speak with their staff.
- Never hire a lawfirm unless you actually meet with a lawyer. Some law firms send out "investigators" to sign up clients. These are actually contract runners and not lawyers, and this should be a warning that you are dealing with a mill type firm and probably will never speak to an actual lawyer.
- Ask friends, family, or neighbors if they have any recommendations or know of a good car accident lawyer in your area. Oftentimes the best lawyers are the ones who don’t do television or radio advertising. For these lawyers, most of their business comes from happy clients who refer people to them.
- Is the lawyer active in the legal community or a member of any association? Typically, lawyers who are active and involved in groups are the ones who tend to be more helpful and connected.
- Don’t hire a lawyer just because you saw their commercial on TV. Sure, their TV persona may appear good, but do they really have the experience or desire to help you? Most likely you wont have the lawyer you see on TV representing you, rather it will be an associate for that firm that you never heard of, or worse, your case ends up getting handled by a legal secretary or paralegal.