There are a lot of attorneys in Florida. According to the Florida Bar there are more than 90,000 of them in Florida. How do you know which one to hire for an accident injury case? The Bar association has leveled the playing field for you to a certain degree.
- It has passed rules which tell you that you have the right to get a Statement of Client’s Rights before signing any contingency fee contract. This form is Mandatory. It was prepared for use exclusively in contingency fee personal injury type cases. So this is standard, just like all cars have 4 wheels.
- The rates charged by accident injury attorneys are also standardized. Just like the 4 wheels again.
- all lawyer advertising must be approved by the Bar.
What is not standard?
- Ability of the attorney. In Florida lawyers who are fresh out of law school, who have never been in any kind of case before, can legally handle first degree murder trials, crashes involving 18 wheelers, medical malpractice cases involving hospitals, and lousy doctors, public offerings, and other highly complex legal matters. Some attorneys handle everything they can, while others limit their cases to a certain area. Get one who limits his or her type of cases. You would not want a general practice doctor to do heart surgery…Same thing with personal injury cases. There are attorneys in Flagler County who advertise themselves as Personal Injury attorneys who have ZILCH for experience. Most prospective clients are afraid of offending the lawyer so don’t even ask about trial experience.
- Budget. a lot of what goes for name recognition on TV, the internet, and everywhere in between depends on the size of the lawyers budget. Some TV lawyers spend millions of dollars and get lots of cases. Do you want to be another number on their shelf?
- Experience and judgment. These two factors are important enough that I recommend questioning your prospective attorney about his experience in cases just like yours. Has he been to trial? What is the highest verdict he got? How long ago? Was he lead counsel on the other case?
- Accessibility: I give my clients my personal cell number to call me. Other lawyers never even talk to their clients- they let their staff do it. Legal issues cannot wait for days or weeks to be answered and you deserve the right to an answer from an attorney, not the paralegal who never went to law school.
- integrity: A lawyer knows there is a lot of competition for cases like yours. He should be honest with you in his evaluation of your claim. He should not sugar coat your case so that you hire the lawyer with the biggest evaluation. There are always potential defenses: two sides to the story. His evaluation needs to make sense to you.
- Clarity: This is very important. You, the client, should be able to understand the major legal arguments in favor and against your case. If he cannot explain them to you in clear and understandable ways, maybe you should ask yourself, how is he going to do that for a jury?
Knowing how to hire an attorney is the first step in the successful completion of a legal fight. I have 40+ years of experience and would be happy to discuss your case for free so you can make an informed decision.