In 2018, the National Safety Council reported there were over 46.5 million injuries in the United States. Sadly, many of these injuries (as well as tens of thousands of deaths) were avoidable. However, they happened because someone was negligent.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to maximize your financial recovery, you need a reputable, knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your corner.
The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your case, and the sooner you can get the compensation you are rightfully owed.
Choosing the right attorney is vital to your case. The attorney-client relationship can make all the difference in bringing about a positive outcome. With that in mind, we have compiled a guide to help you in selecting and hiring the personal injury lawyer best suited to your needs.
Determine the Right Area of Law
This is an important area of concern in your search for the best personal injury lawyer. Lawyers specialize and have experience in particular areas of practice. Some of these areas include personal injuries due to medical malpractice, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and defective products.
It is important that you research lawyers who have experience handling personal injury cases similar to yours. For example, if you have suffered injuries in the workplace, you would search specifically for lawyers with experience handling workers’ compensation claims and related third-party lawsuits.
Search for Licensed Attorneys
You should only consider licensed attorneys. Being licensed means they have met all the legal requirements to represent you in a professional capacity. Contact the Florida State Bar Association for legitimate, licensed attorneys in your area.
After you have identified personal injury lawyers who are experienced in your area of injury, search the lawyer’s history. You want a lawyer who possesses a clean track record, free from an illegal or unethical record.
On the bar website, you can find resources to search for disciplinary records. Steer clear of any lawyer who has been cited for violating the code of professional conduct.
Call the Office to Schedule a Consultation
Once you have chosen several attorneys who have strong backgrounds in your area of personal injury, schedule a consultation to meet them and to go over your case together. If you schedule online, be sure to fill out the information page on the lawyer’s website with all vital information pertaining to your case. This will give the lawyer the key details they need ahead of your meeting.
If at all possible, schedule a face-to-face consultation. If the attorney is committed to providing excellent client service, making time for an in-person introduction should not be an issue.
Before you meet the attorney, compile a list of questions you would like to ask about your case, and about the lawyer and law firm. Writing these questions down beforehand is much less stressful and allows you to get the most out of your consultation. It also ensures that you do not forget to ask the critical things you want to know.
Sample questions you may want to ask include:
- Have you tried my type of personal injury case before?
- Do you have the time to work on my case immediately?
- How will we communicate?
- What are the likely outcomes in my case?
- Are you comfortable going to trial if necessary?
- What is your success rate?
It is important that the attorney you choose has the time necessary to begin working for you immediately. The sooner they begin, the more likely they will be to achieve a positive outcome and settlement for you.
Rate Your Comfort
One of the most important elements in choosing an attorney best suited to you is comfort level. How comfortable are you as you are meeting and engaging? Your comfort level during your arranged interview is an immediate indication as to whether the lawyer you are meeting is a good fit for your case.
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer with whom you feel the ability to be open and honest. Comfort with the lawyer you hire is important and determines how well you will be able to work with your lawyer.
Throughout the meeting, be thinking about such questions as:
- Do I trust this person?
- Does this person make me feel safe and free to ask questions?
- Am I too intimidated to converse freely?
- Does this person seem to understand me?
- Are my questions being answered thoroughly and patiently?
- Does this person seem to know the law?
- Is this person confident and personable?
- Am I being treated with dignity and respect?
If something feels off to you, there is a good chance it is not a good fit. Trust your instincts. You know best how you feel, and no matter how competent the attorney, if you are not comfortable working together, the process will not go smoothly. There are plenty of competent, skilled lawyers available out there. Do not settle for someone with whom you are not comfortable.
Firm Capacity and Resources
Assess the capacity of the firm to take on your case. You need a lawyer who can begin working on your case immediately. Do not discredit a firm due to size. Lawyers in smaller firms are often more available to their clients, ensuring a more personalized experience.
Personal injury cases can often be hit or miss in terms of whether there is any certainty of success. As a result, most attorneys will operate on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing unless they are able to secure compensation for you.
The attorney’s fee structure, any court costs or other miscellaneous fees, and the terms of your working relationship should all be expressed in writing. Any questions you have should be addressed and resolved prior to signing anything. If you have any qualms, make sure you clear everything up before you sign.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Gainesville, Florida
At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we pride ourselves on providing our clients with excellent representation. We know what makes a top-notch Gainesville personal injury lawyer and we aspire to bring our clients nothing less. Hiring us to handle your case means your case is with an experienced, highly-skilled, and well-respected personal injury law firm.
Call us today to set up a free consultation so our legal team can sit down with you to hear exactly what happened. We will also answer any questions you have and provide some initial thoughts on how we might approach your case. Let us put our decades of experience in personal injury law to work for you so you can get the justice and compensation you deserve.