How Do You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
When a serious, debilitating injury sidelines you from your normal everyday life and livelihood, it can be difficult to recover and pick up the pieces. It can be difficult to even know where to begin. One way you can start is by working with an experienced personal injury attorney, specifically one who’s local in Tampa and familiar with Florida law.
But where do you begin with searching for and hiring an experienced Florida personal injury attorney? The following are four steps that can help you find the right lawyer to handle your case. Although Florida law has a four-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you shouldn’t hesitate to act now and reach out to a Tampa personal injury lawyer.
1. Review Their Practice Areas
Every accident and injury case is different. Even two different auto accidents may involve vastly different circumstances. That’s why it’s important to determine that a personal injury lawyer is experienced in dealing with cases specifically like yours.
A private attorney may focus on one area of law, or they may have a general practice that deals with multiple areas of law. Either way, it would be wise to know about cases an attorney regularly handles before committing to working with an experienced personal injury attorney.
2. Review Their Overall Track Record
You’ll really, really want to make it your priority to cross-reference that a personal injury lawyer is actually experienced in the practice areas they claim they are. This can involve looking over testimonials and reviews from past clients, looking at their background, accolades, awards, and bar associations, and avoiding attorneys with a clear disciplinary history with the Florida Bar.
A “disciplinary history” will mean that the attorney was reprimanded (and subsequently disciplined) for violating Florida’s ethical rules at one point or another. To ensure that your prospective Tampa personal injury has a squeaky clean track record and solid experience, review the Florida Bar’s Attorney Search page.
3. Come Prepared With Questions
Before you schedule your first consultation, you should come prepared with questions to ask during that initial consultation. A few good example questions to ask a law firm during your initial consultation include:
- Do you personally go to trial?
- Will you or someone else handle my case?
- Will you have any conflicts of interest with this case?
- Will there be anything I SHOULDN’T do?
- What fees will I have to pay?
- What’s my role in case preparation?
- How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
- Have you ever handled a case like mine through trial?
- What types of results have you obtained in cases like mine?
It’s essential that you have a thorough understanding of how you should (and shouldn’t) be involved in your case, the expected timeline to follow, and what you should expect this case to cost you. For personal injury cases, the lawyer should operate under a contingency fee model, meaning that you’ll only need to pay a percentage of the award in the event that you win it, and you pay nothing if you do not win your case.
4. Schedule Your First Consultation
Once you’ve taken the above steps and have a short list of potential attorneys, it’s time to consult with these law firms directly. Most law firms will have active phone lines and a contact page where you can reach out to book a consultation. This consultation should be free, and there is no obligation to hire the attorney.
Reach Out to the Right Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in the Tampa area, look no further than Matthews Injury Law. You can begin by calling our Tampa office at 813-530-1000 or by filling out our contact form today.