Ten Steps to Hiring an Injury Lawyer in Your Personal Injury Case
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, one of the first steps that you may want to take is to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. Here is a list of suggestions regarding the procedure that you may wish to utilize when seeking this type of assistance.
Evaluate the qualifications of any potential attorney – When dealing with choosing a personal injury attorney, consider the attorney’s experience, skill, expertise, ability and reputation.
Understand the type of case that you are pursuing – Meet with an attorney who has significant experience in handling your type of case. Look for an attorney who has represented clients in personal injury claims involving: automobile accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, negligent security, elder abuse, wrongful death, product liability and/or medical malpractice. There are specific laws for negligence claims that occur on airplanes, cruise ships or ones involving medical malpractice. So it is essential to look for an attorney that has experience in a field that is comparable to your own needs.
Make sure that you are prepared for your meeting with your attorney – Write down any questions you have about your accident, injury and the type of claim that you have. If you have had any medical treatment for your injuries prior to meeting with your attorney, keep copies of any discharge papers, prescriptions, medical records or bills. Be sure to bring all of your medical records, insurance information, witness information, traffic accident report and incident report to your initial meeting.This can make it easier when meeting with an attorney who can provide some of the most accurate answers regarding your case.
Convenience – Look for an attorney who is willing to come meet you at your home, hospital, doctor’s office or work. This is particularly important if you have sustained serious injuries that make it difficult to meet with the attorney at their office. Current electronic technology can make communication possible from just about any location. Your attorney should put you at ease and make the initial consultation as convenient as possible.
Meet and interview the attorney – Most law firms will offer a free initial consultation. Make an appointment to sit and meet with them or have a phone consultation. Ask questions. You can inquire as to how many cases of this nature has the lawyer undertaken. What were the results of those cases? How long has the firm been in practice? Will the attorney be involved in every step of your case? What type of resources will you use for my case? The goal is to feel comfortable with the choice that you make.
What information are you hoping to obtain in your initial meeting – Are you just seeking some answers regarding your possible options in your personal injury case? You can ask about your specific claim and what compensation and damages you will be looking to recover. Consider the fact that an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney is typically free of charge. As such, there is no real reason why you wouldn’t want to meet with an attorney to get some advice in your situation.
Keep detailed records – If you have sustained injuries in an accident you should seek immediate medical attention. It is best to keep copies of your medical records and medical expenses in a single location in your home. Follow your doctor’s instructions and if you are sent to a specialist or for additional tests, please be sure to notify your attorney. Keeping a personal journal of your injury progress and recovery is also helpful. Keep records of any costs you have incurred during your treatment. In addition, keep track of any time missed from work as a result of this accident. Be sure to provide all this information to your attorney.
Take note of the time frame needed in order to file a lawsuit – Please keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations regarding the filing of a lawsuit for your injury claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations on a negligence claim is generally four years. This means that you have four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. This can be an essential point as to whether or not you will be able to proceed with your case. However, since there are some (rare) exceptions to this, you may wish to ask a lawyer if you are able to file a case in which the statute of limitations time frame has already passed.
Discuss the fee arrangement prior to retaining an attorney – In Florida, the fees for personal injury claims are typically pursuant to a contingency fee arrangement. In a contingency fee contract, the client does not pay any money upfront and your attorney will be paid a percentage of the financial recovery as their fee. This agreement must be in writing and signed by both the client and the attorney. Ask you attorney if they will handle your case on a contingency fee and if there will be any upfront costs.
Once you have engaged the services of an attorney, share every piece of pertinent information that you have – Your best bet, when it comes to a successful outcome for your case, is to be completely honest and upfront with your attorney. Be sure to communicate regularly. Notify their office of any changes in medical treatment, recovery, or changes in your address, phone number or insurance. Consider dealing with your attorney to be a relationship in which you both have a vested interest in succeeding in getting the results that you deserve.
If you or a loved one has become injured in an accident and you would like to speak to an attorney, call the legal team at Frankl Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Our skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers have a deep understanding of the substantive law and judicial process. We will work tenaciously to try to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (561) 800-8000 to schedule your free consultation.