Hiring a personal injury lawyer is an important decision. You want to make sure your lawyer is capable of handling your case, that you understand how much you will owe your lawyer if you win or lose the case and get a feel for if the lawyer anticipates your case will go to trial. Your lawyer should also show that they care about you. You are not just another case, you are a person with a name who suffered an accident that should have never happened.
Here are the top five questions you should ask before you hire a Tampa personal injury lawyer. These questions will help ensure that the person you are hiring is right for you and your case will have the most desirable outcome.
1. Who Will Handle My Personal Injury Case?
Unfortunately, at some law firms cases are passed off from one employee to the next. You want to ask if the personal injury attorney, you are hiring will actually be handling your case. When you have a question, will you be able to speak directly with your lawyer or will your message be passed along to someone else to handle? Who will be evaluating your claim? Be sure you understand who will be working on your case before you hire a personal injury lawyer. At big TV advertising firms, also known as “Settlement Mills”, your case is typically handed off to a legal assistant. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, your case is always handled by a personal injury lawyer and that is the same personal injury lawyer you meet with.
2. Have You Handled Injury Cases Similar to Mine?
It is best to hire a lawyer that has previous experience and success with cases similar to yours. A lawyer with experience on similar claims will know what investigation, preparation and strategy will be beneficial to your case. You want an experienced lawyer to give you the best chance for success. Hancock Injury Attorneys has successfully recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients including: wrongful death, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall and other serious accidents with catastrophic injuries.
3. Will There Be a Trial?
Your personal injury lawyer should be able to give you an indication of whether they think your case will go to trial or not. The majority of the time a trial is not necessary and in many cases, a settlement can be agreed upon. Regardless of whether or not your case goes to trial, your personal injury lawyer will make sure the outcome of the case is fair and you receive the money you are entitled to.
4. What Will it Cost Me to Hire You?
If you have been injured in an accident, you most likely are facing medical bills and possibly lost wages due to missed work. Therefore you are looking to recover money from the person accountable for your injuries. If the lawyer you hire does not win the case will you be required to pay lawyer fees anyway? Are you responsible for any upfront costs? It is important to understand what your financial obligation will be whether you win or lose the case. Consider hiring a lawyer that does not charge a fee unless they earn you compensation. Look for an attorney who will advance all upfront costs, including court filing fees and fees for expert witnesses. Verify you understand what portion of the money you receive will be owed to cover your lawyer fees. In Florida, it is required that contingent fee agreements be in writing. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we cover all of the upfront costs associated with your case. There are never any out of pocket expenses to handle your case and if we don’t win your case, we absorb all of the expenses.
5. What are Your Reviews and Awards?
There are certain resources you can check to make sure you hire an attorney who is credible and has high qualifications. Some of the sources include the ones that are “peer-reviewed”, which are based on what other attorneys say about them. The most important was to look out for are:
- Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Rating: Martindale-Hubbell has peer review ratings of more than 1 million lawyers across the country. It has been one of the most respected and reliable sources of information about the legal community for over 130 years. An “AV” rating shows that an attorney and firm has high preeminence, immense legal ability, expertise, experience and integrity. Only 10% of all attorneys hold an AV-Preeminent rating.
- Superlawyers: Annually, Super Lawyers releases a list of outstanding attorneys who based off of peer-reviews have a high degree of recognition and professional achievement.
Hiring a Tampa personal injury lawyer is an important decision. It’s important to understand everything from how your case will be handled to what your monetary obligation will be. If you are in need of a personal injury attorney, contact Hancock Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.