What’s the Process For Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida?
Hi, I’m Mike Hancock with Hancock Injury Attorneys and today I want to answer a question that a majority of our new clients have, and that’s: “What’s the process of getting my personal injury case started?” So the process really starts with a phone call to the law firm, or possibly you might visit our website and fill out a consultation form, or you might be on the website and engage in an instant chat with people from our law firm. But beyond that, once we have obtained the brief information, you’re going to have a telephone call with me and we’ll probably talk for ten or fifteen minutes at least on the phone and I’m going to ask you a number of questions regarding how the accident happened; we’re going to discuss your injuries; we’re going to discuss any type of lost wages you may have, and I’m going to answer any of the initial questions you might have regarding your claim. Once we decide that I can help you and I can – this is the type of case that, you know, falls within our expertise, then at that point we will set up either an in person consultation in the past that always involved coming into the office meeting with me in particular and discussing your claim in much more detail. And that meeting with me would typically last between an hour and an hour and fifteen minutes and I feel that that’s necessary because I know from my experience of doing this for so long and having done eight years of my practice representing the insurance companies in cases. I know which questions are important; I know which questions I need answered at the very beginning of your case in order to make sure that we can get the best outcome at the end of the case. But, once we meet, then beyond that we probably won’t need to meet very often for at least a couple of months. But now in addition to offering in person type of consultations, we’ve been doing a lot of virtual consultations and we’ve used anything from Zoom meetings to FaceTime, Skype, anywhere from sitting on – you know – everybody’s laptop or desktop computers to simply having a FaceTime call on an iPhone. So we have expanded the ways in the last year because it’s possible for you – you know – you’re the one that’s been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. You’ve most likely been to the hospital, and if you haven’t been to the hospital you probably have already treated with a doctor. You have issues with getting a rental car; you have issues with getting your car fixed; you might have lost wages, and the last thing we need to do to make it even harder for you and more stressful for you during this time to take more time off to come into the office to meet with an attorney. So that’s why we offer these virtual consultations and, honestly, these virtual consultations have been working just as well, if not better because of the ease of actually making them and the timing of when we can have these virtual consultations. It’s a lot easier to schedule in a shorter period of time than it is on a – in a case where we actually have you come into the office. So, you know, one of the other things is that – you know – that I want to mention – is that we’ve historically always have made it a point for all of our new clients to meet with me at this in depth consultation, and that’s a distinction and a difference between what our firm offers than many other law firms that handle personal injury cases. The majority of other plaintiff’s personal injury firms will have a paralegal or an investigator meet with you or talk with you on the phone and that’s all you’re able to do. You’re not able to actually speak with the attorney who’s going to be handling your case. And, honestly, that is just such a disservice to you and to any other client. The reason that it’s such a disservice is; number one, a paralegal or investigator cannot provide you with legal advice during that consultation. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice. Second, I’ve got thirty something years of experience in handling personal injury cases and because of my experience I know the types of questions that I need to ask you; the types of questions – or the types of information that I need to get from you during that initial consultation to eventually maximize your recovery. So those are some of the differences of what you’ll find with our firm and the way we handle things and from other bigger – especially bigger advertising type law firms. So that’s the initial process regarding the consultation. If at the end of that consultation we mutually agree on the fact that you want us to represent you and I feel that this is a case that I can represent you on, then we will discuss our fee agreement and in this case the way we represent clients in personal injury cases is on what is known as a contingent fee agreement and the contingent fee agreement we offer our clients because we know that this is not something you planned, it’s not like a business transaction where you have saved up money to meet with an attorney or a family in-law matter or a criminal law matter where the attorney is going to ask you for a retainer of five or ten thousand dollars and then bill per hour against that container. We know that this is obviously something that you were not expecting and as a result of that we offer a contingency agreement which essentially means we are going to work for free on this case and work for you and the only time we get paid anything – anything at all – is when we settle your case with the insurance company. And if we do settle your case with the insurance company, then and only then do we get paid and our fee is based upon a percentage of your recovery. And most typically that percentage is going to be one third of your recovery. After we talk about the fee agreement and we agree that you want us to represent you in your personal injury claim, then at that time we will have you sign some authorizations that will allow us to go ahead and obtain your medical records, your employment records if there is a lost wage component of your claim, and records that will allow us to communicate with your insurance problems. So I think that summarizes the question or the answer to the question that most of my clients ask in that is: “What’s the process of getting started on my personal injury case with your law firm?” There’s a lot more to discuss, turn to other videos that will discuss the process of what to expect once you become a client with Hancock Injury Attorneys. If you have any other questions, feel free to give me a call at (813) 915 – 1110. I’d be happy to get on the phone with you and answer any other questions you might have.