When you have suffered a personal injury in Florida due to the negligence of an individual, company or insurance company, you need a good Florida personal injury attorney. However, how do you choose a personal injury lawyer who has your best interest at heart, that is truly going to fight for your rights?
All personal injury law firms are not created equal, nor are all lawyers. If you are looking for a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, here are some do’s and don’ts when choosing the best personal injury lawyer to advocate your case.
• Contact the Florida Local Bar Association who will be able to recommend a good personal injury attorney familiar with Florida state and federal laws. You want a local personal injury attorney to defend you local case. The personal injury laws are different in every state – you want a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Florida.
• Research their experience. Experience, experience, experience can’t be said enough when it comes to personal injury attorneys. Examine their track record of success.
• Ask for a referral from another attorney (e.g. if you need a criminal attorney, ask a civil attorney and vice versa) or professionals that work closely with personal injury attorneys – accountants, estate planners, financial institutions, etc. Or ask a trusted friend or associate for advice.
• Discuss the fees upfront. Is there a free initial consultation? Will you proceed on an hourly basis or a retainer? Many personal injury attorneys will allow you to pay them out of your settlement.
• Choose a personal injury lawyer that is a good negotiator. Most cases do not go to court – they are settled out of court. Good at negotiation is a good quality in a personal injury lawyer.
• See if your personal injury lawyer belongs to local associations and memberships, taking an active involvement in the community. For instance, in the Fort Lauderdale area, many personal injury attorneys belong to the Florida Justice Association, the Broward County Justice Association, the Florida Admiralty Trial Lawyers Association, etc.
• Check out their rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Directory. “AV” is the best ethics rating. This is a peer review by other attorneys.
• Make sure your personal injury lawyer is insured, including “Errors and Omissions” insurance, just in case he/she makes a mistake in your case.
• Evaluate how the lawyer’s office is run. Make sure the legal staff is qualified, phone calls are returned, updates are given, etc.
• Pick a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney from a TV commercial, radio spot or the Yellow Pages.
• Choose an ambulance chaser who sets unrealistic expectation for your case.
• Choose a personal injury lawyer who promises big payouts upfront.
• Select a personal injury attorney because he tells you what you want to hear.
• Pick a lawyer that always settles versus goes to trial. Sometimes it makes sense to go to trial.
Some Florida personal injury attorneys will settle quickly, just wanting to get on to the next case!
• Choose a personal injury lawyer that only delivers good news – in most cases there are good and bad. Choose a personal injury attorney that has the guts to look you in the eye and tell you the brutal truth – whether things are going right or wrong.
Choosing the right Florida personal injury attorney is a big decision. Decide who is the best person to go to bat for you!
The law firm of Lawlor Winston White & Murphey provides the very best representation to their clients – ensuring they are represented at the highest and most effective levels, focusing on protecting the rights of individuals and families. Practice areas include Catastrophic Personal Injury including Wrongful Death, Auto Accidents, Premises Liability, Insurance Bad Faith Disputes, Professional Malpractice, Commercial Litigation, Maritime/Admiralty, Labor & Employment Disputes and ERISA Claims. The firm is headquartered at 2211 Davie Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312. They may be contacted at (954) 525-2345. Additional information about Lawlor Winston White & Murphey may be obtained from the Firm’s website at www.lwmcruiseinjurylawyers.com.