Questions to A Leesburg Car Accident Lawyer Before Hiring
July 5, 2015
Being injured in a car accident isn’t fun. Many times it’s important to find the right Leesburg car accident lawyer to protect your interest. Every minute on TV there is a lawyer commercial with somebody saying that the lawyer got them so much money. When you’re driving around town, you see lawyer billboard after lawyer billboard. How do you go about choosing the right lawyer to help you in these times, especially when not all lawyers are alike. Finding the right attorney for your claim can appear to be an overwhelming task, but it does not need to be. Following a few simple steps can help you find the right car accident attorney to fit your needs.
As with any legal situation, you will want to find someone who is well-versed in all aspects of car accident laws and who has a proven track record of success handling claims similar to yours. Once you have narrowed down your list, take a look online and see what’s there. Is the lawyer active online? Has she published information to assist folks who have been injured in accidents? Does she publish education videos? Has she been interviewed or provide information in audio format. Once you have read up on the attorney and reviewed their online information, give them a call. If it is like Fort Knox to get through and speak with a lawyer before you’re a client – how difficult is it going to be to get through to the lawyer after your a client.
Once you have reviewed this information and spoken with the lawyer, you will know if he or she resonates with you. During your initial consultation, do not be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you are the one in charge of making this important decision, therefore you have the right to know the information you need to make an informed choice. While many questions could, and should, be asked, the following important questions will go a long way in helping you determine the skill, ability, and dedication of your attorney:
How long have you practiced law?
How many areas of law do you practice? For instance, do you only handle personal injury matter or do you handle, personal injury, family law, criminal law, bankruptcy, etc.
Florida has a specialization procedure for most areas of law. In the personal injury realm, you would be asking if the attorney is a board certified civil attorney.
What percentage of your caseload is car accidents and are they settled out of court?
Knowing the length of time your attorney has been in practice will help you gain a better understanding of his or her level of experience. By finding out what percentage of their cases involve car accidents, you can gauge how familiar the attorney likely is with the issues that might arise in your case. For example, an attorney who only devotes 10% of her client base to car accident cases will likely not have as much pertinent experience as one whose practice is solely devoted to representing victims of car accidents. Finally, knowing how often the attorney settles their cases, as compared to taking them to trial, might serve as an indicator of their negotiating skills, litigation skills, and dedication to their clients. As a general rule, only about 7-10% of cases in which a lawsuit is filed are tried to a jury. There are a number of reasons for this but one of the biggest reasons is risk to the parties and the lack of judicial resources to get a case to trial quickly.
Other things are also important to know. It is vital to ask a prospective attorney to explain their strategy for handling car accident cases. Attorneys with experience representing victims of car accidents will have a well-established process that they implement and follow for all car accident-related cases. They will be well-versed in Florida accident laws, personal injury protection, and other insurance laws and regulations.
Another thing that you may want to know from the attorney, is his or her familiarity with the actual medicine involved in your injury. An attorney who has a good grasp of the medicine will be a strong advocate for you with healthcare providers, hospitals and the other insurance company. Also be sure to ask about the role that the lawyer will play in your case.
Central Florida has a large number of high volume car accident firms. In many of these firms, the lawyer doesn’t get involved in the case until a lawsuit is filed. So, the potential that your entire case is handled by an assistant or paralegal is high. This is not necessarily good or bad, this is just something that you need to know. If a paralegal is primarily responsible for handling your claim, you will probably not have much interaction with the lawyer assigned to your case.
Finally, you should also ask the attorney if he or she believes that your claim has merit. Understand that in order to have a strong Leesburg car accident claim, you must be able to prove that the other party caused the crash and that you suffered an injury as result of the other driver’s carelessness. Additionally, in order to get money for pain and suffering damages in Florida, you have to establish that you have a permanent injury or loss of important bodily function or significant scarring. This is a nuance to Florida law, which may not have been required in your home state.