Florida is home to many talented personal injury lawyers, however, not all of them will give you the personal attention you need and deserve. Here are a few things to consider when you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer.
Evaluate their professional qualifications
The Florida Bar has an attorney directory where you can search for an attorney by name or by the following qualifications or services:
- Eligible standing
- Board certification
- Practice area
- Specialty services, such as hearing-impaired translations
- Fluency in languages other than English
You can also learn a lot about lawyers and their firms on their websites such as by looking at their firm biographies.
In Florida, all lawyers must receive their Juris Doctorate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. Although every licensed attorney in Florida has attended an ABA-accredited law school, some institutions provide intensive legal internships, clerkships, and hands-on clinical programs that make for well-rounded and seasoned attorneys.
At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, all of our attorneys are among the best in education, experience, and character.
In order to appear before Florida courts, your personal injury lawyer must be licensed to practice in Florida. You can verify an attorney’s current licensure with the Florida Bar Association where you can also see if they’ve received any disciplinary actions.
Your initial consultation is your opportunity to evaluate the lawyer’s ability to handle your case. It’s also their chance to determine if you have a valid case. Treat it like a job interview – ask these questions to determine your lawyer’s experience in situations like yours:
- How many cases like mine do you handle each year?
- Have you litigated against multiple defendants before?
- What percent of your cases go to trial, and what percentage settle?
- What kind of resources do you have to litigate my case?
- What potential problems do you anticipate with my case?
An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer understands how to negotiate with multiple parties. They also know what kinds of arguments work in situations like yours and which ones don’t gain traction. This allows them to negotiate in your best interests and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Knowledge of state and federal laws
A good personal injury attorney will know Florida’s personal injury laws and the applicable federal laws so that they’re prepared to build cases in both courts. Depending on the defendant, your case may be filed in either State or Federal court; the rules for litigation are different in both courts. A thorough understanding of both courts is imperative for a successful outcome.
The state bar association will list attorneys in good standing, as will the American Bar Association (ABA). Beyond this, consider your lawyer’s reputation both among their peers and with former clients.
Reviews and client testimonials
Client testimonials and successful case outcomes are often posted on the lawyer’s website but remember – they only publish successes on their website. Look at reviews through other online sources.
A good reputation among fellow lawyers is a good sign. Many lawyers may donate their time to pro bono work or be active participants in state or local bar associations, such as guest lecturing or publishing assessments about certain points of law in their specialty.
Ask your lawyer how often they will communicate with you and how you can best communicate with them: email, phone, or through their paralegal or assistant. Many lawyers will guarantee a response within 48 hours or 1-2 business days. In your initial consultation, ask how and when you can expect them to reply to your questions.
When you need a good personal injury lawyer, look no further
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, we can help. Call the Florida personal injury lawyers with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today at (561) 655-1990 to schedule your free case consultation.