What are the top ten things I should know before selecting a Miami personal injury lawyer?
Choosing a Miami personal injury lawyer is a very important process. You don't want to choose an attorney simply because they have a catch commercial or an ad in the yellow pages. You need to use logic and common sense to choose the right personal injury attorney for your case. Here are the top ten things to understand before you choose your attorney.
1. What Happens if you lose your case?
The first concern should be what happens if your attorney doesn't win the case. You always want to choose an attorney that offers a no win, no fee structure. This will protect you from paying any fees, if the lawyer doesn't win your case.
2. Are you hiring a solicitor or an attorney?
Solicitors are just out to make a fast buck from these types of cases and may not hold the type of reputation you need in an attorney. Make sure the personal injury lawyer you choose has a good reputation as a lawyer and not just as a solicitor on late night television.
3. Are they qualified?
This may seem silly, as you would think an attorney would be qualified to fight in the court of law, but there are many specialties under the personal injury umbrella. You want to make sure you hire a lawyer that specializes in your type of case.
4. What is your Portion of the potential payout?
Of course, your attorney has to make a living, as well, but you don't want to be their meal ticket to millions. It's important to know what the payout will be and this should be one of the first questions you ask. It's also important to understand the potential your case offers and if it's really worth going through the trouble.
5. Will your attorney seek out of court settlement?
Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but your lawyer can only offer you the advice to settle. If you don't want to, you need to know whether they are willing to take the case to court or not. This also works the other way if you prefer to settle.
6. What does the conditional fee agreement involve?
Typically, a personal injury lawyer will take a percentage of the settlement or the award as their fee. This keeps you from paying any money up front, but you need to understand what this fee will be and any other details of the conditional fee agreement.
7. Will there be out of pocket expenses?
The best personal injury attorneys know they can settle or win you case and won't expect any out of pocket expenses from you.
8. How long could the case take?
Every case is different and some could take years, while others could only take a few months. It's important to know what to expect.
9. Is your lawyer a member of any governing body?
If you happen to run across an attorney that is not a member of any governing body, you need to walk away immediately.
10. What is their success rate?
Always find out whether the attorney has a proven track record or not. You want more than just a percentage out of their mouth. You need proof of cases they have handled successfully.