Consulting with a personal injury attorney is an important decision. There are a few things one should know before making an appointment.
First, you should check out a firm’s credentials. The attorneys handling your case should have practiced in that area for a reasonable amount of time. A cursory check should be performed to find out if the person is licensed in the state. Florida makes this easy through the Florida Bar Website. For example, if you wanted to search for Matt Dolman, you would learn where I went to law school and that I specialize in Personal Injury, insurance litigation and Civil Trial practice.
Next, make sure that the firm is experienced in handling personal injury cases. There are a number of areas of the law that one can focus their practice on. Personal injury is complex, not only due to the laws and scope of the cases, but also the parties involved. In many cases, the at-fault party or defendant is represented by an insurance carrier. An experienced attorney is familiar with these carriers, their representatives and the way that they handle or litigate acclaims and cases. Therefore, you should know that your attorney is experienced in dealing with these parties and issues.
Third, you need to understand the phrase, “Contingency Fee.” Contingency fee means that the lawyer does not get paid unless you win the case or the case settles. Most personal injury lawyers have a system that they use to judge whether a fruitful recovery can be obtained. The typical first encounter is an interview and initial consultation. The attorney will ask some questions and determine the viability of a potential lawsuit during this consultation. Florida has a set scale, by law, of the maximum amount that an attorney can charge.
You also must realize that most personal injury attorneys generally do not handle claims regarding damage to the vehicle. In many cases, the claims for personal injury and property damage are separated. Since personal injury cases can sometimes go on for years due to the refusal of carriers to pay the value of the claim, separation ensures that you can get back on the road while your case is pending.
Finally, you need to understand the effect of a settlement. A settlement is essentially a contract between you and the insurance carrier. In exchange for monetary compensation from the applicable carrier, the plaintiff contracts away his/her right to pursue the case further due to execution of a release. This means that a jury of your peers will not decide a verdict in your case if a settlement. This step is crucial and it is why the Dolman Law Group emphasizes over and over the importance of a battle hardened, trial attorney. There are a number of attorneys who specialize in merely settling cases, and outsourcing their litigation to another attorney. We believe that your attorneys should be able to handle your case from beginning to end in order to receive the best result. Would you rather have one attorney who can only handle part of your case or a complete Personal Injury Team? With limited exceptions pertaining to specialized cases, we attempt to handle the entire personal injury case under one roof.
For more information, call the Florida injury attorneys at the Dolman Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation. The injury law attorneys at the Dolman Law Group regularly handle personal injury claims throughout the State of Florida. We specifically focus our practice on claims arising from an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, wrongful death, dog bite, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and catastrophic injury.