Why Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida Is Essential for Maximizing Compensation
Your choice of counsel can make a difference in the outcome of your case. Choosing the right lawyer can help ensure that you will receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve. This, in turn, helps to make sure that you have the money you need to cover future medical treatments, lost wages and that you are fully compensated for your pain and suffering.
This article will explain why hiring the right lawyer is so important. It will focus on the following:
- Why experience matters when dealing with insurance companies
- How experience matters when dealing with issues common in personal injury law
- Why experienced counsel is more likely to have the resources necessary to handle your matter
- The need to choose a personal injury lawyer as opposed to a lawyer who takes personal injury cases
Each of these topics will be discussed in turn.
Experience Can Make an Attorney Better Able to Deal With Insurance Companies
Very few personal injury cases go to trial. Instead, the vast majority of cases settle. Settlement is often reached prior to the commencement of litigation and is sometimes reached after a lawsuit has been filed. Your lawyer will begin attempts to reach a settlement as soon as your long-term prognosis is reasonably known. The insurance company will be attempting to settle the matter for as little as possible throughout the process. They may even attempt to deny liability altogether.
It is not uncommon for an inexperienced attorney who does not focus on personal injury law, to drop a case immediately if the insurance denies liability or offers a lowball settlement. An experienced lawyer, by contrast, will be familiar with the process of dealing with insurance adjusters. This includes understanding that adjusters are more willing and able to negotiate than they will initially claim. Furthermore, experienced counsel will understand that insurance companies often deny liability at first, only to settle later.
Experience Matters When Dealing With Issues That are Common in Personal Injury Law
There are several issues that arise in personal injury law which either do not arise in other legal areas or are infrequent. Retaining experienced counsel can help to ensure that such issues do not derail your case.
Florida has adopted the concept of modified comparative fault. This means that a personal injury victim can recover damages even if they were partially to blame for the accident. This is different from many other areas of law. In criminal law, for example, a defendant is “guilty” or “not guilty.” The concept of comparative fault means that an attorney will need to argue whether or not their client is “partially” liable and whether any such liability should prohibit their recovery. It will be important to retain an attorney who is experienced in arguing such issues to a jury.
Cases Which Involve Numerous Defendants
Personal injury cases can often involve numerous defendants. Matters involving trucking accidents, for example, can involve the truck’s driver, the truck’s owner, a third-party management company, and other entities. Also, certain causes of action may exist against one defendant but not another. Having an experienced lawyer can assist with a) making sure all necessary defendants are named, and b) having representation that knows what steps to take when dealing with multiple parties.
Courts may sometimes order bifurcated proceedings in matters where there is a clear dispute over liability. This means that a Plaintiff would have to prove liability to the jury before being able to present any evidence of damages. Bifurcated trials do not occur in areas of practice such as family law or criminal law. Given that bifurcation can impact trial strategy, it is important that you retain an attorney with extensive personal injury experience. This allows you to have representation who has dealt with such a process previously.
In addition to being able to handle a bifurcated proceeding, experienced counsel will make arguments as to why the proceedings should not be bifurcated in the first place. Such arguments may include the fact that evidence of a victim’s damages may be necessary to establish how the injury occurred.
Retaining an Attorney With the Necessary Resources
Personal injury cases can be very expensive to litigate. In matters involving serious injuries, your attorney may have to pay expenses for expert witnesses and for a lengthy discovery process. Counsel would not be reimbursed until your matter settles or until you prevail at trial. Unfortunately, smaller law firms, who do not primarily practice personal injury law, take on complex matters only to realize that they lack the financial resources necessary to complete the case. This can lead to counsel having to withdraw in the middle of litigation. By retaining an experienced lawyer, you are taking a step towards making sure that your counsel can actually see the case through to completion.
The Difference Between Personal Injury Lawyers and Lawyers Who Take Personal Injury Cases
There are many law firms that practice solely in the area of personal injury law. There are also firms that practice in other areas but accept personal injury cases. Hiring the latter over the former puts you at risk of hiring a firm without the needed experience or resources to handle your case. This can result in you receiving less than the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. When hiring a firm, we suggest you retain one which focuses solely in personal injury law. We also suggest you ask your prospective attorney about similar cases which they have handled and about steps that they will take to protect your interests.
Contact A Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured by another person’s negligence, then it is important that you retain quality representation. Our firm is focused on the area of personal injury law, and we believe in protecting the rights of people over those of companies. Contact us online or by telephone at 800-780-8607 to speak with a Florida personal injury attorney.