How do I find a personal injury lawyer?
This is a great question!
This post will help you select a personal injury lawyer for your personal injury accident. By the end of this post, you will better understand how to start your search for a personal injury lawyer for your personal injury claim, whether you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida, or anywhere in Florida.
Let’s get started!
- What is a personal injury lawyer?
- Why look for a lawyer practicing personal injury law?
- Where should I start trying to find a personal injury lawyer?
- How do I find a personal injury lawyer online?
- How can I verify my personal injury lawyer?
- Should I meet my potential personal injury lawyer in person?
- Do I have to sign a contingency fee agreement before I meet with my lawyer?
What is a personal injury lawyer?
Let’s start at the beginning!
Before you start looking for a personal injury lawyer, we should start by asking: what is a personal injury lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer that focuses his or her practice on personal injury claims – car accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other types of personal injury claims.
A personal injury lawyer, generally unlike other types of lawyers, works on a contingency fee basis. The contingency fee arrangement means the personal injury lawyer does not charge you by the hour for representing you. Instead, when your injury claim settles, your personal injury lawyer will take a percentage – usually 33% or 40% – from the total settlement. While this may seem like a large percentage, it is fair. In fact, when injury victims hire personal injury lawyers, they typically recover over three times more money than when they represent themselves! This is a big difference.
Why look for a lawyer practicing personal injury law?
Successfully handling personal injury claims requires experience and knowledge. Indeed, a lawyer who does not handle personal injury claims cannot just “jump in” and successfully handle a personal injury claim.
Similar to doctors, there are a number of specialties and practice areas within the practice of law. Generally speaking, the skills and knowledge needed to successfully practice in bankruptcy law or immigration law do not carry over to other practice areas, including personal injury.
So just because someone has a law license does not mean that person is a personal injury lawyer or can handle personal injury claims.
Where should I start trying to find a personal injury lawyer?
The best place to start to find a personal injury lawyer is your personal network.
Here’s a neat survey showing the power and influence of your personal network when selecting a personal injury lawyer:
For many injury victims, they may already be connected to a personal injury lawyer – and he or she has already gained their trust. But if you are not personally connected, you should look to your network of family, friends, and coworkers to see if they have a recommendation. This is a powerful resource, as your network will be able to tell you their firsthand experience with the personal injury lawyer.
If you do not have a personal network that can help you, the next best place to search is the internet, which I will discuss in the next section.
How do I find a personal injury lawyer online?
If you type a search query in Google, such as “personal injury lawyer,” you probably got a result that looks something like this:
Without question, you are presented with many options to consider for personal injury lawyers. Indeed, there are many highly qualified and skilled personal injury attorneys to choose from in South Florida. So where do you go from here? Here are some helpful suggestions.
First, visit the personal injury attorney’s website. Does the lawyer handle your specific type of personal injury claim? Does the personal injury lawyer have a track record of success? Hopefully, the personal injury lawyer’s website answers your questions, is informative, and leaves you with a better understanding of personal injury law.
Second, visit the personal injury attorney’s YouTube channel, if they in fact have one. In my opinion, Youtube is a great way to find authentic information about and by personal injury attorneys.
While not every personal injury attorney has a YouTube presence, many do. It’s a shortcut to finding who you’d want to represent you because it gives you much more information than any other source. Additionally, YouTube is beneficial because:
- Video lets you evaluate if the personal injury attorney gives thoughtful information and answers to many of your questions;
- Video gives you a glimpse into how the injury attorney thinks, communicates, and describes complicated topics to non-lawyers;
- Video lets you gauge a personal injury attorney’s presence; and,
- Video gives you a window into practice philosophy – in fact, it might answer questions like: “Can I see this attorney being my zealous advocate?”
Third, I suggest you read online reviews of your personal injury lawyer. In particular, Google reviews are a great source of information on a lawyer. What did the client say about his or her personal injury lawyer? Were they pleased with the experience? In fact, I have had clients retain me because they thought highly of my reviews on Google. So read the personal injury lawyer’s Google reviews.
How can I verify my personal injury attorney online?
Often times, a personal injury lawyer’s website may not list or address important topics, like how long they have been licensed to practice law.
If you would like to learn more about your personal injury attorney, you can go to the Florida Bar’s website to see the personal injury attorney’s bio. For example, here is a snapshot of my bio from the Florida Bar’s website:
As you can see, my biography shows, among other things, the date I was admitted to the Florida Bar and whether I have been the subject of any disciplinary proceedings. Every practicing attorney in Florida has a similar page.
If you want to see a lawyer’s Florida Bar credentials, just go to the Florida Bar website and type their name in the “Find a Lawyer” tab.
Should I meet my potential personal injury lawyer in person?
Yes, you should meet your personal injury lawyer in person if you believe it is safe to do so.
Because of Covid-19, we have relied heavily on Zoom and other technologies that have allowed us to connect without having to meet in person. These technologies have been wonderful and useful during Covid-19. If you feel you are able to do so safely and comfortably, meeting in person with your potential personal injury lawyer in person is a great way to learn more about him or her and ask those questions that are important to you.
Additionally, you will be able to assess your potential personal injury lawyer’s personality, and whether they have the temperament and attitude you want in your personal injury lawyer.
Do I have to sign a contingency fee agreement before I meet with my lawyer?
No. There is no requirement that you have to sign a personal injury lawyer’s contingency fee agreement before you meet them in person, or before they investigate your case.
Now, a personal injury lawyer may ask that you sign his or her contingency fee agreement before they investigate your case because certain investigations may require the personal injury lawyer to spend money and time to see whether the personal injury claim has merit. So, they do not want to put their time and resources into investigating your claim if you do not want to retain them.
But, again, you are not required to sign a contingency agreement before you meet your potential personal injury lawyer.
Barthelette Law, Your Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer
I hope this post answered your question: How do I find a personal injury lawyer?
Of course, if you have a question that is not found in this list, do not hesitate to call (561) 246-4137 or email us today!