Did you know that there are over 100,000 lawyers eligible to practice law in the state of Florida? Of those 100,000 lawyers or more, only 943 are Board Certified Civil Trial lawyers. Interestingly, Central Florida, that’s the Tampa/Orlando region in the state of Florida, is the highest in the nation for lawyer ad frequency. In fact, lawyer television advertising is an astounding $1.2 billion a year. So how do you know who to hire for your personal injury case?
First off, what is the lawyer’s actual in-trial experience? Believe it or not, many of the lawyers who advertise on television and print on the radio have never tried a single case in front of a jury. That is, they’ve never received a verdict on a personal injury case. It may surprise you that they’re still allowed to advertise that they do injury and accident work, but they’ve never taken a case to a jury and fought the insurance company to the end to ensure that they get the full amount of justice for their client. It’s really surprising, billboard lawyers, television lawyers, many of them, have never tried a single case and refused to try a case. So, you need to make sure you understand your lawyers in trial experience. You know why you need to know? Because the insurance companies know. The insurance companies are not going to pay top dollar for your claim to a lawyer who has no threat of taking them to court, forcing them to pay a fair amount for your claim.
The second thing you should be asking is, is my lawyer for my injury case Board Certified? The Florida bar has a phrase related to their board certification of lawyers and it is evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise. Many of these lawyers have not been tested for their expertise. Look and see if the lawyer you’re considering hiring is board certified, particularly in civil trial law.
Third, is the lawyer or law firm that you’re considering hiring small enough to be accessible to you? Injury cases oftentimes take a a bit of time, you’re going to have lots of questions, and you’re going to want to know what’s going on with your case. You may fall into the trap of going to one of these large firms where you’re treated just like a number. Sometimes referred to as a mill, and your case just falls in amongst hundreds and hundreds, maybe even thousands of other cases. Is that fair to you? Is that something that you want? If that’s what you want, of course don’t ask the question, but consider the size and the case volume that the attorney you’re considering has.
Which is my fourth point, that they don’t have too many cases. What happens when a lawyer gets too many cases is you just become a case, not a person. You actually get handed down and your case gets handled by others, not lawyers more often. In fact, you may never have communication directly with the lawyer who is assigned to your case because they’re not handling your case. You and your case are individual and specific, the lawyer handling your case has to understand that, has to get to know you and the specific way your injuries have affected your life. In a firm that has too many cases, that’s just simply not possible.
The fifth thing I think you need to know and consider when hiring a lawyer is, is the lawyer local? Now, it used to be people thought they had to go out of town to large cities to find well-qualified lawyers, that in fact is not the case. It will be best for you and your case if you can find a highly qualified local attorney, one who is known and respected by the judges and the court personnel who are likely to be involved in your case. Cases take a long time. There’s a lot of interaction between the lawyer, law firm, and the judicial branch including the judges, judicial assistants, court clerks, bailiffs, and things of that nature. Having a lawyer who has local ties will serve you in your case best.
These are things that are not made known to you when you look at billboards, radio and television commercials, and websites. In fact, you’re going to have to probe and ask to get the answers to these questions. This is your one chance, your one case to seek justice, to recover the full amount for your injury claim, and you should make sure you have the most qualified and accessible lawyer to handle that.