When dealing with a legal matter, think Pink.
Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Have you or a loved one been injured recently? Do you feel that you need to hire an attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve? If so, here are some valuable tips to consider when searching for the best personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Do Your Research
Prior to selecting a personal injury attorney, do some initial investigating on your own. Ask your friends. Check out reviews. Look at any attorneys’ credentials. Call lawyers, judges, clerksb or anyone else you know who might be able to supply information regarding the top lawyers in your area.
Make the Right Choice: Bigger Is Not Better
Once you have done your initial research, make sure to choose a lawyer who specializes in helping clients in a similar situation as yourself. You can easily explore their website to see what types of injuries their clients have sustained and match their expertise with your needs. Much like you wouldn’t want a podiatrist to place a stent in your heart, you would not want a family law attorney to handle your personal injury claim.
In the majority of cases, it’s also good to take a look at an attorney’s trial history. Having someone on your side who has solid trial experience is invaluable if your case ends up going in that direction. If your accident involved serious injuries and you are dealing with a large case, take a look at the attorney’s verdict and settlement history. You will want to work with a lawyer who has a lot of experience in delivering large settlements to their clients.
Also remember, the more complicated the case, the more resources necessary to prepare for trial. Sadly, there are lawyers who may not have the ability to fund a complex case. That could mean they would be willing to settle for less than your case is worth. Insurance companies know the lawyers who are willing to settle for less and not do the work necessary to go to court.
Legally Pink Law is a “boutique” firm, which means more attention and time can be given to the client at an individual level. Boutique law firms offer a more personalized touch without sacrificing the professional experience you’d get from a bigger law firm. In fact, that’s why Carolyn Salzmann, our firm’s founder, created Legally Pink Law. She was tired of being unable to give her clients the level of attention she felt they deserved, so she created Legally Pink Law to provide boutique, personalized legal representation to each and every one of her clients.
Ask for an Evaluation of Your Case
Most personal injury attorneys will offer a free case evaluation. This gives you an opportunity to meet and evaluate the attorney prior to assigning them to your case. It will give you a clear understanding on how they will handle your case and a chance to ask pertinent questions regarding your accident.
You have one chance to be compensated for your injury. General practice lawyers, lawyers practicing in other areas of law, or a newly graduated lawyer may not have the same knowledge of civil court systems or insurance company practices as somebody who has been doing it for years. Below are just a few questions to ask and things to notate during your initial consultation.
- Do they have experience in handling my type of case?
- Are they listening to me?
- Are they compassionate?
- Are they willing to give me references?
- Do they have the resources to try my case?
- Will they have a plan to handle my case?
- Will they answer my calls in a timely manner?
- How many trials have they handled in the last few years?
- Who in the firm will be handling my case?
Hiring a personal injury attorney can be a daunting task especially when you are dealing with the stress of being injured in an accident. However, remembering these few tips will help you navigate this process a little easier, and ensure you find the right lawyer for your case.
Carolyn Salzmann of Legally Pink Law is one of the top personal injury attorneys in Central Florida. To date, she has handled thousands of cases and recovered millions of dollars for her clients.
You are entitled to compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical bills resulting from your injury
- Past and future lost income
- Pain and suffering. This classification of compensation refers to physical pain and emotional suffering. The compensation is based on how your injuries negatively impacted your ability to enjoy your hobbies and other “joys of life” like your job and your family. Usually, this is the largest financial component of a settlement or verdict.
- Injuries resulting in permanent scarring, impairments, and/or other limitations.
In the case of an automobile or motorcycle accident, if the person who is at fault for an accident does not have insurance, then we do three things. First, we run an asset check on the at-fault party to see if he or she has assets that we could possibly seize to cover your damages.
This requires us to file a lawsuit against the individual. Second, we look to see if the defendant's driver owns the vehicle. Sometimes the driver and owner are two different people.
While the driver might not have insurance, the owner may be insured, especially if the vehicle is financed. Third, we do a complete assessment of the client's insurance coverages to see if this individual has Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
If that is the case, then we look to the client's insurance coverage to compensate this individual for his or her injuries and damages. This should not cause the client's insurance to go up since he or she is not at fault for the accident.
There are five things you should do immediately after an accident. These include the following steps:
- Call 911 and report the accident. Regardless of the extent of the property damage and how you feel after the collision, you must call 911 and report the accident. If you do not call 911, the insurance company will use this against you when we negotiate the value of your claim.
- Exchange information with all other drivers involved in the accident. Be sure to get the other driver's tag number, license number, and insurance company information. Even if you are waiting for the police to arrive, you still need to start gathering this information. There are unfortunately many situations in which the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident.
- Investigate. Seek out witnesses and take photos. Even if the other person admits fault, his or her story may change once you file a claim. Witnesses will not wait for the police to arrive, so you need to get their contact information right away. Also, scene and property damage photos can be critical in proving how the accident happened and the forces exerted on your body.
- Seek medical attention. Whether it is at the accident scene or at the hospital, later on, it is essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible so you fully understand the extent of your injuries. This will also help you ensure that your injuries are well-documented. The insurance company will use any delay in medical treatment against you.
- Do not discuss your injuries with the insurance company. Report the facts of the accident (what happened) to your insurance company, but do not discuss your injuries. Because adrenaline is flowing through your body, you may not immediately feel the full extent of your injuries. Statements such as "I'm not injured" or "I'm OK" can and will be used against you by the insurance company.
Yes, but it will be difficult to do on your own. Consult an attorney to help you determine your options, especially if there were injuries involved.
- Make sure your injuries are documented in medical records as soon as possible. The insurance company will deny your injury claim unless each injury is documented in hospital records on the date of the accident or within 24 hours of the injury.
- See your primary care physician as soon as possible. Your doctor will document your injuries and prescribe a course of treatment, and the doctor’s chart notes will help us prove the extent of your injuries.
- Contact a lawyer to help you prove fault (liability) and the extent of the injuries and harm that you experienced due to the accident. Lawyers should have the resources necessary to get the most value for your case. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner you get to relax and heal while we do the work of getting the money you deserve.