Five Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Lawyer
Our Tallahassee Personal Injury Lawyer Explains What to Avoid
You have no shortage of options when you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in Tallahassee. As you search for the right legal advocate to represent your interests and fight for your welfare, it might be helpful to keep these tips in mind and avoid five mistakes even smart people make when choosing a lawyer.
Don’t Work With a Lawyer Who Does Too Much
Many lawyers list “personal injury” as one of their practice areas. But if that lawyer also handles real estate closings, traffic tickets, tax law, and divorce cases, you are probably looking at a “jack-of-all-trades” practitioner. An attorney’s services with this broad type of practice could be beneficial if you live deep in the Mojave Desert with no other legal practice serving your area. However, there are enough law firms in Tallahassee to enable you to choose an attorney with a lot of experience handling personal injury cases.
Think of it this way—if you’re in a hurry, you can buy a pair of shoes at a big box store that carries everything from fish food to car batteries. But if you want a pair of quality shoes, your best bet is a store that carries the best brands with staff members who understand how to help you find shoes that fit. You will only get one chance to file a legal claim for your injury, so choose a firm and a Tallahassee personal injury lawyer that knows how to make the most out of your case.
Watch Out for the Settlement Factories
It is a fact that most personal injury cases in Tallahassee settle before trial. Settling your claim is not a bad outcome since it can provide certainty and a quick result. However, you do not want to settle for less than a fair amount just because your attorney is not prepared to take your case to trial.
Some of the big personal injury law firms in and around Tallahassee operate on a high-volume system. They make money by handling a lot of claims as quickly as possible. That means they do not have time to give each client the attention they deserve. It also means they may encourage clients to settle even if a settlement offer does not provide fair compensation for a claim, just so they can close the case, collect their fee, and move on without investing the time and effort to prepare to take the case to trial.
Don’t Take a Referral from Someone You Don’t Know
Ambulance chasers are real, but they can be subtle. Sometimes, attorneys will pay contractors to advise the victim of an accident, telling them how a particular attorney can help with their case. The contractor gets paid if the victim uses the lawyer’s services. This practice is unethical and illegal, but that doesn’t stop it from occurring.
Client reviews on websites can be genuine, and referrals from past clients can be legitimate. But be wary when someone you don’t know reaches out with “helpful” advice.
Avoid the Jackpot Attorneys
Above, we suggested that you’re not going to find the best quality shoes in a general store. You are also not likely to find them in a jewelry store. In other words, just because a firm is small and specialized, that does not mean they understand the best practices for handling your car accident or slip and fall case.
We have all heard stories of giant payouts in personal injury cases. Those jackpot stories tempt lawyers to add personal injury cases to their practice in the hopes that they might strike it rich someday. The reality, however, is that dedicated personal injury lawyers work hard to help their clients recover the compensation they need to get their lives back on track. To succeed with a case, a Tallahassee personal injury lawyer needs to understand how to investigate and make the most of the evidence and opportunities. Success comes from experience, not luck.
Watch for Ethical Violations
This is a quick tip, but it is a step that many people forget to take before hiring a lawyer. Check to ensure the attorney you will be working with does not have a history of legal or ethical violations on their record. The Florida Bar maintains a directory of attorneys, and each listing shows whether the attorney is a member in good standing and lists any disciplinary actions within the last ten years.
Evaluate Your Options When Choosing a Tallahassee Personal Injury Lawyer
Choosing a legal advisor to manage your case and fight for your best interests is not an easy task. Find a Tallahassee personal injury lawyer who will take the time to listen to you and consider your goals. To talk to one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Searcy Denney and learn how we might be able to help, contact us at any time.