Tips to Finding the Best Tampa Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Lawyer

In every profession, the level of professionalism and competency ranges from completely disreputable to those who raise the bar to new standards in excellence. This is just as true in terms of hiring an attorney to help you file an injury claim, so it’s important to take your time in finding the right lawyer to represent you. This guide can help you choose the Tampa personal injury attorney best suited to help you pursue your claim.

Ask for Recommendations

The process of hiring an injury lawyer should start with getting as many different recommendations as possible. You should have a list of up to 10 attorneys to start, although you will narrow down that list throughout the rest of this process. You can get the names of those attorneys by talking to your family members, friends, and co-workers. While you’ll want to be discreet about the reason you’re looking for an injury attorney, this is the best way to get started on your search. Since many injury claims are settled without going to court, don’t assume the people you know haven’t been through this type of experience. Ask everyone you know.

Look for an Attorney With Specialized Experience

Once you have your list of lawyers, you can start narrowing them down by looking for those with specialized experience. Even if an attorney has been handling injury claims for several decades, they may not have the specific type of experience that applies to your situation. For example, if your claim involves a defective product, hiring a lawyer who primarily handles traffic accident claims will not give you the best chances for a favorable outcome. Someone familiar with product liability claims will have the specialized knowledge required to prove your claim.

Read Testimonials and Reviews

You can also narrow down your search for a Tampa personal injury attorney by looking at testimonials and reviews for each attorney. You should start by reading the testimonials the lawyers have posted on their own websites, but you shouldn’t stop there. It’s safe to assume attorneys will only post positive reviews on their websites, so try to find them on third-party sites. You can search the Better Business Bureau’s site, Yelp, Google, and Facebook to get a less biased sampling of reviews. While a few poor reviews are to be expected for any lawyer, an overwhelming number of negative reviews suggests that attorneys may not be as reliable or competent as others. It’s best to take such attorneys off your list.

Research Each Attorney’s History

At this point, you should have removed a few lawyers from your list, but you should still have a few left to investigate. The next step is to research their professional careers to determine if they have valid licenses and certifications. The best way to do this is to go to their pages on LinkedIn and on the state bar website. These sites should have the attorney’s license to practice posted, allowing you to ensure they can represent you in court. Additionally, you can message the bar association via their site to ask about any disciplinary actions taken against the attorney. If they have ever had their license suspended or have been sued for legal malpractice, you should consider removing those attorneys from your list as well.

Ask the Attorney About Wins and Losses

While a reputable attorney won’t discuss the facts of any of their previous cases with you, they can discuss their success rates. A personal injury lawyer’s success is determined by comparing the total number of cases they have handled against the favorable settlements and courtroom wins they have obtained. Obviously, you’ll want to narrow your choices down to those attorneys who have won more cases than they have lost.

You should also compare the number of lawsuit victories they have obtained against the number of settlements they have negotiated. An attorney who settles the majority of their cases indicates someone who may settle just to avoid appearing in court. Conversely, someone who seems to rarely negotiate a settlement indicates a lawyer who lacks the strong negotiating skills that can help you obtain a good settlement without having to go to court. Ideally, you should look for attorneys who have obtained a good mix of lawsuit wins and out of court settlements.

Compare the Caseload to the Size of the Office

You should also discuss the normal operations of the law office. For example, you will want to know how many cases the attorney is currently handling versus the number of cases the attorney usually handles. This will help you determine if your case will get the attention it deserves. Also ask the attorney who will be handling your case, including communicating with you. When you’re paying for the services of an attorney, you don’t want to find out everything will be relegated to a junior paralegal.

Evaluate the Attorney’s Communication Skills

Finally, it will be time for your subjective opinion. Keep in mind that you’ll be sharing personal details about your life and your injury with your personal injury attorney. This should be someone you feel you can trust, or, at the very least, this should be someone who fills you with confidence. If you feel nervous or uncomfortable as the attorney is talking to you, imagine how a jury will respond to that attorney. While you don’t have to feel as though your attorney could be a close friend, you should like them well enough in a professional capacity. If not, it’s best to consider searching for someone who does appeal to you.

While this may seem like a complex process, it’s better to take the time to hire an attorney who will work tirelessly for you. When you need to file an injury claim, you’ll want to do everything you can to obtain the most favorable outcome possible. An experienced and reputable attorney can help you get that positive outcome, and you may not even have to go to court. While there is no scoreboard for finding the best attorney in Tampa, you can evaluate any lawyer by looking at their professional past, expertise, and personality.

 

 

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