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What Should I Look For When Hiring A Florida Accident Attorney?

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Daniel A. Iracki - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Daniel A. Iracki

Located in Jacksonville, FLCoker Law

Jacksonville, FL
Phone: 904-356-6071
Fax: 904-353-2425

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Going through a motor vehicle accident that results in serious injuries is a difficult process to navigate. The accident may have left you unable to work, and the medical costs can be significant. To determine your next steps, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your situation. A qualified attorney can review your case and determine whether you should proceed with a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for your losses. 

In our experience, people involved in a car accident want a lawyer they can trust and who is going to strongly advocate for their needs throughout the legal process. When evaluating whether your attorney will fulfill your needs, it is important to look for someone who is experienced, is committed to pursuing litigation and acts with integrity. 

Experience 

When seeking a successful outcome to a personal injury case, there is no substitute for experience. In addition to their years of practice, an additional element that illustrates an attorney’s experience is whether the lawyer is a board-certified civil trial lawyer by The Florida Bar. Less than 1 percent of lawyers in the state have this recognition, which designates an attorney as having the highest levels of ethics and institutional knowledge. 

Experience applies to the firm as a whole, not just the primary attorney working on your case. Look for a firm that has practiced in the personal injury field for a long time. The longer a law firm has resolved car accident cases, the more likely they are to know how best to proceed when seeking to recover the compensation you need. 

Commitment To Trial Work 

Most personal injury cases are ultimately resolved through settlement. That said, it is still wise to consult with a seasoned trial attorney who prepares for litigation early in the legal process. Insurance companies know which lawyers and law firms consistently try cases and which ones avoid the courtroom. They are more likely to offer you a substantial settlement offer earlier in the process if they see you have the counsel of a seasoned trial lawyer advocating for your interest. 

The more an attorney practices in court, the more likely they are to reach a favorable outcome should your case reach a resolution through a jury trial. Many personal injury attorneys may only try 5-10 cases during their entire career. At our firm, we have several attorneys who try 10-12 personal injury cases every year. 

Integrity 

When you look for a doctor, you may seek a referral from another physician. This is a prudent practice when looking for an attorney, too. Speak with other law firms and ask whom they believe are the best car accident attorneys in the area. This is a great method to determine whether your lawyer is someone who has respect on both sides of the aisle. 

Reviewing the professional memberships that an attorney belongs to can also help you determine whether your attorney is someone who acts with integrity. Look for someone who is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) or the International Society of Barristers (ISOB). These are invitation-only organizations with a strong vetting process. Evaluating which attorneys are and are not members of these groups is a good method for analyzing how the legal industry evaluates your attorney. 

Facing the aftermath of a car accident is difficult enough without having to worry about the lawyer you hired. Taking the time to review whether your lawyer possesses these key traits can help you feel more confident about your legal situation.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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