Here are 5 questions you should ask your injury lawyer before they take your case:
1. How will I be able to communicate with the lawyer assigned to my case?
The injury lawyers at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates obtain cases from other law firms oftentimes because the client is unable to communicate with his/her lawyer directly. There is absolutely no excuse for a lack of communication from your lawyer. The Florida Bar’s ethics rules require your lawyer to keep you apprised of the status of your case. Further, your lawyer is required to consult with you so you’re able to make informed decisions regarding your case. Be forewarned: If you hire a personal injury/wrongful death lawyer and then have to fire that lawyer due to a lack of communication, you may end up paying for two lawyers at the end of the case. Stuart, FL injury lawyers at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates value communication with our clients. Our lawyers provide our direct email addresses to allow quick and efficient communication between client and attorney.
2. Is my lawyer competent to handle my case?
Make sure to ask your potential lawyer what experience he/she has in handling cases like yours. Personal injury/wrongful death law is oftentimes seen by other lawyers as an “easy” type of law to handle that can yield large fees if the right case comes in to the office. Because of that common misconception, there are a lot of lawyers that advertise for personal injury/wrongful death cases but simply do not have the experience that you should demand. Ask your potential lawyer what experience he/she has in the courtroom with injury/wrongful death cases, how many multi-million dollar verdicts have been obtained in injury/wrongful death cases, and whether he/she will be willing to spend the money necessary to take your case all the way through trial. Ask for written marketing materials that verify what you are being told.
3. How long will my case take?
This is a trick question that you can use to weed out the inexperienced lawyers that falsely advertise that they competently handle personal injury/wrongful death cases. Any lawyer that tells you exactly how long your case is going to take has simply never handled a personal injury or wrongful death case. The quick answer is that we simply have no idea how long it will take. On the short end of the spectrum, we have had cases here at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates that have been resolved within a month or two of the date of incident but this is far from the norm.
Be wary of any lawyer that tells you your case can be resolved quickly. Resolving a case too soon can leave you with unpaid medical expenses and is a common trap for the inexperienced “personal injury lawyer”. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some cases that take years to be resolved.
4. How much is my case worth?
This is an even better question in your arsenal to weed out a lawyer that is just trying to land your case for his/her own benefit. Remember, when you are looking to hire an injury/wrongful death attorney, do not hire the one that is willing to say what you want to hear; it is imperative that you hire the lawyer that is going to give you the truth. A truly experienced personal injury/wrongful death lawyer will never commit to a value of your case at the initial consultation. There are simply too many variables that make up the value of an injury or death case that remain unknown in the early stages. Hire the attorney that is willing to explain to you why that question is impossible to answer until all the information is gathered and the evidence is compiled. That is the lawyer that knows what he/she is doing, and that lawyer willing to give you his/her time is the lawyer you want representing you.
5. What medical bills get paid from the settlement?
Again, communication with your lawyer is paramount to understanding what you will be obligated to pay from your settlement versus what you will be obligated to pay out of your pocket. What bills get paid from a settlement is a very common trap that the inexperienced lawyer falls into, with you possibly suffering the consequences. The simple answer depends on whether the bill is protected by a lien or a written promise to pay from your lawyer to the medical provider (Letter of Protection). If the bill is protected, it must be paid from the proceeds at or before the time you receive your money. If it is not, the decision is yours as to whether the attorney should pay the bill or not. Oftentimes, the lawyer is able to negotiate a more substantial reduction for you than what you could obtain on your own. It could be to your benefit to have the attorney handle the payment of the bills.
If you have been injured, you are owed compensation for your suffering. Contact Law Offices of Vastola & Associates., to discuss your case. We will help you with assistance and consultancy throughout the entire process. We service clients in Stuart, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and North Palm Beach, Florida.