You are driving on Coral Way in Miami when another driver slams into the back of your vehicle. The entire rear end of your car is damaged and will need extensive repairs. In addition, you suffer serious injuries including a sprained shoulder, fractured wrist, and whiplash. You decide you want to hire an attorney. Our team of experienced Miami car accident lawyers want to be sure you are prepared for this meeting. Below are some important questions you should ask a lawyer during a free, initial consultation:
- How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action?
This is an important question to have the answer to since every civil claim is governed by a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is an arbitrary time limit established by a state legislature providing a window of time for you to take legal action against an alleged at-fault party. Statutes of limitations vary state by state and by the injury you suffered. The statute of limitations also changes based upon the party you are taking action against. This means there may only be a short time to file a lawsuit, depending on who you are filing the suit against. If you fail to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you may be barred from pursuing a financial recovery for your injuries.
In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. This means that the proverbial clock starts ticking on the day of the accident.
- Do You Have Actual Jury Trial Experience?
You want a Miami personal injury lawyer who is comfortable in a courtroom and knows how to advocate for a client’s case in front of a jury. You need to specifically ask your lawyer how many cases they have handled and how many they have taken to trial. Some lawyers rarely, if ever, actually take a case to trial opting for a quick settlement. You do not want a lawyer who is afraid to take your case to trial. You want a seasoned trial attorney ready to fight for maximum compensation.
- How are You Paid?
If your personal injury lawyer states they charge an hourly fee or asks for a retainer fee, you should politely decline moving forward with them and seek representation elsewhere. Why? Because the vast majority of experienced Miami personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement enables you, the client, to hire an attorney without having to pay an outrageous hourly fee or upfront retainer fee. In exchange, your injury attorney will work to resolve your accident claim and will receive a percentage of the total amount recovered. Typically, for an auto accident personal injury case, a Miami injury lawyer charges a 33.3% contingent fee. This means that if your lawyer secures a $100,000 settlement, their fee will be around $33,300.
Contingent fees vary depending on the type of case you have.
For example, if you were seriously harmed by the negligence of a doctor or were harmed by a defective product, the contingent fee may be higher since those types of personal injury cases are more complex, take more time, and typically require your lawyer to seek out and hire experts.
Contact an Experienced Miami Car Accident Lawyer Today
Now that you are armed with these important questions, reach out to the experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz. We offer free, confidential consultations and represent injured clients on a contingency fee basis.