When Should I Hire an Attorney After an Accident?
It is perfectly within your rights not to hire a lawyer after a car accident. In many cases, I would even argue that you do not need one. However, there are situations in which the hiring of an attorney is a wise decision. It is important to recognize the difference. The hiring of an attorney may not be necessary if the accident was minor and there were no injuries. If there were injuries to you or a loved one, it is probably a very wise decision to, at least, consult with an attorney after the accident.
What will it Cost to Talk with a Lawyer?
Your initial consultation should be free. Most reputable attorneys will provide you a 30 minute consultation for free. During that consultation, the attorney should be able to answer basic questions about your case. Keep it mind that at this initial meeting, the attorney likely will not have any accident reports, hospital records, witness statements and other documents that provide information specific to your accident so the questions that the lawyer will be able to answer will be more general in nature. In my opinion, this initial consultation should be used by the client to “interview” the attorney and determine if the “fit is right”. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
What Will a Personal Injury Attorney Do For Me After an Accident
First, and most importantly, your attorney should be extremely knowledgeable concerning the relevant laws and procedural rules that may affect your case. Beyond being knowledgeable, pursuing a personal injury claim can be time consuming and expensive. When you hire a personal injury attorney, some of the activities that attorney will perform, include:
1. Gathering documents including insurance polices;
2. Collecting medical records;
3. Ordering police report;
4. Hiring an investigator to document the scene and vehicles involved;
5. Performing background checks on the at fault parties;
6. Following the client’s treatment;
7. Preparing a complete demand letter and package to the insurance company;
8. Negotiating with the insurance companies;
9. Negotiating with medical providers to reduce your bills;
10. Preparing all court filings should it be necessary to file suit;
11. Hiring expert witnesses, if necessary;
12. Taking depositions and preparing you for your deposition; and
13. Acting as your attorney during trial.
As you can see, there is a lot of time and expense that goes into a personal injury case. It is important to have an advocate to assist you in navigating process and obtaining the best possible result for you.
The Bottom Line – What Will a Personal Injury Attorney Cost
The total cost varies from state to state. In Florida, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency. This means that you are not responsible for paying an hourly rate, but in the event that the lawyer is able to collect money, he or she will be paid a percentage of that recovery and be reimbursed for any expenses such as the hiring of experts and investigators. In Florida, the contingency fee usually ranges between 33% and 40%. It will vary depending upon whether it is settled before or after a lawsuit is filed. If there is no recovery, you will not be responsible for any attorney fees or costs.
In some cases, your attorney will be able to collect some or all of the attorneys’ fees and costs from the other side. This usually only happens after a trial, in which a verdict and judgment are rendered in your favor. This collection of fees and costs will offset the fees and costs which would have been earned under the contingency agreement. This will reduce the amount of fees and costs taken from your recovery.
Contact Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you in the privacy of your own home.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707