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Should I Hire A Lawyer?
If you don’t hire the right personal injury lawyer, you may lose out on a good settlement that covers the full cost of your injuries. A good personal injury attorney won’t settle for what the insurance company wants to offer. If the settlement offer isn’t fair, a good lawyer wl take the case to court. The best personal injury attorneys engage in thorough discovery to bud the best possible case.
Because of the nature of personal injury cases, you need an attorney who ruthlessly negotiates with insurance companies. Your attorney should not settle for an amount that is too small to cover all your medical expenses, whether they are in the past, current, or ongoing. Your attorney should also be well-versed in workers’ compensation law if your injury was due to a workplace accident. Before you retain any lawyer, you should evaluate the lawyer and the firm, because the outcome of the case could determine the quality of your life in the future.
A fair settlement wl cover your medical expenses and compensate you for all of your losses. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, this may amount to thousands of dollars or even mlions of dollars. The damages that you may receive can include both compensatory and punitive damages. However, courts only award punitive damages if a defendant engaged in gross negligence that resulted in serious injuries.
Florida law has a cap on settlement: three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, if a court determines that the wrongful conduct was meant to benefit by unreasonable financial gain, the caps are four times the amount of compensatory damages or $2,000,000. Additional exceptions include cases of chd abuse or intoxication.
Compensatory damages include:
You may also hear courts distinguish between economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are awarded for actual financial losses, including lost wages and medical bls. Non-economic damages cover the costs of pain and suffering or loss of consortium.
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Here are some suggestions for what to bring to your meeting with your attorney.
Treat your first meeting as a business consultation. Whe you are trying to develop a friendly rapport with your lawyer, you also want him or her to see you as a serious client with serious needs.
As part of your initial meeting with your attorney, it's important to understand the anticipated cost of the representation and how this wl be calculated.
Different lawyers bl their clients differently. Some charge by the hour; some charge by the project, on a flat-fee or contingency basis. In the case of lawyers who charge hourly, some start out by charging a retainer, which is an initial up-front fee that they then bl against at an hourly rate unt it runs out (at which point the assumption is usually that you'll be ready to pay more).
If the lawyer is wling to take your case, you should ask what he or she charges. Also ask when, exactly, you wl be charged: quarterly, monthly, up-front, or at the conclusion of the project?
You may be presented with a contract called a retainer agreement or a legal services agreement. This typically spells out the scope of the lawyer's representation of you, as well as the fees that you wl pay. The document is ordinary a few pages long. The lawyer should explain it to you. Read and understand the document before you sign it.
Be clear on what wl happen next, and then be sure to follow through on whatever you're asked to do by your new attorney. The attorney wl need cooperation from your end.
Commonly, a lawyer wl ask you to send additional documents or information pertaining to your case so that he or she can review it in deta. If it's not clearly spelled out in your representation agreement, ask the lawyer how he or she would prefer to communicate with you (ema, telephone, or some other method), and then keep in contact regularly.
The lawyer may give you advice on how to proceed. This could be especially important when time is short. For example, if your business has been sued and you need to fe a response to the lawsuit immediately, you'll want a lawyer to get on the matter right away. By the end of your meeting, you should leave with a clear understanding of what you've accomplished and what's ahead.
Remember, you are under no obligation to hire a particular attorney merely because you had an initial meeting. Much like getting a second medical opinion before a surgery, it is common to seek advice from two or more lawyers before committing. The attorney-client relationship is important, and you need to feel comfortable with your choice.
If you're ready to discuss your project, or just want to know more about getting your case reviewed, call us now on 07737 866432 or use the contact form to send a message.
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