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How To Choose the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Tampa, FL

How To Choose the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Tampa, FL

Like much of Florida, there are a range of activities to enjoy in Tampa. Unfortunately, with these experiences come numerous ways to get injured as well. If you are hurt in an accident in Tampa, you might need a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation on your behalf. But how can you choose the best attorney for your situation? Keep these key tips in mind as you search.

Create a List of Potential Attorneys

The first step to finding the right personal injury attorney for your case is making a list of possible candidates. The list should contain candidates who meet certain minimum requirements, such as experience.

Relevant Practice Area

Perhaps most importantly, you want every personal injury attorney on your initial list to have relevant experience in cases like yours. For instance, if you’ve been injured in a car crash, you want a personal injury lawyer with experience representing car wreck victims. If a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property caused your injury, you need a premises liability lawyer.

You also want this experience to be largely successful. Find each candidate’s track record in cases like yours. Only include or keep those attorneys on your list who have demonstrated their ability to recover proper compensation for injury victims similar to you. 

Negotiation Skills

Most personal injury damages are paid by insurance companies that cover the losses caused by the harmful acts of others. Insurers are often against paying full compensation. 

They fight tooth and nail to get out of paying injury victims what they deserve, using various tactics to justify paying less or nothing at all, such as:

  • Taking your words out of context to refute liability
  • Taking your words out of context to disprove the seriousness of your injuries
  • Unreasonably delaying compensation to make you more desperate

As an injury victim in need of compensation, you need a professional who knows how to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement. Your lawyer can also accurately evaluate the full value of your claim under Florida law.

Litigation Experience

When an insurance company refuses to pay what it owes, a Tampa personal injury lawyer with the right skillset can take things to the next level. At this stage, your attorney becomes a litigator, and a potential trial may be in your future.

During litigation, the true nature of an injury case becomes clearer as more evidence is collected during discovery. An experienced litigator will know how to apply pressure on insurance companies, who uniformly dislike trials, to settle. In the event an insurance company does not settle, you will need your lawyer to be a competent trial advocate as well. 

Focus on Important Characteristics

Regardless of the type of law, law firms and solo practitioners should have certain characteristics that demonstrate their competence. 

They include:

  • Years of experience
  • Reputation
  • Availability
  • A clean disciplinary record

Attorneys and law firms with extensive overall legal experience tend to be grounded and prepared for the unexpectedness common in personal injury and other legal cases. 

During their time in practice, attorneys and firms develop reputations. Your potential candidates should have a proven reputation for excellence and should be recognized for such by one of the various legal groups and associations in the industry. 

Regarding availability, personal injury attorneys should never be too busy so as not to be available to their clients when they need them. Sadly, some firms treat clients with less respect than they deserve, leaving them in limbo without case updates or failing to pick up the phone when they call.

What clients need instead is a firm or practitioner who makes themselves available when their clients need them. Clients should have unfettered, reasonable access to their lawyers and not just support staff. At no point should a client be hounding their lawyer for updates or guidance, as occurs all too often in the industry.

Finally, you should review your candidates’ disciplinary records for red flags. As licensed professionals, attorneys are held accountable by their county and state bar associations. These organizations receive reports filed against bad-acting attorneys and take disciplinary action when appropriate.

If one of your candidates has entries in their disciplinary record, you will want to take a closer look to find out why. Indiscretions or violations in the distant past should not scare you away, depending on the nature of the violation. But recent bad behavior is not a good look on an attorney.

Evaluate Reviews and Testimonials

Client reviews and testimonials may contain a wealth of information but should be examined carefully and with a discerning eye. You can likely trust reviews and testimonials on a particular attorney’s or law firm’s webpage. However, it’s typically best to look at more neutral review pages, such as Yelp and Google Reviews.

Schedule an In-Person Meeting

Nothing can take the place of a face-to-face meeting. Even if you have all the information you need to make an objectively reasonable choice, you should still meet with each candidate in person. Ultimately, you want a competent professional you feel comfortable around and who treats you in a respectful manner.

The right attorney will take the time to listen to you in detail and offer solutions you feel open to pursuing. Your communication styles should match as well. Make sure you understand their fee structure, and ensure you’re on the same page with any timelines.

Don’t Delay Your Search For the Right Personal Injury Attorney in Tampa, Florida

If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer, it’s crucial to do your research and find the right one for your particular needs. However, it’s also vital not to delay your search. There is a statute of limitations of two years for most personal injury cases in Florida, and evidence problems arise the longer it takes for an accident victim to initiate action. 

By conducting a prompt search for the right Tampa personal injury attorney, you can protect both your future and your rights.

Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.

We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 223-6200

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 493-4418

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 314-5988

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 910-5060

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 251-6196

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