Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases in Florida
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you are not alone. Others have had the same unfortunate experience, and they may have had the same questions and concerns. Our experienced personal injury team has compiled answers to the most common questions from Miami-area accident victims here to get you the information you need quickly and reliably.
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How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in Miami, Florida?
Most personal injury or car accident lawyers throughout Miami, Broward and South Florida charge 33%-40% of the recovery they obtain for you. This is known as a contingency fee because it depends on the value of your settlement or jury award. For example, if we obtain a settlement of $100,000 for you, our fee would be $33,000 if no lawsuit is filed, or $40,000 if a lawsuit was required. However, you would not pay us anything(!) until your case has been resolved.
Plus, I have an unwritten rule at my firm that says: our fee will not exceed your recovery. I don’t care what the contract says we are entitled to, I will reduce our fees so that you net more than we do. You’re the one that got hurt, and we were privileged to represent you. While clients need us to fight for them, we need you too. And I realize who comes first.
If a personal injury attorney wants to charge you a “retainer fee” or bill you “hourly,” I’d look for new counsel. Remember, not all Florida injury lawyers have the same qualifications and track record. Just because an attorney charges only 25% (or less) doesn’t mean that is the better choice. Assume that lawyer is only able to get you $50,000, they are not as valuable as the lawyer that charges 33% but gets you $100,000.
Do Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Charge Retainer Fees?
I realize that after having your world turned upside down as a result of a car accident or injury case, the last thing you want to do after being hurt is pay a retainer fee. Your focus is on getting better, getting back to work and regaining your health. Most lawyers who handle accident and injury cases do not charge a retainer fee. Some, however, will expect you do come up with a deposit for costs up front. I am not one of those lawyers.
If an attorney in Miami tries to charge you anything up front or do your accident case for anything other than a contingency fee, you may want to consider speaking with someone else. If I believe in your case enough to take it on, I will be willing to accept a fee once we have successfully settled or won your case that is “contingent” with the compensation that you obtain.
So you are aware, personal injury lawyers generally charge a contingency fee of 33%-40% at the end of the case. We don’t charge hourly or retainer fees. If you have additional questions or want to schedule a free consultation, call our Miami office today at (305) 707-7345.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Case in Florida?
Like so many legal questions about car accidents, the answer is: it depends. If your injuries are minor, you only had 1-2 visits to the doctor you probably don’t need to and shouldn’t hire a lawyer. If the damage to your car is being paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance and you did not require medical treatment you need to realize two things: 1). You are very lucky and 2). I doubt an attorney could do much better than you can do on your own.
However, if your medical bills are greater than $2,500, you missed time from work or are still experiencing pain and physical problems a week or two after your accident, I encourage to at least speak with us. If the insurance company for the at-fault driver is giving you a tough time or the runaround when it comes to accepting liability (fault), we may be able to help. Most lawyers offer free consultations so you can have your questions answered.
Remember, under Florida’s PIP law, you must be seen by a doctor within 14 days and ultimately obtain an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) in order to receive your full PIP benefits. That’s why it is always best to at least get checked out immediately after your accident to make sure you are covered and there are no serious problems.
If you want to speak with a car accident attorney serving Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach and Collier County, call me at (305) 707-7345. Even if you don’t hire us, we can help provide you with valuable information in the form of free books and other materials.
I Have a Herniated Lumbar Disc after a Car Crash, What Should I Do?
One of the most common and troubling injuries after a car accident is a herniated disc in the lumbar region of the spine/back. The lumbar region is in the lower part of the back and is a serious injury because this part of the back controls a lot of what we do in our everyday lives. Sitting, standing and bending are all affected by herniation to the lumbar spine.
If you have suffered a herniation to the lumbar spine after a car wreck, you should take this injury seriously and it is not something you can ignore. People often make the mistake of assuming that this will simply go away and take care of itself. That is false and it will not improve and ultimately go away or become manageable without proper treatment. Receiving treatment is very important following an accident especially if you are diagnosed with herniated disc(s) in the lumbar spine. When you do go in for treatment, be sure to communicate all of your symptoms with your doctor. Doing so will be very important should you decide to file a claim.
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
- Get Proper Medical Treatment: Contrary to popular belief and catchy jingles you may hear on the radio, you do not have to call an attorney right away after a car accident in Florida. The most important you can do is get proper medical treatment. It is a mistake to put off medical treatment simply because you are worried about the value of your car accident case. Quick medical care is just as important for your car accident claim or lawsuit as it is to your health and wellbeing. By failing to get proper treatment and care, you could be contributing to your injuries. This will reduce the amount of money that you can recover from whoever really caused your pain.
- Be Honest With Your Doctor: Do not lie or withhold information from your doctor. Many people who are seriously injured in an accident fail to tell their doctors everything. Make sure you are communicating all of your complaints to your doctor. People do this for many reasons. Mostly because they think the pain will fade or the focus on the broken bones and forget to mention the smaller stuff because it is, well, smaller or they think it’s not related to the accident because it didn’t appear until a few days later. All of this can hurt your case down the road. Tell your doctors everything.
- Document Everything: Gather as much evidence as possible immediately following an accident. That includes taking pictures, obtaining reports, witness names, etc. Also, keep track of all medical treatments, hospital and/or doctor’s visits and procedures you received after your injury. Keep a journal and make a file with dates.
Do I need a lawyer to handle my personal injury claim?
You definitely do not need an attorney for every small injury case. In fact, our office does not even accept cases where there’s little or no property damage or the injuries are minor. Why not? In small cases, the attorney’s fee and costs might leave little or nothing for you after your medical bills are paid, and that is not fair to you. While you may not need a lawyer to represent you in a small injury case, you should at least educate yourself and speak with a lawyer. Remember most lawyer’s initial consultations are free. Even if you do not have a case (sometimes this is the best advice you can get), you should meet with a lawyer before you sign any forms or speak with the insurance adjuster.