Accident Lawyers In Panama City, Florida
After an accident, everything seems overwhelming. What will happen to my vehicle? How will I earn an income while I recover? How much is my claim really worth? Should I hire that attorney guy I always see on TV?
These are all significant questions that leave victims feeling helpless and worried. The worst part is, worrying about all of these things will make your recovery even harder which is why you should consider hiring a Panama City accident attorney. No matter what kind of accident you might have had, be that in a car, at work, at a restaurant or walking into a business; the David Graham Insurance Lawyers, P.A. office has likely tackled a similar case.
We think it is essential to choose a lawyer that is in alignment with your personal values and vision for your case, so here are some of the top questions you should ask accident attorneys in Panama City.
Do You Practice Accident Law?
Just because someone is a lawyer, doesn’t mean they will be able to handle your case effectively. For example, you might know a family law attorney who you think can help you, but they might not fully understand all of the details about what it takes to fight an insurance company in a car accident case. Seek out a specific accident attorney who is well versed with the regulations, laws, and procedures of accident law.
Have You Worked on a Case Like Mine? How Did it Turn Out?
You might think this is a rather invasive question and somewhat accusatorial but it’s essential you work with a Panama City attorney who actually understands your case, and even more importantly, knows how to win it. The attorney you work with should have a track record of cases you can ask questions about. You might not be privy to all the case details, but an attorney should be able to prove they have worked on cases like yours.
Who Actually Works on My Case?
Some law firms have teams of people working on cases, some of them are not all lawyers. You should be aware of who is actually working on your claim and how many people you may potentially have to talk to regularly. A “team” isn’t always a bad thing, it means there are a lot of minds working on your case. However, this can get convoluted when there are so many hands-on your claim that no one knows what the other is doing. Ask about the communication structure within the Panama City accident law firm, and what you can expect from them.
What Kind of Time-Table am I Looking at?
Any attorney that gives you a hard timeline of your case is likely not being totally upfront with you. Accident cases vary in time frames, and anyone who suggests otherwise should be placed into the “red flag” category. What an attorney “can” actually explain, however, is what their experience tells you about how long your case should take. They should be able to calculate your recovery time, plus your income and damages and give you a rough estimate on how long your case will take to settle. This will be based on their professional experience which is why we suggested you ask about that part of their background.
Can You Explain Your Fee Structure?
Most accident attorneys in Panama City will not charge you service fees for their work on your case. They will likely work on, what is referred to as, a contingency basis. This kind of fee structure is based on the settlement they obtain for you. They should be happy to share the details of this structure with you. What do they charge for, what are the dollar amounts look like for transactions like emails and phone calls, and do you get a breakdown of those charges? These are all good questions to ask your accident attorney.
What Makes for a Successful Accident Case?
Your accident attorney should have some suggestions on how they plan to turn your claim into a successful case. They may suggest things like seeing particular doctors or specialists, ask that you sit down with investigators, or request that you obtain documents that only you have access to. The best thing you can do is be willing to participate and fulfill the requests they ask for.
What is your Trial Experience Like?
Most accident cases settle successfully out of court, but there are times when an insurance company decides they want to fight. The good news is, this usually means they know the value of your case and believe they will have time to find out if you are lying or somehow find a way to discredit your case. An accident lawyer in Panama City should be able to talk about their experiences in courtrooms and what their “approach” to winning looks like. You can ask about how do they prepare and what do they require of you in that situation, etc.?
What is Your Reputation Within the Accident Law Space?
While an attorney can answer this in any way they wish, the response on a question like this will give you a good idea about how truthful the attorney is. A Panama City accident attorney who speaks in generalizations and lacks specifics may not have the track record you desire from your legal representation. Ask them if they have had any complaints filed against them and then do your research to ensure they are telling you the truth. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions and read between the lines.
If We Disagree on My Case or Settlement, How do You Handle This?
Unfortunately, there are plenty of attorneys out there looking to make a quick dollar on the backs of victims. These kinds of accident attorneys do not have your best interests in mind. The response to this question will reveal whether or not they are more worried about you, or their own personal gain. Listen carefully and go with your gut.
References, Affiliations, Education?
An accident attorney should welcome questions regarding their professional affiliations such as service organizations and participation in the Florida Bar Associations. Further, they should be able to explain their legal education and training as well as offer you any professional references. This is an interview for you as well, and while an attorney will ultimately make a call as to whether or not they will represent you, you have just as much to win (or lose) in choosing who represents you in legal proceedings.
We hope this has given you some helpful insight as to what questions will help you identify the right accident law firm in Panama City. If you have more questions or would like to know our specific answers to some of these, we welcome you in for a consultation so we can get to know you and your case better. Contact us today and let’s get started on your case.