5 Golden Rules
for Finding the Best
Personal Injury Lawyer
in Boca Raton
Table of Contents
The 5 Golden Rules:
Always do your research 3
Ask the correct questions 4
Learn who the other side is afraid of 5
Negotiate the best deal 5
Act fast 7
Golden Rule #1
Always do your research
Before you hire a personal injury attorney, be sure to know his background. Would you hire an accountant
or health professional without having any knowledge of their background? Certainly not! Don't hire a
personal injury lawyer without researching their background when it involves something as important
as YOUR case.
Before you hire a lawyer, research them:
How often has he won your types of cases at trial?
In how many arbitrations, meditations, or settlements has he been successful?
Is he a part of the local plaintiff's lawyer associations i.e. in CA: the Consumer Attorneys Association of
Los Angeles and the Consumer Attorneys of California?
What is his Martindale Hubbell peer review rating?
What is his position with the State Bar?
Does he belong to the American Board of Trial Advocates?
Has he gotten any peer-based awards?
Does he have a relationship with the judges in your area?
Information is influence!
Tip: Find a local lawyer referral service that doesn't charge you for doing the research.
You may question why they are willing to do this for you at no charge. Because, first, finding the very best
attorney for you is how a lawyer referral service makes money. Their job is to match your specific case with
a lawyer who has the best record in that particular area of the law. Second, in order for you to refer their
services to family or friends, they will want to get you the best lawyer possible.
In addition, some lawyer referral services donate to community groups like charities, religious institutions,
and pro bono legal groups.
Even so, it is important to do your due diligence. Much of this research can be done by yourself. You can
examine cases at the Superior Court, you can get in touch with the State Bar, and you can get in touch
with other lawyers to discover if the lawyer you are thinking about using is a good lawyer; but it is a better
idea to allow an attorney referral service to do the job for you, free of charge.
Check the lawyer's Martindale Hubbell peer review at www.martindale.com if you prefer to do some
research on your own.
Research on your own: The more you know, the better!
Golden Rule #2
Ask the correct questions
Your purpose is to obtain the maximum amount of money that you can for your situation. To get the most
recovery money, you must ask three critical questions of your lawyer prior to retaining him/her:
Question 1: "What is the percentage that you will charge?"
Personal injury lawyers work on a "contingency basis." This means that they will take a percentage of any
monetary award from your case; otherwise they do not get paid. Many people do not realize that this
percentage is negotiable with your personal injury lawyer. You will learn how to negotiate the best attorneys'
fees before signing the contract if you use the assistance of a lawyer referral service.
Question 2: "Will you deduct costs or deduct your fee first?"
This is crucial! The majority of personal injury lawyers don't want you to inquire about this since this is a
very easy method you can use to get more money for YOUR case!
Question 3: "Have you ever tried a case such as mine in the past?"
This query might not mean much to you, but it will frighten the greedy smirk right off the face of many
personal injury lawyers! It is the quickest way to determine whether or not the personal injury lawyer you
are considering retaining has ever argued before a judge. Most people don't realize that many personal
injury lawyers never even go to court; they just shuffle papers around and settle your case for pennies on
the dollar! Don't allow yourself to be in this situation!
Always get in touch with a certified lawyer referral service which focuses on having information about the
highest quality personal injury attorneys.
Golden Rule #3
Learn who the other side is afraid of
The other side's insurance company wants you to employ an average or actually a terrible lawyer. Hiring
a lawyer that the other side is the most afraid of is one of the best ways to maximize your recovery.
A great lawyer referral service is aware of the competition, knows who the best personal injury lawyers
are, who they are afraid of. One of the methods that you will only find with several of the best attorney
referral businesses is the thorough research concerning who the defense lawyers are afraid of mostly.
They really discover who lawyers that work for the insurance companies are mostly afraid of.
It is possible for you to do this yourself. You can phone the big insurance businesses and their local defense
companies to inquire with them for their opinions about the best personal injury attorneys, but it is a better
idea to use a lawyer referral service for this.
Golden Rule #4
Negotiate the best deal
Following are the two best ways in which you can negotiate a FANTASTIC deal:
A) Negotiate the fee percentage:
Normally, personal injury lawyers work on a "contingency basis." That means that they will receive a
percentage of whatever amount they recover for you, as opposed to charging by the hour. Many people
don't realize that this percentage is negotiable. Negotiation is something even the very best lawyers are
willing to do. If you have a good case, you'll have no problem finding a good personal injury lawyer. Grab
the best deal you can get! Asking is all you need to do. It's always possible to find a different top notch
personal injury lawyer if their answer is no. There are a lot...
Contingency fees typically vary from about 25% to 50% considering the kind of case, the difficulty of the
case, how strong the case is, the place where the case is filed, the experience level of the lawyer you
employ, the deal you set for the price, and various different legal and factual conditions. In some cases a
sliding scale is available in which case the percentage that your lawyer receives is dependent upon the
amount of your recovery. Even so, state laws will govern some fee agreements.
Wouldn't it be great when dealing with your personal injury lawyer to have the necessary information to
negotiate? That's what happens if you turn the work over to an attorney referral service.
B) Negotiate costs and deductions:
This means a lot! The personal injury lawyer employed by you, whether recommended by a lawyer referral
service, relatives, phone book, CPA, or even someone in your neighborhood... doesn't want you to be
aware of costs and deductions, since by knowing about this issue, you can easily increase the amount
you receive from your case (and at the same time reduce what the law firm gets).
Here is a summary of the entire issue: In the contingency fee contract you sign with your attorney, you
want the section regarding the reimbursement of costs to state that the attorney's costs will be taken out
BEFORE the attorney gets his fees. In other words: After subtracting the costs involved in your case, which
may include court fees, deposition costs, fees for experts, travel, postage, etc., your lawyer then figure out
the contingency fee based on the negotiated percentage.
On the other hand, the lawyer would want it to be the other way around. He wants to figure out his attorney
fees using the whole settlement amount. He will wish to get his fee first and then subtract his costs from
your share of the case. If you want to get the most for your recovery, you have to request that the costs be
The reason why you will be able to keep more of the money if the costs are deducted first because the fee
that you pay the lawyer will be lower! Here is a basic illustration: Let's imagine you get a $100,000
settlement for your case but your lawyer has $30,000 worth of out-of-pocket expenses for things like
court reporter costs, depositions, good witnesses, making copies of doctor bills and job records, traveling
costs, etc. If it says in the contingency contract that your lawyer is allowed to deduct his attorney fees
before anything else and if his fee in the contract is 40%, then $40,000 goes to your lawyer for his attorney
fees (which is 40% of the $100,000 settlement) and after this he will take out $30,000 for costs. You would
receive $30,000 in this scenario. If you have a contract where the costs are removed first (the $30,000 in
costs is taken from the $100,000 settlement, leaving a remainder of $70,000) and the attorney fees are
determined based on the remaining $70,000 (40% of that), the attorney's fee will be only $28,000 and your
recovery would be $42,000.
You just increased your recovery by 12% and saved yourself $12,000!
You'll want to receive the maximum recovery. You will find the best personal injury lawyer as well as
maximize your recovery when you get help from a lawyer referral service. Believe me. The best part is that
it won't cost you a cent.
Golden Rule #5
There is a statute of limitations for your case; in other words, it has to be filed before a specific time or your
claim privileges will be lost.
Witness statements and other critical evidence will need to be found and preserved before they are lost.
Do not wait! In order to ensure that you will hire the best lawyer possible, you will need to follow these 5
Golden Rules. Though it's not simple, you will be able to take each critical step yourself.
5. The attorney should be interested in your case and spend at least as much time listening as talking.
Beware of lawyers who spend too much time selling themselves to you.
6. Check with your family, friends and work associates. If someone had a good experience with a
particular attorney, they are always more than happy to recommend that individual.
A better way of finding an attorney is to call the local bar association near your town, city or county. Ask for
the names of three lawyers who specialize in the area of law you need assistance with.
One important thing to note is that it's important that you get along with your lawyer. He may be an
excellent attorney but if you find that you don't get along with him or don't like dealing with him, just leave it.
Go through this process until you find a lawyer you are comfortable with.
A good lawyer is one who is knowledgeable about the law, determined to
represent your best interests and charges reasonable fees.
And finding a good lawyer takes a little homework and hard work on your
behalf but the payoff is a good lawyer who will work hard for you and your business.