Have you been injured in an accident?  Are you looking for a lawyer to represent you but feel overwhelmed with all your choices?  Does it seem like everywhere you turn there’s another attorney on billboards, buses, radio, television, or in newspapers.  This information will help you sort through your choices so you can make an informed decision when hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you.

Big Law Firm vs. Small Law Firm

Does a big firm have better attorneys? Not necessarily.  As with any business, different law firms have different business models. Big law firms may be more familiar to you by name due to their large advertising budgets.  Generally, they have a lot of attorneys and multiple locations (possibly with locations throughout the state or country).  Conversely, small firms, like solo practitioners, generally have a local office, utilize a small advertising budget, and receive most new clients from word-of-mouth referrals.  You can find qualified and unqualified lawyers in both big and small law firms.  When meeting with potential lawyers, think about these questions:

  • How many active cases does the lawyer have?
  • Does the law firm have the financial resources to fight the big insurance companies?
  • Will the attorney have the time to listen to your concerns and fears?
  • Will your phone calls be returned quickly?
  • Will you be able to speak to your lawyer directly or will your phone calls be blocked by the paralegal?
  • Is the attorney who’s going to represent you the one you are meeting with?
  • Is the attorney that’s representing you also going to be the attorney that will be representing you in trial?
  • What is your general feeling in the office?  Are you comfortable or uncomfortable?

Hiring a small vs. big firm is personal preference.  Take the time to interview lawyers from both to see where you feel most comfortable.

Personal Injury Experience Matters

A lawyer with Florida personal injury experience is more likely to get you the most money for your case.  It takes years of experience for a lawyer to learn where to find all sources of potential money for your injuries.  It is unlikely that a lawyer with little or no personal injury experience will be able to provide you the best representation.  Imagine choosing a brain surgeon who had not yet received any specialty training.  Instead, it’s likely that you would search for a brain surgeon with many years of experience and a great reputation before entrusting him or her with the success of your operation.

Another important legal skill that many clients don’t think about when hiring a lawyer is the ability to accurately place a value on your case.  If your lawyer overvalues or undervalues your case, you may make decisions that end up reducing your overall recovery.  No two cases are the same, and not all cases are million dollar cases.  You need a lawyer who is going to do a serious, honest, and unbiased analysis of your case.

Good questions to ask during your consultation to help determine the level of personal injury experience are:

  • How many years has the lawyer been practicing personal injury in Florida?
  • What types of cases has the lawyer previously represented? What types of cases do they currently represent?
  • What is the lawyer’s track record for settlements AND trials?
  • Has there ever been a time when the lawyer found more money from an unexpected source?
  • How would the lawyer determine a value for your case?

Having a Trial Lawyer May Result in a Larger Recovery

Once you have determined that the lawyer has personal injury experience in Florida, you should uncover the extent of his or her trial experience.  Not all personal injury lawyers represent cases in trial.  You may have a good case to take to trial, but a non-trial lawyer might do what he or she can to settle it so they don’t have to refer your case to a trial lawyer.  You have to be prepared to go to trial as most of the insurance companies are fighting harder than ever and are refusing to settle cases for reasonable amounts (especially when the case is being represented by an lawyer they know doesn’t go to trial or has a poor trial track record).

3 Reasons You Should Have a Lawyer Who Has A Proven Track Record of Trial Wins

1) Believe it or not, insurance companies keep tabs on every lawyer’s courtroom track record.  When you hire an attorney who is successful at winning trials, insurance companies suddenly take your case very seriously.

2) Trial lawyers who know how to get the best jury possible for your case through jury selection questioning can optimize your outcome.

3) Experienced trial lawyers are often more confident and comfortable in the courtroom which helps strengthen the jury’s confidence in your case.

Good questions to ask while interviewing lawyers are: How many trials has the lawyer conducted?  What were the outcomes?  What types of cases has the attorney represented in trial?  Has the attorney had previous trials against the insurance company in your case?  Who will be the attorney taking the lead in your trial?  If your case goes to trial, will the attorney refer your case to another law firm?

Your Consultation

Your consultation is the best time to decide if you like the lawyer’s personality.  Some lawsuits can take years to resolve, so it’s important that you like your lawyer and can communicate well with him or her and their staff.

Most personal injury lawyers provide free initial consultations. When you have an initial consultation with a lawyer, bring all the information you have regarding your case, including any facts or journals about the accident, the police report, and any medical records. The more information you have, the more thorough your case evaluation will be. Also, bring a list of questions you want to ask about your case and about the lawyer’s qualifications.

  • Is the lawyer friendly and personable?
  • Is the lawyer able to discuss your case in a way that’s easy to understand and without too much legal jargon?
  • Did the lawyer thoroughly answer all your questions?
  • Do you think you will be able to speak to the lawyer directly whenever you have questions about your case?
  • Do you think the lawyer will be likeable by a jury and confident in trial?
  • Do you think the lawyer has the ability to be tough with the insurance adjustors while remaining respected by them?
  • How is the lawyer paid?  If by contingency fee, are you required to repay the law firm’s costs even if they don’t win your case?


Once you’ve tracked down qualified personal injury trial lawyers and done your due diligence in interviewing them, we recommend going with your “gut”.  Like I said, depending on your case, this could be a very long process, so choose the law firm where you feel most comfortable.

About the Author: Attorney Reese Harvey opened The Law Offices of A. Reese Harvey in 2009 – a small law firm that is focused on providing VIP service to every client.  Mr. Harvey is is passionate about fighting insurance companies for the money you deserve. Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests. You need Attorney Reese Harvey to advocate for your legal rights.  Call us today for a FREE, no obligation consultation (561) 691-4511.