Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I have been injured?
If you or a loved one has been injured, obviously you should seek immediate medical care. As soon thereafter as practicable, you should seek competent professional advice to see if you have a viable claim for personal injuries. There are many kinds of personal injury cases, and sometimes the cause of an injury is not always clear. The Law Offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., has extensive experience in finding the cause of serious personal injuries. We can help you determine whether you have a valid claim, who is responsible and what compensation may be available for you.
Why is it important to seek legal advice promptly?
It is extremely important to make sure that all relevant evidence is preserved to prove your case. It is also important to gather all witness testimony, as memories tend to fade and potential witnesses may vanish. Significantly, different cases have different statutes of limitations (windows of time during which a claim may be filed), and other legal requirements that may bar claims if made too late.
How should I go about selecting a lawyer to represent me?
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements. Before you decide, seat with us and meet us at a personal level and ask us about our qualifications and experience. If you wish we can send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Before hiring a lawyer, the client should learn about the law firm's reputation and credentials. Ask specific questions about the lawyer’s education, training and experience. Find out if the lawyer has handled cases similar to yours. Make sure you understand how you will be expected to pay the legal fees and litigation costs. What would happen if no recovery is made? Who will be handling the claim on your behalf?
I have my family lawyer. Do I need another kind of lawyer for my personal injury or wrongful death case?
The party at fault will be defended by specialists hired by the individual, corporation, manufacturer, landowner, doctor, hospital or nursing home that you sue. Although many lawyers have some knowledge or experience in injury/death claims, your rights can be enforced best by a law firm that concentrates in the specific area of the law you need. Besides the knowledge, training, experience and skill a lawyer possesses, it is important that you as a prospective client develop a good rapport with your lawyer.
What should I do if I am contacted by an insurance company?
If you have been injured, do not discuss your injury or the incident with anyone until you have consulted a personal injury lawyer. Just as in criminal law, anything you say can and usually will be used against you by insurance companies when you file a claim for your injuries at a later date. Importantly, do not sign any papers or agree to any settlement, as this may affect your right to pursue your claim. It is imperative that you seek competent legal advice as soon as possible. At the law offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., there is never a charge for this consultation.
How do I pay for my attorney's fees?
Injury and death cases are by the most part handled on a contingent fee basis. That means the attorney's fees are paid at the very end of the case if a recovery is made from the sums collected by settlement or via verdict. The amount of the fee (typically a percentage of the recovery) should be discussed with the lawyer at the time of hiring.
Who pays the court costs and other expenses needed to investigate and prosecute my case?
Under Florida the law, the client is responsible for costs and expenses in addition to attorney's fees. Typically, the law firm advances payments on behalf of the client as the case progresses and then those sums are reimbursed back to the law firm when recovery is made. If there is no recovery, then the law firm must absorb all the sums advanced on behalf of the client, and the client owes nothing to the law firm.
Who will handle my case?
One of the advantages of a small law firm is that your case is not tossed from one lawyer to another or from one paralegal to another. At the Law Offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., your case will be worked on by everyone in the firm. Each and everyone in the firm is assigned a specific task, and at the end of the day the entire firm is responsible for every aspect of the litigation. Significantly, the client will always have direct access and communication with Mr. Flores and our staff on a continuing basis.
What is my case worth?
Every case is unique and every detail about your case makes a difference as to the value of your case. That is why it is impossible to give you an educated estimate of the value of the case right away. Thus, if you consulted a law firm that claims they can tell you the value of your case upfront, do not believe it. On the other hand, if the insurance company makes an offer to settle your case, do not trust them. They will certainly try to settle your case for as little as possible.
Below are some of questions we need answered before we assess the value of your case. Obviously, the set of questions asked will also depend on the facts and laws applicable to the case. For example, in an automobile insurance claim we may ask the following questions.
Age of the injured party
Profession specific skills of injured party
Specific injuries resulting from the incident/accident
Did you have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions?
Are the injuries permanent in nature?
Did you need surgery?
Will you need surgery in the future?
Will you need rehabilitation?
Have you lost wages as a direct result of incident/accident?
What are your medical expenses?
Do you have unpaid medical expenses?
Are you able to work?
Do you have permanent damage or loss of function?
Was there disfigurement or scarring?
Were there any witnesses?
Do you have pictures of your injuries?
Can you guarantee that my case will be won?
No. It is unethical for a lawyer to guarantee success. On the other hand, based on the facts of the case, we can give you a realistic estimation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. The only promise we make is that we will be tenacious and aggressive in the prosecution of your case. Moreover, we promise we will handle your case with the highest level of skill, ethics and moral standards in the profession.
Will my case be settled or tried before a jury?
At the Law Offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., we prepare all cases as if they would go to trial. Thorough preparation prompts good settlements. Obviously, we will counsel the client as to the weaknesses and strengths of the case, as well as make recommendations concerning the settlement value of the case. Significantly, the client has the final say as to whether the case settles or not. If a satisfactory settlement is not reached, we will try your case before a jury or judge as provided by law.
How much is your attorney’s fee to call or e-mail to discuss my case with you?
All consultations are free. Fees are only charged if your case is accepted and a recovery of money damages is obtained. If after discussing your case, you decide not to pursue it, or to do so with another law firm, there is no obligation on your part.