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Miami is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can spend an entire vacation participating in recreational activities such as skiing, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing. However, you would miss out on the vibrant arts and culture scene in Southern Florida that blends Caribbean-inspired galleries with bustling European-themed nightclubs.
Whether you are a resident of the city or a visitor from out of town, you might find yourself needing legal support to handle a personal injury case or to defend yourself against criminal charges. Although most legal matters make it easy to decide when to hire a lawyer in Miami, there are instances when you can take care of a legal matter yourself.
If your employer discriminated against you in the workplace, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting a Florida-licensed employment attorney. If you sustained injuries caused by another driver's negligence, reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer should be the first item on your post-accident to-do list.
However, if you received a speeding ticket or another type of minor motor vehicle citation, you might be able to resolve the legal matter on your own. Knowing when to hire an attorney in Miami depends on the seriousness of your case. If you face a serious legal issue, the best time to hire a lawyer in Miami is as quickly as you can find the best one to represent you.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have represented clients in the greater Miami area for more than 30 years. In addition to our vast experience, we are also known for being one of the most versatile law firms operating in South Florida. From litigating business contract cases to representing clients that sustained injuries from a boating accident, our team of highly-rated attorneys provides the type of legal support you need to resolve your legal issue. Schedule a free case evaluation today.
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How Do You Know When You Need to Hire an Attorney in Miami?
The broadest answer is when you realize you are in over your head. Litigating legal cases in a wide variety of practices requires several years of schooling, as well as on-the-job training. If you need to resolve a case with another party and the other party has hired a lawyer, this is a clear sign that you are in over your head. An experienced attorney will win virtually any type of case if you decide to represent yourself.
Incarceration Is a Possibility
Knowing when to hire a lawyer is easy to figure out if jail time looms on the horizon. Gambling on your future by representing yourself during a criminal trial is a recipe for failure, and failure typically means spending time behind bars. If you face an arrest warrant, hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to build a strong enough case to win an acquittal.
You Sustained Injuries
Personal injury cases represent one of the most common types of cases litigated not only in Miami, but also throughout the United States. Recovering from the financial losses generated by a personal injury incident requires the legal support of an experienced attorney. The answer to the question, “When to hire a lawyer in Miami” for a personal injury case usually is right after the incident that caused your injuries. If you need immediate medical care, contact a personal injury lawyer after you leave your healthcare provider.
Morgan & Morgan has recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages for our clients since first opening our doors in 1988.
Going Through an Emotionally-Charged Divorce
Going through a complex divorce can trigger enough frustration that causes you to lose your composure. The last thing you want to demonstrate in front of a judge or your spouse’s attorney is fits of anger. Whether it involves a dispute for splitting assets or gaining the custody of a child, a divorce requires you to remain in control of the entire process. After you serve your spouse or your spouse serves you paperwork for a divorce, you should quickly get in touch with an accomplished family law attorney.
Administering an Estate
Many states offer a streamlined process for administering small estates in which the deceased leaves behind assets of minimal value. For a small estate case, you might not need the legal support of a family law attorney. However, if you must administer an estate worth a considerable amount of money that includes high-valued assets such as a car and/or home, you should hire a Miami lawyer long before the date when you fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities.
Planning Your Estate
State and federal estate tax laws constantly change. To take advantage of the most substantial tax savings, work with a family law attorney who specializes in helping clients create legally valid trusts. You can prepare a simple will, living will, or power of attorney, but for complicated trusts, working with an experienced estate planning lawyer helps you make all the right decisions. The larger the estate, the more reasons you have to hire a family law attorney.
Complicated Business Transactions
At Morgan & Morgan, we provide business law services, such as verifying the legitimacy of business contracts, fighting back against investor fraud, and resolving shareholder and partnership disputes. When to hire a lawyer in Miami for a complicated business matter should occur weeks, even months before you agree to sign a formal contract.
When Should I Consider Representing Yourself?
The primary reason why many people decide to represent themselves is they do not want to pay exorbitant legal fees. Although legal fees can quickly add up for cases like business transactions, the same cannot be said for employment and personal injury cases. Virtually every type of employment and personal injury case involves some type of contingency fee arrangement, which means the client does not pay upfront fees to receive legal representation.
Most people that go to traffic court do not need to hire an attorney. You simply enter a plea and the court applies the appropriate fine. A simple divorce, which typically happens when both parties amicably agree to divide assets, might not need the services of an experienced family law attorney. Most states have established a process for settling minor disputes called small claims court. You probably do not need legal counsel for a case that reaches this type of legal venue. Finally, basic business issues such as registering for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) do not require the legal support of a Miami lawyer.
How Do I Hire the Best Miami Attorney?
Now that you know when to hire a lawyer in Miami, the time has arrived to know how to hire a Florida-licensed litigator. Before the Internet became an important part of our culture in the late 1990s, most people searched for lawyers by accessing the Yellow Pages. As we move forward in the third decade of the 21st century, searching for a qualified lawyer mostly requires leveraging online resources. However, one old-school method for finding the best attorney in Miami remains a viable option for most people.
The same shopping principle you follow for buying products and services also is an effective strategy when it comes to hiring the right legal counsel. Ask trusted friends and family members for attorney recommendations. If you strike out with your inner circle, expand your network to include neighbors and professional colleagues. The key is to get a recommendation from a trusted source, preferably someone who has worked with the same attorney in the past.
Florida Bar Association
Most state bar associations have created helpful websites that include a popular feature that connects prospective clients with lawyers that practice the type of law associated with their cases. The feature is often called “Find a Lawyer,” although the Florida Bar Association uses a different name. Nonetheless, the Florida Bar Association online tool provides the same type of help for potential clients. Simply type in the area where you live such as Miami, and then type in the type of law practice that is associated with your case. This tool provides you with a way to vet attorneys to create a shortlist of candidates.
What Factors Should I Consider When Hiring a Miami Attorney?
For just about any type of law practice, you should search for certain criteria that define the best Miami litigators.
You can expect to hear about how important experience is when working with a lawyer. However, experience is much more than accumulating years on a resume. You want to work with a Miami attorney who has compiled a proven track record of winning cases for clients. With more than $14 billion in monetary damages recovered for our clients, Morgan & Morgan has established over three decades of proven success.
Specializes in an Area of Legal Expertise
You want to avoid hiring a lawyer who is good at several different law practices, but master of none of them. For example, if you want to file a civil lawsuit against your employer for committing acts of age discrimination, you should vet candidates who specialize in litigating discrimination in the workplace cases. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys represent clients for specific legal niches.
Ask every candidate on your shortlist about their negotiation skills. Negotiating a settlement for a personal injury or employment discrimination case is preferable to going through a costly and time-consuming civil trial. At Morgan & Morgan, our team of litigators works hard to reach a favorable settlement, but we do not hesitate to litigate a case if it is in the best financial interest of a client.
Positive Client Feedback
Read the reviews left by former clients on sites such as Yelp and Google to determine the reputation of every attorney on your shortlist of candidates. You want to notice common themes, which for Morgan & Morgan refers to our integrity and transparency when communicating with clients. We also have received the highest reputation rating of A+ from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Know When to Hire a Lawyer in Miami
They say timing is everything and for your legal case, you should know when to hire an attorney in Miami. When you meet with one of our experienced lawyers, you receive feedback concerning your case that should provide you with insight into how to proceed.
Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about hiring a highly rated attorney in Miami.