Being located in Pinellas County, I have personally witnessed the benefits of hiring a local lawyer for an accident case. After the accident, it is simply more convenient and faster to hire a lawyer who is close to where the accident occurred and close to the witnesses and the medical providers. Our office is in St. Petersburg and close to where most of our clients live and work. Our St. Petersburg office is close to Gulfport, Pinellas Park, Largo and the surrounding communities. By hiring a “lawyer near me” there are a multitude of benefits that ultimately contribute to the case getting resolved faster, more efficiently and with more money for our clients. Being a local lawyer is not something that is often publicized, but I have attempted to outline the benefits below.
- Easy lines of communication. A local lawyer is clearly easier to communicate with because the office location is closer to the client. A local lawyer lives in the same community as the client and cannot hide behind closed doors without repercussions.
- A local lawyer is more familiar with the doctors and medical providers in the area. The familiarity with the best doctors and treatment facilities gives our personal injury clients a huge benefit. Our clients are not referred to doctors that are found on the internet, we have worked with them before, know their abilities and know their fee schedules. By working with providers that know and trust the lawyer, the client is able to avoid many pitfalls that and out of town lawyer would never see coming.
- A local lawyer has easier access to witnesses from the accident. Being able to knock on a door or meet someone at the office is a huge benefit of working close to the accident scene. If a witness knows and trusts a lawyer, they will be much more likely to cooperate with the case and future requests. I have personally been hung up on during a phone call to a witness, but when that person finally meets me and develops a rapport with me, they are more likely to attend depositions or comply with other requests.
- A local lawyer knows the insurance adjuster and other lawyers. Again, knowing the adverse party and having experience with him or her is an invaluable resource. Knowing what the other side expects helps prepare a case.
- A local lawyer knows the judges and the courtroom procedures. Although not every case involves a lawsuit, when one hits, there is another huge benefit to knowing what to expect from the court. Our lawsuits are assigned to the downtown St. Pete courthouse on 1st Ave. N. With only four judges to have a case assigned to, it is certain that the case will be in front of a judge that we have been before.
- A local lawyer knows the potential jury pool. Being familiar with how juries view cases and the types of verdicts that they issue is a huge help to a lawyer. It provides a benefit that an out of the area defense lawyer may not be aware of. A local lawyer also will be familiar with the types of jurors that usually get assigned to a particular courthouse. For example, there are three different courts in Pinellas County and different types of jurors are drawn from specific areas. Knowing the make-up of a potential jury can assist in evaluating the value of the case and the empathy that the jury may have toward your client.
- A local lawyer’s office is closer. This item is really self-explanatory. Being closer for a meeting, to drop off documents or to sign paperwork is a benefit that only a local lawyer can provide.
- A local lawyer is familiar with the police agency that investigated the crash. Knowing the police agency and their policies and procedures assist the case. A local lawyer knows how to pull accident reports faster. Also, being familiar with the law enforcement officer or agency makes it more likely that the officer will speak to a lawyer and show up to a deposition.
- A local lawyer gets to know you. Meeting a client and understanding what he or she is going through after an injury is the most important information that a lawyer can have. Being able to relay to the adjuster or the opposing lawyer who you are and how the accident has changed you, is something that you simply cannot acquire by simply talking over the phone, through the mail or over email. It is the contact with the client that develops the trust that is necessary to resolve any type of personal injury claim.