In every contingency fee based personal injury case, the Florida Bar requires that the lawyer provide the client with what is called a Statement of Client’s Rights. The Statement of Client’s Rights is a list of eleven rights that the client has in his or her personal injury case. If you’ve never had to hire an attorney before, it is a helpful guide as to what a client can expect from their attorney while their case is pending, and highlights some important rules and laws that the client should be aware of.
The full Statement of Client’s Rights in Florida is available online and we will briefly summarize those rights here and give a quick explanation of those rights. First, the client has the right to talk with and bargain with their lawyer regarding the fees being charged and there is no legal requirement that an attorney charge a certain fee. Second, the client has the right to cancel any contingency fee contract within three business days by following certain guidelines, but their lawyer cannot with withdraw from their case without proper notice. Third, before hiring a lawyer, the client has the right to know about the lawyer’s training, education, and experience. Fourth, the client has the right to know which lawyer will be handling their case and if the lawyer plans on referring their case to another attorney to handle. Fifth, if the attorney plans to refer the case to another attorney, the client has the right to know that before signing any contingency contract and has the right to meet with the attorney who will be handling the case. Sixth, the client has the right to know in advance how expenses and legal fees will paid at the end of the case. Seventh, you have the right to be informed of any adverse consequences to you if you lose the case. Eight, the client has the right to receive and approve a closing statement that includes the financial details of the case. Ninth, the client has the right to ask the attorney how their case is proceeding at reasonable intervals. Tenth, the client has the right to make the final decision regarding settlement of their case. And finally, if the client believes they have been charged an excessive or illegal fee, the client can report the matter to the Florida Bar.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, call the attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks for a free case evaluation and explanation of your rights as a client and as an injured party.