Hey, it’s Marcus again. Welcome to this week’s installment of the video blog. I want to talk about something that’s – I don’t know — common sense to some and just gets lost to others. That’s when you come in and hire a lawyer. You’ve obviously got a dispute about something. You either have that dispute with an insurance company or an individual, but you’ve got something that you want to resolve. The thing that I think is helpful to remember is your lawyer has only two tools in their toolbox: negotiation and litigation.
Your lawyer, you hope, can talk some sense into the people on the other side, usually claims adjustors and usually the insurance representatives. You’re hopeful that lawyer can present your case to that insurance company in such a way that its persuasive, and it avoids litigation. Now, if that insurance company doesn’t play ball, doesn’t make a fair offer, then you’ve got to go to the second tool, and only the second tool that the lawyer has in their toolbox, and that’s litigation…to file a lawsuit. That lawsuit is hopefully going to get a jury to decide that you’re right and the other side is wrong and to award you whatever relief you’re seeking, which in most instances is money damages. So, you’ve got two tools – negotiation and litigation — which brings me to the real subject of today’s blog.
In Florida, you need a Florida lawyer. If you’ve got a Florida accident, you need a Florida lawyer. If you have a Nebraska accident, you probably need a Nebraska lawyer, and here’s why.
If you have a Florida accident, and you hire a lawyer from another state, let’s say Alabama, that Alabama lawyer used to have two tools but now has got one tool. That one tool is negotiation. What happens when that Alabama lawyer can’t negotiate a conclusion to your case? Well, he turns and looks around in his toolbox for that litigation tool, but he or she is not licensed in Florida to litigate. So they’ve got one less tool out of two tools.
Now, it’s not only important for you to realize that but it’s important for you to realize that the most important player in the game also knows that, and that’s the insurance adjustor on the other side. Now if I’m handling a case in Alabama, and although I’m not licensed in Alabama I’ve got partners who and lawyers in our firm that are, but let’s just leave it with me. If I’m negotiating an accident in Alabama, and they don’t make me a fair offer, and they don’t make my client a fair offer, I don’t have the tools to sue them to force them to do the right thing.
If you hire an Alabama lawyer for a Florida case, the insurance company knows that lawyer doesn’t have the second tool; in other words, can’t file a lawsuit and can’t litigate the case to conclusion. So what does that lead the insurance company to do? Well, they drive a harder bargain, right? Maybe they don’t negotiate as fairly. Maybe they’re not as efficient at resolving the claim, because they know there’s no other tool in that lawyer’s toolbox.
It boils down to this simply concept. Don’t tie one arm behind your back if you’re going to walk into a fight.
Get a Florida lawyer for a Florida accident and a Florida claim just in case that lawyer has to take that case over to the courthouse. Here’s what the insurance adjustors really know is true. That lawyer that’s not licensed in the state has an incentive to settle that case so they don’t have to ship that file to a Florida lawyer. They have an incentive to negotiate and take less value on the file, because if they can’t settle it and it has to be litigated, they have to bring a Florida lawyer in. They’ve got to share their fee, and it’s more time and energy and less money returned to them.
Bottom line, Florida accident, Florida lawyer. Join me next week. I’m Marcus Michles. Thanks for tuning in. If you’ve got questions or concerns, you can find us at michlesbooth.com.