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FAQ

Legal FAQ

Your Questions Answered by Our Florida Attorneys

At The Berman Law Group, we understand the stress you are under when facing a legal matter of any kind. Whether you are filing for divorce, seeking compensation after an injury, preparing an estate plan, or fighting criminal charges, you probably have a lot of questions. Our attorneys in Florida have answers. Read our FAQ below to find answers to common questions about our various practice areas.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us at (800) 883-5206.


General Legal Questions

What should I look for in a lawyer?

If you find yourself in need of an attorney, we recommend thoroughly researching any firm you are considering before retaining them. Learn more about the attorney’s education, background, and experience – you should always make sure the attorney has experience handling cases similar to yours. You’ll also want to make sure you understand the firm’s fees. Review contracts carefully and make sure you understand exactly what you will be expected to pay.

Why should I hire The Berman Law Group?

For over a decade, we have been representing Floridians in need of high-quality legal services. We consistently deliver reliable and effective representation and have the experience needed to address every facet of your situation. Our attorneys take the time to get to know each client so that they can provide personalized representation. The Berman Law Group has handled thousands of cases, so you can rest assured that we have what it takes to successfully resolve yours.


Personal Injury

The insurance company offered me a decent settlement – why should I retain an attorney?

Quite often, insurance companies give lowball offers to avoid paying out the full amount of compensation the injured person is owed. By working with an attorney, you can protect your rights under Florida law and obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled. Skilled personal injury attorneys can fight back against insurance companies and negotiate effectively to ensure that you do not accept an offer that’s less than what you deserve.

My friend knows a lawyer who drafted a will for him several years ago. Why can’t that lawyer represent me in my personal injury case?

Personal injury claims are often brought against parties who are represented by adjusters and defense lawyers hired by insurance companies. Every insurance company works hard to keep its losses as low as possible, and they do that by aggressively defending claims. You can expect that your opposition will be represented by an attorney with a great deal of experience in personal injury defense. You should hire a lawyer with experience in pursuing personal injury claims, who can best protect your interests.

How can I afford a personal injury lawyer?

Most trial lawyers are willing to handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will not charge you a fee for his/her time unless there is a recovery. If a recovery is made, then the attorney’s fee is based on an agreed percentage of the gross amount recovered. The lawyers at The Berman Law Group charge contingency fees in accordance with the Florida Supreme Court guidelines, typically 33-1/3% in a case that is settled before the need for a lawsuit arises, and 40% when a lawsuit becomes necessary and is contested. The contingent attorney’s fee does not include the costs of pursuing a claim, which may range from just a few hundred dollars to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. These costs are payable separately and not as a part of the contingent fee. Although many law firms may require you to pay these costs in advance, at The Berman Law Group we understand that the consequences of an injury make it difficult, if not impossible, for our clients to advance the costs of a case. In most cases, we pay the costs, and simply ask to be reimbursed at the conclusion of a case when your recovery is received.

What will it cost me to begin my personal injury claim?

Typically, you will not have to provide any up-front payments. The majority of cases we handle are on a contingency basis, which means you owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Only in certain circumstances will we provide representation on an hourly basis.

Who pays for the expenses to prosecute my injury claim?

It can be quite expensive to pursue a personal injury claim effectively, so we understand your hesitations about the costs. At The Berman Law Group, we are able to pay the out-of-pocket costs needed to build a strong case and prepare for trial. Out-of-pocket expenses will be returned to us from your award if we recover damages for you.

What is my case worth?

It’s impossible to say because every case is valued differently. Before we can determine the value of any claim, we must carefully assess the circumstances and investigate the details of the accident. Be wary of any firm that promises to accurately value your claim before conducting an investigation.

Can I resolve my claim without filing a lawsuit?

Most injury claims never make it to trial and are settled before you even need to file a lawsuit. Additionally, the decision to file a lawsuit is entirely your own. At The Berman Law Group, we fight hard to reach a favorable settlement to help our clients avoid the stress and expense of going to trial.


Criminal Defense

What happens after a person is arrested?

Typically, you will be taken to the police station where you will have to provide personal information. From there, the police will determine if you can be released from custody or if you will have to pay bail to be released. Then, the police will file a criminal complaint in court and you will be informed of your court date. We highly recommend calling a Florida criminal defense attorney before speaking to police about the alleged event.

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a less serious offense that is punishable by no more than one year in jail. Felonies are generally considered to be more serious offenses than misdemeanors. As such, they carry more severe penalties.

Am I able to terminate my probation early for good behavior?

Possibly. If you have followed the conditions of your probation and have completed a good portion (usually at least half) of the sentence, you may have a strong petition for early termination of your probation. It is in your best interest to work with an attorney who can help you build a strong case and ensure that all documentation is completed properly.


Family Law

How much will my divorce cost?

The cost of divorce proceedings and legal fees varies widely and is dependent upon many factors that will be unique to your situation. For example, it is must more expensive if you and your spouse cannot agree on matters and have to take your case to family court. Alternative dispute resolution techniques – such as mediation – can be much more affordable because they help resolve the divorce outside of court. Discuss legal fees with your Florida divorce attorney before beginning the process.

How is child custody determined by the court?

Courts consider a variety of factors when determining custody, including:

  • The child’s best interests
  • The child’s preference (if they are old enough)
  • Any history of abuse/neglect
  • Each parent’s involvement in the child’s life
  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • The child’s special needs, if any
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment

Am I allowed to make changes to an existing divorce, child custody, child support, or alimony order?

Yes, you may request modifications to any of these types of orders – though it is up to the court to grant them. It helps to have a divorce attorney working with you when requesting modifications. Modifications will only be granted if there is a legitimate and substantial change in circumstances that necessitates the modification.


Estate Planning

Do I need a will?

By law, you do not need a will in Florida. However, it is in your best interest to prepare one. Having a will ensures that your wishes will be respected upon your passing. It also makes your loved ones’ lives easier, as they will have clear instructions on how to divide your estate when you are gone.

Who makes health decisions for me if I am incapacitated/unable to make them for myself?

A court-appointed guardian will make these decisions on your behalf unless you implement an advanced directive or a healthcare power of attorney.

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