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Rafael Joseph Echemendia

Car accident Attorney at Lakeland, FL

4.6   23 reviews
Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 26 years
    State FL
    Acquired 1998
    Member in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Rafael

Learn Rafael’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Car accident
    Evaluating all of the facts involved in the cause of a motor vehicle accident requires skill and experience. See our website for more!

    24 years

  2. Divorce and separation
    We will guide you through the often complicated and emotional process of a divorce and are always available to answer your questions.

    24 years

  3. Criminal defense
    We are a litigation law firm that prides itself on providing quality, cost effective, aggressive representation. Please Call today!

    26 years

  4. Family
    Our goal is to provide every client with quality representation while helping them gain an understanding of the legal process.

    24 years

  5. Personal injury
    Personal injury lawsuits arise when a person is injured due to the actions or negligence of someone else. These types of cases may be resolved through a settlement or a formal lawsuit.


After being born in Winter Haven Hospital is 1966, I have lived in Winter Haven, Lake Alfred, Haines City, Auburndale and Lakeland. I Graduated from Auburndale High School in 1984 and started attending Polk Community College.  After graduating from PCC I married Caroline, my high school sweetie, and was promoted from truck loader to Package Delivery Driver at UPS.  After having my first child, I realized that I wanted to provide more opportunity for my children so I left UPS and moved into family housing at the University of Florida where I had my second son and obtained my Bachelors Degree.  From there, I was accepted into one of the best law schools in the Country so I moved to The Ohio State University.  While in Ohio, we learned my wife was pregnant with twins and decided we needed to get closer to family so I applied to Florida State University College of Law and landed an internship monitoring criminal law legislation for the Florida Public Defender Association.  We were blessed with twin daughters and I completed my law studies and returned to Ohio for graduation ceremonies where I obtained my Juris Doctorate degree.  With the help of four amazing children as inspiration I have been blessed with a loyal client base and solid growth since going into private practice in 2001. I have an "empty nest" now, oldest finished with his bachelor's degree at UCF after a collegiate football career and now the twins are Florida State Cheerleaders!  Did I mention I was blessed?


Notable Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2015,2013
Client's Choice
2015 2013

Photos and videos


Echemendia Law Firm
5473 US 98 South
Lakeland, FL, 33812
Echemendia Law Firm
201 Main Street
Auburndale, FL, 33823
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4.6 / 5.0
  23 customer reviews
Client's Choice 2015
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Barbie | January 12, 2012
Excellent lawyer
Excellent attorney... Rafael Echemendia was an excellent choice. He was very professional as well as his staff. I hired Mr. Echemendia to help fight for custody of my 3 children along with support for them. He respected my opinons and decisions throughtout the process in and out of the courtroom. He won my case and I was granted everything I asked for and much more. I reccommend Rafael Echemendia over any attorney out there.
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Posted by Amanda | October 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Echemendia is an amazing attorney. I won my custody case against the father of my two children. Everything I asked for I walked away with. Him and his staff always communicated with me and were easy to work with I would highly recommend him!
Posted by Shellie | August 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Would never use a different attorney
Mr. Echemendia is a very skilled and caring attorney. I am very grateful to have had him in our corner. He truly cares about each client and will go to bat for you whatever your situation may be. He didn't just go through the motions he truly worked to resolve our problem. No matter your income he works for each person equally.
Posted by LE | March 7, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Family Law - As good as it gets!
I have consulted Mr. Echemendia on a family law matter and was impressed with his quick and honest assessment of my situation. I was even more impressed with the fact that his 1st priority was to listen and then determine how to best help me instead of just wanting to take my money! He will also tell you if he can’t help you. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable and well respected attorney who will truly serve YOU, then Mr. Echemendia is the man you‘re looking for. He’s professional, extremely competent and more than willing to go the extra mile to everything he legally can to make sure you’re a satisfied client. I highly recommend him and I would not consider hiring another attorney for any legal matter that I may have. I will hire him in to handle my family law case. He’s good and offers real value for your money spent.
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Posted by Ellen | December 15, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Awesome Personal Injury Attorney
Rafael and his paralegal, Joyce, were simply awesome. Initially, the insurance company didn't want to accept liability. A lot of attorneys wouldn't have spent the time and resources that Rafael and his staff expended to get my injury claim settled. Since then, I've recommended him to several friends and acquaintances and they've all had positive outcomes, we well. He's the best!
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Posted by Mark | December 11, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Personal Injury Attorney
I had a very complicated case I consulted with several attorneys that were not interested in helping me. Rafael not only took my case but got me a great settlement. I highly recommend this law firm. Mark
Posted by ty | October 31, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney & staff
Echemendia Law Firm is more than a 5 star rating. Starting with the receptionist Yesi, she is very polite and helpful, also she is bilingual. Geneva is the best paralegal I've worked with and I've been through several of paralegals. She's understandable,reassuring and understanding with my needs. Any kind of paperwork that was sent to me. Geneva was there to explain the paper work with me to better understanding of it. Finally what can I say about my attorney Rafael J. Echemendia not just a lawyer but a father with a beautiful family. He's not the typical type of lawyer collect money from you and push paper from attorneys to attorneys he's was there to understand my needs. He pays very good attention and listens to me. Rafael and staff is truly a dream team to have not only that they made my dreams come true but they made this case so much easier and stress free for myself. I will personally like to just say thank you and I will definitely will refer any friends or family members to you in the future.
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Posted by Sherri | October 29, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
This attorney provided an extremely professional experience throughout my entire case. He listened to me and was always available for questions. His paralegal is fantastic as well, she responds in a prompt manner and always treats your case as if it is the only one going on in the office. I would and have highly recommended this office to others.
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Posted by Larry | October 28, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Rafael and Geneva are a great team. They handled my case with extreme care and professionalism. Any advice he gave me during my case came to be true. He is a very honest attorney who is very versed in the law and wins in court. High recommended!
Posted by anonymous | October 27, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
After spending the night in jail I came across some people that recommended Attorney Echemendia. I was facing 15 years prison for Sexual Assault. Mr. Echemendia and his staff did not judge me for my wrongful actions but were compassionate and understanding. Mr. Echemendia's assistant updated me on my case. Mr. Echemendia worked out an offer with the Assistant State Attorney and got me an excellent offer. I am very thankful for Mr. Echemendia and his staff for assisting me in my time of despair.
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Posted by Dave | October 27, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great staff and AWESOME lawyer!
Mr. Echemendia represented me in a family law case and exceeded my expectations. He is one of the most professional and knowledgable attorneys I have ever came across. His staff is awesome and were always there to answer any questions I had. The filings and orders were all done promptly. Overall I'd give him and his staff an A++
Posted by Hailey | October 14, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend
Working with Rafael Joseph Echemendia was really my pleasure. He was very genuine and you could tell that he really cared, furthermore he always answered my questions with honesty. I highly recommend Rafael Joseph Echemendia and his services.
Response from Rafael Echemendia October 27, 2015
It is always humbling to have someone go out of their way to give me public praise, it is truly an honor to be entrusted with so many life issues by someone.
Posted by Hailey | June 24, 2015
Great Advice
What I needed was someone who would give me the best legal advice. I was very impressed with Mr. Echemendia's values and his open minded perspective. I highly recommend.
Posted by anonymous | August 11, 2014
I previously used Attorney Echemendia for assistance in my family case. He prepared a fantastic pre-nup for me. He secured my future! He and his entire staff were super nice and very professionally. His fees were reasonable and my pre-nup was prepared in a timely manner. I would definitely use him in the future if I should have any legal matters. I will recommend him to everyone!
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Posted by anonymous | October 2, 2013
Great divorce attorney
Very knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate attorney. I don't know how I would have gotten through my divorce without him. Highly recommend him.
Posted by Craig Melvin | September 18, 2013
Very professional, friendly, understanding and positive
In my opinion, Rafael is a rare find - a person with the utmost integrity, extreme intelligence, and personal committment & caring for the people he represents. I found Rafael to be one of the few lawyers that has effectively combined doing the right thing with the demands of legal process and procedure. Rafael is passionate about his work, but realistic about the potential outcomes. He shows a real concern for his clients, even if it means making a decision not to his benefit. He navigates the complex legal aspects of the case with surgical precision, but never forgets to keep it simple. He is extremely knowledable, but willing to reach out for help to ensure the best possible outcome. He is what all lawyers should be. I am honored to have been his client.
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Posted by Johan | April 4, 2013
I was wrongfully arrested (charged with "Resisting Officer without Violence") along with a friend who was charged with a DUI. We both hired Mr Echemendia per recommendation from a friend who had been in a similar situation as me and gotten his case dropped prior to his first court date! Mr. Echemendia is very talented and knew that we had a good chance of winning both cases due to the police officer's wrongful arrest and the evidence available to support that. He was also very fair on fees, and I only paid one fixed amount and was promissed that would cover all expenses no matter how far the case would go. Mr. Echemendia was perfectly balanced between being smart and aggressive in court, and the state attorney who prosecuted us never really got a chance to shine after Mr. Echemendia's first examination in our hearing. Case Closed!
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Posted by Ricardo Barrera | March 12, 2013
Great Attorney !
I had a DUI case, came out with great results! Very professional attorney easy to work with! Will recommend
Posted by anonymous | March 1, 2012
Excellent attorney
Mr. Echemendia is a very talented, aggressive yet professional, knowledgeable, and effective attorney. I was facing charges that depending on the judge, could have meant hard time and thousands of dollars. Mr. Echemendia was able to work around my schedule so that I did not miss work, did no jail time, and only paid court costs. I will never use anyone else.
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Posted by Gloria | February 22, 2011
He was very honest and communicated very thorough with me. He did not make promises that he didn't deliver. He did everything he projected and then some! The insurance company offered me $60K and I agreed to accept and when Mr. Echemendia called me back he told me we settled for $90K and then he was able to negotiate my medical bills down that put an additional $6K in my pocket and it didn't even benefit him to spend time doing that.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Contingency 33%-33%
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Echemendia Law Firm
  • 2010 - Present
  • Founding Partner
  • Allen & Echemendia, P.A.
  • 2000 - 2010


  • Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1997
  • University of Florida
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1994

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Criminal Defense


  • Lawyers of Distinction
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • Polk County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Polk County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Lakeland Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Berkley Charter School
  • President
  • 2001 - 2003
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Top One Percent
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • 2016
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Nation's Top One Percent
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • 2014
  • Presidential Recognition
  • University of Florida
  • N/A
View all awards


Speaking Engagements

  • Annual Fund Raiser
  • Legal issues for homeless
  • 2012

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (6)
Endorse Rafael
Unknown Attorney | Aug 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rafael is an excellent attorney. He is knowledgeable and works hard for his clients."
Car accident Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Echemendia provides a much needed service on Avvo. He donates his time to individuals who are in need of immediately legal answers."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 03
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. In previous years, I worked as opposing counsel on many criminal matters with Rafael. He was always been a fearless, yet respectful, advocate for his clients. Now that I work with Rafael, his experience and knowledge of the law is extremely apparent and his dedication to his clients and their legal matters is unparalleled. Rafael understands that preparation and familiarity of a case are necessities and achieves great results for his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Echemendia is an experienced lawyer who achieves positive results for his clients. I was opposing counsel to Mr. Echemendia on several occasions. Mr. Echemendia's experience and knowledge helps his clients, as he commands the respect of judges and other lawyers. He was respectfully adversarial on every occasion. That meant he knew how to deal with the parties in a respectful and courteous manner to get the best possible negotiated resolution, but in the event a negotiated resolution wasn't possible, Mr. Echemendia had no hesitation taking the case to trial to benefit his clients. Mr. Echemendia is an excellent legal advocate."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Rafael is a very knowledgeable and experienced attorney who truly cares about the clients he represents. He is a skilled trial attorney who will stand up to his opponents. Rafael is very devoted and works tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for his clients. He is well respected in the legal community by fellow attorneys and the judiciary."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Rafael is an intelligent, thoughtful attorney who is well respected throughout the Tampa Bay Area legal community. Rafael is willing to do what it takes to get the best outcome for his clients, whether that means going to trial or carefully negotiating a settlement."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Rafael Echemendia has the experience to assist his clients on any matter, big or small, due to his years of experience in the local criminal justice system. He treats every client with personal attention and kindness, no matter the circumstances. He and his office staff are very attentive, are accessible to clients, and are quick to return phone calls. He is fair, honest, hardworking, and intelligent. Rafael is adept at balancing his life as a family man and a community lawyer. I would not hesitate to refer a family member or a friend to Rafael."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
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Criminal defense
Personal injury