If you’re like many people who have been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to know how to find a personal injury attorney who’s a good fit for your case. These five tips will get you started.
How to Find a Personal Injury Attorney in California
All attorneys have to be certified and licensed to practice law, but often, lawyers focus on certain areas. For example, it’s common to find attorneys who only handle divorce cases, who only handle criminal cases, and who only handle wills and estate planning. If you’ve been injured and believe you have grounds to file a lawsuit, it’s a good idea to find an attorney who focuses on personal injury law. Once you find an attorney you’re interested in working with, call for a free consultation – and use these five tips on how to find a personal injury attorney who’s a good fit for your case:
- Ask about his or her general experience
- Find out who will work on your case if you choose this attorney’s office
- Pay attention to how well you communicate
- Ask for an opinion on how much your case is worth
- Talk about fees
Here’s a closer look at each tip.
#1. Ask about his or her general experience.
Ideally, you’ll find a lawyer who has an experience level – both in practicing law in general and in personal injury lawsuits – that you’re comfortable with. Find out what types of cases your attorney usually takes on, and while you’re at it, find out what kinds of settlements he’s achieved for his clients. Your initial consultation with an attorney is an opportunity for both of you to ask each other questions, so feel free to use it to determine whether you’re a good fit for each other.
Related: Slip and fall injuries: Could you file a lawsuit?
#2. Find out who will work on your case if you choose this attorney’s office.
In some very large firms, the attorney you initially talk to isn’t the one who handles your case. Sometimes it makes more sense to pass cases around in those types of firms. Ask your attorney if he’ll be the one handling your case from start to finish or if he’ll be sharing the workload with another attorney or paralegals.
#3. Pay attention to how well you communicate.
Your initial consultation with an attorney is a great chance to see how well you communicate with each other. Pay attention to whether he or she is listening to you and explaining things to you in a way that you can understand, and follow your instinct – if you get the sense that he or she will keep you informed and listen to your input during your case, you might have found the right personal injury lawyer for your needs.
#4. Ask for an opinion on how much your case is worth.
Your attorney might be able to give you a general opinion on how much your case might be worth – as well as how tough it would be to get the insurance company to pay it. Attorneys can approach cases in several ways, depending on what the plaintiff – you – wants to happen. For example, the lawyer you choose might work toward:
- Obtaining a settlement within the range you want, taking the time necessary to do so
- Obtaining an amount that’s higher than what the insurance company has already offered to you, and quickly
- Obtaining as much as possible, even if it takes a long time
Related: Traumatic brain injury settlements in California
#5. Talk about fees.
How your attorney gets paid is an important part of your first conversation. Typically, personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means the attorney is paid a percentage of what you win at trial or get in your settlement – and if you don’t win, the lawyer doesn’t get paid. Usually, when an insurance company cuts a check, it goes to your attorney; then, your attorney will take out his or her payment and send you a check for the remainder.
Now That You Know How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Who’s a Good Fit for Your Case…
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, car accident or any other type of accident because of someone else’s negligence, we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below to tell us what happened. We’ll be happy to visit you at home, in the hospital or in our office – and if you’re entitled to compensation, we’ll help you get it.