When you have been injured, through someone else’s negligence, one of your first steps should be to hire a California personal injury lawyer. How do you know which lawyer to hire? There are so many, and you may not know where to start.
Keep in mind that a lawyer that’s always advertising on television usually carries a heavy case load. They probably won’t be able to give you the attention you need due to their high-volume caseload. Firms like these tend to focus on turning cases over quickly, which may not weigh in your favor in the courtroom.
Can I Ask Friends and Family for a Referral for a Personal Injury Lawyer?
It’s okay to take recommendations from people you know, but be diligent in researching these names before you sign an agreement with an attorney. One good tactic is to ask an attorney that you know outside the personal injury field. Tell them you need a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino, and see who they recommend.
How Can I Research Personal Injury Lawyers?
A good place to start your research is by contacting the California State Bar Association. They can let you know how long an attorney has been in business. Check to see if anyone has filed complaints against them. One or two complaints don’t necessarily mean that you rule them out. Just make sure that there aren’t a huge number of disciplinary complaints against them. If there are, steer clear of that firm.
Make an Appointment for an Initial Consultation
Once you have your list narrowed down to a few personal injury attorneys, schedule an initial consultation with each firm. This initial consultation is usually free, and it will give you a good idea of which attorney can handle your case and whether you can work with them. Be prepared to ask the following questions:
1. Will They Be Working on Your Case or Will They Appoint Someone Else to Work it?
If other people aregoing to workon your case, ask to meet them so that you know who will be representing you, and who will be researching and working your claim.
2. What’s Their Track Record?
Find out what their success rate is with cases like yours in the past. Ask them to estimate how long they think it will take to resolve. Find out the estimated value of your claim. The answers to bothof thesequestions will affect the settlement outcome, and let you know what to expect.
3. Do They Represent Plaintiffs Exclusively or do They Sometimes Represent Defendants?
Why does this matter? Hopefully, your prospective attorney is most active in representing plaintiffs. It a whole different mindset if they are normally representing defendants in personal injury cases.
What Else Do I Need to Know About a Prospective Personal Injury Lawyer?
One thing to keep in mind is that they might have some questions for you as well, so listen to the attorney’s questions and answer truthfully. An experienced personal injury attorney will want to hear about the case in detail before you become their client. Personal Injury Lawyers work for a percentage of your settlement. They don’t get paid until you do.
During the initial consultation, the attorney may decide that you don’t have a strong case or that your case isn’t substantial enough to receive a settlement. They might not take you on as a client. So, it’s good to interview a few lawyers and find one that you feel will do the best job for you.