Most California accident victims do not have much prior experience with the state’s civil legal system. Although you may be fortunate enough to never have to deal with judges, courts, and lawyers, if you are hurt in a personal injury accident, you will need an attorney to represent you.
California is home to 274,619 attorneys, approximately 190,000 of whom are currently practicing. Choosing the best legal representation for your personal injury case can feel like finding a needle in a pile of needles. However, there are several ways you can gradually narrow down the list and select the right attorney for you.
expert California personal injury attorney He is an invaluable asset, providing guidance and support throughout the personal injury process. If you are injured in an accident, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are working with the right attorney for your case.
When do I need a personal injury attorney in California?
If you’re injured in an accident, whether it’s a bike accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or even a traffic accident, you may feel like you can deal with the consequences on your own. While this may be true for some accidents involving bumps, bruises, and minor property damage, this rarely happens. If you want the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim or lawsuit, you need to work with a qualified personal injury attorney in California.
No matter what they tell you, the insurance company is not on your side. It is a for-profit company whose only goal is to make as much money as possible. They cannot do this if they pay accident victims fair settlements that represent the true value of their damages.
These huge companies have teams of highly skilled adjusters and attorneys who handle their claims and you deserve the same. Working with an attorney will not only level the playing field, but will likely result in a much larger settlement. Personal injury settlements are, on average, 40% higher for victims represented by an attorney than for those who represent themselves. Similarly, insurance payments are about 3.5 times greater on average for those with legal representation than for those without legal representation.
The more serious the injuries, the more important it becomes to work with a lawyer. The insurance company may make you an initial settlement offer that seems more than generous. Unfortunately, after accepting it, you will quickly discover that it is nowhere near covering the full extent of your damages, or even the basic medical care you need.
Ultimately, working with a personal injury attorney in California can only give you a much-needed advantage. This means that you will have a legal attorney who will do his best in your best interests and will ensure that you receive maximum financial compensation for your losses.
How to find a personal injury attorney in california
The most effective ways to find the right California personal injury attorney for your particular case are:
Using a search engine like Google is a good place to start your search for a qualified attorney. Search terms like “top rated personal injury attorney near me” or “personal injury attorney in (your city) california” will yield a lot of results and give you an excellent starting point for narrowing down the field.
Legal Directory is basically a small search engine focused on lawyers. The most reliable legal evidence includes:
Avvo is one of the leading legal directories. It provides a lot of useful information including ratings of lawyers, which law school they attended, and contact details. Avvo also indicates whether or not the attorney has been reprimanded by the California State Bar.
Another legal guide that will appear in the search results is FindLaw. FindLaw includes attorney bios and contact details. Its review system is not as robust as Avvo’s, but due to its placement on Google, it is one of the most popular directories.
Owned by Martindale-Hubble, Attorneys.com has provided information for attorneys since 1998. The site includes contact details, peer reviews and client testimonials.
Although not technically a legal directory, Yelp has carved a place for itself as a trusted site for anyone looking for legal representation. Yelp includes attorney bios, contact details, and client reviews.
Almost all legal guides mentioned online include customer reviews. When reading reviews, make sure you don’t just take into account the total number of reviews or overall ratings. Take time to read it, especially if it’s long, as a more detailed review can give you some unique insights. Keep in mind that this is not the same as reading reviews on a lawyer’s website. They control which reviews are visible to the public and can easily hide any negative or less flattering comments.
You can also use Google Maps to find attorney ratings. Simply go to Google Maps and type in “personal injury attorney” and the results will appear below.
No search for personal injury attorneys in California would be complete without searching for their profile at California State Bar. Their website provides official contact details, their full educational background and details of their disciplinary record if they have one.
Learn what questions to ask during a consultation
Most reputable personal injury attorneys offer potential clients a free case evaluation. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you have about their practices in general and your case in particular.
To ensure the most efficient use of your time and have all your questions answered, make a list of everything you want to ask. The attorney will use some of that time to ask you questions and determine if you have a valid personal injury case, but it is also important for you to ask your questions and decide if this attorney is a good fit for you and your case.
So, what questions should you ask during a free consultation? Some basic but essential questions include:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- Have you dealt with cases similar to mine?
- Where did you go to law school?
- Do you specialize in any other areas of law?
- What is the percentage of cases that you will bring to trial?
- Have you ever been reprimanded by the California State Bar?
- Do you have a list of previous settlements and judgments?
Being injured in an accident is scary and stressful. An experienced personal injury attorney in California can help ease your concerns by working alongside you to ensure a fair settlement of your injuries and other damages.