You’ve endured pain, emotional trauma, and financial upheaval over an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
At such a challenging time, it’s important to find a personal injury lawyer who is qualified and has the experience to win your claim. Your lawyer should also be someone who understands what you’ve been through as a victim and works hard to keep you from being victimized again.
What to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney
Lawyers can branch off in many different types of law and over-extend themselves. They end up handling many different cases but fail to become a true expert in any one field.
Your lawyer should also have plenty of experience in the state you are in. California, in particular, can have very different statutes than other states regarding a personal injury that can greatly affect your case.
Select an Attorney Who Represents only Accident Victims
You want an attorney who focuses on personal injury law. It’s important to research a lawyer’s background to determine how his or her history can benefit your case. If they commonly represent everyday victims and corporations they may have a conflict of interest. You should consider someone else who is more loyal to personal injury victims.
Find an Attorney with Trial Experience
One of the biggest incentives for insurance companies to offer you a fair settlement for your injury is the fear that you will take them to court. Personal injury cases generally result in a settlement agreement and rarely end up in a courtroom. But you want a lawyer who has argued before a judge and jury before and knows how to prepare a strong case for a trial.
Insurance companies will know your attorney’s background and will be more cautious around someone who has a history of taking cases to trial when necessary. You also want to choose a personal injury lawyer with a strong track record when he or she does step into a courtroom.
Find an Attorney Who’s an Active Member of State and National Trial Lawyer Groups
Your lawyer should be a member of several important state and national legal associations. While practicing personal injury law, the more connected and current an attorney is, the better equipped he or she is to protect clients and win compensation for them. By having a broad network, your attorney creates a deep bench of experienced professionals to brainstorm with.
Find an Attorney with the Necessary Financial Assets
Under some payment arrangements, your personal injury lawyer may have to advance years of necessary expenses while working on your case. You should choose an attorney in good financial standing, with strong credit who can weather financial burdens.
- Do personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees? No win/No fee promises from injury attorneys can excuse victims from having to pay any money upfront. You also don’t lose anything if your case is unsuccessful. This is called working on a contingency basis. Your personal injury lawyer can advance all of the costs of your case and usually gets nothing until a case is won in court or earns a settlement. It’s important to have a lawyer who is successful enough to handle these expenses for the full span of the lawsuit proceedings.
- What percentage do personal injury attorneys get? If you receive and accept a settlement in your case a personal injury attorney would generally get a third of the award under the contingency fee agreement. If your case gets litigated, an attorney would expend even more resources to win your case and they would usually receive around 40% when a settlement is obtained or a judgment is awarded.
Find an Attorney Who Receives Referrals
Personal injury lawyers can “fish” for clients by using cheap advertising and searching news websites for car accident reports. But a successful attorney will have clients seeking them out because they have a reputation for compassionate representation that gets results.
This word of mouth can come from satisfied clients and referrals from other personal injury attorneys who pass along cases they can’t handle.
Ask your potential lawyer if you can talk to clients they’ve represented in the past. Preferably people with a case much like yours. Find out what their experience was like. If attorneys don’t have this type of relationship with past clients it is a sign that they don’t have a lot of success to show you.
Retain A Lawyer Who’s Written And Lectured in the Personal Injury Field
You should want someone defending you who can intelligently represent himself or herself and the legal profession no matter the setting. Read over their blogs and watch their web videos. Look into their educational background.
Tips to Help You Find the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Pick the Right Type of Doctor
After an accident, you may get checked out by a paramedic, but once you’re back home you should definitely schedule an appointment with a doctor. The most beneficial evaluation will come from a physician specializing in the injury that you’ve received.
If possible, try to reach out to a specialist. Doing so will help document your injuries accurately so that you can obtain fair and just compensation from an insurance company and/or at-fault party.
Research Several Injury Attorneys
In your search for the right personal injury lawyer, you’ll want to talk with several attorneys. Case success and experience are important, but you’ll also want an injury attorney that you feel comfortable with.
Feel free to interview your attorney candidates. Ask them about their backgrounds. Ask them how cases like yours have played out in the past. Don’t expect them to be able to tell you exactly how your lawsuit will proceed and how much money you’ll receive. No one can predict that.
Most personal injury lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis. You should confirm this and inquire as to any other questions you may have.
Review All Paperwork
To officially allow a personal injury lawyer to represent your case you’ll sign a contingency agreement or another payment agreement. Never sign any document until you’ve read it and understand it. If you don’t understand something in the contract you can always ask your potential attorney. You are permitted to get another lawyer to read over any contracts before you agree to them.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
The best thing to do when injured in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness is to talk to a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney. Even if you don’t hire one, you owe it to yourself to be advised of the law by a legal professional familiar with California statutes. Then if you decide to get representation, choose someone who is experienced and understands the law.
Allen Vaysberg, Esq. manages the personal injury practice of the Law Offices of Steers & Associates. By aggressively investigating the facts and using every available resource, Allen and the legal team of the Law Offices of Steers & Associates work tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies who attempt to withhold fair compensation from injured people.
Mr. Vaysberg is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and the American Association for Justice. He is admitted to practice law before the California Supreme Court and all other Courts of the State of California, as well as the United States District Court, Central District of California.
Contact Allen Vaysberg and the Law Offices of Steers & Associates for a free consultation to find out how they can help you.