If you sustained injuries in a personal injury accident, it can be a scary and stressful time. Understandably, you may be worried about who will pay your medical bills.
However, you should be concentrating on your recovery, not concerned about your financial situation. One of the best things you can do after an injury accident is to retain an attorney.
If you are wondering how to find a personal injury lawyer, here are several helpful tips.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Who Handles Similar Cases
Personal injury is a broad practice area. Not all personal injury law firms have the same experience. If your claim involves a slip-and-fall injury, you want an attorney specializing in that type of case or who at least has years of experience.
You don’t want to choose an attorney who primarily handles defective products cases or is new to handling personal injury claims.
Some people search online for an “injury attorney near me,” but you shouldn’t choose an attorney simply because they are located near your home.
You need an attorney who can protect your rights and help you fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Choose an Attorney with a Proven Track Record of Success
You want an attorney who has a proven track record of success. You don’t want an attorney who only has years of experience. You want someone who has been successful—winning high settlements and favorable trial verdicts.
While most cases resolve during the negotiations phase, there’s a chance your case could wind up in litigation. You want to make sure the attorney you choose can take your case to trial if necessary.
Otherwise, you may need to change attorneys or law firms in the middle of your case.
It’s ok to ask a lawyer about their prior settlements. How many seven-figure settlements or trials do they have? Not every case is worth that amount, but if your case is potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, you need a lawyer who can handle high-value cases.
Ask About Fee Schedules
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means they don’t charge an hourly fee for legal services. Instead, they take a percentage of your settlement or favorable trial verdict.
If the attorney loses your case, you won’t be responsible for any legal fees in most cases. However, you should always confirm what the attorney’s fee schedule is.
Ask questions about their contingency fee arrangement and what happens if you don’t win your case. Do you need to pay back any legal expenses, such as court costs or filing fees?
Many attorneys have different contingency agreements depending on the case type and whether it resolves before or during litigation. The more questions you ask at the meeting, the fewer surprises you will have later on.
Check Reviews and Client Testimonials
You should always look at a lawyer’s online reviews and past client testimonials. Most law firms have a page devoted to client testimonials. Don’t stop there, though. Go online and look for reviews elsewhere.
Read through these reviews and see what these prior clients had to say. Were they happy with the lawyer’s work? Are they willing to recommend the lawyer to others?
You can also ask to speak with an attorney’s past clients. If an attorney is unwilling to let you communicate with prior clients, consider it a red flag. Perhaps the attorney’s reputation isn’t as stellar as it appears on the firm’s website.
Consider the Attorney’s Personality
When looking at injury lawyers for you, consider how comfortable you are during the meeting. If you don’t feel pleased with the lawyer or something they say rubs you the wrong way, imagine what they will be like with a jury.
You want an attorney you feel good about because you will talk to them frequently throughout your case.
Also, it’s a good idea to confirm during the meeting that the attorney you are meeting with is the one who will be handling your case. Sometimes, a more senior attorney attends the meeting, but an associate takes your case.
You have the right to ask about everyone who will be working on your case. You don’t want to pick a firm based on the initial meeting—only to find out later that your claim is being handled by no one you ever met.
You can also ask what their policy is on client communication. Do they return calls within a certain amount of time? Answer emails promptly?
Some attorneys even give clients their cell phone numbers. Ask how you can reach them in the event of an emergency.
Contact Our Northern California Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you suffered injuries in a personal injury accident, you need a legal advocate to help you pursue any compensation rightfully yours.
At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we handle only California personal injury claims. With decades of experience and a proven record of success, we are here to help.
Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.