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5 Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

Different lawyers have different fields of expertise. Make sure that you pick a lawyer that has represented cases similar to yours in the past.

Finding the right personal injury lawyer after an accident can be an overwhelming and confusing task, especially after going through a car accident. Getting a personal injury lawyer is necessary if you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, incompetence, and willful ignorance. 

Hiring a lawyer can relieve a great deal of the burden off your shoulders. They are expected to handle communications with the insurance company and claims paperwork for you. Not only that, but they will also assist you in obtaining money for the damages, whether it’s physical, mental, or financial. Getting a lawyer will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries. 

Here are five things you need to remember in choosing a personal injury lawyer: 

  1. Experience 

The most important factor you need to consider in choosing an attorney is their experience. Of course, when meeting with an attorney, the first thing you will ask for is their experience. An excellent personal injury attorney in Los Angeles is capable of assessing your case and has knowledge on specific laws related to statutes of limitation, negligence, causation, contributory negligence, assumption of the risk. 

Make sure to ask them if they had any experience in handling cases similar to yours. The more experienced they are, the more likely that they are capable of handling your case. 

  1. Reputation

Before choosing a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to do your research. Look up reviews online and check whether they have a good experience with insurance companies, court systems, etc. 

Having a lawyer with a good reputation can positively affect your case. It can impact both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s perspectives. Fortunately, finding out about a lawyer’s reputation is now made easy thanks to the Internet. Websites such as Yelp and AVVO contain attorneys’ rankings. 

Lawyers from Arash Law have an excellent legal background. Check their ratings through different websites and find a pattern. Take note that one bad review doesn’t mean that the lawyer is completely incapable. However, if you observed several bad reviews on one particular lawyer, you may want to reconsider choosing them. 

HOW CAN I CHECK AN ATTORNEY’S BACKGROUND? 

You probably do not want to pay a private investigator to check out every lawyer you meet with. There are, however, some important websites you can check to be sure that the person you met with is, in fact, a licensed attorney. The State Bar of California maintains a website with information on all lawyers in California. You can search by the attorney’s name to confirm that they are licensed to practice law in the state of California, that their law license is active, and that their license has not been suspended.

The website also lists any disciplinary action that the State Bar has taken against a lawyer. You can see if the attorney has had their license suspended or revoked in the past – and if so, the circumstances surrounding it. 

  1. Expertise

Different lawyers have different fields of expertise. Make sure that you pick a lawyer that has represented cases similar to yours in the past. Each lawyer has their own unique set of skills. Some lawyers focus on big rig cases, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, etc.

Bike vs. car accident, bike on side in road; image by LosAngeles PersonalInjuryAttorney, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

If you are facing a pedestrian accident case, choose a lawyer that is well-versed with pedestrian accidents. Picking a lawyer with a different field of expertise may seriously affect the results of your case. 

  1. Personality 

Of course, working with someone you get along with is always better. Even if your lawyer has a great track record and a lot of experience, if you are uncomfortable working with them due to differences in personalities, this might cost you your case. 

Your lawyer’s personality is just as important as their track record. It reveals their morals and how they would treat people around them. You don’t need to befriend your lawyer necessarily, but they should be the type of person who won’t reject phone calls, ignore you when something urgent about your case comes up, and sometimes even belittle your case. A good working relationship with your lawyer can increase your chances of winning your case. 

  1. Has a proven history of high settlements 

If your lawyer was capable of handling cases with high settlements, then, chances are, they will be more than capable of handling your case. This is especially important if you are involved in an accident that has caused severe injury and damage on your part. Large settlements are more challenging to handle, and you must hire a capable attorney for these types of cases. 

Don’t be shy in asking your lawyer pressing questions. Ask them to show you their portfolio and the cases that they’ve won throughout their career. Your lawyer is working for you, and it’s important that you don’t get too intimidated by them. 

It isn’t easy to know what to ask a lawyer when deciding whether to hire them – especially if you have never had to hire a lawyer before.

Here are some questions you need to ask your personal injury lawyer before hiring them to handle your case:

  • How many years have you been in practice? 
  • What types of cases do you typically handle?
  • Have you ever handled this type of case before? How many times?
  • Have you ever dealt with a case involving my types of injuries? 
  • Have you ever taken a case like this to trial? 
  • What would your strategy be for my case?
  • Are there any challenges in my case I should be aware of? (For example, if it isn’t clear who was at fault for the accident, or your injuries aren’t related to the accident)
  • How long do you think it will take to resolve my case? 
  • What are the chances that you think my case will settle (or go to trial)?
  • What is the statute of limitations on my claim? 

A good Los Angeles personal injury attorney will in fact, highly encourage you to ask questions and answer them with enthusiasm. 

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