If you have been the victim of a California personal injury accident, one of the first things you will want to do is decide which personal injury lawyer to hire to handle your case. It’s almost impossible to turn on the television, listen to the radio, open a newspaper or even drive down the freeway without seeing or hearing an advertisement for a California personal injury accident lawyer. So how can you narrow down the thousands to find the one that is right for your case? There is no magical formula for making this highly personal decision, but there are a few guidelines that can help.
1. References, references, references. A personal reference from a family member or close personal friend can be a great place to start. Ask around and see if anyone close to you has had the opportunity to work with a California personal injury accident lawyer.
2. Do your homework. Even with a personal reference, doing your homework can only help. Check the lawyer’s credentials. Contact the state or local Bar Association and ask about the lawyer. If you didn’t get any personal references, the Bar Association can also be a great place to get references of possible lawyers. You can also check with the state disciplinary commission to see if the lawyer has had any grievances filed against him. The state licensing board can also tell you how long he has been licensed to practice.
3. Interview perspective lawyers. Most personal injury lawyers will offer a free initial evaluation. Take advantage of this opportunity to “interview” the lawyer. Come prepared with a list of questions. How long has he been practicing law? What type of cases does he handle? How many jury trials has he been involved in and won?
4. Experience. General experience as a lawyer certainly helps, but how much experience does the lawyer have handling cases similar to yours? Personal injury law encompasses more than just car accidents. If your case is a train accident case – has the lawyer ever handled a train accident case? If so, how many times and with what results?
5. Staff. Even before you actually arrive for the initial consultation, make note of how the staff performs. Are they professional on the telephone? Were they polite and courteous? When you arrive for your consultation, take the time while you are waiting to observe how the office runs. Your lawyer will clearly handle your case, but you will have a significant amount of interaction with the support staff as well so make sure that you feel comfortable with them.
6. Costs, fees and policies. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the cost and fee structure before you hire an attorney. Your fee agreement should be in writing. Read it well and make sure you understand it before you sign. Ask questions if you have them. Your lawyer should be forthcoming about all his costs and policies regarding your representation. If something doesn’t feel right then move on to another lawyer.
Above all else, make sure that the lawyer you decide on makes you feel secure and comfortable. You are depending on him to represent you and secure the compensation that you deserve. If you would like a free and detailed evaluation of your California personal injury accident case, please contact the law form of Ledger & Associates through their website at www.ledgerlaw.co or at 1-800-300-0001.