More than 60,000 personal injury lawyers are currently working in the United States. With so many potential choices for a personal injury lawyer in Torrance, it’s challenging to choose the right one for your case. There are several ways to determine which personal injury attorney is the right choice. Continue reading to find out what those ways are.
Evaluate Their Total Experience
You want to find experienced assistance for your legal case, so it’s crucial you evaluate each potential attorney. Consider how long they’ve been practicing personal injury law and how many years they’ve spent at their current practice.
You’ll also want to ask about their educational background and any internships or similar opportunities they’ve previously done. In terms of education, you’ll want to ensure they received their Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school.
It’s also important to ensure the person you hope to work with is licensed to practice law in your state. You can find this information online. The State Bar of California allows you to look lawyers up by name to see if they’re licensed and whether any misconduct has been levied against them.
Many law practices have several lawyers working together, and some of them are likely less experienced than others. So be sure to ask who will represent you and get that specific lawyer’s experience.
Consider Their Previous Successes
Before you hire a lawyer to represent your personal injury case, be sure to ask about their previous successes. For example, be sure to ask:
- How many total personal injury cases have they represented?
- What percentage of those cases have they won?
- Which cases have they successfully won that are similar to yours?
- Have they ever taken a personal injury case to trial?
- What was the outcome of any applicable trials?
Don’t be afraid to be thorough in your questioning about previous successes. While some attorneys may have had thousands of cases, that experience won’t help if only a few were personal injury cases.
Pay Attention to Their Interaction With You
Having a personal injury case that needs representation is a stressful situation. You likely have an injury causing pain, emotional stress, and financial hardships. You need an attorney who is professional and is determined to get you the settlement you are rightfully owed.
During your initial consultation, pay close attention to how your potential attorney interacts with you. Are they friendly yet professional? Do they make eye contact and practice active listening skills?
Find someone you feel is genuinely concerned about your overall well-being and is willing to answer any questions you may have. If applicable, you’ll also want to consider whether a potential lawyer is willing to travel or make reasonable accommodations to represent you.
Ask About Their Payment Model
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay them upfront. Instead, the lawyer receives a pre-determined percentage of your total settlement amount in exchange for representing you.
However, just because most personal injury attorneys work on contingencies doesn’t mean all of them will. For this reason, it’s crucial you have a complete understanding of the financial implications of gaining representation.
A few questions you should ask before signing a contract (or, in some instances, even attending a consultation) include:
- Will the initial consultation be free? If not, what is the cost?
- Do they work on a contingency basis or at an hourly rate?
- If hourly, what is their cost per hour, and what’s included in those hours? (For example, some attorneys charge for travel time to or from the court if a case goes to trial, while others don’t.)
- If on a contingency basis, what percentage do they charge? Does that percentage increase if the case goes to trial?
Always be sure you understand an attorney’s payment model before hiring them. You don’t want any surprise costs later on.
Consider Communication Methods
How will you be able to get in touch with the attorney you hope to hire? Personal injury cases often move quickly from one stage to the next, and each stage may require some level of communication. Therefore, you want to ensure it’s easy to get ahold of your attorney when you have questions or need advice.
Generally, you should be able to call your attorney at their office during regular work hours. They should be committed to returning any phone calls by the end of the next business day, with emergency calls returned before the end of the day. It’s also helpful if you get your attorney’s email for non-emergency communication outside normal business hours.
Remember to ask if you’ll be charged for any calls or emails answered. If you will be, ask how you’ll be billed for this time.
Make Sure They Understand Your Goals
Before choosing a lawyer, you want to be sure they understand your settlement goals. For example, are you looking for the quickest possible settlement, even if that means accepting a slightly lower offer? Or are you willing to wait as long as possible to receive the maximum compensation?
An excellent personal injury lawyer will want to discuss how you hope to approach the case before agreeing to represent you. They should also consider your preferences while providing professional advice and insight on the matter. If you feel your lawyer is ignoring you or not listening to your preferences, consider it a warning sign that you don’t want that person representing you.
Receive a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Torrance Today
If you’re seeking legal help from a personal injury lawyer in Torrance, South Bay Accident lawyers are here to help. We’re a group of personal injury professionals who are committed to ensuring you receive the settlement you deserve.
Contact us for a free consultation and find out how South Bay Accident Lawyers can help you today.