Competent, aggressive legal representation for an injured person is a practical necessity. In Los Angeles, California, insurance companies almost always hire prominent law firms with seasoned litigators to defend a personal injury actions. The injured person should be represented by comparable quality legal counsel.
There are many personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. And, there are many who have websites advertising for personal injury victims. While websites provide a starting point for retaining a Los Angeles personal injury Attorneys, more is required. Here are some tips on how to hire a good personal injury attorney in Los Angeles.
1) Interview the personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys give free consultations. Be respectful of the attorney’s time while still getting to know the personal injury lawyer’s personality and background;
2) Look for an experienced personal injury lawyer. Ask about how many cases the attorney has handled. Find out how many trials, arbitrations, mediations, and settlements he or she has been involved in.
3) Ask the attorney you interview whether he or she will be the attorney handling your case or if it will be another attorney in the firm’s office. You want to meet the attorney that is handling your case. Also, ask if your contact person will be the attorney or the attorney’s secretary, paralegal or clerk. Prefer the attorney who will personally handle your case;
4) Check out the attorney on the California State Bar website http://members.calbar.ca.gov/search/member.aspx to see if the attorney has ever been professionally disciplined. Prefer an attorney who has never been disciplined;
5) Ask if the personal injury attorney has professional liability insurance. No one expects trouble at the beginning of a relationship, but mistakes happen. You want to know that the attorney that you are hiring has good business practices including having professional liability insurance;
6) Discuss the attorney fee arrangement. Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means you pay attorney fees only if there is a recovery. Contingency fee percentages are not set by law other than that the fee cannot be unconscionable. Generally, personal injury attorneys charge 1/3 of the gross recovery up until a lawsuit is filed; thereafter, attorneys charge 40% of the gross recovery. Make sure your agreement is in writing as required by the California Business and Professions Code;
7) Make sure you are comfortable with the attorney and feel confident that you will be able to call and talk to the attorney. Ask the the attorney if he or she welcomes client participation. It is your case and you have the right to be involved in any aspect of the case; and,
8) Make sure that the attorney has the time to devote personal attention to your case. Get a commitment on how the case will be handled. Also, be sure that you will be informed about important developments in the case.
Using these tips on how to pick a good personal injury lawyer should help you to make an informed decision on who want to represent you or a loved one in a personal injury claim.
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