Making the decision to hire a personal injury attorney after you’ve been hurt on the job or in an accident is an important first step in getting the money you need for your injury-related expenses. However, choosing a lawyer who lacks skill or experience could ruin your chances of recovering all that you deserve on your claim for injuries. Before hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your accident claim, read on to find out what questions to ask and topics to research to learn the most important facts you need to know about them.
- Check the attorney’s standing with the California State Bar and look for other ratings of the attorney. Every attorney with a California Bar license is searchable by name on the State Bar’s website. This site will tell you whether your prospective attorney is a lawyer in good standing, or whether they’ve been subjected to discipline, suspension, or disbarment for unethical behavior. You can also check if the attorney has received a rating on sites like Avvo.com, Martindale.com, or another private attorney review site.
- Find out who will be doing the bulk of the work on your case. In some cases, prospective clients may meet with experienced senior attorneys for their initial consultation, but once the attorney has retained the firm to handle their claim, the case will be assigned to a much less experienced attorney. While a newer associate may be able to capably represent your claim, you deserve to know who will be representing you throughout your case. Ask for the name of the lawyer who will handle your case. Also find out how often the firm will communicate with you regarding updates on your claim, as well as how you can best ask questions or communicate information to your attorney.
- Learn how the firm plans to collect their fee. Most personal injury law firms will only collect a fee for your case once you’ve received compensation through a settlement or court verdict. This will usually take the form of a percentage of your award. Find out how your prospective attorney collects their fee, what percentage of your award they plan to take, and how the firm covers the costs associated with filing a claim.
- Ask how many trials your prospective attorney has handled. Most personal injury claims settle out of court, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be prepared to go to trial when necessary. Ask about a prospective attorney’s trial experience—what sorts of cases they’ve tried, whether they were the lead attorney or a supporting attorney, and the result of the trial.
If you need seasoned, effective, and professional legal representation after a California injury accident, contact the Stockton offices of Redkey Gordon Law Corp for a consultation at 209-267-1685, with additional offices in Sutter Creek, Sacramento, and Tracy.