Eight Things To Consider When Choosing An Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
There is an expectation that law firms will be able to help you with your personal injury claims (including personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident) more quickly than independent insurance companies. Insurance companies tend to be less accommodating, but are not allowed to deny your claim. They are required to accept the compensation you are awarded.
Car accident lawyers tend to be able to advise on what legal options are available to you, both from the legal standpoint and in relation to the insurance company. You may be able to take your case to trial, or have your claim settled. You may also have to take your case to mediation and arbitration, where the case is presented to an independent third party who has no financial stake in either side of the case, and has the task of arriving at a fair and reasonable settlement. It is important to note that not all cases can or should go to arbitration. Sometimes a judge must approve the case being settled.
Lawyers have a legal expert’s knowledge of the law, not just a general background or practical knowledge. This is invaluable in making sure that legal rules and statutes are applied correctly. Lawyers are in a unique position to have insight into, and experience in, the specific situations they will be working in, as they have worked with and for both the defendant and the insurance company.
A lawyer is a professional, someone who has gone to law school and passed the bar examination. The bar examination is a nationally-recognized test, that many people have passed. Legal experts are licensed to practice law by the highest court in the state they reside in. The bar examination is a part of the licensing examination that tests your knowledge of the law. It also tests your knowledge of the rules and statutory provisions of your state. Some states require candidates for admission to take the exam, others do not. You should understand the requirements for your state before you even think about hiring a lawyer.
Lawyers must be licensed by a court of ethics in your state, or alternatively be an attorney of record in the state, they are accredited by the Council for Legal Special Education and Rehabilitation. The certification by a recognized accreditation body is extremely important.
Lawyers must be experienced and competent in dealing with your specific types of claims, ie. medical malpractice, workers compensation, automobile accident, slip and fall, etc. It is important to point out that this does not imply they have to have “Expertise in all claims”, the key is they have competence in specific areas. It is your best interest to find a lawyer that has relevant experience in your state and have that experience used in your case. Lawyers who handle many general practice types of cases typically will be out of touch with the current claims.
Your lawyer should be an expert in personal injury law and have worked in your specific type of case.
It is also important to find a lawyer that will give you no strings attached. This means you can fire your lawyer if you are dissatisfied with his or her services, but if you are thinking about hiring a lawyer for the first time, you are probably not thinking that you are dissatisfied. Lawyers typically charge an hourly fee that is fixed, which is usually based on the experience of the lawyer. Lawyers who are not experienced in personal injury type cases will charge much more than experienced lawyers. Lawyers who have helped dozens of people over their career are more expensive, because they are experienced. However, even experienced lawyers will try to give you a fair price, but the important thing is you have to evaluate your situation and you should have an experienced lawyer review your case.
Make sure your lawyer is qualified for your type of case.
It is important to check the credentials of your attorney. You can do this on their website.
It is also important to confirm that your lawyer has experience in the personal injury law for your specific type of case. Lawyers who specialize in personal injury will have the experience necessary to fight for your rights, but will usually charge more because they are used to the high levels of insurance adjusters and the courts. Personal injury lawyers who do not specialize in personal injury are more affordable because they are used to settling out of court.
It is also important that the lawyer you hire is experienced in the type of case you need help with.
While not everything can be settled out of court, many personal injury cases can be settled without going to court, because people can be pressured into paying large sums of money without the fear of a court case.
Making the right choice for your case can be the difference between winning and losing your case. Most lawyers who work in the personal injury law will work for a contingency fee. This means, you will not be expected to pay a large amount of money to the lawyer until you have won your case. Once you have won, you lawyer will then take their percentage. If you lose your case, you do not pay anything to the lawyer.