Before You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in California: Key Questions (GJEL Accident Attorneys)

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Read the full article for a California personal injury attorney’s in-depth exploration of essential questions to ask before hiring a legal representative. Learn how GJEL Accident Attorneys prioritizes clear communication and works collaboratively with you to achieve the desired outcome for your case.

As personal injury cases become increasingly complex, every plaintiff should be armed with an arsenal of sound questions to ask a potential injury lawyer. After all, that lawyer can impact the success of your case and your financial future – so it’s important to choose wisely!

To help you in your quest of finding an capable and experienced injury lawyer, we’ll explore some of the essential questions to ask when considering legal representation. Whether you’re facing a minor fender-bender or a major catastrophe, the key to finding the right lawyer is in knowing which questions to ask before you ever set foot in the courtroom. Let’s get started!

Quick Recap

It is important to ask a personal injury lawyer about their experience handling similar cases and what strategies they suggest for your particular case. Additionally, you should inquire about their fees and expected timeline for resolving the case.

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Do you specialize in the field of personal injury and wrongful death or do you do a little of that, a little criminal, a little estate planning?

You’re always better off hiring a specialist. In the modern world, there are many lawyers that dabble in many different areas of law. This is means that when they get a personal injury claim, they may only have handled a few similar cases in the recent past. By working with a firm that is dedicated to fighting for injured victims, you can be confident that you have found a lawyer who is truly the right to right pick to represent your interests.

What are your honors and awards?

The next, related, questions are, Are you a lawyer who has been selected by your peers to Super Lawyers or Best Lawyers in America? Are you a preeminent lawyer with Martindale-Hubbell or at least rated AV?

And, if you can get a lawyer or a law firm that is honored by all three of those organizations you are getting yourself a top flight lawyer. Ultimately, you want a lawyer who has distinguished themselves in the legal field and been honored for their achievements.

How many verdicts have you had? How many settlements have you had? And how many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements?

You also want to know, even if your case is not a multi-million dollar case, the lawyers who have those multi-million dollars in verdicts typically are the top in their field and garner the most respect from the insurance defense industry.

Of course, we all know that past success does not guarantee future results. However, past success is still a very good barometer that can be used to assess the attorney that you are dealing with. Additionally, if you have substantial damages, you will want to be sure to work with a lawyer who has handled high-dollar claims before. This is important because there are unique considerations involved in these cases.

Do you have experience handling similar claims?

Related to the previously discussed issue of specialization, it is always best to work with a lawyer who has experience handling personal injury cases that are similar to your specific claim.

For example, if you were hurt in a San Jose bicycle accident, ideally, you will want to work with an attorney who has previous experience handling California bike accident injury claims.

What is your legal strategy?

It is a good idea to ask your attorney a quick question about their basic legal strategy and the claims process in general. Through their answer, you will be able to assess their competence for handling your claim as well as their ability to clearly explain the circumstances to you. The bottom line: You do not want to work with a lawyer who you cannot understand.

What is the range of possible outcomes?

In legal cases, no specific outcome can ever truly be guaranteed. That is simply not how the legal process works. You need to hire a lawyer who can reasonably assess the range of possible outcomes in your case, without making any false promises to you. An attorney who guarantees a specific result is likely not a reliable partner.

What will the fees and expenses be?

Finally, you should always consider the legal fees and costs associated with bringing a legal claim. At GJEL Accident Attorneys, we take on all claims on a contingency fee basis. For our clients, this means no upfront costs, and no financial risks.

Is the Case Legally Viable?

When considering taking legal action in a personal injury case, it is critical to understand the viability and strength of the case. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a valid claim, and if it is worth pursuing. Though the evidence of an injury may be clear, if the case does not have legal standing and fails to meet certain criteria set out by the law, a potential client must ask their lawyer about whether the case is legally viable.

For instance, some personal injury cases require that liability be established beyond reasonable doubt before awarding damages. If there is any lack of evidence linking another party to damages incurred by a plaintiff, then this could reduce or completely eliminate the chances that damages may be awarded. On the other hand, should someone have suffered an injury who can provide ample evidence that this was indeed caused by the negligent act of another person or party, then there are good chances for a successful claim.

The rigor with which a lawyer will pursue your claim may depend on whether or not they think it is legally viable or likely to result in an award. It is essential to discuss such matters with your lawyer beforehand so that expectations are held realistically on both sides.

Having asked questions before filing suit and further clarified inquiries about legal viability of the case, it would also be worthwhile to ask your lawyer questions about how to anticipate various aspects of the trial process that may lie ahead.

How long does the process of filing a personal injury claim typically take?

The process of filing a personal injury claim typically takes anywhere from several weeks to several years. It largely depends on the complexity of the case and the amount of time it takes to collect medical records, calculate damages, and negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurance company. If the case goes to trial, the timeline can become even longer. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced lawyer who understands how to properly handle a personal injury claim and knows how long such a process may take. Having a lawyer that can anticipate potential issues and work proactively to resolve them is essential for achieving the best possible outcome in a timely manner.

Do you offer any additional services if I am filing a personal injury claim?

Yes, most personal injury lawyers offer a variety of additional services for their clients who are filing a personal injury claim. These services can include legal advice and representation in court proceedings, assistance with compiling evidence and documents needed for the claim, negotiation with insurance companies or third parties for a settlement, and help through the entire process of filing the claim.

Additionally, some personal injury attorneys will offer additional services such as providing financial assistance if necessary, making referrals to doctors or rehabilitation clinics, or providing support during medical treatments related to the claim.

What is the process for filing a personal injury claim?

The process of filing a personal injury claim depends on the type and circumstances of the injury sustained. Generally, however, here is what to expect:

1. Gather Evidence: This includes collecting photographs of the accident site, getting witness statements, obtaining medical records, and documenting any other evidence that may be relevant to your claim.

2. Notify Insurance Companies: Next you should notify all parties involved, including insurance companies. The insurance company will likely require a formal report along with supporting documents in order to process claims; it is important to provide accurate information when doing this.

3. Negotiate a Settlement: Depending on the details of the case, negotiation or mediation may be necessary in order for you and the responsible party to reach an agreeable settlement. You should never accept a settlement without consulting with a lawyer first.

4. File a Lawsuit if Necessary: If negotiations fail to produce a satisfactory outcome, you may need to bring your case to court in order to get the compensation you deserve. Be sure that filing such a suit is actually necessary – sometimes going through the courts can be time consuming and expensive!

We will be with you leading every step of your personal injury claim

Learn what other personal injury lawyers think are the most important tips for hiring a lawyer.

To learn more about this fee structure, or how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact our office today at 1-855-508-9565 to schedule a free review of your claim.

Written by Andy Gillin. Last updated 04/15/24