Having a San Francisco personal injury attorney on your side makes it much more likely that you will secure the compensation you deserve after an injury. Having a great attorney on your side means you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your case will achieve the best outcome possible for your situation. Most of us may not need to hire a personal injury attorney more than once or twice in our lives and so you may be unfamiliar with what to look for in a good attorney. Here are some questions to help you find the best attorney for your case.
What Areas of Law Do You Focus On?
There are many areas of law an attorney’s office can deal with, from personal injury, tax law, criminal defense, contract law, and more. If you’ve been injured in an accident, finding a lawyer who has expertise in the area of law you need means you will have an attorney with the right experience.
How Many Cases Have You Taken to Trial?
While it may seem obvious that personal injury attorneys take many cases to trial, in fact this is often not the case. Many personal injury lawyers are quick to urge their clients to accept a settlement from an insurance company. Because they rarely go to trial, they may not be able to negotiate a fair settlement for you and if your case does need to go to trial, they may lack the courtroom experience to be successful.
Can I Get References from Previous Clients?
While no one is able to make everyone happy 100% of the time, a good attorney should have references from past clients who were satisfied with their work. Watch out for vaguely worded testimonials, or for a lack of current references.
What Legal Organizations Have Recognized Your Work?
There are many legal organizations to which a lawyer may belong. A good personal injury attorney will have earned recognition from organizations in legal specialty that you need from that attorney.
How Long Has the Attorney Been Working in Practice Area?
Experience is often the best indicator of an attorney or law firm’s quality. An attorney that is very poor quality may have a hard time continuing their practice for long. Experience can make the difference between receiving a settlement that falls short of covering the expenses and a fair settlement that meets your needs.
Does Your Office Have the Staff to Handle My Case?
One attorney cannot effectively handle even a single case all on their own. Keeping track of deadlines, collecting evidence, reading medical reports and police reports, all while negotiating with insurance companies or corporate attorneys takes time. A good attorney has a good staff that helps ensure your case gets the time and attention it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Will Pursuing Justice Cost Me?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you owe no money unless the attorney is able to get you a settlement or win a verdict. The attorney then collects a percentage of the compensation you win. Ask what percentage the attorney gets for the work they put in to win your case. In some cases, there is a limit the attorney can legally charge for services. In other cases, you may be able to negotiate the fee. However, a good attorney is worth the fee they charge. Since they get a percentage of what they are able to win on your behalf, they have an incentive to work hard to get you all the compensation you are entitled to.
Asking the right questions can lead you to finding the right attorney for your personal injury case. Don’t be afraid to keep searching till you find the best attorney for your needs.
Would you like to hear our answers? Contact the Bay Area firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger to schedule your free consultation.