How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in California
You Need to Know How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in California- Not Just Any Attorney
You’ve been seriously injured in an accident. You’ve done some research. And now, you know you need to find the best personal injury lawyer in California. It’s important to point out now – before you hire an injury lawyer – that you only get one chance to resolve your case. Settling for the first average personal injury attorney you contact you could cost you thousands of dollars.
Not only are you recovering from your injuries now, but you are in a particularly vulnerable place emotionally. There’s going to be a huge adjustment period. You’ll be missing time from work. There will be a great deal of uncertainty about your medical expenses and your future. Meanwhile, you have insurance adjusters trying to pump you for information concerning your injuries, and personal injury attorneys vying for your case.
The experience is overwhelming.
A big part of our purpose at Sally Morin Law is to educate those who have been injured in traffic accidents and help them navigate the process before they hire an attorney. Here, we walk you through how to choose the best California personal injury attorney. This applies whether you live and work in California, or you were just visiting as a tourist or on business in California and need to find a lawyer.
When figuring out how to find and then hire a personal injury lawyer, you want to look for someone who can guide you through the process of negotiating for a settlement and, if need be, the litigation process.
We hear from a lot of clients who made the mistake of hiring the wrong attorney and now want us to help them. Among their complaints about their personal injury lawyers were:
- 1Too Much Pressure. They felt like they were being pressured to settle for much less than reasonable.
- 2No Connection. They felt as though their attorney was distant or unapproachable.
- 3Non-Responsive. They had difficulty contacting their attorney.
- 4Dragging on. They felt the process was taking too long.
So how do you, as an injured party, navigate the process of hiring the right lawyer the first time? Well, this page is dedicated to answering the question: how to find the best personal injury lawyer in California.
Good Personal Injury Attorneys Specialize in One Type of Case
Clients always tell us about how, in the process of trying to find a personal injury attorney in for their case, they run across a number of personal injury firms that seem to litigate everything from slip and fall cases to dangerous property cases, work injuries, assault cases, discrimination and harassment cases, employment cases, product liability cases, elder abuse cases, medical malpractice, airplane and helicopter cases. Who even knew there were so many kinds of personal injury cases?
In other words, these injury law firms are taking any kind of personal injury case you can imagine. That might be ok if they have the manpower to devote to every client. But, more often than not they prioritize their cases based on what they believe will be the largest payout, or which cases they are familiar with. Then they work their way down from there. If your case is not their primary area of expertise, it will likely end up at the bottom of the pile.
When these clients bring their case to Sally Morin Law, they’re relieved by how seamless the process feels. Part of the reason is because we specialize in one very narrow area of personal injury law – traffic accidents. This makes a huge difference for our clients. All of our attorneys and support staff ONLY work on traffic accident cases. We have these areas of personal injury law dialed!
You want a personal injury attorney who works day in and day out on your particular type of case. That way, she will be up to date on the latest developments in that particular area of the law, which procedures to follow and the cutting edge resources available to strengthen your case. You want to find a lawyer who knows the in’s and out’s of the traffic accident insurance system, has experience with the traffic injury courts and works only with clients who have been seriously injured in traffic accidents.
How to Find a Great Personal Injury Attorney: Check out Results & Referrals
We’ve established that a good California personal injury lawyer will be an expert in a certain kind of personal injury law. The question then becomes: what separates a great personal injury attorney from a good one? The answer is: results and referrals.
It’s all well and good to specialize in one area of practice, but an attorney that doesn’t have the results to back up that experience will not be a good choice to invest your case in; and it is an investment.
Great attorneys have a track record of successfully settling cases, litigating them if they have to, and have trial experience when necessary to ensure their clients get the best possible outcome. Be sure to check out the results achieved by any attorney you might hire.
California Accident Settlement Results
If you’re wondering how to find the best California personal injury lawyer, the great ones have a track record of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean they only achieve multi-million dollar settlements. It means that they achieve solid and fair results based upon the particular circumstances of the case.
Note About Personal Injury Case Results
You probably want to look more closely at the results for cases that resemble yours. For instance if you broke your collarbone in a motorcycle accident, it doesn’t really make sense for you to hire a lawyer based upon an impressive 5 million dollar settlement they got for a child injured by a defective car seat. Do they have any results for cases and injuries similar to yours? Check those out.
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Sally Morin Law's Recent California Settlement Results
California Accident Client Referrals
The same goes for referrals. Or, nowadays client reviews. You want to dig into any potential lawyer online and see what their clients are saying about them. Are they reliable? Do they communicate well? How is their customer service? Do they get good results? Do they work efficiently? Read the reviews. The details of the reviews tell you a lot, not just the star rating.
If you're someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews... unless I'm truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!
How to Choose the Best Personal Injury Lawyer... for YOU
Good personal injury attorneys specialize in your kind of injury case. Great personal injury attorneys have a track record of winning verdicts and excellent settlements. But what qualities do the best personal injury attorneys in California have?
It’s important to recognize that while attorneys operate their law firms for profit and as a business, not all law firms are cut from the same cloth. Attorneys have their own personal goals, and you have yours. The real question is: are those goals aligned?
You first have to consider what your goal is in pursuing your personal injury case. Is your goal to take the other party for every cent they are worth? Is it to take the case to trial and have your day in court? Or, is it just to get a reasonable amount of money to compensate you for what you’ve gone through and get back to your life?
Your goal should align with that of the attorney you hire. If you are out for blood, you want to hire a “rabid dog” of a lawyer. Or, if you want to collect what you reasonably deserve without dragging the case through unnecessary litigation, you want to hire a more diplomatic attorney.
Different Lawyering Styles
Do you research on this! Check out what people online have to say about any attorney you might hire to make sure his reported style meets your intended goal for your case. You want to make sure that your attorney’s goals and style are in line with yours. If they are not, conflicts will arise later in the case.
You could find yourself pushing for your lawyer to take the case up to the next level (litigation or trial) and he tells you he wants to bail from the case unless you settle. Or, you could end up with the attorney dragging you through a lengthy trial that you never wanted in the first place. Don’t let this happen. Do your research before to be sure you find a lawyer in to handle your accident case.
A personal injury lawyer’s style is not always indicative of his skills and vice versa. For instance, an attorney may have a good track record in the courtroom, but may be difficult to deal with, or may not approach things the way you would want. On the flip side, the attorney may be as sweet as pie and available 24/7, but may not be skilled in the area of law for which you need representation.
You want to find the right balance for you. Ideally, it will be a great attorney who is pleasant to work with and makes you feel like you are a top priority, but will also fight hard when necessary to assert your rights in your case.
Now that you know how to find good, great and the best personal injury attorneys, we’re going to talk a little bit about how to hire a BAD California personal injury lawyer.
How to Hire a Bad California Personal Injury Attorney
Some lawyers get into personal injury law because they believe it is a lucrative area of practice. That’s not intrinsically bad, but there are over 9000 personal injury attorneys in the State of California alone. In other words, it’s a highly competitive area of practice. Attorneys vie for cases and employ certain strategies to draw in clients. These strategies are not always ethical and they do not always have their client’s best interests at heart.
Here are some things to look out for to be sure you don’t hire a bad personal injury lawyer.
Hire an Attorney Based on Junk Mail, Billboards or Targeted Ads
You’ve just been released from the hospital after an accident. You come home and you look through your mail. You find a letter from a personal injury law firm. Or, while you are at the hospital, you get on your phone to call your loved ones and an ad pops up about a personal injury law firm. My God, you think, how did they even know about my accident?
Questionable Ways Attorneys Get You to Hire Them
- Law firms that send out solicitation mail glean the information from police reports and accident records.
- Some injury law firms use ad agencies and apps that can target people in emergency rooms and advertise to them in their most vulnerable time.
- And, good ole billboards are just a wide net cast by law firms that don’t really care who they serve.
- There are various attorney “rating” sites that reward attorneys who pay for listings. Just because a lawyer has a dozen "Awesome Lawyer" badges on their website, doesn't mean they are actually awesome. They may have just paid for the badges.
Lawyers that use these tools typically have a business model that is based on taking as many cases as they can and settling them as quickly as possible, taking a cut, and moving on to the next one. In most cases, an individual who decides to go this route could likely be better off simply taking whatever the insurance company’s first offer is. At least then they wouldn’t have to fork over a portion of their settlement to a lawyer that never touched their case, because they had a legal assistant handle it.
Pedestrian Accident Client
"Personal injury lawyers conjure up images of tacky billboards of a guy with greasy hair and an 800 number. Sally Morin Law couldn't be any more different and is a breath of fresh air for an experience with any type of attorney."
Hire an Attorney who Isn’t Interested (or is TOO Interested) in You or Your Case
Who wants to work with someone that forgets about you? Or a large company that looks at your business as just another dollar? Nobody. The same goes when you hire a top personal injury attorney. You want to hire a lawyer who is interested in you and your case. Not a lawyer who is desperate for your case, but one who shows general interest in you and your situation.
This is an interesting balance, because you want an attorney who is enthusiastic about representing you, but not so enthusiastic that he is urging you to retain him before he has even gotten any details about your case. If you sense at all that the attorney is desperate, there may be a reason for this. Either he is struggling, has a bad reputation, is in a rush, or some other red flag.
Ask questions, or simply move on to selecting another lawyer, if you sense any desperation from the attorney or his staff. On the other hand, if a lawyer and his team seem totally uninterested in you or your case (except for the fee it will produce), and it feels like he is just adding your case to his enormous caseload, chances are you won’t get the attention you and your case deserve. Do your best to find a lawyer who expresses a reasonable and desirable level of genuine interest in you and your case.
Be sure you’ve done your research on this attorney’s reputation and found information that indicates she cares about her clients and their cases. Do the online reviews for this attorney indicate that her former clients felt taken care of? Or, is there anything to indicate that the client felt “small” or unimportant?
The bottom line is that to avoid hiring a bad California personal injury lawyer you want someone who is interested in, but not desperate for, you and your case, has a history or reputation for treating clients the way you want to be treated and focuses her resources on the type of case you have.
Uber vs. Bicycle Accident Client
"I NEVER ONCE FELT LIKE I WASN'T THEIR TOP PRIORITY."
How to Spot the Best Personal Injury Attorneys
There’s so much uncertainty that plaintiffs in these sorts of cases face. Your lawyer isn’t necessarily there to comfort you, but you should feel as though a burden is being lifted once she has taken over the case. Your lawyer should act as an intermediary between you and an insurance company and advocate on your behalf. That means taking all of the pressure off of you in dealing with the insurance companies and allowing you the opportunity to focus on your recovery stress-free and in peace.
The key factor to look for when you hire the best personal injury attorney is trust.
Trust is the foundation of any good relationship. That includes your relationship with your personal injury attorney. The bottom line is that no attorney will be right for you unless you can trust her.
There are a lot of people who think lawyers in general are sneaky or slimy. What’s even worse is that personal injury attorneys are regarded even lower. Well, there certainly are some shady personal injury lawyers in the world, but most of us are normal hardworking people who love getting our clients money they deserve and helping them back on their feet.
Be warned! There are various attorney “rating” sites that reward attorneys who pay for listings. Just because a lawyer has a fancy "Awesome Lawyer" badge on their website, doesn't mean they are actually awesome. They may have just paid for the badge.
How do you know if you can trust a lawyer you are thinking of hiring? You can be sure that if the lawyer has a prominent online presence any breaches of trust with his clients would be discoverable online. Bad reviewers are relentless! If the lawyer did a client wrong, you can be sure that client would post something online to warn others not to trust this attorney.
Alternatively, if the attorney you are considering has virtually no online presence (a great way for you to check reputation/referrals) make sure you have a personal referral to the attorney, or have a nice long conversation with him to be sure it feels “right” in your gut.
At Sally Morin Law...
- We keep it real.
- We don't exaggerate things to win clients.
- We keep clients updated throughout their cases.
- We do what's in the best interest of our clients.
How to Find the Best San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney
As a major American city that is teeming with life, poor traffic conditions, and more pedestrian traffic than it can handle, San Francisco has a vast assortment of personal injury lawyers to choose from. This is especially true for traffic accident lawyers. Hiring a great San Francisco personal injury attorney that is both familiar with the peculiarities of the city itself, and understands the city’s laws will help you secure the settlement you deserve.
Use the tips above to hire the best San Francisco injury lawyer for you by checking out their reputation, style and track record. You hopefully will only ever have one personal injury case in your life, so you may as well hire the top San Francisco personal injury lawyer that fits your case and style.
How to Choose the Best Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
The competition among personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles is great. There are a number of both exceptional personal injury attorneys and equally poor ones. How can you tell the difference? It’s a matter of trusting your instincts more often than not. If your Los Angeles injury attorney seems to be putting your case on the back burner while they’re dealing with other “more important” cases to their practice, then it’s time to move on.
If you are trying to figure how to hire the best LA injury law firm for you, do your research online. Check out various review sites. Look at their settlement results that match up with the facts of your case. Don’t just call the first number you see on one of the numerous billboards in town and on the freeways. You only get one chance at settling your case, hire the right lawyer!
How to Hire the Best Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer
There’s no shortage of personal injury attorneys who specialize in traffic accidents in Oakland. Oakland has some of the most dangerous roads in the country. That doesn’t, however, imply that all these attorneys are created equally. For instance, there are many who take way more cases than their practice can handle, settle them quickly, take a cut of the settlement, and then move on to the next one. If you feel like you’re being pressured into a settlement, you probably are. It’s time to move on.
Make sure when you figure out how to hire the best Oakland personal injury lawyer you are looking for someone with a honed focus on the particular case type you have. You want to be sure the firm will devote its resources to getting you the best result possible.
How to Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in San Jose
With thousands personal injury attorneys spread across the state of California, there’s a lot of options to choose from. In San Jose, the right choice for you will be finding a lawyer with a history of success in the type of injury that you’ve sustained.
If you are wondering how to find the best San Jose personal injury law firm, you’ll want to dig into their settlement results and verdicts. Do those results just state impressive numbers, or do they explain how those numbers were reached and which type of cases resulted in which numbers? Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at personal injury settlement results. Otherwise, you might be misled into believing you hired the top injury lawyer in San Jose when they actually are not the top lawyer for your type of case or injury.
The Bottom Line is – Hire the Best California Personal Injury Lawyer for YOU
While the question of how to find the best California personal injury attorney will not always yield the exact same answer, it’s important to trust your instincts when it comes to the process of hiring your lawyer. You want someone who fits your style and is focused on your case. You want someone you can trust during this stressful time. Someone who has your back!
At Sally Morin Law, we exclusively handle: Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Uber Accidents and Other Rideshare Accidents.
Unlike many other California personal injury firms, we focus on what we do best! We definitely don’t take on “everything that comes in the door.” We believe our focused and selective approach allows us to concentrate our skills, energy and resources to better serve our amazing clients.
We also pride ourselves on only representing clients who have similar styles and objectives as we do. Our wonderful clients are people like you who have experienced terrible accidents and just want to get back in the swing of things. Most of our clients are busy professionals and adventure seekers who don’t have time to worry about their cases. Our number one goal is to get a solid financial result for our clients so they can move on from the case and get back to their awesome lives! Contact us to see if we can help you.
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