How Do I Hire the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for My San Francisco Accident?
You Need to Hire the BEST Personal Injury Attorney for Your Accident in San Francisco
You've been seriously injured in a traffic accident in the San Francisco Bay Area. You never thought you'd need to be looking for a personal injury attorney. But, you are left with no choice but to take action, because you are out of work, medical bills are mounting and the insurance companies are hounding you about the accident.
Ok, so now you know you need a lawyer to help you out, but how do you hire the best San Francisco personal injury attorney for you and your case?
This is a very daunting task, as you probably have never had to even think about personal injury lawyers (other than maybe chuckle at their cheesy late-night commercials), let alone find the best one for your accident case. When looking for the best personal injury attorney there are a handful of important factors you must consider to make the right choice in California. Here's a list we've compiled for you to consider in conducting your search for the best San Francisco personal injury lawyer for your accident:
#1. Reputation and Referrals Matter
We all want to work with people and businesses that we know have a good track record for outstanding customer service and solid results. Ideally, we also get to work with people and businesses who our friends know or at least who "friends of friends" know and have happily worked with. These same desires for a good reputation and a qualified referral apply if you are searching for the best personal injury attorney to help you with your San Francisco pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, Uber or car accident case.
Do Your Online Research to Hire the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your San Francisco Accident
It is now pretty easy to learn about an attorney’s reputation by doing a quick search online. Various checks such as going directly to that attorney’s website, doing a Google search, watching some YouTube videos or browsing Facebook, Google+ and Yelp can quickly tell you a lot about how the attorney operates and what their clients think about them.
Make sure you look around and find out what people have to say about any personal injury lawyer you are considering. If there are issues or problems with that attorney, they are sure to turn up somewhere online. The same goes if they are great at what they do and get good results for their clients. These things will quickly be apparent if you do your research.
Also, with the ubiquity of social media (Facebook, Google+, Yelp, etc.), it is much easier than in the old days to find an attorney that is recommended or referred by someone in our circles, or at least someone who has had real experience with that lawyer. Take the time to reach out to your circles and find out who the people you love and trust (or at least those whose social media posts inspire or entertain you) would recommend as the best personal injury lawyer for your San Francisco accident.
Consider the Source of the Information You Find about the Lawyer
Another thing to seriously consider when looking for the best California personal injury attorney is the “source” of the information upon which you are basing your hiring decision. Does it come from an independent third party? Is it from paid advertising? Is it from the lawyer himself? Or, is it from someone who stands nothing to gain (except the joy of giving a recommendation of great service to others)? In the dark ages, the most successful (not the best) attorneys simply posted huge ads in the phone book or on buses or billboards to lure in clients. Now, you do not have to get caught in that net. You can be proactive, do some research and find out valuable information (that is not paid advertising) about the attorney you plan to hire to help you make that decision.
Be warned! 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.
It is important to know that the attorney you are considering has provided former clients with positive experiences and that those former clients, if they had to, would choose that same attorney again. Make sure to ask for referrals (or look for reviews online) and check out the reputation of any attorney you are considering to handle your personal injury case. Ok, get out there and do your research to find the best personal injury attorney for your San Francisco Bay Area accident!
After doing much research and reading many reviews, I elected to go with Sally Morin. She and her team were absolutely fabulous to work with throughout the entire process. Rebecca was my day to day contact, and she was superb in her follow up to any questions that I had, and pretty much hand held me through each step of the entire process.
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!
Check out Sally Morin Law's San Francisco Personal Injury Client Reviews and Testimonials
#2. The Attorney Must Be Interested in You and 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 personal injury attorney. You want to hire a lawyer who is interested in you and your case. I certainly don’t mean a lawyer who is desperate for your case, but one who shows general interest in you and your situation and has the time and resources to give you and your case the attention it deserves.
Interested, Not Desperate
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.
Interested in YOU, Not Just Your Money
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. There are a lot of "high-volume" personal injury law firms in California and specifically the Bay Area (the ones on the billboards) who get 100's of calls a day and take on 100's of cases a month. Don't be one of many. Do your best to find an attorney who expresses a reasonably and desirable level of genuine interest in you and your case.
Online Reviews Can Help Determine the Attorney's Level of Interest in Their Clients
As mentioned above, you need to do some research to find the best San Francisco personal injury attorney for your accident case. In your research of this attorney’s reputation, did you find 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? Is there anything to indicate that the client felt “small” or unimportant? These are key factors to look for.
It is also important to know whether or not the attorney you are considering handles a lot of different types of cases, or is focused on your type of case (pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle or car/rideshare accident). If the lawyer has a “diluted” practice (handles all sorts of various cases) he likely won’t be as interested or invested in your case, as his resources are spread among the various types he handles.
Sally Morin Law Client
"I NEVER ONCE FELT LIKE I WASN'T THEIR TOP PRIORITY."
The bottom line is that if you want to hire the best personal injury attorney for your San Francisco accident, 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.
#3. Make Sure Your Goals Are Aligned with Those of the Lawyer
When looking to hire the best personal injury attorney in San Francisco for your case, you have to consider what your goal is in pursuing the case. Is your goal to take the other party for every penny they are worth? Is your goal to get to trial and have your day in court? Or, is your goal to get a reasonable amount of money to compensate you for what you’ve gone through and get on with your life?
Your Goals Will Dictate the Style of Personal Injury Lawyer You Want to Hire
Your goal (and that of the attorney) in the case will likely dictate the “style” of lawyer you want to hire. If you are out for blood, you want to hire a “rabid dog” of an attorney. Alternatively, if you want to collect what you reasonably deserve without going deep into litigation, you want to hire a more diplomatic and reasonable attorney. Make sure you research what people online have to say about any attorney you are considering to make sure his reported style meets your intended goal of the case.
Ensure that your attorney’s goals for the case (and his style) are in line with yours. If they are not, conflict will arise later in the case. You could find yourself pushing for your attorney to take the case to the next level and he tells you he wants to bail from the case. Or, you could end up with the attorney dragging you through a trial that you never wanted in the first place. Don’t let this happen. Do your research before you hire the best injury lawyer to handle your SF traffic accident case.
#4. A Honed Personal Injury Practice is Key to Getting the Best Lawyer for Your Case
There are a ton of lawyers (about 9,000 in California) because there are so many areas of the law that lawyers can practice. These range from corporate law, criminal law, estate planning, family law to patent law… the list goes on and on. Most attorneys hone in on one of these types of law, but often you will find attorneys and law firms that cast a wide net and practice many of these types of law. In fact, there are even attorneys or law firms who will take just about any type of case that comes in the door, whether it be a divorce, business dispute, writing a will, or handling a personal injury case. This brings to mind the phrase “Jack of all trades. Master of none.” Personal injury cases are not rocket science, but they are also no walk in the park. You need a focused expert to lead the way.
It is Best to Hire a Lawyer Who Focuses on Your Specific Personal Injury Accident Type
If you want your personal injury case handled right, you need to make sure and hire someone whose practice is honed in on just personal injury representation. In fact, it’s even better if you find an attorney who has a laser focus on your particular type of personal injury case. There are firms (like Sally Morin Law) who exclusively handle traffic accident cases:
and no other types of cases. Not even other types of personal injury cases.
Less is More When Looking to Hire the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in San Francisco
Then, you have California personal injury firms that handle all sorts of injury cases like slip and fall cases, 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. They are all over the place! Even though they are labeled as “personal injury lawyers,” they have not honed their practice to only one or a few specific areas of the law.
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 area of the law, the procedures to follow and the cutting edge resources available to strengthen your case. You want a lawyer who knows the in’s and out’s of the traffic accident insurance system, has experience with litigating your type of case in the courts and works only with clients who have been seriously injured. Choose an attorney who really hones her practice on the type of personal injury law involved in your case.
#5. The Best Personal Injury Attorney is One You Can Trust
As you have probably heard many times, trust is the foundation of any good relationship. That includes your relationship with your San Francisco personal injury attorney. The bottom line is that no attorney will be right for you unless you can trust them.
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 often regarded even lower than other types of lawyers. They call us ambulance chasers and I’m pretty sure some people think we sit around emergency rooms just waiting for that perfect “victim” to come in… one who is just conscious enough to lift her hand to sign the fee agreement.
Well, there still are some shady personal injury lawyers in the world, but most of us are normal people who love working with clients to get them what they deserve. There are some personal injury attorneys out there that you can trust. You just need to find one.
How, you ask? Does your prospective lawyer have a good online reputation? You can be sure that if the lawyer has a prominent online presence any breaches of trust with his clients would be discoverable online. If the lawyer did a client wrong, you can be sure that client would Yelp about it or post something online to warn others not to trust this attorney. Alternatively, if the attorney you are considering has virtually no online presence that could be a red flag. In that case, make sure you have a personal referral to the attorney, or have a nice long conversation with them to be sure it feels “right.”
When looking to hire the best personal injury lawyer for your San Francisco accident, you need one you can trust. Look for someone who is genuine in their message, speaks from the heart, has a good reputation in the community and someone you get a good feeling from when interacting with them and their staff.
Give the San Francisco Personal Injury Team at Sally Morin Law a Shot
Hopefully, this information has been helpful in giving you a plan on how to hire the best personal injury lawyer for your San Francisco accident. Since you are looking for the best, you should definitely check out Sally Morin Law.
Find out here if we are a good fit for you and your case.
Or, meet our kick-ass San Francisco personal injury legal team.
Finally, if you have serious injuries from a bicycle, car, motorcycle, pedestrian or Uber accident in San Francisco or anywhere in California, you can get a FREE online case evaluation 24/7. Just click below.