Most individuals do not look forward to the day they need to hire a personal injury lawyer in California. However, sometimes, it’s necessary.
Getting a lawyer means that a situation has escalated or circumstances have become so complicated that they require the help of legal professionals.
Hiring an attorney requires some research. In 2023, it’s easier to research attorneys since individuals can search online. Some search resources include:
- Using search engines and keywords
- Browsing online directories
- Reading online reviews
- Visiting the State Bar website
The goal is to write a list of potential attorneys and law offices that can take on the case and win.
If you hire the wrong legal representation, here is a guide on how to fire your PI attorney.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer in California?
A personal injury lawyer in California is an attorney representing clients in cases involving bodily harm inflicted by others through negligence.
Common personal injury cases include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Workplace injuries
We outline how to get a personal injury lawyer in California.
Research Personal Injury Lawyers
About 20 years ago, individuals found professionals by looking them up in the Yellow Pages and phone book. In 2023, individuals can find professionals by looking them up online. For example, you can click here to find a trusted personal injury attorney in Sacramento.
Another option is to obtain referrals from trusted sources, such as family and friends.
Individuals who opt for the online search method will find that the search engines help users find the best matches by sorting results according to keywords, local information, and ratings.
In addition, search engines help individuals vet referrals.
Thus, getting a personal injury lawyer in California starts with researching them online.
Search Online with Keywords
Visit a search engine online and type some keywords into the search bar. Then, explore the results.
Some keywords individuals can use include:
- Personal injury + California
- Personal injury + California + city
- Personal injury + California + city + injury type
Adding more keywords narrows the search and should improve the results.
Browse Online Directories
Individuals can also browse online directories.
Some online directories to consider include:
- Find Law
- Cornell University LII Lawyer Directory
- Personal Injury Lawyer Directory
Read Online Reviews
Directory searches will cause reviews to also pop up. Therefore, read them, especially for candidates individuals might hire.
Visit the California State Bar Website
Lastly, visit the California State Bar website. The website provides law license information and any cases against the lawyer individuals must know before hiring.
After compiling a list of potential candidates, interview them. Call their law offices and speak with their staff. Take note of the process and experience.
Professional law offices answer the phone, show empathy, and provide callers with comfort and knowledge.
However, it’s essential to make the calls and interviews efficient. Legal professionals use initial calls to interview potential cases.
Prepare for the Consultation
Individuals must prepare for the consultation. Since many frivolous law cases exist, legal professionals must also sort through calls and potential clients to represent.
Therefore, prepare the case details before making the first call.
Several California personal injury law firms have websites. Individuals can request calls from the firms by filling out online forms.
In addition, the forms can estimate the winnability of the case and the potential damages award.
Gather Paperwork and Documentation
Individuals with confidence in their cases benefit from gathering their paperwork and documentation.
For example, motor vehicle accidents are the most common personal injury cases.
Documentation and paperwork that personal injury lawyers will request include:
- Vehicle accident reports
- Medical bills
- Medical diagnosis
- Proof of lost wages
- Vehicle repair bill
The information helps attorneys determine the extent of the damage and injuries.
Prepare a List of Questions
Next, make the interview effective by preparing a list of questions for the legal team.
For example, asking how the law firm bills clients is essential. Thus, ask the offices about their fee structures.
Also, determine the firm’s personal injury experience.
In addition, ask the law firm representatives if they specialize in your personal injury law case type.
Make a Choice
Ideally, asking for referrals from loved ones, searching for personal injury lawyers online, and interviewing potential candidates nets one to three viable options.
Then, individuals have enough information to choose and hire a California personal injury lawyer.
The circumstances determine how much time potential legal clients can spend vetting personal injury attorneys. However, legal professionals will also jump on cases that have high winnable potential or the potential for significant awards.
Therefore, individuals should provide thorough information.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in California can seem overwhelming. However, preparation makes the process easier. After searching for candidates online, prepare for the consultation. Then, make a choice based on your legal representation needs.