The Best Tips for Hiring a Lawyer
If you suffered an injury in California in 2019, you need to hire the right personal injury attorney to handle your case. However, this process is easier said than done. With such a high number of personal injury law firms available in the Sacramento area, how can you choose the best attorney for your case’s needs? These tips can help you separate unqualified attorneys from the best representation options for your legal needs.
#1: Research via Word-of-Mouth and Online Reviews
One of the best ways to determine how an attorney operates is to speak to other people about their experiences. If your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers have worked with the attorney before, you can ask them about what it was like to work with him or her. How does the attorney communicate? Was he or she accessible? Did the attorney secure a successful settlement? What was the payment arrangement like? Your connections could answer these questions honestly and truthfully.
You can also look at the attorney’s online reviews to read about past experiences from other clients. However, you should take online reviews with a grain of salt. These internet forums can be a mix of disgruntled and extremely pleased former clients, so it can be difficult to determine the actual qualifications of the attorney. Use this information to develop a picture of the attorney, but take other factors into consideration as well.
#2: Take Advantage of the Free Consultation
Many law firms offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine if the attorney would be able to represent you. During these meetings, you will present the facts of your claim to the attorney and he or she will determine what your legal options are. You can also use this time to evaluate if the attorney is the right fit for you.
Ask the attorney about how he or she plans on communicating with you, his or her training and years of experience, and his or her experience handling cases like yours. You can also ask the attorney about what sort of settlements he or she has collected in the past, the firm’s success rate, his or her negotiation ability, and if the attorney will handle your case personally.
#3: Pay Attention to the Fee Agreements
Legal fees can be quite expensive and difficult to afford without an accessible payment arrangement. Before signing a contract with an attorney, make sure to discuss his or her legal fees. Many personal injury law firms operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that your attorney will not collect legal fees unless you receive a settlement. If you do reach a settlement, he or she will take an agreed-upon percentage of the final amount as payment.
Another aspect to look out for is if the attorney intends to deduct legal costs out of your final settlement amount in addition to his or her fees. These costs may include witness fees, medical and police report requests, postage costs, and filing fees. Usually, the attorney will take around 30% of the final settlement for fees alone. With cost deductions, the attorney could take around 45% of the settlement. Always make sure to evaluate the fee agreement to ensure that it fits into your financial plan.
#4: Evaluate the Attorney’s Training and Education
You want to choose an attorney who has the proper legal background, training, and education necessary to successfully litigate your case. Ask the attorney about his or her legal education, where he or she received training and any specializations or concentrations he or she may hold. You should also ask about the attorney’s experience handling cases like yours and his or her success rate in those situations.
With these tips, you can find the best lawyer to represent your California personal injury case. Since the lawsuit process can take a long time to reach a settlement, contact attorney Eric Ratinoff as soon as possible to begin your legal proceedings.