You were injured in a car crash in Long Beach and are now looking for legal help. California is a fault state, and if the other driver was responsible for the incident, they are also accountable for your injuries and subsequent losses. While the state laws are claimant-friendly, it makes sense to seek help from an expert. If you are hiring a Long Beach personal injury lawyer for the first time, here are some signs that they are right for you. Click here for more details.
1. You didn’t have a hard time contacting the injury lawyer
Most law firms that tackle personal injury claims don’t charge a fee when reviewing a case. However, victims often have the hardest time seeking an appointment or meeting an attorney. If an injury lawyer’s office responds immediately, it is a clear sign that they take new cases on priority. While lawyers have extensive schedules, they typically have a team that helps them deal with incoming calls and potential clients. Don’t wait for an attorney for more than a week. You have limited time, and it is best to act immediately after an accident. If you miss the initial time, you may also lose evidence, which can be otherwise hard to recover.
2. Your injury lawyer explained your rights and legal options
The truth is most victims don’t understand the personal injury laws in California or what they should do immediately after an accident. When you meet an injury lawyer, they should ensure that you understand your rights and all other legal aspects that matter for the claim. They will also share the dos and don’ts you need to follow. For instance, you shouldn’t be posting anything on social media, which is a small point but many victims fail to recognize that. The lawyer is likely to advise you on how to deal with the insurance agent. Do not give a statement or sign anything until you have a legal expert representing your case.
3. Your injury lawyer answered your questions
People often have fundamental questions on their minds when they meet an attorney, and a good injury lawyer is someone who will answer all relevant ones. If you felt that the lawyer was honest and absolutely fair with you and didn’t inflate facts or make high promises, you probably found the right one. Skilled attorneys take their time to know a case and will set the expectations right from day one. Also, the lawyer should ideally talk about their experience with similar claims and lawsuits. They usually try to be fair about their work profile and wouldn’t mind sharing references.
4. Your injury lawyer didn’t ask for an upfront fee
Besides a free initial consultation, a good lawyer is also expected to work on a contingency fee, which is not an upfront fee but a share of the settlement. If your lawyer is open to discussing the case’s expenses, sharing an estimate, and explaining their payment in detail, you know they are transparent with you. However, ensure that you have a clear engagement letter with the attorney. The first meeting is a great opportunity to learn about your lawyer, and you can even discuss whether the lawyer is willing to help with out-of-pocket expenditures. For many clients, this is a great way to pursue their case because they are already in financial distress and don’t have the additional funds to spare.
5. Your injury lawyer has trial experience
Personal injury lawsuits are usually settled, which essentially means that the parties decide to resolve issues concerning fault and settlements outside of the court. However, not all cases are the same. If you find a lawyer who has been to court for such claims, you know they are capable of fighting for your rights. Trial experience is not something that not many attorneys want to talk about, but it is a pertinent factor to consider. When there is a dispute on liability or the case involves many parties, litigation is the only forward. If the lawyer doesn’t mind taking the matter to court, you can trust their expertise.
6. Your injury lawyer has great reviews
While references are always handy, you should also check what other clients have to say about a law firm. Online reviews, usually posted on independent listing sites, Google, and social media handles, can provide you considerable insight into what to expect when you engage an attorney. While a few bad reviews are not something to worry about, you know that a law firm is just right when they also have many overwhelmingly positive reviews. If you have references, consider calling a few and discussing whether these clients had a good time working on the case.
7. The injury lawyer shares more details on how to communicate further
Communication is the eventual crux of a good lawyer-client relationship. Just like you shouldn’t have to wait for long to meet a lawyer, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting updates on your claim. People often forget to ask for contact details, especially if they can call or email or drop by to talk to the staff. If an attorney is upfront and honest about the timeline of the case and how you can get in touch, they are certainly professional about their approach.
There are no guarantees when it comes to injury claims. No lawyer can ever give you an utter promise in advance, but the right one can undoubtedly improve your chances. Ensure you provide enough time for the lawyer to evaluate your case and work on the settlement. It can take several months before you get the payment, depending on the type and facts of your case. Patience is a virtue that every client must possess when dealing with personal injuries and consequential losses. Also, do not expect an update every week. Your lawyer will usually email or call you when new information is available.
Check online for top-rated injury lawyers in your city and get an appointment to discuss things further. Don’t forget to take your case file with you!