How To Find the Right Car Accident Lawyer in Riverside, CA
After an accident, victims should undoubtedly be awarded damages from the at-fault party. However, insurance companies can make this extremely challenging.
Car accidents injure more than 2 million people per year. In order to recover compensation for such accidents, victims must find a qualified car accident attorney to handle their personal injury cases. Follow these helpful tips to find the best legal representation in Riverside, CA.
Research Local California Car Accident Laws
As the plaintiff, you need to show that the other driver was at fault by proving negligence and ultimately disregarding your safety. Your Riverside car accident lawyer will help you prove this through a preponderance of the evidence once liability is established.
The legal system is certainly complicated, which is why it’s absolutely vital to ensure you have full clarity about case details.
Plaintiffs need also to be aware of the statute of limitations. California personal injury cases require you to file your claim within 2 years of the accident. After that time expires, you can no longer seek damages. However, working with an attorney will equip you for important details and deadlines.
Ensure the Attorney Specializes in Car Accidents
Ask what area of personal injury law your potential attorney specializes in. Lawyers who have been practicing for some time will have invested many hours of negotiation experience, as well as courtroom experience in their profession.
Since car accident injuries and damages are so specific, always pay attention to an attorney that focuses on the type of accident you were involved in. The damages that were suffered will also play a vital role in determining if a car accident lawyer is the best fit for your case.
For instance, if you sustained common car accident injuries, like broken bones, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or paralysis, you will want to work with an attorney who has recovered compensation for those types of injuries.
Check the State Bar
Search your state’s Bar Association for leads on personal injury lawyers. You need to hire a lawyer whose credentials can be verified. This can be researched in the state Bar Association database.
The State Bar of California licenses all of the attorneys who practice within the state. They advance and enforce transparency and ethical practices, and are a valuable resource to consult when you’re searching for the right lawyer.
Running a search on the attorney’s name will tell you information about their license, their lawyer’s bar number, legal specialty, how long they’ve been practicing law, or if they have undergone disciplinary action.
Investigate Law Firms in Riverside, CA
Investigate local law firms to find out what kinds of cases they have tried in the past and the results that were accomplished. Work with an attorney whose practice resides in the same area where the car accident took place.
Attorneys can only practice in the state where they are licensed, but it’s beneficial to work with local attorneys because they are familiar with the city, its highways, and its infrastructure.
You can do this through online court case searches. Use the attorney’s license number to browse their case history in the Civil Case database for your county. This lets you see the cases they’ve tried throughout the years, who they represented, and the outcomes of the case.
Find out if the first has been sued by a client for breach of contract or other issues, and research their Better Business Bureau (BBB) grade, along with reviews on legal resource websites.
Schedule a Consultation for Your Case
Schedule a case evaluation with your top selections. During the consultation, learn which attorney at the firm will serve as your point person during the case.
Sometimes, attorneys offer a free consultation, so it’s definitely worth meeting to learn about their communication style, temperament, availability, and personal approach to your case. Examine each of these details and whether it aligns with the outcome you’re hoping for.
Get specific when asking lawyers about their case history. Ask them how many cases they’ve tried, how many they won, how many they lost, and how many were settled.
Having raw numbers in front of you lets you know the attorney’s success ratio. Hiring a lawyer with a strong track record of wins and settlements increases your chances of experiencing the same. Studying this part of their record can give you confidence in their grasp of car accident law and the soundness of their strategies.
During the consultation, the lawyer will get an initial impression of your case and what strategies they should employ. They’ll confirm whether or not you have a valid claim and will explain why.
A car accident lawyer should provide an estimation of your case’s worth. This takes the total picture of damages into account, including long-term medical care and rehabilitation. The value of auto accident cases are based on economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages account for financial losses that can be tallied. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, or lost wages for the time missed from work.
Non-economic damages are subjective and typically relate to pain and suffering. These are the damages that deal with the mental trauma and pain from wounds you sustained. It can be viewed as how your emotional state and sense of well-being have been impacted by the car crash.
Other examples include damages related to the reduction of quality of life, loss of life enjoyment, and emotional anguish.
Compare Lawyer Fees
Car accident lawyers operate with different billing methods. A common example is for a car accident lawyer to work on a contingency fee structure. A contingency fee is a percentage that is established from the start, indicated in the contract, and only collected if the victim received compensation from the case.
In addition, some lawyers charge contingency fees on a sliding scale, which raises or lowers depending on the level of work they need to handle in your case. For example, if the case goes to trial, the workload would be increased and more resources will need to be utilized.
Personal injury lawyers also work on flat rates, hourly rates, and on a retainer basis. Compare all of these fees between the law firms you are most interested in. Ensure you have a strong understanding of the payment agreement, and get the terms in writing before signing anything.
Find a Car Accident Lawyer to Work With
Having the help of a car accident lawyer allows you to get the best outcome for your case. A quality personal injury lawyer will work tirelessly to get you the payout that benefits your long-term health and quality of life.