Every day, people are injured in accidents caused by the carelessness of other people in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. If you have found yourself in this unenviable position, there’s a good chance that you are entitled to compensation under California law for your accident-related losses through a personal injury claim.
You may also be able to obtain compensation through your own insurance if you have elected to carry personal injury protection (also known as med-pay) coverage. What is personal injury protection? It is optional insurance that you can carry that covers your losses regardless of fault.
No matter where your compensation is coming from, it is important to understand that personal injury law is complicated. For this reason, it is highly advisable that you speak to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as you can about your options.
What is a personal injury lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers are attorneys who have chosen to focus on helping people who have been injured in accidents obtain the compensation to which they are entitled under the law. Most personal injury lawyers only represent plaintiffs (the injured victims) and not the defense (typically, the insurance companies who insure the person or party that caused the accident).
So, how do you go about finding a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles to handle your claim? There are a number of ways to do so, and it is always a good idea to speak to at least a few lawyers before making a decision about who you are going to retain to represent you.
Talk to your friends
Your personal social network is a great place to start when looking for a lawyer. Talk to friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and family members and find out if they have ever worked with a personal injury attorney and whether they had a good experience. It is important to keep in mind, however, that other people may have differing opinions about what makes a personal injury lawyer “good,” so do not base your decision on a recommendation alone. In addition, a lawyer who did a great job with your friend’s case may be in a different position in terms of caseload and resources now, so be sure to discuss your expectations as a client before hiring a particular attorney.
Speak to other attorneys you may know
Lawyers in a given area often know each other—or at least have heard of one another—and have a professional opinion about another attorney’s ability. If you have worked with an attorney in some other capacity (for example, on a family law or estate planning matter) or know lawyers socially, ask them if they have any recommendations for a good personal injury lawyer. Importantly, the last thing you want to do is ask the attorney who drafted your will to handle your car accident case, unless he or she has significant experience in both areas of law.
The internet has increasingly become a place to find professional services, including legal services. You can start with a simple search for "Los Angeles personal injury lawyer" or some other iteration of that phrase. Importantly, do not just go with the first listing in the results, however. A law firm's position in the search rankings does not necessarily correlate to their ability or reputation, so be sure to thoroughly research a firm or an attorney before deciding to take the time to set up an in-person consultation. Look into the lawyer's experience, recent case results, and any online reviews they have received from former clients. In addition, you can look up an attorney's disciplinary record on the State Bar of California's website.
Never pay upfront
Finally, when you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in the Los Angeles area, you should never pay upfront legal fees for representation. Personal injury attorneys typically use a contingent fee arrangement in all of their cases, which means that they do not get paid unless you collect compensation for your accident-related losses. By using this type of arrangement, everyone who needs an attorney can retain one, regardless of their ability to pay. In addition, if you find a lawyer who will take your case, there is a pretty good chance that you will be able to recover compensation, as attorneys generally do not take cases on contingency unless they are fairly certain that they will pay out.
Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney
If you have been hurt in a preventable accident and are looking for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, we have some good news: your search has already come to an end. The lawyers of Blair & Ramirez LLP have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and are committed to obtaining the most favorable result possible in every case we take. To schedule your free case evaluation with a member of our team, call our office today at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online.