According to recent data from the California Highway Patrol, in 2017, there were over 260,000 car accidents in California. Of those accidents, over 3,500 resulted in fatalities, and over 104,000 resulted in injuries.
When you are involved in a car accident, it is essential to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A qualified Riverside car accident lawyer can help you file a claim and negotiate with the insurance company. If you are considering hiring a car accident lawyer, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Choose A Lawyer Who Has Experience With Car Accident Cases
You want to ensure that the lawyer you hire has experience with car accident cases. While all lawyers are trained in the law, each type of case requires specific skills.
Look into their educational background and ask about their experience with car accident cases. You wouldn't want a divorce lawyer to represent you in a murder trial, so don't choose a general practice lawyer to handle your car accident case. The more experience they have, the better equipped they will be to take your case. Experience is everything when it comes to the law.
Choose A Lawyer Who Is Local To Riverside
While you may be tempted to hire a big-name lawyer from Los Angeles or San Diego, choosing a lawyer local to Riverside is crucial. A local lawyer will be more familiar with the Judges and court procedures in Riverside. They will also better understand the local laws that may apply to your case.
Not all states have the same laws, so it is essential to choose a lawyer familiar with California's laws. If you hire a lawyer unfamiliar with California law, they may miss important deadlines or fail to file the necessary paperwork.
The lawyer you hire must be licensed to practice law in California.
You should also ensure that the lawyer you choose is a member of the California State Bar. The bar is the organization that regulates lawyers in California. All lawyers must be members of the bar to practice law in California.
The bar will have records of any complaints filed against the lawyer. This is an excellent way to weed out any bad apples.
Ask For Referrals From Friends Or Family Members Who Have Hired A Car Accident Lawyer
One of the best ways to find a qualified lawyer is to ask for referrals from friends or family members who have previously hired a car accident lawyer. If they were happy with their chosen lawyer, you would be too.
You can also check with the California State Bar Association or the American Bar Association for referrals.
When you are looking for a car accident lawyer, be sure to ask about their track record. How many cases have they handled? How many of those cases were successful? You want to hire a lawyer with a proven success track record.
Choose A Lawyer Who Offers A Free Consultation
When you are looking for a lawyer in Riverside, choose one who offers a free consultation. This will allow you to meet with the lawyer and get a feel for their personality and how they do business.
You should also ensure that the lawyer you choose offers a contingency fee. The lawyer will only get paid if you win your case. If you lose, you will not owe the lawyer anything.
This is important because it allows you to hire a lawyer without worrying about upfront costs. Lawyers should be paid for their time and expertise, but you should only have to pay if you win your case, and it usually comes from the settlement or jury award.
Remember, if a lawyer asks for fees upfront, they will not be very motivated to get you the best possible outcome.
Make Sure The Lawyer You Choose Is Someone You Can Trust
This is perhaps the most crucial factor when choosing a car accident lawyer. You need to ensure that you are hiring someone you can trust to represent you.
You should feel comfortable talking to the lawyer about your case and confident they will fight for you.
If you don't feel comfortable with the lawyer, you should move on and find someone else.
You should also make sure that the lawyer is available to answer your questions. If you call their office and can't get ahold of anyone, that is a red flag.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions
When you meet with a potential lawyer, come prepared with a list of questions. This will help you better understand who they are and how they do business.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How many car accident cases have you handled?
- What is your success rate?
- Do you offer a free consultation?
- Do you work on a contingency fee basis?
- What are your fees?
- How often will I be able to communicate with you?
- How will you keep me updated on the status of my case?
Don't Be Afraid To Walk Away
If you feel like the Riverside lawyer you are meeting with is not a good fit, don't be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other lawyers out there who would be happy to take on your case.
The most important thing is finding a lawyer you feel comfortable with and who you can trust to represent you.
Here are some of the signs your lawyer is not a good fit:
- They are not available when you need them.
- You don't feel comfortable talking to them.
- They are not forthcoming with information.
- They seem more interested in the money than in helping you.
You deserve to have a lawyer who will fight for you and who you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel like you have that with the Riverside lawyer you are meeting with, move on and find someone else.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer In Riverside, California
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is essential to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
A car accident lawyer in Riverside will be able to review your case and help you determine what your next steps should be. They will also be able to answer any questions and help put your mind at ease.
Chris and Frank, Accident Attorneys, are personal injury lawyers in Riverside, California, helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. They are the # 1 rated personal injury law firm in California. And, having been able to recover millions of dollars for their clients over the years, you can trust that they will work to get you the best possible outcome in your case.