You aren’t required to hire a lawyer to handle your personal injury case, but it often helps. Indeed, the last thing most clients need as they recover from an injury is the extra stress of filing an insurance claim. Hiring an experienced lawyer could take a lot of the confusion out of putting together a solid California personal injury case.
While there are many positives to hiring a personal injury lawyer in Hanford, it can be challenging to pick the perfect partner. If you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, how could you know who’s the right fit?
To be honest, intuition plays a crucial role in choosing a personal injury lawyer. However, there are a few questions you could use to gauge your lawyer’s credentials. Take note of how your prospective lawyer answers these queries before choosing to work with their office.
Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Hanford, California Personal Injury Lawyer
Are you licensed to practice in the state the accident occurred?
This may seem like a silly question, but it’s important to clarify your attorney has the certifications to practice in the same state that the accident occurred. Attorneys may hold multi-state licenses, but that’s no guarantee they could represent you where your injury happened.
If you were injured out-of-state, your favorite Hanford lawyer might not have jurisdiction in your territory. However, even if your preferred lawyer doesn’t practice law in your state, they should direct you to a reputable attorney who does.
What Personal Injury Cases Do You Specialize In?
Although personal injury is only one aspect of the entire legal structure, it’s a pretty broad category. Not all “personal injury lawyers” may be experts in your specific case. For instance, some lawyers only focus on car crashes, while others have years of experience with slip & falls. People injured on e-scooters, motorcycles, or ride-share vehicles will also need to find law offices that handle these niche cases. For the best results, ensure your lawyer has experience successfully dealing with your injury case.
Will You Handle My Case Directly?
In many instances, attorneys won’t handle your case directly, especially if you were injured in a big city. Instead, lead attorneys designate personal injury claims to their paralegal department. While your attorney will be involved in the legal process, they may not handle your case as thoroughly as you’d like.
If you’re someone who needs to speak with an attorney throughout your injury claim, then this feature might be a dealbreaker for you. Just keep in mind that paralegals are often as skilled as attorneys in handling injury claims. If you’re still in doubt, ask for a resume of the staff on your attorney’s team.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Response?
Communication is an essential feature of any good relationship—especially when the law is involved! You should know upfront how quickly your attorney will respond to any queries you might have. You should also figure out whether your lawyer could send documents to your email account. Staying up-to-date on your claim proceedings should be as smooth and fast as humanly possible.
Do You Have Experience In Court?
Although most injury claims are settled out of court, that’s no reason to hire a lawyer with limited courtroom experience. No matter how confident you are about settling your claim, you need to know your lawyer can handle the pressures of the courtroom.
Be sure you know your lawyer’s success rate in court before agreeing to work with them. While the chances of going before a judge may be slim, you need to know your lawyer will have your back throughout the entire legal process.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
When lawyers give you a quote on your case, you shouldn’t expect a precise dollar amount. Instead, qualified personal injury attorneys will provide a range depending on the nature of your injury. Obviously, if your attorney has experience handling your case, they should have solid evidence to share on how they arrived at that number. In fact, you should ask how much similar claims have settled for in the past.
As you’re searching for the right lawyer, please take note of each office’s estimates. If one lawyer’s projections are way out of the average range, then that may signal an issue.
How Much Will I Pay If My Case Wins?
Typically, personal injury lawyers in Hanford, California only charge a fee if they win your case. However, these “contingency fees” vary depending on what firm you go with. Before you get involved with a lawyer, you need to know how much they will take if you win your case.
While these percentages vary from office to office, they’re usually in the 30 – 50 percent range. You should view anything above or below this range with extra suspicion.