I was in a car accident in Long Beach and need a lawyer. Does it make a difference which attorney I hire? Or is the value of my case the value, and it doesn't really matter which lawyer I hire?
It absolutely does make a difference which lawyer you hire. The attorney you hire will impact the value of your case. You want the best car accident attorney representing you. If you were seriously injured, if you are unable to work or perhaps never able to return to your former line of work, there is a great deal at stake, particularly if you are the breadwinner for your family.
I recommend that you choose an accident attorney carefully. Below are factors to consider when deciding which Long Beach car accident attorney to hire:
- How much experience does the lawyer have? How long has he or she been practicing?
- Does the attorney specialize in personal injury? You don't want an attorney who does a little of this and a little of that.
- When you call the attorney's office, are you put on the phone with the attorney right away?
- Ask the lawyer you speak to in your initial call whether he or she will be the one handling your case from beginning to end. Often times, your case will not even be handled by the law firm you called. Instead, they refer your case out to another law firm that pays the first law firm a referral fee. Or even if your case will be handled by the law firm you initially called, the lawyer you first spoke with may not be involved with your case at all after you hire the firm.
- Can you meet with the attorney at a time and place that is convenient for you? If in that initial call, the law firm has trouble accommodating your schedule, that may very well mean that in the future, you will have similar difficulties meeting with your lawyer.
- What kind of online client reviews does the law firm have? There are many online reviews sites: Yelp, Google+, and Avvo are a few to check.
- Look the lawyer up on the California State Bar website. The website will tell you if the lawyer has ever been disciplined by the State Bar for ethical violations.
- Has the lawyer taken car accident cases to trial?
- If the insurance company tries to blame you for all or part of the accident, does the lawyer have the money to hire a liability expert? Is the lawyer willing to hire a liability expert on your case?
- When you speak with or meet with the lawyer, does the lawyer seem more interested in how much money you will make his firm than in answering your questions and explaining the process?
- After speaking with or meeting with the lawyer, do you get a good feeling about the lawyer? Do you have confidence in and trust the lawyer?