How to Find the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Few events turn life upside-down faster, or more completely, than a sudden personal injury. That’s especially true if the injury wasn’t your fault. The physical pain is bad enough, but it’s just the beginning. You may need a personal injury attorney on your side. But not just any lawyer will do.
ExperienceLaw school teaches students how to think like lawyers. Experience teaches them to act like lawyers. So, an inexperienced lawyer does not have all the skills necessary to be a strong advocate for injury victims.
Think about baking a cake. An inexperienced lawyer only knows how to combine the basic ingredients. An experienced lawyer knows how to decorate and present the cake. The first cake is good. The second one is much better.
Speaking of cakes and experience, many bakers know about tricks and add-ons which aren’t in the recipe but make the cake better. Similarly, experienced attorneys have insight into personal injury claims that they don’t teach in law school.
DedicationMany lawyers handle personal injury cases, but they are not dedicated to personal injury law. There’s an important difference. The case of Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted RFK assassin who was recently granted parole after about fifty years behind bars, is a good example.
Sirhan’s lawyer was the late Grant Cooper. He was a respected attorney with years of experience. But Cooper was more of a celebrity lawyer than a criminal lawyer. As a result, he may not have properly identified and pressed the weak parts of the state’s case. That failure might or might not have affected the outcome of the case. However, your criminal case, or your injury case, deserves better.
Nevertheless, diversity is a solid virtue. A diverse legal team can analyze your case from several different perspectives. For example, professionals who used to work for insurance companies know how these lawyers think. Furthermore, you do not want your lawyer to be a one-trick pony.
So, as a rule of thumb, try to look for a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who fits these other general qualifications and whose practice is at least 50 percent devoted to personal injury law.
AccessibilityThe right combination is important in this area as well. A lawyer who is overly accessible could easily mishandle your case. So could an under-accessible lawyer.
Beware the lawyer with so few clients that s/he can see you at the drop of a hat and always immediately responds to your emails. Like a store with no cars in the parking lot, there’s probably a reason the lawyer does not have many clients. This usually indicates inexperience or lack of dedication.
Also beware the lawyer who is excessively busy. There is a good chance this lawyer will assign much or all of your case to an inexperienced associate or even a non-lawyer assistant.
Goldilocks was determined to find a bowl of porridge, chair, and bed that was just right. If you were hurt in an accident, you need to put an equal amount of effort into finding a “just right” lawyer. However, don’t take too long to look. You have a limited amount of time to act in these situations.