Lawyers serve an important purpose in our lives, even if we’d like to avoid having to hire them altogether. They help people preserve their rights and seek compensation from negligent parties who caused a car or motorcycle accident. The only problem is that there are a ton of attorneys out there to choose from, especially in California.
If you’ve never had to hire a lawyer in San Diego, then you probably feel overwhelmed by all of the options. How do you find the best lawyer in San Diego? As it turns out, there is a way to narrow down your options and find a lawyer.
Read on to learn how to find incredible legal representation!
1. Is Any Attorney Good Enough?
There are over 266,000 attorneys in California alone. Naturally, they don’t all specialize in the same area of law. When it comes to finding an attorney for your case, however, it’s important to evaluate what kind of attorney you’ll need.
There are many solo practitioners who work in a wide variety of legal areas. On the other hand, there are also law firms that are dedicated to a single area of law. Depending on the nature of your case, the best course of action might be to hire someone who specializes in the legal area you’re dealing with.
For example, if you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another, it’s very beneficial to hire a wrongful death attorney instead of a generalist. They know the ins and the outs of the wrongful death process, and they are effective at getting you the compensation you deserve.
2. Always Look Locally
California is a big state with tons of metro areas, but that doesn’t mean that you have to look for attorneys in Los Angeles or San Francisco in order to find effective counsel. In fact, it’s often beneficial for you to look locally for your attorney because of the relationships they have with other attorneys and people in the courts.
If you live in San Diego and you’re looking for a car accident attorney, then you should absolutely search for an attorney in San Diego. On top of the benefit of familiarity your attorney has, you also won’t have to worry about commuting to your attorney’s office on top of all of the stress that comes from navigating a legal case.
3. Shop Around
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your case, it’s hard to make important decisions. Hiring an accident attorney is a huge decision, though. You don’t want to do a quick Google search and settle for the first attorney that you come across.
Instead, take your time to check out the best lawyers in your area and click through their websites. Do they have reviews online? How much information does their website give you about how they help their clients?
After spending some time exploring your options, you’ll find several attorneys that you’d like to consider for representation.
4. Schedule a Few Consultations
The initial consultation is a way for you and your attorney to decide whether you want to establish an attorney-client relationship. While meeting for a consultation doesn’t guarantee that they’ll take you on as a client, the information you provide to them during the meeting is still privileged.
Many people feel most comfortable scheduling several consultations to get a feel for what kind of outcome to expect from their case. Be wary of any attorney that promises you results that seem too good to be true. Instead, take notes at each consultation and go with the attorney who seemed most reasonable and respectful.
5. Ask About Their Methodology
The legal process isn’t the same for every attorney. What works best for one attorney might not work for your needs. Be sure to ask them what to expect during your case.
For example, how much evidence do they collect before they send out a demand letter to the opposing party? Can they help you determine which pieces of evidence to get, like medical records, photographs, and witness statements? If you need an expert witness for your case, do you need to pay for them upfront, or do you pay out of the compensation you receive?
The more information you have about what to expect during your case, the less stress you’ll experience when things come up.
6. How Do They Get Paid?
You might be surprised to learn that attorneys get paid in a number of different ways. Criminal and corporate attorneys charge a retainer and bill hourly. Personal injury attorneys, on the other hand, often work on a contingency basis.
What are contingency payment arrangements? It essentially means that your attorney only gets paid if your case is successful. Most take a percentage of the earnings from your case, and the percentage may be different depending on whether you settle or take the case to trial.
Payment arrangements are discussed during the consultation, giving you the opportunity to seek other options if you don’t like the terms one attorney offers you.
7. What Is Their Communication Style?
It’s no secret that attorneys are busy people, but that doesn’t mean their clients should get left in the dark about the status of their cases. Ask your attorney how they communicate with you about your case, and how often they get in touch. If the attorney isn’t available, is there a legal secretary that you can speak with about your case status?
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer in San Diego?
Finding out that you need to hire a lawyer for the first time is never an easy situation, especially if you’re dealing with the repercussions of a car accident or wrongful death. Taking the time to choose a personal injury attorney who is both a sympathetic ear and tireless advocate is critical. Having that support gives you the clarity you need to proceed with your case.
Are you looking for a car accident lawyer that will fight for your right to compensation? Sweet Lawyers is here to help you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!