How to Choose a Good Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
When you have been injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle crash that was caused by someone else, finding the right person to represent you is important. Under California law, people who cause accidents because of negligence are responsible for paying damages to the victims to compensate them for their losses. People who retain experienced lawyers are much likelier to recover a greater amount of compensation than you might be able to recover on your own. Lawyers who have experience with personal injury claims may be able to recover more for their clients than attorneys who are inexperienced in handling tort claims. Here are some tips for finding a good motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles who might secure a higher amount of compensation for you.Begin your Search Immediately
Some people may not know when they should talk to attorneys. Getting help as soon as possible is crucial. It is common for people who have been injured in accidents to make mistakes when they talk to insurance adjusters. If you seek legal help, your attorney can advocate for you and handle the negotiations with the adjuster and the insurance company. Start your search immediately after you have sought medical treatment for your injuries.Talk to Friends and Check Online
Many people ask their friends and relatives for recommendations when they are looking for lawyers. While this can be a good start, it is important that you do not base your choice solely on what others might say. You need to find a lawyer who has a good reputation and who practices tort law. For example, your cousin's family law attorney may have done a great job in his or her divorce case, but it is not a good idea to choose a lawyer who doesn't regularly practice in civil tort litigation.
You should also check online for lawyers so that you can get an idea of the reputations that they have built with their clients and with their peers. You can look up attorneys on sites such as Avvo.com to read reviews from clients and other members of the legal community. This can help you to see what types of experiences other people have had when working with the attorneys that you are considering. You can also look up attorneys who you are considering on the website of the State Bar of California. This can let you know whether the attorneys have been disciplined in the past.Choose Someone who Practices in the Area Where Your Accident Happened
When you have a list of attorneys that are experienced in negligence cases and in handling motorcycle collisions, you will want to narrow down your list to the area in which your crash occurred. Retaining local attorneys can help your case because they may be familiar with the insurance adjuster, the judges, and the other members of the bar in the court where your claim might be handled. Insurance adjusters are likelier to offer fair settlement amounts when they know that they are dealing with attorneys who are experienced, skilled, and unafraid of litigation. Attorneys who practice in the area where your collision happened are also more familiar with the local procedures and idiosyncrasies of the judges.Interview Several Lawyers
Once you have narrowed your list to a few attorneys who have the experience and reputations that you want, it is important for you to interview them. When you meet with the attorneys, there are several things that you should ask. Ask the attorneys what percentage of their practices are focused on injury claims. You will want to choose lawyers who primarily handle personal injury matters of all types.
You should ask the attorneys about their past record with other claims. Ask how many cases that they have taken to trial and the results that they have achieved. While most civil tort claims are settled before they reach trial, you will still want someone who is unafraid to fight for you through trial if you are unable to resolve your claim through negotiation and settlement.Pay Attention to the Lawyers' Styles
During each consultation, pay attention to the lawyers' styles of communication. When people retain lawyers, they will have to work closely with them for months. It is best to choose someone with whom you feel comfortable. Pay attention to whether the attorneys listen carefully to you and how they interact with you. If you choose someone with whom you do not click, you might be setting yourself up to have a stressful number of months while your claim is pending.Be Careful of Claims That Attorneys Make
You should be careful when you consult with lawyers. You might want to avoid attorneys who tell you that they are very aggressive. Attorneys who pride themselves in being very aggressive may force your case to trial when it could be settled for a fair amount. This can cost you extra time and money.
If any of the lawyers that you interview guarantee that they will win your claim, you should avoid them. The outcome of litigation can never be guaranteed, and attorneys have an ethical duty to inform you of that.Find Out Their Fee Structures
Most tort attorneys charge their legal fees on a contingency fee basis. A contingent fee means that you will not pay any money up front to hire the attorneys. Instead, they will collect their legal fees out of any settlement or verdict award that they obtain for you. Attorneys charge a percentage of your ultimate settlement or award. The percentages may range from 33 percent to 40 percent of your award or settlement. You shouldn't choose attorneys simply because they might charge lower percentages. The most important considerations should be the experience that they have, their track record, the focus of their practices, and whether you personally like them.Retain Your Attorney
Once you have completed all of these steps and have decided who you want to hire, it will be time for you to retain him or her. He or she will have you sign an agreement and will begin working on your case. You should then concentrate on getting well and let your legal representative handle your claim. To learn more and to schedule a consultation, call the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat today toll free anywhere in California at 866-966-5240