Victims of Los Angeles car accidents often find themselves at odds with insurance companies, which tend to prioritize their own corporate interests over the well-being and recovery of the injured parties. That is why it is so important to retain the services of a skilled and dedicated auto accident lawyer to advocate fiercely on your behalf. An experienced attorney will know how to properly investigate and litigate your claim to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve.
But how do you go about selecting the best car accident lawyer for your specific case? Should you hire an LA attorney for an accident that happened in LA? This blog discusses some helpful tips on finding the best attorney for your car crash case. While we have focused on Los Angeles, these tips apply to accident victims anywhere.
Look for These 4 Things Researching Car Crash Lawyers
When conducting research on who to hire to help handle your car accident case, it is important to consider the following four attributes:
- Track Record
- Fee Structure
- Client Reviews
Many personal injury attorneys specialize in specific types of cases. Some focus on workers’ compensation cases, while others handle class action lawsuits against manufacturers. If you're looking for an attorney to represent you in a car accident case, it's important to find someone with extensive experience in that area. Look for a lawyer who has taken cases all the way to trial just in case your case doesn't settle before then (although this is unlikely). Additionally, it's crucial to choose an attorney with a proven track record of securing appropriate settlements and judgments from insurance companies.
Researching a car accident attorney's track record before hiring them is crucial for several reasons.
First, it provides insight into their experience and case results handling similar cases. By reviewing their past cases and outcomes, you can assess their success rate in securing accident settlements and judgments from insurance companies.
Second, look to see if the attorney and their firm have taken cases to trial. While it is true that most auto accident cases will end in a settlement, a firm that only has settlements in their case results may indicate a reluctance to take cases to trial. Your attorney should prepare every case for trial and not be scared to take cases before juries to ensure full and fair compensation for clients.
Lastly, examining their track record helps you identify any patterns or trends in their approach to cases, giving you confidence in their ability to navigate complex legal matters and achieve favorable outcomes.
Working with an attorney who operates on a contingency basis is the norm when it comes to car crash claims. With a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney only receives payment once you receive your settlement or judgment.
On average, personal injury attorneys charge around 33% of the gross settlement amount and potentially more if your case goes to trial. It's important to note that in addition to the attorney's fee, there may be other costs associated with the case, such as filing fees and expert witness fees. These costs are reimbursed to the lawyer only if they are successful in helping you obtain compensation.
While the amount of the fee is an important consideration, it should not be the sole determining factor. A highly skilled and experienced attorney will likely be able to obtain a better result than an attorney who will take on a case for a smaller fee.
Researching a car accident attorney's client reviews before deciding to work with them is essential for several reasons.
First, client reviews provide valuable insights into the attorney's reputation and overall client satisfaction. Reading about other clients' experiences can give you a sense of how the attorney communicates, their level of professionalism, and their ability to handle cases effectively.
Second, client reviews can highlight any red flags or potential issues with the attorney, helping you make an informed decision.
Third, positive client reviews can instill confidence in the attorney's competence and reliability. Conversely, negative reviews can serve as warning signs to steer clear.
Ultimately, researching client reviews offers valuable firsthand accounts that can help you gauge whether a car accident attorney is the right fit for your case.
Questions to Ask an Accident Lawyer
The questions you ask a potential car accident lawyer are very important because their answers will help dictate your decision on whether to hire them or not. Here are some questions it would be wise to ask your potential attorney:
What experience do you have in Los Angeles car accident cases?
Asking about a car accident attorney's experience, specifically in Los Angeles, is vital.
Los Angeles has unique traffic patterns, laws, and regulations that may differ from other cities or states. A lawyer who is well-versed in handling car accident cases in Los Angeles will have a deep understanding of local laws and procedures, giving them an edge in navigating the legal system effectively.
Furthermore, an attorney with experience in Los Angeles car accident cases may have insights into local courts, judges, and insurance companies, allowing them to build stronger cases and negotiate better settlements on behalf of their clients.
By seeking out an attorney with specific experience in Los Angeles car accident cases, you increase your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome for your case.
What are some examples of car accident settlements you can share?
While it is true that many settlements in car accident cases are confidential, it is still important to consult with a car crash attorney who can share their case results with you. Although the specific details of settlements may be kept confidential, experienced attorneys will still have a track record of successful cases that they can discuss with you.
They can provide information on the types of cases they have handled, the outcomes they have achieved, and the compensation their clients have received. This allows you to gauge the attorney's level of expertise and their ability to effectively represent your interests.
By reviewing their case results, you can gain confidence in their skills and make an informed decision about hiring them to handle your car accident case.
Who will represent me? Is there a team?
You’ll want to know exactly who your lawyer is. Some law firms have many attorneys and big teams, which may leave you wondering who your point of contact is, let alone the person who is fighting for you Wisner Baum provides personalized attention and representation to every client we take on, so you can rest assured that we will always be in contact with you each step of the way.
What is the best strategy for my case?
Knowing how your attorney plans to litigate your case will tell you a lot about his or her expectations. The strategy will also help you understand how the process is going to play out. This is helpful to know beforehand so that you can prepare yourself for what’s to come.
Does your law firm have the resources needed to win my case?
In a car accident case, having the right experts on your side, such as accident reconstructionists, can significantly impact the outcome in your favor. These experts have specialized knowledge and skills to analyze the accident scene, gather evidence, and reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the collision.
By meticulously examining factors like vehicle speeds, driver behavior, road conditions, and more, accident reconstructionists can provide objective findings that support your version of events.
Their expert testimony can lend credibility to your case, persuading judges, juries, and insurance companies to see the accident from your perspective. The insights and expertise of these professionals can be instrumental in building a strong legal argument and maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome in your car accident case.
Will my case end in a settlement?
Not all car accident cases end in a settlement, but most do. Settlements are a common outcome in car accident cases as they allow both parties to avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty of going to trial.
Numerous factors contribute to the likelihood of a settlement, such as the strength of the evidence, the extent of the damages, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate. In many cases, insurance companies prefer to settle rather than risk a potentially higher judgment at trial.
Additionally, settlements provide a faster resolution, allowing the injured party to receive compensation more quickly. While there is no guarantee of a settlement in every case, it is a common and favorable outcome for many car accident claims.
Does your law firm have trial experience?
While many car accident cases are settled outside of court, some may require litigation if a fair settlement cannot be reached. In such instances, having an attorney who has trial experience (and has earned significant verdicts) benefits your case.
A trial lawyer will have the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of the courtroom, present persuasive arguments, and effectively advocate for your rights.
Similarly, insurance companies and opposing parties are more likely to take your claim seriously when they know you have a trial-experienced attorney by your side. This can lead to more favorable settlement offers during negotiation.
Lastly, in the event your case does go to trial, an attorney with trial experience will be prepared to present a strong and compelling case to the judge and jury. Their familiarity with courtroom procedures and strategies can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable verdict.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident? How will that affect my case?
In California, comparative fault is a legal doctrine used to determine the apportionment of fault in an accident. The state follows a system of pure comparative negligence, which means that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still recover damages from the other party involved. The amount of compensation awarded is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 30%. This system allows injured parties to seek compensation regardless of their degree of fault, promoting fairness and ensuring that responsible parties are held accountable.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
If you have sustained significant injuries as a result of an accident, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. They can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Additionally, if you are partially at fault for the accident, consulting with an attorney becomes even more important. They can assess the circumstances surrounding the incident, gather evidence, and navigate the complexities of comparative fault laws to determine the best course of action for your case.
On the other hand, if the accident is minor with no significant injuries or property damage, it may be unnecessary to involve an attorney. However, it is always advisable to consult with a legal professional who specializes in personal injury cases to get a clear understanding of your rights and options. They can provide you with valuable advice and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue legal action.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Attorney in LA?
Hiring a lawyer for a car accident should not cost you anything upfront. That said, some law firms have different policies, so please ask questions about attorney fees and costs before you retain anyone.
The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Wisner Baum represent car accident victims on a contingency fee basis. If we are unsuccessful in earning compensation in your case, you will not pay a dime. Any attorney fees are calculated as part of a percentage of the settlement or trial verdict we obtain on your behalf.
When to Hire a Lawyer for a Los Angeles Accident
It is crucial to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after a Los Angeles car accident. An attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you take the necessary steps to preserve crucial evidence. Time is of the essence when it comes to gathering witness statements, securing accident reports, and collecting other critical information that may be needed to support your case.
Similarly, the statute of limitations for car accident cases in California is an important legal timeframe that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. The general time limit to file a personal injury claim related to a car accident in California is two years from the date of the injury. This applies to cases involving bodily injury or wrongful death that are connected to a car accident.
However, there may be exceptions that can either shorten or extend this timeframe. It is crucial to consult with a lawyer to understand the specific statute of limitations that applies to your case.
Additionally, an experienced car accident lawyer can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, handling all negotiations and advocating for maximum compensation. By involving an attorney early on, you can avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that could potentially weaken your claim.
Moreover, early legal representation allows the lawyer to assess the full extent of your injuries, estimate future medical expenses, and calculate the value of your damages accurately.
How Much Can You Get From a Car Accident?
Each case is different, and we cannot make any predictions or gurantees. But generally, car accident victims and their families may pursue the following compensation after an LA accident:
- Damage to property
- Property damage in a car accident refers to the physical harm caused to vehicles or other property involved in the collision.
- Medical expenses
- Medical expenses in a car accident can include costs for doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, X-rays, and other necessary medical treatments and procedures.
- Disfigurement in a car accident refers to the physical alteration or scarring of one's appearance as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision.
- Permanent disability
- In a car accident, permanent disability refers to a life-altering condition resulting from severe injuries that significantly limit a person's ability to perform daily activities or work.
- Pain and suffering
- Pain and suffering in a car accident refers to the physical and emotional distress experienced by the victim as a result of their injuries and the impact it has on their overall well-being.
- Lost wages or income
- Lost wages or income refers to the financial loss experienced by an individual due to their inability to work or earn income during their recovery period from the accident.
- Loss of earning potential
- Loss of earning potential refers to the long-term impact on an individual's ability to earn income or pursue their desired career path due to the injuries sustained in the collision.
- Loss of companionship or affection for your spouse
- Loss of companionship or affection for your spouse due to a car accident refers to the emotional and relational impact on a marriage or partnership, resulting in diminished closeness, intimacy, and shared experiences as a consequence of the injuries sustained in the crash.
- Punitive damages from negligence (most commonly drunk or intoxicated driving)
- Punitive damages resulting from negligence, typically due to drunk or intoxicated driving, are awarded in cases where the at-fault driver's actions demonstrate an extreme lack of care or reckless disregard for the safety of others on the road.
Call the Los Angeles Accident Attorneys with Billions in Recoveries
You can trust our firm to fight for you. But don’t take our word for it—let our settlements do the talking:
- $6.9 million settlement weeks before trial
- $6.2 million settlement
- $3.5 million settlement
You should not have to navigate the legal complexities of a car accident case alone. Take action today and hire a trusted Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from Wisner Baum who specializes in car accident cases. With our firm’s expertise on your side, we will fight for your rights, help you secure the compensation you deserve, and guide you through the entire legal process. Don't delay; contact a personal injury lawyer from our team now and take the first step toward getting the justice and support you need.
Injured in a car accident? Call (855) 948-5098 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation with Wisner Baum. We accept cases in California and throughout the country.