Since many lawyers make all types of claims – you need to know you’re hiring the best personal injury attorney in Sacramento and Northern California areas. You only have one chance to prove yourself in court and get reimbursement for the damages been done to you.
When looking for a Sacramento personal injury lawyer, you need an expert to protect you from situations that could ultimately bring emotional and financial hardship. They will help you understand the legalities with ease and get you the compensation you need and deserve.
However, there are a few rules to remember when hiring a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento, California. These rules will help save you time, stress and avoid getting the wrong attorney for your case.
Rule # 1: Don’t Fall For The Firms Name Only
Look at their experience and not their name. One must always pick their law firm and attorney based on their experience dealing with cases like the one you have. Suppose you’ve seen someone on TV, newspaper, or on the internet. In that case, that doesn’t guarantee or say much about their work ethic, professionalism, or ability to win your case.
The truth is anyone can buy an ad on TV or be published on the front cover of a leading magazine. Still, suitable ads and unrealistic claims will not help in winning the lawsuits. What will help is a good lawyer who knows their work and can prove it in court.
Make sure you do a good background check and have well-rounded info on the law firm and lawyers’ experience. Experience and knowledge are the top two factors that truly matter in your case, as they will help you win.
There is no point in hiring a big-shot and not getting a hold of them on meetings, or having them missing court dates, etc. The skill and ability to handle a personal injury claim is what you should be looking for in the lawyer you wish to hire.
Rule # 2: Don’t Hire The First Lawyer You Interview
Don’t be hasty and hire the first lawyer you interview for your case. Law firms and lawyers who boost their experience or how many cases they’ve won should be avoided at all costs. It would help if you had an attorney who listens to you and does not tell you their achievements the very first chance they get.
Finding a good lawyer can take a while and, you need to be sure who you’re aligning with to represent you as this might be the first and last time you get the chance to do so. It would be best if you were extremely cautious and wise in your hiring decision as the wrong choice of lawyer can cost you your case.
Considering the seriousness of the matter, it is imperative to ask around in your social circle, friends, family, and coworkers for any attorney referrals. It will help your case more if you can get a lawyer who has worked with someone you know and has proved excellent for them.
Ask people who have had a similar personal injury case as yours so that you don’t have to spend much time looking for a lawyer. Question these people about what they did and did not like about their lawyers. It will make things easier for you. After this, you can contact the law firm that has the experience needed for your particular case.
Rule # 3: Don’t Shy Away From Asking The Hard Questions
Remember that this is your case, and you have the right to ask the lawyer you are hiring all the questions that come to mind. Regardless of how hard-hitting these questions are, they must be asked since if the lawyer can’t answer or manage to convince you, it is unlikely that they will be able to fight for you and get a result in your favor.
It would help if you interviewed the lawyer and their firm, don’t be afraid to ask valid questions about your injury case and their experience. The lawyer and their firm should answer all your questions with confidence and honesty and make sure all your reservations are responded to so you are satisfied.
Listed below are a few questions that will help give you an idea of how experienced the lawyer is and where they stand in terms of confidence and negotiating skills:
- The experience the lawyer has with these types of cases?
- How successful has he been dealing with such cases?
- Has he recently handled a case like this?
- How long has the lawyer been handling such cases?
- Has the lawyer taken such a case to the jury before?
- How acquainted is the lawyer with testifying eye-witnesses in such cases?
Only when you get acceptable answers to these can you start making your decision. It is crucial to cross-question and satisfies yourself. This is your one chance at winning this case and getting compensation for all the damages. It would be best if you felt utterly relieved with the lawyer you chose and felt confident in their ability to handle your legal matter easily.
Rule # 4: Don’t Appoint Someone Without A Contract
All lawyers must have a written agreement to fall back upon if something goes wrong in the case. It is the first and foremost thing to look out for when hiring a lawyer. It helps protect both parties. If a lawyer doesn’t have a written agreement, it is best to look for someone else because you can’t risk not agreeing.
Written agreements make everything more organized and provide transparency for all to follow. They make it clear to the client about how and what they are representing you on, and you know exactly what is going on with your case. They have essential elements of the case: the fee agreement, without which you will never know how much the lawyer is taking and how much you get to keep.
Having a written agreement will provide you with a sense of satisfaction that no detail is hidden from you, and that’s how it should be at all times. Whichever lawyer you do keep, ensure all written agreements are read by you both and in case of any changes.
Agreements about everything should be on paper along with being verbally discussed between you and your lawyer. They should walk you through the entire document in case you have any questions for them. It is the right way to go about it.
Rule # 5: Don’t Hire Someone Who Doesn’t Believe In Your Case
While the nature of the case might be the same, every case is unique and should be treated as such. Two legal cases can’t be the same. The details, witnesses, injuries, economic and non-economic damages, etc., all should be taken into account by the lawyer and the law firm when taking up your case.
If the lawyer is treating you such that they’ve done cases like yours before and there is no need for detailed information on your behalf – change your lawyer right away. It is your right to expect the law firm and your lawyer to give you time, listen to what you have to say, and then move ahead with the case in a way that best represents your interests. Your case should be getting the attention and time it deserves.
If you don’t understand their nature or way of work and are uncomfortable sharing your details, you can tell them right away. There is no reason to prolong the meetings and come to this conclusion later on.
Never let a lawyer treat your case as just another case on their desk – utmost dedication is necessary, and if someone fails to see that, consider changing them.
Rule # 6 Don’t Put Up With An Unprofessional Attitude
You only get to know someone when you meet them a few times. Suppose your lawyer is great on the phone the first few times you called but not up to par with the legal standards and has an unprofessional attitude in the meetings. In that case, it is your right to tell them that they don’t sit well with your case.
Your lawyer’s actions, what they say, and what they do severely affect your case, especially if they are unprofessional and will go against the legal code of conduct. While it is true that you want to win the case, it is also imperative that your lawyer follows and practices all the laws and does not lie to you or get you into trouble and ruin the credibility of your case.
There are grave consequences of unethical and unprofessional behavior, and you’d have to face them as this was your case, to begin with. Look out for these improper conducts:
- Failing to arrive for the meeting they’ve scheduled
- Arriving late to team meetings
- Being absent on court hearings
- Not keeping you in the loop while making important decisions
- Not filling in the paperwork
- Not answering or returning calls and texts
- Missing filing deadlines
If your attorney is unprofessional and showing signs of being an amateur, it is time to reassess your decision.
Rule # 7 Don’t Hire Without Knowing The Fee Structure
A personal injury lawyer who follows the contingency fee plan, does not ask for upfront payment, and bears all the expenses during the case. However, one must be aware of the charges and not be fooled if the lawyer adds more to their entire fee.
Most clients are unaware of the overhead and behind-the-back work that goes into their case, making it hard to pinpoint what money went where at the end. But you must keep in mind that this is not an excuse to show unclear billing and then be expected to get a chunk of your compensation later on.
Unprofessional lawyers who think there are chances of winning your case can end up charging you more so that they get a good amount of money at the end. An expert attorney will keep it transparent and let you know of all the expenses during the case. They will also discuss any additional or high charges before making them.
So, be clear and clever about who you hire and what goes on behind your back so that you don’t end up paying half your compensation to your lawyer.
The Bottom Line
In times where legal help is imperative, you must choose the right lawyer for yourself so that they can provide you with the proper guidance so that you can get the maximum compensation for you against your claim.
Your lawyer must have the required knowledge and experience you need to win your case. They should not be a newbie as that is a significant risk to your injury case. These seven rules of what not to do when hiring a lawyer will help you make the best decision for yourself.
Contact Ashley Injury Lawyers in Sacramento, California, if you’re looking for an experienced and well-practiced personal injury lawyer. They can advise you on what to do considering your case. 888-ASHLEY-911