How To Choose A Car Accident Lawyer In Los Angeles – Forbes

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Updated: Apr 8, 2022, 11:00am
Los Angeles is known for a lot of great things. One not-so-great thing is the traffic. On the highways, there are endless streams of cars that result in more than 55,000 accidents a year in the city. In most circumstances, insurance carriers deal with accidents without concern. However, there are times when having a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles will help you get the remuneration you deserve.
When you need a lawyer, you don’t want just anyone to take the case. You want an experienced veteran who is able to fight for you and deal with the other party, their insurance company and your own carrier when necessary. We put together what you need to think about when looking for a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
Car accident lawyers fall into the category of personal injury attorneys, and Los Angeles has a lot of them with billboards and bus ads everywhere. Because there are so many options to choose from, you should systematically approach how you interview and choose a car accident lawyer.
Here are five things to consider when choosing a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
Because there are so many accidents each year, there is little doubt that someone in your network of friends, family and coworkers has had an accident and needed an attorney. Ask around to get referrals and don’t hesitate to ask what they liked and disliked about the attorney. Remember that there are a lot of lawyers to choose from, and you don’t have to take just anyone. You want the right fit for you in your time of need.
Because car accident attorneys are generally personal injury attorneys, they may cover more than just car accidents. Feel free to ask about their niche and what they specialize in to make sure that they have the background and resources to address your case properly. If the lawyer does other personal injury cases such as workers’ compensation, ask them what percentage of their caseload is on car accidents. This is important because you want someone versed in dealing with car insurance companies.
Most car accident lawyers will not charge you an hourly fee to retain them. They work on contingency, which is excellent in most cases. What you want to be careful about here is the amount they charge. Los Angeles car accident lawyers generally charge between 33% and 40% of your settlement or judgment. Red flags should pop up with lawyers that charge more. Rarely will this yield higher settlements for you that are worth the extra fees.
Only about 5% of car accident cases go to trial. This is a small percentage, meaning that litigation experience is not always a significant consideration. However, if you were involved in a serious accident with significant injuries, you want a lawyer who can go the distance. In serious cases, you may be seeking lost wages with considerable pain and suffering damages. Not every car accident lawyer has the courtroom experience to handle big cases.
Many lawyers are good at selling their services but lack regular communication skills when in the middle of a case. Because a car accident case can go on for a while, especially if your injuries are lingering, you want to know what to expect by way of communication from your lawyer. Ask how often they send updates and how. Some lawyers will communicate primarily via email. You may prefer someone who picks up the phone. Find a lawyer who communicates in the manner you prefer.
Not every car accident will warrant the need to hire a lawyer. You’ll want to get legal representation if your injuries are severe, especially if you are getting the runaround from insurance companies. Keep in mind that if you were hit by someone else, it is their insurance company that handles your claim and that insurance company’s goal is to pay the least amount possible. Without a lawyer, you might not be aware of all of your rights to compensation. Plus, dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating, so having someone take the lead on it can be nice.
To get the most out of your car accident case, you want to provide your lawyer with as many details and as much evidence as possible. Make sure that you get the contact information of witnesses and file a police report for the accident. Coordinate communication between your doctors and your legal team to ensure that it has the medical details about your case that help determine your settlement. Your lawyer may have referrals to doctors who specialize in injury cases and can better assist you with your injuries, and are also versed with documenting things succinctly for lawyers. Communication among your whole team is imperative to maximizing your case results.
Car accident cases across the United States generally settle for amounts between $14,000 and $28,000, averaging $21,000. This amount can and will vary depending on the unique details of each case.
In the state of California, insurance companies have 85 days total to settle a car insurance claim after it is filed. Delays may occur if you have serious injuries that linger, or disputes in the claim that must be addressed. The insurance company must notify you of delays in writing.
Kimberlee Leonard has taken her professional experience as an insurance agency owner and financial advisor and translated that into a finance writing career that helps business owners and professionals succeed. Her work has appeared on Business.com, Business News Daily, FitSmallBusiness.com, CentsibleMoney.com, and Kin Insurance.
Cassie is an assistant assigning editor, collaborating with teams around the world while living in the beautiful hills of Kentucky. She is passionate about economic development and is on the board of two non-profit organizations seeking to revitalize her former railroad town. Prior to joining the team at Forbes Advisor, Cassie was a Content Operations Manager and Copywriting Manager at Fit Small Business.

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