Every day, somebody somewhere gets into an auto accident here in the state of California. This means that everyday, someone’s life is forever changed in small and sometimes very big ways.
And every day, somebody new heads to the internet, opens their browser and types in “Los Angeles car accident attorney,” hoping that they will luck out and find the best car accident attorney Los Angeles to help them avoid being declared at fault in the accident.
But we don’t recommend you leave your selection process to the luck of the draw or even the top-ranked results on your computer screen. There are some much more reliable ways to determine who is the best personal injury lawyer to help you through the process of recovering after a car accident.
In this post, learn the steps to take to select the best car accident attorney Los Angeles.
Top Factors to Choose the Best Car Accident Attorney
Unless you are lucky enough to have a legal background yourself, you probably won’t know what to look for when you first start your car accident attorney selection process.
This is normal and nothing to worry about. Here are the most important criteria to consider when choosing an attorney to represent you:
2. Relevant experience.
3. Customer service.
4. Local legal reputation.
So now let’s look at each criteria in more detail.
Car Accident Attorney Education
The first step that you should never skip is to verify that the attorney you are researching has actually taken and passed the bar exam and is licensed and certified to practice law in the state of California.
Car Accident Attorney Relevant Experience
You don’t just want to pick a Los Angeles car accident attorney who has been practicing law for many years.
You want an attorney who has been practicing car accident-related personal injury law for many years.
In any field, there are various degrees of specialization. Whether you need dental care, tax advice or legal guidance, you want to pick a professional who spends the majority of their time focusing on the precise issues you need help with.
For example, an attorney who has 20 years of legal experience in tax law may be an excellent attorney, but that is not the lawyer you want to pick to represent you in a car accident case!
So make sure that the information provided on the attorney’s website, including local press, case results, client testimonials and practice areas are all related in some way to car accidents and personal injury.
Car Accident Attorney Customer Service
Let’s say you are doing your research online to find the best personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. You have narrowed down your search and have discovered one law firm that really seems to be expert at successfully handling auto accident issues.
So you call them up to request an initial consultation. The receptionist answers curtly and places you on hold. You wait for five minutes, then 10 minutes. You hang up and call back. The phone rings and goes to voice mail, but the voice mailbox is full and you are not able to leave a message.
You then head back to the law firm’s website to see if you can email them or chat with them online. Neither feature is working.
How confident would you be about entrusting your finances and health to this law firm? Probably not very! The truth is, sometimes the attorney’s staff is the best indication of the kind of treatment you will get from the firm itself. After all, you are relying on everyone in the office to handle parts of your case, not just the lawyer themselves.
Ultimately, customer service is a huge part of what you are hiring when you select a car accident attorney to represent you. All that knowledge does you no good if your lawyer is unresponsive when you call or need more information to handle aspects of your claim.
When you select a Los Angeles car accident attorney, you are potentially entrusting portions of your future to your lawyer.
They should be very forthcoming with guidance and information and proactive about getting you what you need to take the next steps. They should provide you with multiple points of contact so you can easily keep in touch as your case progresses.
If at any point during the selection process you detect that your attorney is not prepared to make your case a priority, it is time to move along so you don’t waste any of your valuable time or money.
Car Accident Attorney Local Legal Reputation
In this day and age, and (frankly) litigious society that we live in, you can bet that if any past client is unhappy with an attorney’s performance, they will go online to tell others about it.
This works in your favor – it becomes quite easy to check up on the local reputation of any car accident attorney, often right up to the last case they tried. By opening up your browser and typing in the attorney’s name or law firm name, you can see what others have to say about that law firm.
Pay especially close attention to reviews on third party websites, and don’t just the endorsements you see on the attorney’s own law firm website. Check the law firm’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, if available. Look for local affiliations with area organizations or associations, including local Chambers of Commerce.
Also visit the law firm’s social media feeds to see how the firm handles customer inquiries, praise and complaints and how responsive they are to questions from followers.
If any customers have lodged complaints, look closely to see what the resolution outcome has been. The truth is, customer complaints are often inevitable in the customer service industry, but what you want to look for is strong effort on the part of the law firm to resolve them quickly and successfully.
Making Your Final Car Accident Attorney Selection
Choosing a car accident attorney for the first time can be nerve-wracking. But the more you know about what to look for and what to steer clear of, the less likely you will be to waste any time or money on a law firm that doesn’t deserve your trust.
So remember: start out by checking on the attorney’s education (including bar exam status in California), relevant experience and local legal reputation. Then choose just two or three law firms that meet all of your criteria to contact. Contact each one to evaluate their level of customer service as you set your initial consultation.
Then you will have all the information you need to select the best personal injury lawyer to handle your case and resolve your claims.