You were injured in an unfortunate car accident in Orange County. California follows a fault-based system, so you can hold the at-fault party responsible for your injuries and losses. Winning a personal injury lawsuit is easier said than done. The laws are complex, and if you had part share of fault, that can change everything, because California follows the “pure comparative negligence” rule. If you are looking to hire one of Orange County personal injury lawyers, here are some things to know.
When you definitely need an attorney
Not all car accident claims require an attorney, but seeking legal advice is always advisable. If you suffered minor injuries, you may not need to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are, however, certain circumstances, when you definitely need an attorney. Call a law firm, if –
- You suffered serious injuries
- You are likely to have permanent disabilities
- You were partly at fault
- Many vehicles were involved
- There is no clarity on fault
Finding the right lawyer
As in any profession, not all personal injury lawyers are the same, and you need to do your homework. Make sure that you ask a few questions in the first meeting. The good news is most law firms offer a free initial consultation for prospective clients, so you can always discuss your case. Here are some questions worth including in your list-
- What is my claim worth?
- How long have you been working as a personal injury attorney?
- How frequently do you deal with car accident cases?
- What percentage of your cases end up in trial?
- Do you have any conflict of interest?
Many attorneys may assign the case to one of other lawyers of the firm, so ask in advance. Also, ensure that you have direct access to your lawyer.
Other things to consider
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer in California? It depends. Typically, most lawyers work on personal injury cases on a contingency basis. They don’t get paid if they don’t win – yes, that sounds too good to be true! Attorneys, however, do make considerable money in contingency fees, which can be as much as 40% of the final settlement.
Hire a lawyer who has handled cases similar or comparable to yours. Also, don’t shy away from discussing other expenses, which an attorney can advance on your behalf. You can also check online reviews to compare personal injury attorneys in Orange County, or just ask the law firm for a few references.