There are no guarantees in life that can help you or your loved ones avoid getting hurt in car accidents or from suffering from a a personal injury. The situation gets much more complicated when the accident arises from someone else’s negligence. If getting injured in a car accident was not challenging enough, you will have to face all the legal battles so that you may be aptly compensated for your loss.
Stuck in such a situation? This is the right time to hire the best Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
A trusted personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will save you from a lot of the stress associated with the legal and claims process. However, before hiring just any personal injury attorney for your case, there are some things to keep in mind.
While many lawyers are honest professionals driven by justice, there are always some rotten apples in the legal industry. So, if you were a recent victim of personal injury in Los Angeles, CA, and wish to file a case, keep these points in mind to avoid hiring the wrong attorney.
1. Forms and charges
Some attorneys prepare documents that are slightly modified older templates. Instead of charging for minor edits, they charge you for the entire document as if it was drafted from scratch. There is nothing wrong with edited forms; what is wrong is the way attorneys price them. You need to ask your attorney about whether they are charging you fairly for a new document or an old one. More importantly, you should find a personal injury attorney that is competent and confident enough to work on a contingency basis where you won’t have to pay out of pocket, and the attorney will get paid only if they win.
Here at Kirakosian Law, our practice in handling personal injury claims is to only do them on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to us pay unless we win.
2. Subordinates’ work
Many personal injury attorneys make their secretaries, interns, and paralegals handle your entire personal injury or car accident claim. Meaning, you are paying for an attorney’s fee but are getting a paralegal’s work. Having highly-trained clerks prepare the forms is not wrong, but lawyers need to be honest when charging a fee for a fraction of the work. Here at Kirakosian Law, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will be handling your car accident or personal injury claim from start to finish. That way, you know you are in the hands of seasoned and experienced personal injury attoneys that will get you the best recovery.
3. The necessity of an attorney
Certain basic legal tasks like simple injury claims including small bruises and minor car dents can be done with paralegals. Your injury case might not be a major injury, but an attorney handling your claim instead of a paralegal will make all the difference. That’s why, at Kirakosian Law, our attorneys handle all car accident claims, now matter how big or small to gain the best possible recovery for our clients.
4. Knowledge about the law
Law is so complicated domain, hence not everyone can be an expert in every field associated with legal aid. Just like you will not ask a podiatrist to perform open-heart surgery, you cannot expect your injury attorney to give you a trademark consultation. You want to be hiring someone who’s well accustomed to the complications that arise legally.
If it’s possible, look for an attorney who has at least 5 years of experience in their defined niche. Furthermore, if your case is complicated and there is a lot at stake, consider opting for a board-certified attorney. They will cost more, but the quality of representation they provide will always be as good or, at times, even better.
At Kirakosian Law, we have decades of combined experience in personal injury and car accident claims, so you know you are in right hands.
As attorneys are experts in particular niches, they often have to refer clients to other attorneys who are also qualified in dealing with personal injury. In many jurisdictions, lawyers can pay each other referral fees as long as it is adequately disclosed to you.
Moreover, attorneys have google and yelp pages that show how many client’s are satisfied with the attorney’s handling of the claim. If you look at a firms google or yelp page, you can see if they focus on car accidents or personal injury, or if they are not really experts in that field and handle a wide range of cases.
At Kirakosian Law, we are trusted by numerous attorneys who don’t handle personal injury claims and want us to take care of their clients. And, as you can see, our google and yelp pages are filled with all 5 star reviews from happy clients. Check us out.
6. Every minute costs
A personal injury attorney, or any lawyer for that matter, will charge you for every minute you spend talking about your case. Even if you run into our lawyer at a public place, the conversation is billable. Hence, whenever starting a conversation with an attorney, make sure to ask them whether you are getting billed for it or not.
7. Past failures
Lawyers do not need to disclose their history of failed cases, disciplinary actions, or sanctions to any client. Some of the disciplinary histories are public records.
To conduct your research, you have to visit a relevant authority that licenses lawyers. There will be a record of disciplinary action at times, but the police will not specify what the action was for. Other times, you will find out the lawyer was disciplined or reprimanded. Hence, it is best to do a background check before taking on any lawyer or attorney for your case.
8. Taking on your case
If you have learned anything from TV dramas that feature lawyers, litigation is won by energetic lawyers who shout their lungs out. Much of this grandstanding and posturing is done to impress their client, whereas the judges and the attorneys do not take them seriously.
Aggressive lawyers will end up costing you more money. A professional personal injury attorney should specialize in peaceful practice and litigation. Looking for the most dangerous shark out there will cost you a lot, and you do not even need a shark in many personal cases.
9. Mediation is better
Litigation is a sinkhole hard to come out from. Meditation, on the other hand, gets principals together inside a room with a facilitator. The principals will speak for themselves. More importantly, the facilitator gives the principals a neutral listener similar to a judge that they hope to get on their “day in court.”
These listeners are empowered to reach their conclusions without any legal interference or influence. If all cases were mediated, there would never be a need for a litigator. Encouraging mediation is a natural disincentive for the attorneys.
10. A client cannot be fired
At times, attorneys tend to threaten their clients, indicating if they do not pay or sign the documents, they will miss the opportunity of representation. However, a lawyer can discontinue your representation for many reasons. Some reasons include rules and regulations which the lawyers need to abide by, and the lawyer will inform you about these regulations.
All the clients should read professional conducts that regulate lawyers in their state. This can be done by visiting the state bar website. Knowing all about professional conduct will give you a better idea of what a lawyer’s permissible behavior can be.
11. Junior attorneys are trained on your money
Often personal injury attorney you hire is not the one you will be working with. While seasoned attorneys are used to luring in clients, your matters might be delegated to young attorneys who are fresh out of law school.
This is not a major issue if your case can be handled more efficiently by an attorney with a lower fee. Yet, law firms can sometimes involve more people than needed to help ensure that all the firm’s students stay busy.
This means the junior lawyer handling your matter may spend 10 hours doing something that an experienced attorney could have done in 1 hour. You need to make sure that you are not getting charged for the same time when multiple people are handling your matter. If that is the case, everything should be made explicitly clear at the time of agreement.
If a senior personal injury attorney delegates your case to a junior attorney, you should not be charged for both of their services.
Finding the right personal attorney can be a daunting undertaking, especially if you don’t do your research right. If you require a personal injury attorney, follow the guidelines mentioned above and ensure that they are not conducting any malpractice. Remember to hire professional and experienced attorneys that are waiting to take on your personal injury case.
644 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017