How to Find a Good Personal Injury Attorney California

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury LawyerAfter an accident, you may need an attorney to help you get the money you deserve.

In this post, Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Joshua Glotzer, shares his tips on choosing a good accident lawyer in California. For over 25 years, Mr. Glotzer has successfully handled thousands of personal injury cases. See his suggestions below.

1. Searching Online

Google

When choosing a personal injury lawyer, start by searching via a search engine like Google.

You can search by using terms like “good personal injury lawyers near me” or “personal injury attorney” followed by your City and State. So if you live in Pasadena, CA, you would simply type, “personal injury attorney Pasadena CA” into the search bar.

This type of search will usually give you a list of attorneys in your area and a list of legal (and non-legal) directories. See more about those below.

2. Legal Directories

Avvo

Legal directories are like mini-search engines of their own, but focus only on attorneys. We’ll go over the most popular ones and one non-legal directory, Yelp.

Avvo

Avvo is one of the more popular attorney directories. Avvo offers a lot of great info including ratings, law school attended, and contact info. More importantly, Avvo tells you if the attorney has ever been disciplined by the California State Bar. Visit Avvo by clicking here.

FindLaw

FindLaw is another popular legal directory that may show up in the search results. FindLaw includes attorney contact info and a bio. FindLaw lacks the robust review system you’ll find in Avvo, but given FindLaw’s search engine placement, we included it in our list. Visit them by clicking here.

Lawyers.com

Lawyers.com is owned by Martindale-Hubble. They’ve been around for years providing info on attorneys. Lawyers.com provides contact info, client reviews, and peer reviews. You can see more by clicking here.

Yelp

Although not a legal directory, Yelp has established itself as a go-to location for those seeking an attorney. Yelp includes contact info, bio, and reviews. Visit Yelp them here.

3. Online Reviews

Yelp Reviews

Many of the online directories listed above include personal injury lawyers reviews. When looking at reviews, make sure you don’t just look at the amount of reviews or overall ratings.

Instead, take the time to read the reviews – especially the longer ones. A long review might give you more insight into an attorney.

Another way to find attorney reviews is by using Google Maps. Once you’re there, type “personal injury attorney” and you’ll see results below with reviews.

4. California State Bar Page

California State Bar

No attorney search is complete without visiting their profile on the California State Bar website. On this site, you’ll see their official contact info, educational background, and further detail on their disciplinary history, if any.

You can look up a lawyer by clicking here.

5. Asking the Right Questions During the Initial Consultation

People with with attorney

Most, if not all, personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation. This is a great time to ask a lot of questions regarding their practice and your case.

Here is a list of questions to ask a personal injury lawyer during the free consultation.

  • How many years have you been practicing?
  • Have you handled my type of case before?
  • Where did you attend law school?
  • Do you exclusively practice personal injury law?
  • How long have you exclusively practiced personal injury law?
  • Have you taken any cases to trial?
  • Have you been disciplined by the California State Bar?
  • Ask for a list of their previous victories – both verdicts and settlements
  • How much do you think my case is worth?

6. Be Prepared During Your Initial Consult

Prior to meeting with an attorney, take some time to learn a little about personal injury law in your state. For example, most personal injury attorneys will not take a car accident case which solely resulted in property damage.

Additionally, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with tort law and legal terms like negligence.

7. Understand the Fee Structure

Don’t sign a retainer agreement without making sure you understand the fee structure. We’ve all heard personal injury attorneys say, “I get nothing unless you win.” This means they work on a contingency basis. While that may be true, make sure you understand what they get in the event that you do win.

In California, an accident attorney will typically take somewhere between 25% – 40%. However, many attorneys will also require that you pay for any fees incurred throughout the process. Your attorney will charge these fees on top of the percentage. What you’ll want to know is exactly what these fees include. For example, it might include the cost for experts, private investigators, and depositions.

Make sure you don’t get blindsided, as these fees can significantly cut into your award settlement.

8. Personality

People meeting with an attorney

The last thing to consider is how well you got along during the initial consultation. Did you find it easy to speak with the attorney? If not, you might want to consider continuing your search until you find someone who is a good personality fit for you.

Did We Miss Anything?

We hope that this guide will help you find a reputable personal injury lawyer in your area. Did we miss something? If so, please comment below.

About the Author: Attorney Joshua Glotzer has over 25 years experience handling personal injury claims. Mr. Glotzer earned his J.D. at prestigious California Western School of Law.

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer:

We put together this infographic dealing with the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer after an accident. These reasons include:

  1. Medical Issues: A good attorney will work with a team of experts that can properly evaluate your injuries.
  2. Financial Issues: An attorney will help you with the financial issues that inevitably arise after an accident.
  3. Higher Settlements: An experienced attorney can often help you negotiate higher settlements with the negligent party’s insurance company.

Why Should I Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?

What Should I Wear to Court?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, the truth is that first impressions matter and can give the wrong impression if care isn’t taken. There are places that simply require a higher level of care regarding how you present yourself. One of those places is a court of law. 

Established as a core value of the foundation of our country, our freedoms, and our democracy, the courtrooms in America deserve respect. Dressing appropriately sends the message that you take the matter seriously and that you have respect for the courtroom, the judge, and the legal system. 

Learning how to dress for court can make a substantial difference in your first impression and how you’re perceived by everyone in the courtroom.

What Not to Wear

Many people have similar questions. Can you wear jeans to court? Can you wear tennis shoes to court? Do you have to wear a three-piece suit to court? First, you need to know what not to wear to court.

Clothing

  • Sleeveless shirts, muscle shirts, sundresses, strapless dresses, crop tops, tops with spaghetti straps, tight tops, anything you would wear out to a club, revealing clothing, shorts.
  • Exercise outfits, yoga pants, t-shirts, yard work or painting clothes, athletic clothes.
  • Clothing that is too tight or too large.
  • Bare legs or bare shoulders.
  • Hats.

Shoes and Accessories

  • Flip flops, athletic shoes, open-toed shoes, beach shoes.
  • Lots of jewelry that makes noise or is flashy.
  • Sunglasses.

 Hair and Hygiene

  •  Hair: Dirty, wet, messy, hairnet, curlers, strange colors.
  • Hygiene: Smelling like you have not bathed, smelling like cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol, too much cologne or perfume, a dirty appearance, unshaven, extremely long nails, dirty nails.
  • Hide tattoos if possible.

What To Wear to a Courtroom

Now that you know what not to wear to a courtroom, you should familiarize yourself with how to dress for court appropriately. First, all clothing and appearance should be conservative and modest. Stereotypical church clothes are always an excellent choice: modest, clean, and proper. 

Anything you may wear to a nice, formal social luncheon or dinner would likely be appropriate. All clothing should fit properly and be tidy and neat. Your appearance absolutely does matter, whether you think it should or not. Some options for your courtroom appearance could include the following suggestions.

 Men

  • Suit with a tie.
  • Long-sleeve button-down collared shirt with nice dress or khaki pants.
  • Sports coat.
  • Belt (or suspenders) to keep pants on correctly.
  • Dress shoes.

 Women

  • Women’s business suit.
  • Nice, modest, appropriate dress.
  • Conservative, modest, neutral-colored pant suit.
  • Conservative blouse or top with long dress pants.
  • Conservative jewelry. Remove any piercings.
  • Conservative, closed-toe shoes.

 Hair and Hygiene

  • Men: Shave or trim your facial hair, brush your teeth, deodorant, cover tattoos.
  • Women: Wash hair, hair pulled back, or put up appropriately neat and clean nails, and only neutral nail polish, deodorant, conservative makeup if any, cover tattoos.

Additional Appearance Suggestions

While the above suggestions are important, there are some additional considerations to think about as you prepare for your courtroom appearance.

  • In some areas of the country, certain brands are associated with gangs and gang activity. If you are aware of these brands, avoid wearing them in the courtroom to prevent any appearance of association with illegal gang activity.
  • Although you should dress conservatively and appropriately, you should also dress comfortably. If you wear too constrictive or uncomfortable clothing, you may fidget and sweat more, which could potentially cause the jury or judge to wonder if you are lying or uncomfortable with your testimony.
  • Remove any clothing or other items (such as buttons or keychains) that could indicate any kind of political affiliation. People have strong opinions about politics, and you do not want someone to make judgments against you based on your political beliefs.
  • Leave cell phones in the car or turn them off completely. While a cell phone is not technically “attire” per se, these devices seem inherently part of most people’s lives. Resist the temptation by not bringing a cell phone even into the courtroom.

Choose Your Courtroom Attire Carefully

We have all heard the saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Whether you are in court for personal injury, financial suit, criminal charges, or any other matter, how you appear in court will determine your first impression. 

The people who will be deciding your case, and perhaps your fate, will be judging you on your appearance as well. They have limited information regarding you and your case. As a result, they’ll likely make snap judgments about you based on your appearance. 

Make sure you present yourself in a conservative, appropriate, and clean manner. Always be polite, courteous, and observe all the rules established in proper courtroom decorum. 

By dressing appropriately, and acting responsibly, you have another way to illustrate to the judge and jury that you take your case, the courtroom, and the justice process seriously.

What Are the 100 Deadliest Days?

The 100 deadliest days are upon us. The 100 deadliest days refer to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when rates of car accidents for teen drivers go up. Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during those three months. Two-thirds of the people injured or killed in accidents involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.

These accidents increase during summer months because teens are out of school and are out on the road more. An average of about 700 people a year die in accidents involving a teen driver.

Contributing to these high rates of accidents are reckless behaviors that teens tend toward at higher rates. Reckless behaviors such as drinking and driving, speeding, and driving while distracted (texting) all contribute to the higher rates of accidents for teens drivers in the summer.

What Causes Teens to Get into Accidents?

Speeding. Speeding increases the severity of the crash as well as the frequency. 30% of teen drivers admit to speeding on residential streets and almost 40 percent admit to speeding on highways in the past thirty days. 

Drinking and driving. Drinking is illegal for teens in all 50 states. Unfortunately, that is not enough to deter teens from drinking and driving. One in sixteen drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for alcohol.

Driving while distracted. In the age of smartphones and social media, the contributing factor of distracted driving is on the rise. More than half of teen drivers reported to reading a text or email while driving. 40 percent of teen drivers even reported sending a text or an email.

After an accident, it is difficult for law enforcement to determine if a teen was texting while driving. If law enforcement decides to investigate the circumstances that led to an accident, they have legal means to obtain phone records and determine if a driver was on the phone or texting. Witnesses might also report seeing the driver using their phone.

If law enforcement decides to investigate the circumstances that led to an accident, they have legal means to obtain phone records and determine if a driver was on the phone or texting. Witnesses might also report seeing the driver using their phone.

What Can a Worried Parent Do?

Parents must talk to teens about all the factors mentioned above that lead to accidents. Even if you think your teen doesn’t drink there is always a first time. Parents can set a good example. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t pick up your phone while driving. Drive at the speed limit. Be a model for safe, responsible driving.

Make sure your teen gets lots of hours driving with you in the car so that they get more comfortable and you can see where their weaknesses may be. You can gradually ease up on the supervision as you see your teen gaining more confidence and skill behind the wheel. 

Summer should be fun and enjoyable for teens. The freedom that comes with gaining the right to drive also comes with serious responsibilities. As a parent, you can be a model of good driving behavior and have tough discussions with your teen driver that need to be had no matter how uncomfortable.

Talk to your teen about the consequences if they are caught drinking and driving or driving while texting. You can even write up a contract that you both discuss and sign. Make this a safe and fun summer for everyone. If you have been injured, then check out our guide on how to find a good personal injury lawyer.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits

Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn, ulcers, and acid reflux. Medications like Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium are commonly prescribed and taken to prevent these painful health conditions. Unfortunately, these medications, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may do more harm than good. A recent study out of San Diego reveals that PPIs are linked to higher rates of kidney disease.

Despite this information, pharmaceutical companies have continued to market and sell their best-selling medications. As a result, 10 percent of American adults may be at risk of developing an avoidable and potentially life-threatening health condition.

Pharmaceutical Companies Aggressively Market Dangerous Drugs

For decades, people suffering from heartburn have turned to proton pump inhibitors for help. PPIs gained a lot of popularity, in part, due to an aggressive marketing campaign. It’s hard to turn on your TV or pass a billboard without seeing Larry the Cable guy gushing about the benefits of Prilosec.

Nexium, another popular PPI, has been marketed as the “purple pill.” Medications pushed by a goofy comic or referred to in such a lighthearted manner couldn’t possibly be dangerous, right? Wrong.

Decades of studies have revealed that long-term PPI use is associated with a host of health issues. Patients taking a PPI have reported a variety of adverse health events, including:

  • Kidney injuries
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Liver damage
  • Infection
  • Dementia, and
  • Cancer.

These studies haven’t stopped AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies from pouring millions of dollars into advertising campaigns. However, these campaigns failed to mention these possible health risks.

Heartburn Patients Are Suing Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to design, create, and sell safe drugs. If a company knows that a medication may be dangerous, it has an obligation to warn consumers. When a company fails to warn patients and doctors about known health risks, it can be liable for injuries and harm.

Thousands of heartburn patients are suing pharmaceutical companies over PPI-related injuries. The proton pump inhibitor lawsuits accuse the companies of:

  • Manufacturing and marketing a dangerous drug, and
  • Failing to warn patients about health risks associated with the use of PPIs.

Plaintiffs claim that they could have opted for a different treatment and avoided injury if they’d known the risks associated with taking a PPI.

While some PPI injury lawsuits have been settled, many are still pending in state and federal courts across the country.

What Damages Can Injured Proton Pump Inhibitor Patients Recover?

In California, plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits are entitled to ask for economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are awarded to offset the financial costs of an unexpected injury. An award of economic damages should help to put a victim back in the financial position they were in before they were injured. Examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Disability, and
  • Reduced earning capacity.

Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for injuries that are difficult to value in terms of dollars and cents. These awards are very subjective and often vary significantly from one case to another. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

In some cases, a court may approve an award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are appropriate when a defendant acts fraudulently or intends to cause harm. Juries may be inclined to award punitive damages in PPI injury cases if they believe that pharmaceutical companies intentionally hid health risks from patients.

Do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you believe that you’ve developed health issues while taking a PPI. You may have the right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries.