How to Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in California [Updated 2022]

After an accident, you may need an attorney to help you get the money you deserve.

In this post, we share our ideas on how to find the best personal injury attorney. See below to get started.

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 Los Angeles, CA, you would simply type, “personal injury attorney Los Angeles 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 any California 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.

According to Nick Movagar, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, to ensure you use your time efficiently during the initial consultation and get the answers you need before hiring an attorney, you should make a list of the main legal questions you have.

Attorney Movagar explains, “we typically ask questions to determine if you have a personal injury case, but it’s also important to assess if the attorney will be a good fit for you and your case.”

Here is a list of questions you should ask a personal injury attorney:

  • 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.

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?
How To Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Florida

How To Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Florida

If you’ve been in an accident in Florida, you may have realized that the bills pile up quickly. You may have medical expenses related to your injuries, but those same injuries might keep you from working and earning income. You might not know where to turn. A personal injury lawyer is a good start.

If someone else’s negligence is responsible for your injuries, they may be liable for your damages. A personal injury attorney can help you pursue those damages through a personal injury claim. They can help you obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. They can help you move forward after an accident and regain a sense of financial security.

To be sure, there are a lot of personal injury lawyers in the Sunshine State. We put together this article to help you find the best attorney for your situation. 

Identifying Personal Injury Lawyers Near You

When you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, you should begin your search by gathering a handful of names. There are many sources that can help you.

Referrals from Friends and Family

Your family and friends may be one of your best sources for identifying a strong personal injury lawyer. If they had an injury case in the past, they can direct you to the attorney who got them a successful result. Alternatively, they may be able to help you steer clear of an attorney with whom they had a negative experience. Even if your family or friends have not had an injury case, they may still know of attorneys who practice personal injury law. 

Lawyers (in other practice areas), judges, and paralegals can also be great sources of information for determining which injury lawyers have a strong reputation in your community.

Legal Directories

Legal directories are another excellent place to locate skilled personal injury lawyers in your area.

The most helpful legal directories are:

  • Avvo – rates attorneys on a scale of 1 to 10 based on profile information and public data available on the attorney. 
  • Martindale-Hubbell – rates attorneys based on peer reviews of the attorney
  • FindLaw – rates lawyers according to the average of all ratings submitted for the lawyer or organization.
  • Justia – rates lawyers based on peer-to-peer reviews

You should look for an attorney who has high ratings on these directories. Ideally, you should look for an attorney who has favorable ratings from colleagues and former clients. For example, Bill Allen, an experienced Gainesville personal injury lawyer, enjoys a “9.8 – Superb” rating on Avvo and an “AV-Preeminent” rating on Martindale Hubbell.

Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyer Bill Allen Avvo Rating

As a Florida personal injury lawyer, Bill is proud to earn high marks from legal rating services because they reflect his experience, skill, and ethics in Florida personal injury law.

Lawyer Referral Services

The Florida State Bar has a lawyer referral service for the public. When you use this service, you will briefly describe your legal situation and provide the service with a way to contact you. 

The service will match you with a lawyer based on your needs and geographic location. You can then connect with that lawyer to discuss your injury claim. Keep in mind the service may not necessarily screen lawyers for quality. It’s focused more on location and practice area.

Online Searches

Search engines are always a nice place to find information about lawyers in your area. However, the law firms that appear first on Google may not be the best for your legal situation; they may just have the biggest marketing budgets.

Therefore, you shouldn’t only rely on Google rankings to make your decision. Instead, examine the attorney’s reviews and ratings on legal directories as mentioned above.

Meet With Prospective Attorneys – Most Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Offer a Free Consultation

After you have identified a few potential lawyers in Florida, you should schedule free consultations with each attorney. Speaking to multiple lawyers will help you get a feel of what you want and don’t want in a lawyer. It will help you find an attorney that is compatible with your legal needs.

You should use the free consultation to get as much information as possible about your injury claim. You should also ask specific questions about the lawyer’s services.

Consider asking:

By asking these questions, you will be able to set clear expectations about your case and attorney. These questions will also facilitate a healthy relationship with your attorney and minimize misunderstandings and miscommunications.

Selecting the Right Florida Personal Injury Attorney to Represent You

To have the best odds of a successful personal injury claim, you should make sure your attorney has certain skills. These skills can be the difference between receiving maximum compensation for your injuries and receiving nothing at all.

Organization Skills

There are a lot of moving parts in a personal injury case. There are filings, investigations, deadlines, etc. Your lawyer needs to be able to manage each stage and filing of a case effectively. Missing a deadline or hearing can have disastrous consequences for your claim.

You also need to make sure your lawyer has the skills to organize and track all documents and evidence in your case. This evidence will be critical for helping you prove liability in your case and achieving a favorable result.

Knowledge of Florida Personal Injury Law

Your lawyer needs to understand and apply Florida injury and insurance law to make the most of your case. These laws, including comparative fault rules and statutes of limitation, can be highly technical. You may not want a lawyer who is a generalist or who typically practices criminal law.

Experience Handling Your Type of Accident Case

You don’t only want a lawyer who has experience in personal injury law. You also want a lawyer who has experience handling your type of personal injury case.

Not all personal injury cases are created equal. Some arise from motor vehicle accidents. Some from medical malpractice. Some from other incidents. 

You need a lawyer who understands the nuances of your injury case and knows what proof they need to offer to win your claim.

Excellent Communication and Negotiation Skills

Most personal injury claims settle. Insurance companies and other defendants prefer not to risk trial if they can settle for a reasonable sum. Therefore, your lawyer needs high-level negotiating skills. They need to be able to leverage their skills and the evidence in your case to make the at-fault party pay fair compensation.

Your lawyer also needs to be able to explain technical legal concepts simply. If they can do this for you in a free consultation, it’s likely that they can do it in front of a judge and jury, also.

Hire a Top Florida Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

Hopefully, this guide has equipped you with strategies for finding the best Florida personal injury lawyer for your case. If you choose the right attorney, your case should proceed smoothly through the different stages. It may take a few tries to find the right attorney, but the effort will have been well worth it if the attorney helps maximize your compensation after your accident.

How To Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Nevada

How To Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Nevada

You could face expensive treatment and therapy when you get injured in an accident. At the same time, your injuries might disable you from working. This puts you in a difficult position. You need medical treatment so you can work, and you need to work so you can pay for medical treatment.

If your injuries resulted from someone else’s negligence, you have another option. You can hire a personal injury attorney and pursue a personal injury claim in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. Your compensation will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity. This will help you meet your daily needs while focusing on your health.

Here are some suggestions about finding the best personal injury attorney for your case in Nevada.

Gather Names of Personal Injury Lawyers Near You

Gather names of lawyers who practice injury law. You have many sources for names, including:

Lawyer Recommendations from Friends and Family

Talk to friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers about the lawyers they used for their cases. Former clients often provide the most accurate reviews of lawyers because they have direct experience seeing their lawyers in action.

If you do not know anyone who had an injury case, talk to people about lawyers they know. Legal professionals often know who has a good reputation even if they practice in a different field. If possible, gather names of Nevada personal injury lawyers from judges, paralegals, or other attorneys.

Also, look for non-recommendations. If someone has heard negative things about a lawyer or had a bad experience with them, exercise caution if hiring that lawyer.

Legal Directories

Many legal directories, like Avvo and Martindale-Hubbell, give lawyer ratings based on algorithms or peer reviews. Lawyers are rated on Avvo from 1 to 10. A score of six or more is considered a good rating. You should look for an attorney who has an Avvo rating of 9 or higher, such as attorney Justin Watkins, who practices personal injury law in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Justin Watkins Avvo Rating

As a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, Justin takes pride in earning high ratings from legal directories because they reflect his knowledge, experience, and ethics in the Nevada personal injury law field.

These legal directories also provide client review ratings. Since prior clients can speak directly to a lawyer’s client-handling skills, you might also find these ratings helpful.

Lawyer Referral Services

The State Bar of Nevada operates a lawyer referral service. When you contact this service by phone or online, the service will help you identify the type of lawyer you need. The service then provides the name of a lawyer you can contact for a 30-minute consultation for $45.

The benefit of the lawyer referral service is that participating lawyers are members of the Nevada Bar and have malpractice insurance. The downside is that the referral service does not screen lawyers based on quality. You could receive the name of a good lawyer or an average lawyer from the referral service.

Online Lawyer Searches

Online searches can often identify the law firms with the largest and most successful practices in your area. But sometimes clients want more than the firm that advertises the most. The firms that have the most prominent websites do not always provide the most personalized service.

And online reviews are not always accurate. There is no way to verify that a Google or Yelp review was left by a client. Sometimes losing parties or other non-clients leave negative reviews to try to tank a lawyer’s online rating.

Meet With Your Prospects – Most Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers Offer a Free Consultation

After gathering the names of prospective lawyers in Nevada, schedule free consultations with as many of them as possible. The more lawyers you speak to, the better the chances are that you will find a lawyer compatible with you and your case.

During your free consultation, discuss your case and the lawyer’s process for representing you. 

Ask questions like:

Ideally, you will ask enough questions that you will have no surprises after you hire the attorney. You will have a much better relationship with your lawyer if you minimize the risk of misunderstandings.

The Process of Selecting a Nevada Personal Injury Attorney To Represent You

To pick a lawyer, you must understand what your lawyer will do in your case. When you know the skills your lawyer needs, you will have an easier time picking one.

Some skills your lawyer needs include:

Organizational Skills

Your lawyer will investigate your case and gather evidence. This evidence will help you prove the liability of the at-fault party and the losses you suffered. The law firm and lawyer you hire will need to keep your evidence organized so they can use it in your case.

Your lawyer will also need to keep track of the deadlines in your case. Missing a deadline can have catastrophic consequences, so your personal injury attorney must ensure that your filings and hearing dates get handled on time.

Knowledge of Personal Injury Law

You need a lawyer with knowledge of the law. The lawyer must take the facts of your case and apply the law to determine the likely outcome and value.

Experience Handling Your Type of Claim

The lawyer must have the experience to anticipate what will happen in your case and deal with it. While the same legal principles apply to most personal injury cases, you want a lawyer with experience dealing with your case’s specific issues.

For example, if you were injured due to medical malpractice, you should probably not hire a lawyer who focuses only on car accidents.

Excellent Communication Skills

Lawyers must have skills in two forms of communication. When talking to you, the lawyer must objectively assess your case and provide unbiased legal advice. When negotiating with insurance adjusters or arguing before a judge or jury, the lawyer must advocate for your position.

When you have your free consultation, note the lawyer’s ability to explain the law and how it fits your case. If a lawyer can explain things clearly to you, they will probably do a good job explaining things to a claims adjuster, judge, or jury.

Hire the Best Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

When you settle on a lawyer, ask for a copy of the lawyer’s fee agreement. Under Nevada’s Rules of Professional Conduct, the agreement must explain how the lawyer will calculate their fee and what you will owe at the end of the case. Review the agreement carefully and discuss any questions with the attorney.

Once you sign the fee agreement, the lawyer will start working on your case. If you choose the right lawyer, you should have a productive relationship as you pursue fair personal injury compensation.

Persistent Pain After a Car Accident: What to Do Next

Persistent Pain After a Car Accident: What to Do Next

Pain can make your life miserable and prevent you from working, performing daily activities, or even sleeping. It can also affect your mood and alter how you interact with the people around you.

More importantly, pain is your nervous system’s way of telling you that something has gone wrong. Pain after a car accident can come from many sources, and most of these possible forms of pain should signal you to take action to find their source.

Learn what to do if you experience persistent pain after a car accident.

The Body’s Pain Response

Your nerves produce pain signals that travel to your brain, which interprets them in a surprisingly detailed way. Your brain can often tell you the nature of the pain’s sensation, its intensity, and its location.

Knowing these details will help you describe your pain to your doctor. For example, different conditions cause sharp pains and dull aches. Likewise, a pain that feels like a throbbing pulse has dissimilar causes from a pain that feels like an electric shock.

These pain sensations all share a common purpose: allowing the nervous system to alert your brain that something has gone wrong in your body. Sometimes, pain is the direct result of injuries, but other times, your pain will come from diseases. Pain can even warn you of environmental dangers, such as hot surfaces or sharp objects.

The effectiveness of the body’s pain response depends on what you do with the information it provides you. When you experience pain, your body is signaling that it needs help, and if you ignore your body, you risk worsening an injury or condition that has already set off your internal alarm system.

Types of Pain

Doctors classify pain in several ways to help them identify the source of your pain and its potential treatment options. Some important pain classes include:

Acute vs. Chronic

Acute pain comes on suddenly due to an injury, disease, or condition. It goes away once doctors address the cause of the pain.

Chronic pain has a longer-term, possibly constant, duration. It may arise from an untreatable condition like rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. It can also come from an injury that did not heal properly or is healing slowly. 

For example, a car accident can tear the cartilage in a joint. Cartilage heals very slowly, and replacement cartilage usually lacks the strength and flexibility of the original cartilage. As a result, you might have ongoing (chronic) pain in the joint.

Somatic vs. Visceral

You experience somatic pain in your musculoskeletal system. When you feel achy joints or tense muscles, you’re experiencing somatic pain.

Visceral pain comes from your organs. Examples of visceral pain include a stomach ache or chest pain.

Local vs. Referred

Local pain occurs at an injury site. If your seat belt bruises your chest in a car accident, your sternum and ribs will hurt.

Referred pain occurs somewhere different than the injury site and usually occurs due to nerve damage. You have referred pain if your neck injury causes pain in your hands and fingers. 

These characterizations make the distinction between local and referred pain one of the most important when diagnosing the cause of your pain.

Steps to Take if You Have Persistent Pain After an Accident

Pain can arise suddenly after an injury, but it often only occurs after an accident where swollen and damaged tissue sets off your body’s pain response.

A concussion happens when a jolt to your brain causes it to swell. Often, you might not experience a headache or other concussion symptoms until hours or even days after your accident.

Persistent pain after an accident can signify a severe injury. You should not assume that your pain is unrelated to your accident. You should also not believe your pain will disappear because it came on late.

If you experience persistent pain after an accident, you should do the following:

See a Doctor

A doctor can try to diagnose the source of your pain. Often, your doctor can prescribe a course of treatment or physical therapy to relieve your pain and repair your injury.

Doctors can also eliminate other causes of pain that might signify more severe injuries. Car accidents often cause seat belt injuries that usually involve a bruised chest, strained muscles, or fractured ribs. 

While painful, these conditions will not kill you; however, chest pain after a car accident could also signify internal bleeding or lung damage. These conditions can kill you without medical treatment. Seeing a doctor about your pain after a car accident could save your life.

Get Treatment

Acute pain after a car accident often means you have suffered an injury that doctors can treat. Doctors can treat fractured bones, torn ligaments, and other painful injuries relatively easily. Treatment and medication can relieve your pain and set you on the path to recovery.

Even if you choose not to treat your injury, your doctor can treat the pain it causes. For example, doctors can only fully treat a herniated disc with surgery to remove it, but they can relieve the pain without surgery by administering anti-inflammatory injections into the nerves irritated by the herniated disc.

Talk to a Lawyer

Many accident victims avoid seeing a doctor and getting treatment because they cannot afford it. At the same time, their painful conditions may prevent them from working, leaving them trapped: They cannot work until they get treatment but cannot get treatment unless they work.

If your car accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you could seek injury compensation. This compensation will cover your medical costs to pay for treatment and therapy. In many cases, injury compensation will help you avoid both financial and health problems.

Do Not Suffer from Persistent Pain

You can seek pain relief after a car accident. You may have a health insurance policy that will cover the treatment of your injuries and include medical payment coverage that will help you pay for said treatment. 

You can pursue injury compensation for accidents where someone else was at fault. And if you were working as a driver when your accident happened, you might even receive workers’ comp benefits.Everything becomes more difficult when you experience persistent pain, but you probably have options for getting medical treatment. You should check into all of them, as you do not need to suffer from persistent pain needlessly.