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
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
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 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 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 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.
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
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
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
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.
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:
- Medical Issues: A good attorney will work with a team of experts that can properly evaluate your injuries.
- Financial Issues: An attorney will help you with the financial issues that inevitably arise after an accident.
- Higher Settlements: An experienced attorney can often help you negotiate higher settlements with the negligent party’s insurance company.
I like that you mentioned that you should ask a lawyer if they exclusively practice personal injury law. That way, you can make sure that you choose somebody with expertise and experience. I want to find somebody to help me get compensation for my injury, because I was recently in an accident. I will keep this in mind as I search, thanks!
Thank you for all the tips and information on how to hire a good personal injury attorney. I really liked the questions that you can ask the attorney. I think it is a great idea to ask if they exclusively practice personal injury law. It would be nice to know if they are an expert before we hire them.
My brother was recently hurt in a pretty bad accident and I’ve been trying to help him out. I liked that you had mentioned that it could be a good idea to ask questions about the cases the lawyer has handled prior to make sure they can handle your problems. I’ll have to start looking for a personal injury lawyer that can help him out, and I’ll be making sure that they can handle problems similar to his.
Thank you for pointing out that a good attorney will work with a team of experts to properly evaluate your injuries. My sister was injured in a severe car accident and I think she should hire a lawyer to make sure she gets the help she needs. Hopefully, she can find a nice one in our area that will work well with her.
I agree that you want to google a personal injury lawyer before choosing them. Finding someone who is qualified as well would ensure that they do good work. My husband and I are looking for a lawyer to help us file a case, so we’ll have to google them first.
I love knowing that a personal injury lawyer will be able to get yo a higher settlement. It makes a lot of sense that this is a high desire of those trying to get the best possible help. I will let my cousin know this since he was researching a similar attorney.
My dad was badly injured last night after my uncle accidentally hit him with a hammer. It was suggested here that when looking for a personal injury lawyer, he should read reviews and ask questions during the first consultation. Furthermore, it’s advisable to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for the best outcome.
Sadly, my husband was involved in a car accident last night and we’ve been in the hospital ever since. I’m wanting to find a good attorney to help with the case. Thank you for suggesting that I should take the time to read long reviews online. I’ll have to look at some attorneys in my area, and hopefully, I can find the best one possible.
I agree that you want to consider going online and Googling an injury lawyer before you choose them. Finding someone with good online reviews would let you know that they are qualified. My husband and I are looking for an injury lawyer, so we’ll have to check online first.
My sister has never had to deal with any legal issues before, but Now she’s having to press charges against an employee who’s been stealing from her company. She’ll have to hire a lawyer and she doesn’t know where to start. It’s a great idea to look at online reviews, especially the longer reviews.
Thanks for the tip about going online and searching in Google for a lawyer. Finding someone with a lot of good online reviews and a strong presence would be really helpful. My husband and I are looking for a lawyer, so we’ll have to check online first.
thanks for the tip about doing a Google search when choosing an accident lawyer. Finding someone who has good online reviews would probably be helpful. My husband and I are looking for accident insurance, so we’ll have to search online first.
I agree that using a search engine like Google to find a personal injury lawyer is a good idea. It would make sense to google them in order to know they are qualified. My husband and I are looking for an injury lawyer, so we’ll have to check online.
Thanks for these tips on how to find an accident lawyer. It would make sense to find online reviews and directories to help you be pointed in the right direction. My husband and I are looking for an accident lawyer, so we’ll have to check their qualifications and reviews first.
Thanks for these tips on how to find a good accident lawyer. It would make sense to find someone online who is qualified and has good reviews. My husband and I are looking for an accident lawyer, so we’ll have to check their reviews first
Thanks for these tips on how to find an injury lawyer before you choose them. I agree that you want to search online in order to find out more about them. My husband and I are looking for an injury lawyer, so we’ll have to check online first.
Thanks for the tip to visit the State Bar website for our state to see the educational background of potential attorneys. My husband was recently injured when he slipped and fell at the grocery store, and I think working with a lawyer would help us get better compensation for his medical bills. I’m glad I read your article because I feel much more prepared to accurately evaluate injury lawyers.
Thanks for these tips on how to find a good lawyer. It would make sense to read their online reviews in order to find out more about them. My husband and I are looking for an accident lawyer, so we’ll have to check their reviews first.
I liked that you said that one way to find a good personal injury attorney is to search online. I would imagine that this would also give you the opportunity to read reviews. I would be sure to look online for a reputable attorney.
I liked that you mentioned you can conduct an online search to find the best personal injury attorney. A friend of my brother was involved in a car accident, and we are looking for advice to help him. I will let him know about your recommendations to find the best personal injury lawyer for his friend.
My friend’s son had an accident and he hasn’t been able to pay the medical bill because the insurance hasn’t responded. I like how you mentioned that an attorney will be able to help you to find the best way to negotiate with your insurance. I will recommend him to hire an injury lawyer so that he can get that issue resolved as soon as possible.
My friend is thinking about hiring a lawyer for a wrongful death case that his family is dealing with and he asked me to help him find a professional who he can trust. It makes a lot of sense that he should choose a lawyer who has great online reviews! I will make sure to tell my friend to contact the lawyer’s previous clients with cases similar to his and find out if they had success.
You made good point that getting a personal injury lawyer should involve finding someone that feels easy for me to talk to. After a friend of mine broke his leg recently from falling down the stair of the apartment complex he’s staying at, I realized how easy it is for a random accident to just render a person unable to work all of a sudden. As such, I think having a personal injury lawyer would be able to protect me in case I get injured due to an establishment’s negligence.
My husband got injured at work, and we are looking for advice about how to deal with all the process. I liked that you mentioned you need to consider a lawyer’s reviews online to choose the perfect one to help you. I will let him know about your recommendations to choose the right personal injury lawyer to help you.
Thanks for the tip about how using legal directories can help in finding a personal injury attorney. I’d like to look for one soon because I recently had a hip injury due to a fall. I haven’t fully recovered yet but I’d like to start working on filing for a claim for it as early as now.