Have you recently suffered an injury in a car accident with a negligent driver or due to a property owner’s poor care and maintenance of their property? Personal injury cases take many forms, and an experienced attorney can help you with each step. Losses from a personal injury can extend well beyond the initial hospital bills and lost income from missing time at work. Some injuries can cause long-term medical complications that require expensive treatments, and others may result in permanent disabilities that interfere with your ability to earn a living and enjoy your life independently.

Personal injury claims are serious matters, so if you believe you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in the Folsom area, it’s vital to find a Folsom personal injury attorney who can successfully navigate your personal injury case. If you are shopping for potential legal representatives, there are five key factors you should carefully assess before agreeing to representation or signing any contracts.

One: Experience

The most important thing to consider when trying to locate a suitable Folsom personal injury attorney is the attorney’s experience level. While there are many young, new lawyers practicing various legal disciplines with great success, there is simply no substitute for experience. Narrow your search to Folsom personal injury attorneys who have many years of dedicated experience practicing personal injury law and those who have admirable trial records.

Ask a potential attorney how long they have practiced law, how long they have provided personal injury representation, and how much experience they have with your type of case. Personal injury law is a broad spectrum of case types, and you wouldn’t want an attorney who specializes in dog bite injury claims to represent your car accident claim.

Two: Availability

It’s not uncommon for attorneys to manage several cases at once, but this is only acceptable if those cases provide enough time between their individual proceedings for the attorney to effectively represent each of them. Some cases have significant time lapses between proceedings, allowing attorneys managing those cases to address other active cases.

Most experienced personal injury attorneys manage a set caseload on a regular basis. Some cases are more complex than others, and some are much more time-consuming than others. Ask your potential attorney about how many cases they manage at a time. This will give you an idea of how much attention the attorney can pay to your case.

Three: Accessibility

If you agree to a lawyer’s legal services, you should know how and when you will be able to get in touch with them. Look for a personal injury attorney that offers several ways to get in touch with them for questions and updates about your case. Virtually every attorney accepts client communication via email or phone, but some are willing to provide quick updates via text. You should know not only how to get in touch with your attorney, but also how long you should expect to wait for a response. It’s reasonable for an attorney to take up to 24 hours to return a phone call or respond to an email, and attorneys should be at least able to provide quick responses to a client’s texts.

Four: Legal Philosophy

You should have some idea of how your attorney tends to approach cases similar to yours and how they intend to handle your case should you accept their legal representation. Some attorneys are skilled negotiators and attempt to avoid lengthy litigation at all costs to expedite the civil claims process for their clients. Other attorneys are confident litigators and more than willing to take a case to court if the settlement isn’t immediately cut-and-dry. You should fully understand a potential Folsom personal injury attorney’s approach and what to expect if they take your case. Ask the attorney what they anticipate when it comes to the outcome of your claim.

Five: Affordability

Legal fees tend to be costly. If every personal injury attorney charged by the hour, then most people could not afford legal fees when they need attorneys’ services. It’s for this reason that most personal injury attorneys in Folsom and throughout California charge for their services with contingency fee agreements. Under a contingency fee, the client typically pays nothing upfront and instead remits legal fee payment in the form of a percentage of the final case award. For example, if the attorney’s contingency fee is 30% in a $100,000 case, the attorney would take $30,000 as their legal fees, leaving the client with $70,000.

Make sure you are crystal clear about billing before agreeing to a lawyer’s legal counsel. Read through their payment and billing terms and conditions very carefully, so you know what to expect when it comes to your legal fees.

If you’re ready to pursue a personal injury claim in Folsom and want to meet with a compassionate, experienced Folsom personal injury attorney, contact The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC today.