THREE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK BEFORE YOU HIRE A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY OFF THE INTERNET
Now days there are so many choices online for car accident and personal injury attorneys. How do regular folks who have been injured separate the high quality attorneys from lesser skilled attorneys. This blog post will provide you with a handful of helpful tips to ask your attorney so you know you are working with a highly skilled car accident and personal injury attorney.
1. How many times has the attorney you may hire appeared in front of a court or jury in Sonoma/Napa/Lake/Mendocino county?
First things first, even though your case may never need to go all the way to a jury trial, the value insurance companies will pay for your injury very much depends on the risk the insurance companies perceive about your case at trial. Insurance companies look at the end game. They look through to the very end and they calculate what are the ranges for verdicts for your injuries and what is your attorneys track record at trial in your specific county. So, if you hire an attorney who is from somewhere far away, and your attorney you hire has never been to the county where your injury occurred, the insurance companies will know this. For cases where you have been injured in Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, or Lake County, the insurance companies have adjusters primarily in Santa Rosa. These Adjusters know who is a real local courtroom threat, and who is not from the area and no threat. If you end up with a random attorney who is not from Northern California, and specifically has no track record with these Santa Rosa insurance adjusters, the value of your case could easily be devalued.
2. What Jury Verdicts And Settlements Has your Attorney Obtained Recently In Your County?
Many times attorneys will post huge prior verdicts or settlements. What they don't tell you is how long ago these were obtained, or how many other attorneys were working on the same case and if co-counsel was involved. Many firms online are simply marketers who have no real court room experience in your county. They hope to get a settlement from the insurance companies and if they can't get it settled and the hard work of litigation and trial is needed, they must refer your case to trial counsel who will litigate your case and build it for trial. The problem with these online marketing law firms, is they don't have the ability to see all the way through trial. When it comes to Car Accident cases in places like Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Napa, or Lakeport, you need a proven trial attorney who can take your case from A-Z if need be. Many law firms only take your case through the pre-litigation stage where they collect all your medical bills and submit this to the insurance company hoping for a quick settlement. While this maybe appropriate, often times these firms don't have actual attorneys reviewing the file before it's submitted to the insurance carriers, and your claim could be settled for lower value than if your attorney put in the work to litigate the case. When it comes to cases in Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and Lake Counties Law Offices of J.Chrisp can successfully represent you from Pre-Litigation through Jury Trial. Our recent Verdicts earned our firm a nomination and finalist for 2018 San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the year. This month alone we have settled over $2,000,000.00 in cases for Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino county.
3. Does this personal injury attorney have my best interest at heart or are will they hurt my case and increase my costs?
While typical fees range from 33.33% for Pre-Litigation settlements to 50% for trial, one thing most folks don't know about are case costs. Unfortunately, if your attorney is sending you to doctors who are treating on liens, you must be very vigilant to ensure that the doctor bills don't end up being more than your settlement. While we often send patients to the best doctors, we make sure our clients are not getting taken advantage of so they keep more money in their pocket at the end. We have heard horror stories about firms that are not located in Northern California that send their clients to all sorts of shady doctors who bill outrageous amounts. The insurance companies refuse to pay these padded charges, and the doctor refuses to lower his bill. Because these attorneys who use these doctors send tons of clients to their doctors, the attorneys won't stand up to the doctors, and the client ends up paying these unfair charges out of money they should have gotten in their pocket. At the end of the case the poor client ends up getting less than their doctors or their lawyer. We don't think this is right, and we strive to make sure our clients cases don't get under water. Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino Counties are small communities and we know our reputation is everything. We have built our sterling reputation on years of treating our local clients as family and as we would want to be treated. We think long term and partner with our clients who end up being our best referral sources. If you choose our firm you can rest assured we will do everything in our power to make sure you are treated right.
So that's it for a quick three questions you should always ask from any personal injury attorney you find online.