Personal Injury Lawyers
California personal injury lawyers claim
to be the most numerous in the nation. And, why not since California
is the world's 5th largest economy, hosting 36 million people,
which is one-third larger than the next largest state (Texas).
Since the state is so large, choosing a California personal injury
lawyer may be a daunting task for many.
As of 2005, there were 150,000 total practicing
lawyers in California (about 1/3 the population of Washington
For those who have been injured, it is wise to first check out
the page on personal injury lawyers,
which will answer general questions on how to pick out a qualified
attorney. Once that task has been accomplished, then return to
this page for more specific information on how to pick out a qualified
California personal injury lawyer.
In picking out a personal injury attorney in California it is
preferable to choose one who works in the same district in which
the accident took place and has spent some time in this location
and knows the local laws, customs and court procedures. California
is one of the most diverse states in the nation ethnically and
The ethnic make up and politics of Northern and Southern California
varies from each other and may have an impact on choice of lawyers.
Even within the same region, there is much variation. For instance,
Los Angeles is known for being a liberal county, but the neighboring
Orange County, particularly the northern section is conservative.
Choosing a California personal injury lawyer who knows the nuances
of the counties and has worked for a long time within these districts
can be an advantage if a case goes to trial.
Since California has the most choices in personal injury lawyers,
one doesn't have to settle for a lawyer who does not specialize
in this field as one may have to in say Alaska or North Dakota
or another less populated state. Ask the prospective California
personal injury lawyer how long they have lived and worked in
the district. Find out how many times they have been to trial
within the district and what their success rate is.
Most people will know about the famous California personal injury
trial Anderson v. Pacific Gas & Electric since it was played
out in the movie "Erin Brockovich" staring Julia Roberts.
The prospective California personal injury lawyer should not only
be very familiar with this case but will other personal injury
cases as well. You may wish to quiz the prospective attorney about
cases such as Lackner v. North (2006) involving a skiing accident,
Christie v. City of El Centro (2006) involving a car accident,
police misconduct and false imprisonment, or a more famous and
important case such as Aas v. Superior Court (2000), which limited
the scope of potential recovery by plaintiffs in construction
Once you've narrowed the choices to a few personal injury attorneys,
then check with the state bar to see if your prospects have been
disciplined, when and why. California has one of the most advanced
disciplinary systems in the nation for lawyers and is the only
state with independent professional judges ruling on attorney
disciplinary cases. This means that much information can be garnered
about whether administrative or disciplinary actions have been
taken toward the prospective personal injury lawyer. A person
can even check when the lawyer was admitted to the bar and where
the lawyer went to undergraduate school and law school.
Since the two biggest complaints against California personal
injury lawyers by their clients have been failure to perform and
failure to communicate, these two areas need to be checked out
in advance as much as possible. Checking references would be one
method to investigate performance. Simply talking with the lawyer
will be an effective way to see if they are good communicators.
Is the personal injury lawyer effective in making his / her points?
Do they listen? Is there a good rapport? Does your prospective
California lawyer exhibit good people skills? If not, then the
lawyer may not be an effective mediator with the insurance company
or an effective litigator with the judge or jury if your case
goes to trial.
Since this state is so big and there are so many California personal
injury lawyers from which to choose, the process of making a choice
may be overwhelming. Remember, though, that you are the boss,
hiring an outside consultant to do a job for you. Screen wisely
and investigate as much as you need to before hiring. The litigation
process and your relationship with the lawyer may last for years,
but if you do a little due diligence, then due process just may
take care of itself.
More Attorneys: Los
Angeles Personal Injury Attorney