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February 23, 2024

How to Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in California

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

There isn’t a one size fits all approach to finding the best personal injury lawyer in California. Whenever someone is looking to hire a California personal injury attorney they may have more, or less resources to tap into compared to someone else in their shoes.

If you’re struggling to find a personal injury lawyer, we’ve listed some of the best ways to find and vet them below.

How to Find the Best California Personal Injury Lawyer in 2024

  1. Ask friends and family for referrals. Word of mouth is often one of the best ways to find a reputable lawyer. Ask anyone you know who has had a positive experience with a personal injury lawyer before.
  2. Find an attorney via the California State Bar. The California State Bar allows you to search for certified personal injury lawyers in your area through their attorney search database on
  3. Look on Reddit. There are plenty of Reddit threads talking about where to find personal injury lawyers in cities across the entire state of California.
  4. Utilize a certified California lawyer referral service. California has many certified lawyer referral services just like ours that help you find one of the best attorneys for your case. These services are free and they find reputable attorneys for you, so you don’t have to spend time looking for one.
  5. Use online directories. There are many online directories that only showcase lawyers you can contact. Some of these include Avvo and Justia.

What to Do When You Find a Personal Injury Lawyer You Like

Here are some things to consider once you find an attorney that may be a good fit for you:

  • Check the lawyer’s track record. Look up their verdicts and settlements in past cases. The best lawyers will have a proven history of getting large settlements and verdicts for their clients.
  • Make sure they have experience with your type of case. Find a lawyer who regularly handles cases similar to yours, such as car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, etc.
  • Consider lawyers with trial experience. While most cases settle out of court, you want your lawyer to be capable and willing to take your case to trial if needed.
  • Confirm the lawyer is licensed in California. You want someone who is familiar with California personal injury laws and regulations.
  • Meet with the lawyer for a consultation. Make sure you feel comfortable working with them before committing. Discuss legal fees during the consultation.
  • Research client reviews and ratings. Look for positive feedback from past clients when choosing a lawyer. Watch for any negative reviews as well.
  • Ask about the lawyer’s caseload. An overloaded lawyer may not be able to give your case the attention it deserves.
  • Location may matter. Consider looking for a lawyer near where you live or where the injury occurred.

Hiring and Lawsuit Process

Here is what the hiring and lawsuit filing process may look like for a personal injury case in California:

  • Initial Consultation: The process typically starts with an initial consultation. During this meeting, the potential client discusses their case with the lawyer. The lawyer evaluates the case’s merits and advises on the next steps.
  • Agreement: If the lawyer agrees to take on the case and the client decides to hire them, they enter into an agreement. This agreement outlines the terms of the representation, including fees and expenses.
  • Investigation and Gathering Evidence: After being hired, the lawyer investigates the details of the case. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, obtaining medical records, and assessing damages.
  • Negotiation or Litigation: Depending on the circumstances, the lawyer may attempt to negotiate a settlement with the opposing party or their insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, the lawyer may proceed with litigation and file a lawsuit on behalf of the client.
  • Discovery: During the litigation process, both parties exchange information through a process called discovery. This may involve written questions, document requests, and depositions.
  • Mediation or Trial: Prior to trial, the parties may participate in mediation or settlement negotiations to try to resolve the case. If no settlement is reached, the case goes to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome.
  • Resolution: Once a settlement is reached or a judgment is issued at trial, the case is resolved. The lawyer ensures that any personal injury settlement funds or damages awarded are properly distributed to the client.

Potential Red Flags to Look Out for When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Here are some potential red flags to watch out for when hiring a personal injury lawyer:

  • They refuse to provide information about past case results. Reputable lawyers will be transparent about their track record.
  • They make unrealistic promises about settlement amounts. Ethical lawyers won’t guarantee a specific outcome.
  • They push you to accept an early settlement. A good lawyer will advise you, not pressure you.
  • They don’t have malpractice insurance. All lawyers should carry liability coverage.
  • They ask you to sign a contract right away. Never sign a retainer agreement at the initial consultation.
  • They charge fees upfront. Personal injury lawyers traditionally work on contingency fees paid from settlement/award.
  • They don’t communicate regularly. Lack of responsiveness is unprofessional.
  • They aren’t familiar with your type of case. Look for relevant experience.
  • They carry an extremely heavy caseload. Your case may not get enough attention.
  • They aren’t admitted to the state bar. Lawyers must be licensed in their state.
  • You consistently feel uncomfortable. Trust your instincts if something seems off.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

One of the greatest benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney is that they have the expertise to maximize your compensation.

Personal injury law is complex, but attorneys specializing in this field know how to build a strong case by gathering evidence, documenting damages, negotiating with insurance companies, and navigating the litigation process if necessary.

They have experience determining fair case values and will advocate aggressively to obtain full and fair compensation.

Personal injury attorneys work on contingency, so you pay nothing upfront, and they are motivated to get the largest settlement or award possible. With an attorney handling the legal complexities, you can focus on your health and recovery.

What Can Happen if You Delay Seeking Compensation for Your Potential Personal Injury Case

Delaying seeking compensation for a potential personal injury case can have several consequences:

  • Statute of Limitations: Every state has a statute of limitations, which is a time limit within which a person must file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim. If someone delays seeking compensation beyond this time limit, they may lose their right to file a lawsuit altogether.
  • Loss of Evidence: Over time, evidence related to the accident or injury may become lost, damaged, or harder to obtain. This can weaken the case and make it more challenging to prove liability or damages.
  • Diminished Witness Memory: Memories fade over time, and witnesses may become harder to locate or their recollection of events may become less reliable. This can affect the strength of the case and the ability to corroborate key details.
  • Medical Treatment Delay: Delaying seeking compensation may also mean delaying necessary medical treatment. This can exacerbate injuries and prolong recovery time, potentially leading to more severe long-term consequences.
  • Financial Strain: Without compensation, the injured party may struggle with medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens resulting from the injury. Delaying seeking compensation can prolong this financial strain.
  • Impact on Settlement: Insurance companies and opposing parties may use delay tactics to their advantage, such as arguing that the delay indicates the injuries are not as severe as claimed or that the accident was not the cause of the injuries. This can affect the likelihood of reaching a fair settlement.

Connect with a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Looking to speak with a personal injury attorney in your area? Contact LawLinq today to connect with some of the best California personal injury lawyers. All initial consultations are free.

About the Author

Jessica Anvar

California Consumer Litigation Attorney Jessica Anvar, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lemon Law Experts California’s leading lemon law firm. She has multiple years’ worth of experience working with both state and federal lemon laws. Her practice focuses exclusively on consumer protection cases. Ms. Anvar received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University. Jessica is very active in her local legal community and has helped thousands of clients across the state of California. She has an outstanding record as a true advocate for consumers.

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