If you’ve been the pedestrian victim of a car accident, it goes without saying that you have a lot on your plate right now. Car accidents involving pedestrians are notoriously serious, simply because the injuries sustained are, in most cases, life-threatening and expensive to treat.
Not only do you have physical injuries to manage, but you have to take care of your mental and emotional health, too. The mere task of getting healthy again and staying healthy following a pedestrian injury accident is difficult enough — add on police reports and legal papers, and it quickly becomes overwhelming. Quite simply, it’s impossible for anyone to get through it alone.
It may be one of the hardest times in your life, but it’s something you can get through, especially with the help of a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer. Finding a personal injury lawyer can be tough because there are so many types of personal injury lawsuits, and you want to make sure that you find a lawyer who has experience dealing with situations similar to yours.
So how can you be sure that you’ll find the best Los Angeles pedestrian lawyer possible? Here are a few tips that will help you understand what to expect, what questions to ask, and what you deserve from a personal injury attorney:
- Experience in your state, and with your type of accident. There are plenty of personal injury lawyers located in and around the Los Angeles metro region, but not all of them will be able to represent you in a court of law if you’ve been the victim and the pedestrian in a car accident. You’ll want to find a lawyer who can expressly state that he or she has handled similar cases in the past and is confident in your case, too. It’s also important to find a lawyer who has experience practicing law in the same state; just like other traffic laws, laws on hitting pedestrians are generally the same but have some important differences from state to state. A lawyer who has practiced personal injury law in New York may not be the best Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer — and it’s okay to be a little picky about this.
- Ask around for recommendations; choose a lawyer with a good reputation. Let’s just get this out of the way before anything else: no law firm is perfect, no lawyer will be able to please every single potential client, and it’s unreasonable to expect to hear flawless reviews from everyone. That being said, never underestimate the power of a personal referral; if a trusted friend, family member, or coworker can give you an honest and positive opinion on a particular Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer, make sure that you look into this law office.
- Costly consultations and ambiguity about the fees involved? No thank you. First, a good Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will be more than happy to offer you a consultation free of charge — this is a pretty standard practice among honest and trustworthy personal injury attorneys and law firms, so if you find a law firm that refuses to offer you a free or low-cost consultation, just walk away. Good lawyers will want to understand the details of your case and help you understand what’s involved, too, rather than trick you into a lawsuit where you don’t get the compensation you deserve. Quite frankly, you have enough stress to manage at the moment; if a lawyer isn’t willing to explain his or her fees right from the beginning, you shouldn’t have to play the guessing game.
- Stay away from guarantees and promises. Again, no law firm is perfect 100% of the time; in fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has stated that only about 60% of car accidents involving pedestrians are won by the plaintiffs, even though it’s estimated that one car accident involving an injured pedestrian happens about once every seven minutes. While you probably want to steer clear of a lawyer who has never won a case for his or her clients, remember that the number of “wins” and the total dollar amount of compensation settlements aren’t alone indicative of that Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer. If a lawyer promises you that you’ll get all of the money you’re asking for — especially after hearing the details of your situation — this isn’t a good sign. You deserve to have an accident injury attorney you can trust, and being completely honest with clients is a good indication that a lawyer is dedicated to helping people and not just focused on making money.
- Most car accidents involving pedestrians will result in lawsuits — but not every single time. This is another point that factors into honesty and trust: not every accident will end up in the courtroom, and sometimes a lawsuit isn’t even necessary. Lawsuits can take a long time and can be very expensive, and a good Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer won’t want to waste your time or your money just to get in a courtroom and prove how hard he or she is willing to fight for you; most people aren’t aware that around 96% of personal injury lawsuits are settled pre-trial (i.e., not in a courtroom). Furthermore, a good personal injury attorney will be upfront with you and let you know whether or not you’ve got a case at all; the best injury accident attorneys see their clients as real people and not just dollar amounts.
Even though there are well over 150,000 personal injury attorneys practicing in the U.S. today, not every lawyer is capable of handling personal injury lawsuits that result from pedestrian traffic accidents.
And as the victim of one of these accidents, you definitely shouldn’t be handling a lawsuit on your own. Ultimately, you deserve to find a personal injury lawyer around whom you feel comfortable; someone you can trust, and someone who has your best interest in mind.