In San Diego, you might have occasion to contact a personal injury lawyer. You will want your lawyer to be as competent as possible. You can check up on that by doing some research and seeing their reviews before you hire them.
Once you’ve reached out to a suitable attorney, you can talk to them about what they can do for you. They might have some different answers for you, but one thing is certain: there are some basic things an attorney should be able to do on your behalf if they’re worth the money you’ll pay them. Let’s talk about a few of the more vital things a San Diego personal injury lawyer can do.
Listen to Your Story
It seems obvious that a personal injury lawyer would listen to your story before you hire them. However, you might encounter attorneys who are reluctant to go through with this most basic first step.
The reason why they might not want to listen to your story is that they may have a lot of clients already. If they already have a full caseload, they may seem impatient. They want you to get through your story as quickly as possible so they can determine whether it’s worth it for them to represent you.
If your would-be lawyer tries to rush you, that’s a bad sign. You require an attorney who will give you their full attention and who won’t try to hurry you through your story’s critical details.
Remember that you’re paying this individual. If they won’t give your story the time and attention it deserves, you might go with someone else for that reason.
Answer Every Question You Have
Once you’ve gone through all the story’s details, you will probably have just as many questions for the attorney as they have for you, if not more. The process you’ll have to go through to seek recompense for what happened is potentially long and complicated. Unless you’re already an expert in the law and the legal system, you’ll probably have dozens of questions that the lawyer should be able to answer.
Again, they should have no problem taking the time to answer every query you have. If they won’t answer some of your questions or they seem impatient, they are probably not the best choice to represent you.
Research All Relevant Statutes and Prior Cases
When you tell your would-be lawyer what brought you to them, they might quickly have some prior cases in mind that echo yours. Maybe they had clients in similar situations to where you are. Even if they have never personally dealt with a case like yours, they will probably have heard of cases like it that worked their way through the court system.
They should be able to draw on that knowledge if they take you on as a client. If your case does go to trial, your attorney can rely on precedent to argue on your behalf.
If they have never heard of a personal injury case that is remotely likely yours, they can at least do some research to see what statutes can help your situation. Looking at case law should give them an advantage during a jury trial if the defendant refuses to settle out of court.
Coordinate an Investigation
Assuming this lawyer does take you on as a client, they should be able to spearhead an investigation into whatever happened. They might believe you when you tell them what took place to bring you to them, but they also need to start gathering as much physical evidence as they can to fight for you in court. He may already have investigators on the payroll who can start talking to witnesses.
You should have to bring in expert witnesses who can help to convince a jury that the events happened like you said they did. Your lawyer should already have a lot of these connections before you ever walk into their office.
Handle the Negotiations
Before you get to the point where you are sitting in a courtroom alongside your lawyer, they should be able to meet with the defendant and ask whether they would consider a settlement. That might be preferable to a long, drawn-out jury trial.
Maybe the defendant will agree to settle, or perhaps they won’t, but your attorney should at least be able to sit down to discuss it with the defendant and their own legal counsel.