When an injury happens on another person’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim.
Incidences like slip and fall injuries, animal attacks, and swimming pool accidents are some of the most common sources of premises liability claims in Orange County. In most situations, property owners owe a duty of care to people legally on their property, which can make them financially responsible for injuries and other damages in a premises liability claim.
However, when that duty of care is breached and an unsafe or dangerous condition results in someone being harmed, an accident victim or their loved one may begin researching local premises liability lawyers to initiate filing a claim and seeking a fair settlement.
This article provides helpful guidelines for choosing the right premises liability attorney for your case.
Ask for Referrals
One of the first places to look for an attorney to handle a premises liability accident claim is to consult with your existing network of colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and family members. You might be surprised to learn that someone you know suffered a similar injury and found an attorney that helped them recover significant compensation.
While you might come up empty-handed with such a query, you could also find an attorney that someone you trust can vouch for.
Review Their Experience
There are many types of attorneys practicing law, and it’s important to find one with relevant experience in premises liability cases. An attorney who practices only criminal defense or family law is unlikely to know much about the nuances of premises liability claims.
We recommend seeking a law firm that predominantly handles personal injury claims because premises liability is a form of personal injury. If you are torn between two law firms, a final tiebreaker can be the types of premises liability cases the law firm has more experience in.
For example, if you sustained a serious fall in a department store, you can inquire how much experience the attorneys have with slip and fall cases. The firm may work more with plaintiffs who have been involved in amusement park accidents, which might be less ideal of a fit.
In addition to having experience in premises liability cases, we also recommend reviewing the experience of the law firm as a whole. How many years has the firm been in business? How many cases have they handled? What were the results?
Ask for Credentials
Most attorneys proudly display their credentials in their offices, including bar admission certificates. If you do not see a certificate on the wall, you can check the State Bar of California’s online database to confirm that the attorney has a valid and current license to practice law.
This database will also alert you of any disciplinary action an attorney has faced. While a single disciplinary action might not be a deal breaker, it’s a good idea to review any complaints to confirm that the attorney has corrected any issues and currently has a clean slate.
Inquire About the Attorney’s Track Record
While an ethical attorney can’t guarantee a particular result, you can sometimes get an idea of how skilled a lawyer is by inquiring about recent cases. If an attorney has never handled a case that has circumstances similar to what you’re facing, they might not be the best choice.
Don’t be afraid to ask an attorney you’re considering hiring if they’ve handled cases like yours, what settlements they’ve gotten, and how often cases go to trial.
Research the Attorney’s Reputation
Anyone can look good on paper or tell you what you want to hear, so finding out what other people are saying about your prospective attorney can give you more honest insight into who you might be working with.
Many attorneys publish reviews on their websites. You can also turn to Google and find reviews posted on third-party websites, including the following:
- Google My Business (GMB)
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
As you’re reading reviews, pay attention to factors that are important to you. For example, if you want a premises liability attorney who picks up the phone personally and is very patient with questions, look for reviews that mention those qualities.
Inquire About Fees
Most premises liability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t pay any money until your case is settled. However, not all personal injury attorneys work like this, so finding out about fee structures is essential before moving forward.
Further, even with contingency agreements, there are other variables to ask about, including the following:
- What percentage is the contingency fee?
- How are expenses calculated and deducted?
- Do litigation expenses need to be paid in advance?
Meet with the Attorney
Filing a premises liability claim is a very personal experience, and you’ll work closely with an attorney to settle or litigate your case. Therefore, it’s important that you have a healthy rapport with the attorney you hire, as well as the support staff.
During the initial consultation, you may want to ask about the attorney’s communication style and how frequently you can expect updates about your case. Remember, even though the attorney will be asking you questions about what happened, you are also interviewing the attorney.
Come Prepared with Documents
As you meet with premises liability attorneys to discuss your case, we recommend gathering as much evidence and documentation as possible to present to the attorney.
Having information like police reports, photos, witness statements, medical bills, and other documentation can help an attorney evaluate your case, give you an estimate of what it could be worth, and determine next steps in moving forward with a claim.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Premises Liability Attorney Today
At Khalil Law Group, we believe choosing the right premises liability attorney for your case is important. Our firm has a successful track record in personal injury claims, and we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help you decide if our attorneys can help. Contact us 24/7 at (714) 617-7870 for a free case evaluation.