Accidents are painful and stressful situations. Hiring an attorney can be just as stressful since there are so many attorneys out there vying for everyone's business. If you've been in an accident and are looking for a personal injury attorney, read through the tips below to get you started on things that are important to know before hiring a lawyer.

1. Look for Experience

Before hiring an accident attorney, make sure that they have the experience and training necessary in the specific kind of accident that you had. Personal injury is a large category of law, including the areas of car accidents, animal bites, medical malpractice, slip and fall incidents, defamation, and assault and battery. Make sure the attorney or team that is hired knows about the specific type of personal injury accident that has occurred. Some attorneys will handle several types of these personal injury categories but rarely do they cover all of them. Experience means understanding the common legal issues as well as having connections with other investigators and experts that can help win a case.

2. Ask for a Professional Opinion

Personal injury cases are unpredictable, and a pedestrian accident attorney in Walnut Creek may not be able to give you specific numbers, but they should be able to provide a general sense of whether your case is solid and has a chance of winning. They should be able to give you an approximate settlement amount or award if the case is won in court. If multiple attorneys give you approximately the same answer, it is probably an accurate estimate.

3. Find Out Who Will Be Doing the Actual Work

Many personal injury attorneys have other professionals that help with the case. These professionals can include paralegals, legal secretaries, or additional attorneys. While you may prefer a senior attorney to work on every detail, having others work on less-important parts will help keep legal fees down, which is important. If you are concerned with others working on the case, be sure to ask to see the qualifications and background information of those who will be helping. This may alleviate any fears.

4. Get a Free Quote

Many personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. That means they do not receive any payment unless they win the case. At that time, they have a contracted percentage of the settlement or award that they are entitled to. The attorney's percentage is often 33%. Often, the attorney will absorb all of the legal filing fees and court fees, but sometimes they will require the client to pay for these. This is all to be negotiated in the terms of the contract before hiring an attorney, so be sure to ask.

5. Hire a Lawyer That is Trustworthy and Easy to Access

It is important to interview potential lawyers to find one that is comfortable talking to. Interactions with the attorney and their office will be regular and candid, so be sure the lawyer you choose is trustworthy. Lawyers who come by personal recommendation can make clients feel the most at ease. It is also important that the attorney is easily accessible, preferably having an office within easy driving distance.

Keep these ideas in mind. While no one ever wants to have to hire an attorney, especially after an accident, these tips should give you the upper hand in choosing one that leads to a successful outcome of your case.