Nobody ever really wants to hire a lawyer, but the reality is that at some point you'll need to hire one. The problem is that if you've never hired an attorney, and you have no frame of reference, where do you look for one? The answer is almost always going to be to hire locally. We've written before on how to choose the best attorney for your case, but why does it matter if you hire a local San Bernardino or Riverside lawyer versus an attorney from Los Angeles or Orange County?
Here are the top 5 reasons to hire a local lawyer
There's a trend that's been taking place in the last several years. Law firms from Los Angeles and Orange County have been setting up "Satellite" offices in the Inland Empire so they can have a local telephone number and office address to give the impression that they're a local firm and appear in the local business section of Google, but there's usually no one there to staff it. Often times their "local" office is little more than a desk, printer and a telephone. So when you need to see your lawyer, they would have to drive in from Downtown Los Angeles or Irvine to meet you. How often do you really think that happens? Local lawyers are typically more accessible because you can drop something off at their office and leave it with their staff, stop by if you have a question or concern, or make an appointment that isn't limited to one afternoon on the only day the attorney is in town.
2) Local attorneys usually know the local judges, courtroom cadence and opposing lawyer
When you hire an attorney outside of the Inland Empire, that individual may have never met the judge they'll be appearing before, they may not know their personality, behavior, likes & dislikes or the way they run their courtroom. Local attorneys attend local mixers, conferences and social events and get the opportunity to develop a rapport with judges and other local attorneys. This should not be misconstrued as a judge favoring a local lawyer, but it's easier for an attorney to prepare and position your case if they know the personalities of the judge and the opposing attorney. Hiring an attorney who's never met the judge assigned to your case or the opposing counsel, and who doesn't know the local courtroom flow may be considered to be at a slight disadvantage.
3) Local attorneys invest, spend and hire locally
An article from Entrepreneur says "Local business owners often have incentive to support other local businesses, patronizing local establishments for both business and personal reasons." Local attorneys are your neighbors and they tend to hire local support staff, pay local taxes, shop at local stores, eat at local restaurants and hire local service providers. When you hire a lawyer from Orange County or Los Angeles, the dollars you spend supports their local community.
4) Many local attorneys are just as qualified for "big cases"
Among some people, there's a perception that you'll get a better result for your case if you hire a "Los Angeles" attorney. While it's true that Los Angeles has some of the best legal talent in the country, chances are good that your case can be equally represented by a well qualified local attorney. Furthermore, there's a chance that the hourly or fixed rate for a local attorney will be far less than a lawyer paying premium rent & overhead for a Los Angeles or Newport Beach office.
5) Reduced Out-of-Pocket Costs
When you hire an attorney the travel costs affiliated with your case are incurred and charged to you. That can include:
If you need to hire a lawyer, the best way to validate that your actually hiring locally is by verifying with the California State Bar of the address on file for an attorney. InlandEmpireLawyers.com has already done this for you by allowing only verified local attorneys to be listed within our directory. This way, you can be assured that the attorney you contact is genuinely local to San Bernardino & Riverside County.
Even though it has been six years since the Affordable Care Act became law, politicians continue to debate ways to curb what appear to be ever-increasing costs of healthcare services. The battle against rising healthcare costs began long before the Affordable Care Act’s passage, however, and saw a number of states enacting medical malpractice caps that limit the amount of damages a medical malpractice claimant can recover in a lawsuit. Lawmakers believed such caps could be useful in lowering healthcare costs in that the amount of compensation a doctor or medical provider would be liable for would be restricted, thereby making the costs of medical malpractice liability insurance more affordable (and, hence, reducing the amount of the medical malpractice insurance premium that the doctor needed to “pass on” to his or her patients in the form of higher costs for services.
California's Medical Malpractice Cap Limits
California is one of many states that have passed a “cap” on the amount of noneconomic damages that a medical malpractice plaintiff can receive. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) was passed in 1975 and limits medical malpractice plaintiffs to a maximum of $250,000 in noneconomic damages.
In any civil lawsuit, a plaintiff may allege that he or she has suffered “economic” harm as well as “noneconomic” harm. Economic harm consists of financial expenses and losses that a person experiences as the result of another person’s negligence: in the case of a medical malpractice case, this can include additional medical expenses, prescription drug costs, and time missed from work. “Noneconomic” harm refers to those losses that are not financial in nature – things like a person’s mental pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life the person experiences as the result of his or her injury.
While MICRA restricts the amount of monetary damages that a plaintiff may receive for his or her noneconomic damages, no such cap is placed on the amount of economic damages that the plaintiff can receive. In other words, the plaintiff’s economic losses (at least the ones he or she can satisfactorily prove to the court) can be fully compensated, regardless of the actual amount of damages incurred. Conversely, no matter how severe the plaintiff’s pain and suffering or how limited his or her life now is because of the medical mistake, it is unlikely that he or she will recover more than $250,000 for those losses.
Helping Injured Patients in California for 40 Years
When you have been injured by a doctor’s or surgeon’s medical mistake, you may find yourself and your family facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic and noneconomic losses. Heiting & Irwin is your Riverside medical malpractice law firm. We want to help you recover from your tragic injury and obtain the compensation you need to pull your life back together. Contact our firm at (951) 682-6400 or by using our firm’s online contact form.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/presidenciamx/
IE Legal Hub
Local legal information, published by local Inland Empire lawyers.
Are you a local attorney?