How to Interview and Hire an Excellent Injury Lawyer in Georgia
If you have found this page, you are probably wondering how to choose the best lawyer to handle your accident case. Having the right lawyer represent you is crucial, and because no “Top 50” lawyer list is totally accurate (and some are downright BS), here are some tips to guide you:
First: you want to research any attorneys you are considering before actually hiring someone. When conducting an online search, keep the following points in mind
- Where did they attend college and law school? Make sure the schools are reputable.
- For important or complex cases, the lawyer you hire should have at least 10 years of experience in the field.
- If possible, you should hire a lawyer who has worked previously for an insurance company , so that he or she truly understands the company’s strategies “from the inside.”
- Check Google reviews about your lawyer and pay attention to anything negative.
- You want a lawyer who specializes in injury cases, not someone who “can do everything.”
- It is always a good sign if a lawyer has been recognized as an expert in the media or has been published.
- Always have an in-person interview before deciding to hire someone.
Once you have researched a lawyer and have set a time to meet in person, here are some important questions you want to ask during the interview:
- How many cases have you handled, and what were their results?
- Can I talk with a few of your previous clients?
- Are you a specialist in injury law, or do you handle other kinds of law as well? (Remember, you want a specialist!)
- Do you have experience working on the insurance companies’ side? (You want to hear a “yes”—this experience will help a lawyer strategize about the best ways to handle the insurance company you are dealing with.)
- Who will be working with you on my case? (It is fine if a secretary or paralegal will be helping, but a “case manager” is a red flag—you want your lawyer to be the main person handling your case.)
- May I have your cell number? (You want a lawyer who is available, not one who is too busy to communicate with you.)
- How many cases are you currently working on? (If it is a huge number, approach with caution—you want someone who can devote enough time and energy to your particular case.)
- How often will I be hearing about how my case is going? (A reasonable period of time is once per month, and you should always be notified when something major happens.)
- How long will it take to solve my case? (It takes a considerable amount of time to solve a case in the most advantageous way for a client, so if the lawyer in question says ‘only a few months,’ then this person is either lying or not planning to take your case to court.)
- What strategy do you envision using for my case?
- Do you foresee any problems with my case?
- What is your policy on charging clients for postage, copies, etc? Do you charge interest on these charges? (You may be shocked by the answers.)
After talking one-on-one with your lawyer, trust your instincts and make the best decision you can.
What Not to Do When Deciding Whom to Hire:
- Although TV law firms have a great deal of publicity, do not be fooled—I can tell you from experience that the vast majority of these injury firms operate according to high-volume and low-quality practices. This means that, if you hire this kind of firm, you will have minimal communication with an actual lawyer. You will probably only be assigned a “case manager” who handles many different cases, and if you have doubts about this you should call the firm and ask to speak directly to the lawyer who is supposedly responsible for your case.
- Never hire a lawyer who is “recommended” by someone calling you after your accident, a chiropractor, another lawyer, etc. People who do this are little more than scam artists or “ambulance chasers,” and you do not want to be involved with them.
- It is usually not a good idea to hire a lawyer suggested by your chiropractor. While these suggestions are occasionally made in good faith, it is more likely that the chiropractor receives money from the lawyer when he or she recommends a client.
- Avoid lawyer referral services. Even legitimate-sounding ones, including the one run by the Atlanta Bar Association, are often simply money-makers that do not guarantee quality legal service.
- Bottom line: trust your judgment and make your own decisions!