There are a lot of good lawyers in Georgia, but most of them won’t be right for your case. Lawyers focus their practice in specific practice areas. There’s no lack of personal injury lawyers in Atlanta, but many of them only represent clients with certain types of injuries.
Even within narrow practice areas there are differences between attorneys. Two lawyers who both focus their practices on car accident injuries could have very different approaches. One of them might rarely – or never – go to trial, while the other is willing to go to trial if that’s what’s best for their client.
Some lawyers only take cases they know they can quickly negotiate and settle without ever needing to prepare for trial. Others will prepare for every case as if it might go to trial to ensure they’re prepared if the insurance company refuses to reach a fair settlement during negotiations.
How to Find a Lawyer
Your first step should be identifying potential lawyers. Searching online is often the best place to start. You can try calling that lawyer from all the billboards and bus ads you see around town, but ad visibility doesn’t necessary equate to good representation.
The larger law firms with big marketing budgets often compartmentalize and take a conveyor-belt approach to case management. When you’re just a number on a spreadsheet, it’s unlikely you’ll be given a lot of personal attention. Smaller law firms that consist of just a handful of lawyers tend to offer more attentive service.
When you’re looking for attorneys on various listing websites or through Google searches, you should pay attention to past client reviews and case results. Did the lawyer’s clients feel like they received the attention they deserved? Has the lawyer had past success with cases like yours?
Keep in mind online reviews aren’t always the most reliable tool to evaluate any business, especially lawyers. Some clients/customers aren’t reliable narrators, especially if they went into their case with unrealistic expectations. Still, you may notice trends in reviews. If every client reviewer complains about never being able to get in touch with their lawyer, it may be indicative of poor client communication.
Once you’ve identified some potential lawyers, you should schedule free consultations. You can ask about fees, but the answer will invariably be the same – all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means you don’t have to pay them until your case is settled or won in court. However, different personal injury lawyers have different contingency fee percentages, and some may require you to pay case costs and court fees yourself.
Ask about their case load and whether they have the bandwidth to give your case adequate attention.
Although your case probably won’t go to trial, you should still find out if the personal injury attorney you’re speaking with has trial experience.
Also be sure to confirm that the attorney has experience with cases like yours. If they say no but try to convince you that all personal injury cases are essentially the same, you should keep looking.
Personal injury attorneys don’t have crystal balls that can tell the future, and they shouldn’t make you any promises about your case outcome. But they should be able to give you some general ideas, like the outcome of past cases that were similar to yours.
They should also be able to give you a general estimate of how long a case like yours should take. You may also want to ask whether a trial is likely in your case and how most cases like yours turn out. Different lawyers might give you different answers, but it’s generally best to go with lawyers you think are being honest with you.
Also make sure to find out who will be handling your case. At a big law firm, the person you talk to for your free consultation might not be the attorney who will be handling your case. While that might not always be a bad thing, it could be a potential warning sign that the law firm will pass you off to a lesser attorney or paralegals.
Don’t hesitate to find out about client communication or what the lawyer believes a client’s role should be in the personal injury process. You shouldn’t expect to get a status report from your lawyer every day, but they should be attentive when you have questions and keep you apprised of your case’s progress.
Talk With Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers Who Will Be Committed to Your Case
At the Dressie Law Firm we’re committed to pursuing the outcome that’s in every client’s best interest. In many instances this means investigating your case, calculating your damages and negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. However, not every case can be summed up so cleanly. Our clients can trust us to do whatever is legally necessary to help them receive the compensation they need to recover.
Call us at 770-756-6333 to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.