Tips, tricks and advice for finding the best lawyer near you
Personal injury cases are far too important to try to handle by yourself. An experienced attorney is capable of helping you perform essential tasks that include collecting evidence, talking to witnesses and knowing what to expect from an acceptable settlement. If your case needs to go to court, then they can provide you with representation that makes it easier to get what you need for your recovery.
Choosing a personal injury lawyer is not something you do every day, and it is normal to be intimidated about how to even start the process. After all, it seems as though there are ads for lawyers everywhere, and there are so many different types of attorneys that you can’t always tell the difference for which one is right for your case.
When you are wondering how to find a good layer in Georgia, it is best to take a multi-pronged approach that allows you to gather several potential options. Then, you can begin to work through the process of checking into each person’s credentials to find the one that can best represent your case.
Know the characteristics of a good lawyer
A competent lawyer is one who is fully licensed to practice in your state. They should have an impressive educational background that includes years of experience in the legal field. An even better attorney is one that specializes in the areas that match your type of case. You may also want to know that the lawyer has a history of managing successful settlements and case results.
On a personal level, you may need to think about logistics. For instance, you may need an attorney that is located near enough to your home that you can get to their office despite being injured. You should also expect to feel a strong rapport with the attorney. If you feel uncomfortable talking to them, then you may not be able to fully communicate about everything that happened with your accident.
The best way to handle your search for a personal injury lawyer you can trust is to blend the two together. The best lawyer is highly educated and experienced, but they also know how to communicate well with their clients.
Ask your friends and family for recommendations
As with many big decisions, you might just want to start by asking around. Your friends and family members might have dealt with a personal injury lawsuit in the past, and they may know of a good law firm to check out. Pay attention if you continue to hear the same name more than once. Law firms with many years of history often have past clients in the area who are eager to vouch for their expertise.
You may also want to expand your options for referrals by reaching out to groups of people in similar situations. For instance, you might find people in your trade association or within a support group who have had personal injuries that are similar to yours. Most likely, these people have also worked with a personal attorney.
Keep in mind that personal references should be taken with a grain of salt. They can help you identify potential attorneys to meet with, but it will all eventually need to come down to choosing one that fits your needs.
Check local and state bar directories
An unbiased report on a lawyer’s educational and professional background is critical for helping you to weed out the ineffective ones. Local and state bar directories list information about licensed attorneys. To practice in the state of Georgia, attorneys must be members of the State Bar. Their directory includes details that can help you make your decision.
In addition to the usual details such as their name and address, you can find out which school an attorney graduated from, along with any memberships or areas of specialization. Georgia, like most states, also allows you to check for a history of disciplinary action. Seeing an attorney has been disciplined or had their license suspended is a huge red flag. On the other hand, you might see that an attorney served in an honored position as the president of the State Bar or another respected professional association.
Look at law firm reviews
You can also look for online reviews that give you more information about people’s experiences with a firm or a specific attorney. For instance, you might begin by checking out law firm websites for testimonials from former clients. You can also do a search for a firm’s or individual attorney’s name to delve deeper into their reviews.
As with personal references, you also want to remember that each person’s experience can vary significantly based upon their case, personality and general outcome.
Put it all together
Once you’ve done some research, you should be able to put together a general list of attorneys to meet with. Try to put them in order of your current preference based upon their reviews, professional status and credentials. This helps you to start making appointments to meet with the top ones that you think can best handle your case.
Meet with the attorney
The final step to choose the best personal injury lawyer is to schedule an initial consultation. During this meeting, you should get a good general feel of the overall atmosphere in the law firm’s office and receive some feedback from the attorney about your case. They should explain any concerns that they have about your case along with their predictions for a good outcome.
By the end of your consultation, you should feel like you can make an informed decision about choosing them for your personal injury case.