Personal injury lawyers in Georgia can be found in every county in the state. The manner in which you find and retain a personal injury lawyer, however, may also determine the chances of having a legal professional who will vigorously prosecute your injury claim.
You also should retain an attorney who is experienced in your type of personal injury accident. If a defective product caused you injury, then you need a product liability attorney. A slip and fall should be handled by a premises liability lawyer. Birth defects, surgical errors, misdiagnosis or other medical cases are within the skills of medical malpractice attorneys.
Before lawyers were allowed to advertise, personal injury lawyers in Georgia and every other state had to find alternative means of finding clients. Advertising was considered beneath the profession until the US Supreme Court ruled otherwise, so referrals from other legal professionals or by word-of-mouth were the primary sources of business.
If you had an attorney represent you for another legal matter like a will, divorce or real estate, he or she can likely refer you to a colleague or other attorney who has a sound reputation. Family members or friends, if they had a personal injury case, are also good sources if they had a satisfactory experience.
Many personal injury lawyers in Georgia, or anywhere else, are aware that the more serious and lucrative injury cases go to firms from referrals, so it is in their best interest to achieve a favorable result in your case if it was referred. It is also a much less expensive source of clients.
Another referral source is from the county bar association. These attorneys will have legal malpractice insurance and generally have no record of complaints.
Internet or Yellow Pages
Most personal injury lawyers in Georgia have a website and/or advertise in the local yellow pages. Attorneys are sorted by the type of practice they have so it is at least a good starting point for finding an attorney if you cannot get a referral.
While an ad can give some information about an attorney or the firm, you should do more research than blindly relying on the advertisement.
If the attorney has a link to a social media site, you should go to it as these sites will provide more personal information including outside interests and possible community involvement that shows a dedication to their work and town.
What to Avoid
Some attorneys do send out letters to potential clients, especially if you were involved in a major accident that may have garnered news coverage. In some cases, a lawyer’s representative will show up at your house or hospital promising you cash or other incentive to sign with their firm. This is illegal and the person and the firm he or she is representing or touting should be reported to the local Bar for investigation.
Also, stay away from solicitations of any kind since these attorneys or firms usually rely on volume practice or have other ethical issues and will not give your case the professional attention it deserves.
Once you have several lawyers in mind, you can do some research through legal directories like Martindale-Hubbell, which lists the credentials of each attorney, and the bar association for any records of complaints or rebukes.
The best research is to personally interview the attorneys in their offices. Ask about fees and costs, their years of experience in handling cases similar to yours, trial experience, familiarity with your type of injury, and about their support staff. You should also meet the staff to assess their demeanor and attitude.
An attorney who is attentive and throughly answers all your questions and whom you feel comfortable conversing with may be a good selection. If the attorney, though, wants you to go to a doctor of their own choosing, you may want to reconsider. Should you have no doctor, it is perfectly fine for the attorney to suggest some for you to consider.
Careful planning and research of personal injury lawyers in Georgia can usually yield positive results and a favorable outcome for your claim.