Andy Goldner advises on how to select an attorney

Writing an article about how to pick a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, when you ARE a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, may seem self-serving. It is. I make no apologies for wanting potential clients to review our law firm’s website, read our client testimonials, examine our results, and then call us. However, our firm is certainly not the only good injury law firm in the Atlanta area. So, if you want to call us and interview some other firm, we understand. The key is to be armed with the right questions to ask so that you can differentiate between lawyers who advertise that they handle car, truck, and premises cases and those that actually do.

First – why is the selection of an injury lawyer important? Here is a not-so- secret little secret of modern legal practice – many lawyers advertise for cases that they do not handle. Rather, after signing a fee contract with some lawyers, you will be referred to another law firm, who will handle the case and then pay the first lawyer you contacted a referral fee. This is big business.

The reality is that sometimes the client is perfectly well served by this arrangement.And, sometimes the client is not. If the referring lawyer sends the client to a true expert in, for example Georgia auto, trucking, and premises cases, then…no problem. But, what if the lawyer who was retained by the client sends he or she to his friend, law school classmate, or someone who simply isn’t the right fit? Then, the client may be prejudiced by less-than-outstanding legal representation.

Questions for your Atlanta Injury Attorney

Is there a checklist for selecting a personal injury lawyer? Yes. And, no. First, personality matters. It just does. You are going to be interacting with your lawyer a lot. If you don’t like him, you’ve got a problem. While there is no exhaustive list of questions that you can ask, here are some that we’ve found helpful after handling injury cases in the Atlanta area for nearly 15 years:

  • How many cases like mine have you handled?
  • Did YOU actually handle the case or did you refer the case to someone
  • Can I call some of your former clients for a testimonial?
  • What peer-nominated awards have you won?
  • Have any of your cases been reported in legal newspapers?
  • When I call your office, can I talk directly to you?
  • May I have your cell phone number?
  • When was the last time you handled a case like mine?
  • When did you last take a deposition?
  • When and where did you most recently appear in court?
  • When did you last get a 5 star Google review?
  • How many six and seven figure cases have you handled?else?
  • What is your plan for my particular case?
  • What is potential value range for my case?
  • How many cases have you tried in Court?
  • How many mediations have you attended?
  • How long have you been handling personal injury cases?
  • How many auto cases have you handled?
  • How many trucking cases have you handled?

Again, no one can devise a list that covers every important question to ask. The above list is a nice start. When lawyers need to go to doctors, or when lawyers need the assistance of other lawyers, we ask our colleagues for the best referral. Lawyers do not look at billboards or TV commercials when selecting our medical care or personal legal services—neither should you.

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