You're driving down the road, minding your own business, when a car rams into you from behind. The other driver apologizes and says they weren't paying attention.
Your car is totaled and you're injured. You're already dreading your medical bills and future treatment costs. What do you do?
You should hire a lawyer that specializes in personal injury claims. But that's easier said than done.
There are so many personal injury lawyers out there claiming to be "experts." How do you know which firm is right for you?
Here are seven things to consider when looking for an attorney.
1. Area of Specialty
Just like there are different kinds of doctors, there are different kinds of attorneys. You need to find a lawyer who specializes in the area of law related to your situation.
For example, if you're hurt in a car wreck, you wouldn't want to hire an attorney who handles bankruptcies or divorce cases. The time when lawyers handle all legal matters is long gone.
Find yourself a 21st-century lawyer who specializes in specific types of cases. By narrowing their focus to just a few practice areas, these attorneys can stay up-to-date on any legal changes that may affect their clients.
If an attorney claims to specialize in a particular area of the law, check out their website to see if that's true. If they promote themselves as a personal injury lawyer while also handling criminal defense claims or DUI cases, then there's a good chance they do not handle many car accident claims.
2. Recognized Expert
Awards and honors are an easy way to tell if an attorney is recognized for their work. Even better if they are seen as an expert by other lawyers. Research and see if they've written any articles or books in-depth on a specific legal topic.
You can check out some of the awards Attorney Gary Martin Hays and the firm have won at his bio.
How long a lawyer has been practicing is an important factor. The longer they've been in business the more cases they'll have handled just like yours.
When it comes to your health and well-being, you don't want your case to be your attorney's first. Our firm has helped over 44,000 personal injury victims and their families since 1993.
This has given us a wealth of experience when it comes to the law and fighting the insurance company.
4. Licensed to Practice
Not every attorney who advertises on billboards or on TV is licensed to practice law in Georgia. Cases are instead delegated to associate attorneys at these satellite offices.
Most people want to meet their attorneys beforehand. You most likely won't get that chance with the nationally advertised lawyers you see on TV. They may live in another state and are rarely in their offices.
At Gary Martin Hays & Associates, we think it's imperative that you hire an attorney who is local. All of the attorneys at our firm are licensed to practice law in Georgia. You even have the opportunity to meet with Gary when you come into our Duluth office to discuss your case.
No matter who your attorney is, you deserve to meet them face-to-face to discuss your needs and to get to know them personally.
5. Free, Confidential Consultation
Any lawyer worth their salt is not going to charge you a fee to talk to them. If a law firm or legal website doesn't offer a free, confidential consultation regarding your case, you may want to consider taking your business elsewhere.
During our consultations, an attorney will review your claim and make a judgment as to whether or not they can provide assistance. If the case doesn't fit within their scope of expertise, we can certainly recommend you to someone who can discuss your potential case further.
6. Zero-Fee Guarantee
Look for lawyers who don't charge any up-front fees. At our law firm, we have what's called our "zero-fee guarantee." Basically, we don't get paid unless we get money for you (this excludes court costs and other additional legal expenses).
We also don't charge by the hour, phone call, email, court appearance, etc. Our attorneys only receive their attorney fees when we win compensation for you.
Avoid attorneys who try to nickel and dime you for their services. Those kinds of law firms are only looking out for their bottom line, not you the client.
7. Not Afraid to Sue
Make sure the attorney you hire is confident in their ability to represent you in court even if it never comes to that. You should want an attorney who's willing to fight for you all the way.
If the insurance company continues to reject our demand package, we'll file a lawsuit to protect our clients' rights (with client approval). It's all about maximizing your financial recovery and making sure your expenses are covered.
Gary Martin Hays & Associates: Personal Injury Experts
Our law firm specializes in personal injury cases - it's all we do. We've helped people injured in so many types of wrecks. Whether you were hurt in a car crash, tractor-trailer accident, motorcycle wreck, or moped or scooter accident, we have the experience to help you and your family.
In the unfortunate event where a loved dies due to injuries sustained in a wreck, our firm can pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving family members.
The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work on your case and get the medical help and financial compensation you need to recover. Contact us online or call (770) 934-8000 to discuss your personal injury case today.