If you think cost is number one on this list, think again.
A consumer study found that the top need was for a personal injury attorney who understands the nuances and complexities of the insurance industry (87%).
Insurance can be cryptic and full of pitfalls. Between the exorbitant costs of health insurance and the obtuse legalese of adjusters working on behalf of a big business or an auto insurance company, it may be difficult (if not impossible) for the average person to know what to do.
So the data starts to make more sense. When people search for a personal injury lawyer to represent them, they prioritize a law firm that specializes in handling complex injury and insurance cases.
But understanding how insurance companies work isn’t the only factor that influences people’s choice in personal injury lawyer. Certification, empathy, affordability, and experience also topped people’s preferences.
1. The attorney understands how insurance companies operate.
Personal injury and dealing with insurance companies go hand in hand. An attorney can know all there is to know regarding personal injury law, but if they don’t understand how insurance adjusters and the corporate lawyers will try to undermine a case, then they aren’t going to be effective advocates or negotiators.
When Attorney Gary Martin Hays first started practicing law, he worked for a firm that represented insurance companies. He evaluated injury claims and defended the at-fault persons in court.
Through his experience, he knows the legal tactics insurance companies and their lawyers use to undermine and deny a person’s claim even if they are seriously hurt. He’s made it his mission to fight in favor of the people of Georgia — people who found their lives changed forever in an instant through no fault of their own.
At our law firm, we often hire attorneys who have worked as defense lawyers for insurance companies. This gives us an edge when it comes to handling personal injury cases. We can anticipate the tactics insurance companies may try to use to delay or deny our clients’ personal injury claims and pivot to more effective strategy.
The better an attorney knows the inner workings of an insurance company’s bureaucracy, the higher they can push the demand during the negotiation phase. All this serves the client, so they can receive more in compensation.
2. The attorney specializes in personal injury law.
You wouldn’t want a random doctor to perform surgery on you, right? The same goes for a lawyer. People want a specialist who knows what they are doing, who is confident in their ability to win a case.
Any attorney can claim they “specialize” in personal injury law — they may even list the practice area on their website. Do your due diligence to verify this. If their website lists practice areas unrelated to personal injury, such as divorce or DUI, then there is a good chance their law firm is less experienced.
At our personal injury law firm, for example, we focus solely on injuries and deaths. Causes may include:
- Car accident
- Truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bicycle accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Work accident
- Dangerous products
- Nursing home abuse
- Inadequate security
Personal injury lawyers inhabit a specific niche within the legal world. It’s important to choose an attorney who lives and breathes personal injury law. In this way, you can be assured you are provided with the expertise you need.
3. The attorney understands people like me.
This is an important one. Having a lawyer can be helpful but if they aren’t sympathetic to your needs or treat you in a condescending manner, then it will only add extra stress on top of an already stressful process.
The best way to get a glimpse of how an attorney will treat you is to read or watch client reviews of a firm. Listen to how past clients talk about their experiences and treatment. Did they feel comforted or ignored? Were all of their concerns addressed in a timely manner? Did the law firm ever go above and beyond if a client was struggling to get treatment or suffered a personal loss?
Another way is to simply call or message the law firm. This initial person-to-person communication can tell you a great deal about how you’ll be treated in the future by the attorney and staff if you sign on as a client.
4. The attorney doesn’t charge any fees unless they win my case.
Good news! Most personal injury lawyers don’t charge their clients fees during the injury claim process.
Instead, they work on a contingency basis. Rather than charging by the hour or phone call, the attorney charges a lump fee at the end if they successfully negotiate an offer with the insurance company.
This is helpful for two reasons.
The first is that clients don’t have to worry about paying thousands of dollars upfront or a month-to-month retainer. The second means that your attorney will be motivated to work hard to negotiate a settlement that you will both benefit from financially. The bigger the settlement, the more the law firm will earn as a percentage.
At our law firm, we don’t charge clients unless we successfully negotiate their case or win in court. We call this our Zero Fee Guarantee. If for some reason we are unable to negotiate a settlement, our clients pay us nothing. Zilch, nada, nil.
5. The attorney has experience with clients with my specific type of accident or injury.
When looking for the right attorney to represent your case, you want a personal injury attorney who is familiar with your specific incident.
To understand what cases a law firm specializes in, look up an attorney’s practice areas on their website. Many list sub-categories such as motor vehicle accidents, dangerous products, nursing home abuse and neglect, etc.
The range of injuries our law firm has handled over the past 30 years is staggering. We’ve met all types of clients who’ve suffered from all manner of injuries including:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries/blindness
- Head injuries
- Knee injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Tinnitus/hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Diseases and injuries from defective products, chemicals, and drugs
Each personal injury case is unique and it’s impossible to list them all. If you’re unsure whether an attorney understands your type of case, call and ask.
6. The attorney strictly adheres to the rules and ethics.
Hiring a lawyer to file a personal injury claim on your behalf is a big step. You’re putting your financial stability and peace of mind in someone else’s hands. You expect them to be professional and follow the law. An attorney who fails to do so or pressures you into doing something unethical puts your case in jeopardy.
For example, if the insurance company finds out that the attorney called you while you were in the hospital after a serious accident, they will have grounds to dismiss your case (in Georgia and many other states, lawyers are prohibited from cold-calling potential clients).
Never hire an attorney who contacted you out of the blue. You must be the one to initiate the client-attorney relationship.
Why Choose Gary Martin Hays & Associates?
We know the hunt for the right personal injury law firm can be daunting. You want someone who’s experienced, sympathetic, and efficient so you can feel secure about the future.
At our law firm, we pride ourselves on standing up to the big insurance companies and protecting our clients’ rights. We lay out the entire personal injury process for you and create a customized plan specific to your injury and situation.
We’ve earned more than $1 billion for our clients; let us get you the maximum settlement you deserve. Contact us 24/7 at (770) 934-8000 or via our online form.