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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Georgia Car Accident Attorney



Before hiring a Georgia car accident attorney, you'll want to interview the lawyer to decide whether he or she is the right person for your case. Ultimately, you're looking for a lawyer who:

  • Has experience handling Georgia automobile accident cases
  • Proposes an agreeable strategy for handling your case
  • Charges reasonable legal fees and expenses
  • Provides a reasonable award estimate
  • Is someone you can trust
  • Is someone you'd feel comfortable working with until your case is complete

This article suggests dozens of questions you can ask to help figure out whether a Georgia auto accident attorney meets your requirements. Don't feel compelled to ask every single question in this article; instead, focus on those criteria that are most important to you. You should also feel free to add questions of your own.

Background & Experience

Begin the meeting by asking about the Georgia car accident attorney's professional background and experience. Questions to ask include:

  • How long have you been a personal lawyer?
  • What college and law schools did you attend?
  • Are you a member of any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which ones?
  • On average, how many Georgia car accident victims do you represent each year?
  • Does your practice consist solely of representing car accident victims, or do you do other types of legal work as well?

Legal Philosophy & Style

Try to learn more about the attorney's style and approach to practicing law. Questions to consider asking include:

  • How would you describe your personality or style as a personal injury attorney in Georgia?
  • What is your approach to handling automobile accident injury cases?
  • What is your style when working with clients? Do you present the options and ask me to make a decision, or will you tell me what I should do?
  • Do you prefer to take automobile accident cases to court or settle before going to trial?

Assessment of Your Case

Tell the lawyer how your car accident occurred and what injuries you suffered. (Anything you tell the attorney will remain confidential even if you hire a different attorney.) Ask for the lawyer's opinion of your case. Relevant questions to ask include:

  • Have you frequently handled automobile accident injury cases similar to mine?
  • What is your opinion and assessment of my case?
  • What size financial award can I expect to receive?
  • Are there problems with my case that could potentially affect its outcome?
  • Will we have to go to trial?
  • Is arbitration or mediation an option?
  • Approximately how long will it would take to complete my case?

Case Management

You also want to find out how the lawyer manages his or her cases. Questions to ask about how your auto accident lawsuit will be managed include:

  • Are you available to represent me?
  • Will other lawyers or experts work on my case? What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • Will you personally manage my case, or will another attorney manage it?
  • Will you personally handle negotiations and court appearances?
  • Would you be my day-to-day contact?
  • Will you provide progress reports? How frequently? What will be included in those reports?
  • What is the best way to reach you? How quickly can I expect you to respond?

Legal Fees

Most personal injury lawyers-including Georgia car accident attorneys-represent their clients on a contingency fee. With a contingency fee, the lawyer is paid no money up front, but receives a percentage of any financial award you receive. However, you'll want to confirm with each attorney you meet what kind of legal fee they charge. Questions to ask about the legal fees and estimated cost of your case include:

  • How are you compensated for your time?
  • If we do not get a settlement or win the case, will I owe you any money?
  • Do you charge a retainer fee?
  • What other fees and expenses will I have to pay? Can you estimate their total?
  • Approximately how much money would I take home, after legal fees and expenses, if we settle the case? If the case goes to trial?

Finishing Your Meeting

After you've had a chance to ask the lawyer all of your questions, ask if he or she has any questions for you. If you think you might want to hire the lawyer, you can ask him or her to put you in touch with a former client who can serve as a reference. You can also ask for a copy of any retainer agreement to review after the meeting.

If you did not take notes during the initial consultation, take some time immediately after the meeting ends to write down your thoughts and impressions. These notes will be useful if you're ultimately deciding between several lawyers.

Selecting a Georgia Car Accident Attorney

Once you are ready to hire a lawyer, think back to your initial set of criteria:

  • Has experience handling Georgia automobile accident cases
  • Proposes an agreeable strategy for handling your case
  • Charges reasonable legal fees and expenses
  • Provides a reasonable award estimate
  • Is someone you can trust
  • Is someone you'd feel comfortable working with until your case is complete

Is there one lawyer who best fits these requirements? Once you've found that attorney, you're ready to hire him or her and move forward with your case.