Frequently Asked Questions for Georgia and Florida Personal Injury
The following are important questions to ask an injury attorney before you hire her or him to take on your case:
1.) Do you have References from Past Clients?
A good, experienced, and successful attorney will have references. Even if they can’t disclose the past clients’ names, the attorney should be able to provide you with enough information about the case so that you can make an educated judgment about the attorney’s experience and track record in handling your type of case.
2.) Do you have at least $ 1,000,000.00 of Legal Malpractice Insurance?
Even the best attorney can make a mistake and you want to be sure that the attorney has enough legal malpractice insurance to take care of you in the unlikely and unfortunate event that the attorney makes a mistake in your case.
3.) Have you ever had a Legal Malpractice Claim against you?
If the attorney has had a legal malpractice claim against them, then it is not necessarily a reason not to hire the attorney, but you need enough information to make sure that this is not a reoccurring event and that there is enough legal malpractice insurance to protect you in the event of legal malpractice.
4.) Are you Rated and/or Endorsed by Independent Entities?
There are several entities in which an attorney can belong that have nothing to do with the attorney’s abilities such as advertising where it is simply a matter of the attorney being able to afford to market themselves in different mediums. There are, however, other independent entities where the attorney can not be a member unless the attorney has a successful and proven track record such as Martindale-Hubbell where the attorney is ranked by her or his peers, Georgia Super Lawyers, Top Trial Attorneys, the Better Business Bureau, and the like. Make sure that what the attorney states is an endorsement is from a group where the attorney’s skills and expertise are the reason for the endorsement and not because the attorney can simply afford to pay for a blind endorsement.
5.) How Long have you Been Engaged in the Practice of Law?
Experience comes with time. A seasoned attorney will have practiced law for a while (say 10-20 years). Not that attorneys who have been practicing 5 years to 10 years aren’t qualified, but attorneys with less than 5 years of experience are more likely than not not to have the same qualifications, background, and success as the more seasoned attorney. Law is a difficult area and many people drop out of the profession in the first 5 years. Those who have managed to make it through 10, 15 and especially 20 or more years have stood the test of time.
6.) Are you a Member of Good Standing with the State Bar of Georgia?
This is a must. You do not want an attorney who is not in good standing with the State Bar or is facing some sort of discipline action with the State Bar since it indicates that: 1.) The attorney has done something wrong that warrants an investigation by the State Bar; 2.) The attorney might make the same mistake with you as they did to get themselves into that situation in the first place; and 3.) The attorney may not be able to follow your case through if they end up being disbarred or face some other sort of disciplinary action by the State Bar. This should be a big red flag.
7.) Have you ever been Disciplined by the State Bar and, if so, then on What Grounds?
This is a very important question to ask. You can also find this information on the State Bar of Georgia’s website A little research can go a long way. You don’t want to become a victim of an unscrupulous attorney.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we meet the qualifications of outstanding attorneys in Georgia and our communities. If you have any questions or concerns about hiring the right attorney for your particular case, then please kindly feel free to Contact Us for your free legal consultation and we will be glad to assist you in any way that we can.