Atlanta Lawyer Provides Valuable Insights Into Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
December 24, 2020 at 09:04 AM EST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Morrow, GA, December 24, 2020 – When an individual gets injured in an auto accident or another type of injury that was caused by negligence, they often wonder whether they need a lawyer, and if so, how to find the right one to handle their case. Attorney Melody Fox of Stein & Fox, LLC in Atlanta offers some advice for people who are considering hiring a personal injury attorney:
Question: How does an injured person know if they should talk to personal injury lawyers?
Melody: I would advise them to always contact an attorney. It doesn’t hurt – the vast majority of personal injury firms offer free consultations (including our firm), so what’s a few minutes out of your day to find out what kind of case you have?
I would add that in a lot of cases, you may not know the extent of the injuries you suffered right after an accident. For example, maybe right after the accident you didn’t feel too bad, the insurance company offered you a $500 settlement, and you took it. Then later on, you find out that you fractured something, but you’ve already signed away your right to pursue further compensation.
Before dealing with the insurance company at all, I would always advise injured individuals to at least talk with an attorney about your case. The case may be worth more than they are offering, and it is always best to know where you stand so you can make the most informed decision.
Question: When would it be appropriate to hire personal injury attorneys as opposed to handling the claim on your own?
Melody: Clearly in cases where you suffered a serious injury or your car was totaled, it would be best to get an attorney involved. But there are so many other complicating factors that go into investigating an accident injury claim. For example, maybe you don’t have the appropriate insurance coverage, maybe the person who hit you stole the car, there’s just so many factors like that that can come into play.
For example, things can get a lot more complicated if multiple vehicles were involved in the accident, there is a question over who was at fault, a commercial vehicle was involved, etc. Georgia also has apportioned liability, and we have cases where none of the insurance companies are willing to accept much (if any) fault, meaning that there would not be enough compensation available for injury victims to be made whole. Cases like these may require you to file a lawsuit in order to recover the compensation you rightfully deserve, and of course you will need a lawyer to do that for you.
Question: Is it better to work with a larger firm that handles a high volume of cases, or a smaller firm that would provide more personalized attention?
Melody: I’ve worked for both. I was at one of those billboard firms – there were about 50 attorneys (at the firm) and each attorney worked about 100 to 300 cases. In my experience, there was just no way with that kind of volume that an attorney could give the kind of attention needed to each of their cases.
I love working here at Stein & Fox, and one of the reasons is that we put a high priority on personalized service. We limit our attorney caseloads, so we can give the focus and attention that each case deserves. This gives us the time and energy get to know the client, dig into the case, find the nuances, make sure the clients are getting the appropriate treatments – it’s just more detailed attention that addresses the client’s needs, and that’s what you get from a smaller firm.
Question: What are the most important qualities you would suggest someone looks for in a personal injury attorney?
Melody: Specialization is really important, because that would go to their knowledge base and knowing the most effective ways to maximize a client’s recovery. You should hire a firm that specializes and works day in and day out in a particular area of law, and they know the ins and outs of it. Being detail-oriented is also important, that is closely related to specialization.
Another very important quality is attention to clients’ needs. One of the biggest complaints I hear about attorneys is that they don’t give clients frequent updates on their case. We absolutely try to keep in contact with our clients and give them updates at least every two weeks or so.
The attorney fees should be fair for the client as well. For example, we charge 33.3% of the recovery, which is the industry standard. Those billboard firms, on the other hand, generally charge 35% to 40% to pay for the billboards and the rest of their overhead.
Question: How important is trial experience? What concerns would you have about a firm that settles every single case and never goes to trial?
Melody: We are always looking for the most fair value for our clients, and if the insurance company is making ridiculously low offers, we have no problem advising a client to take the case to trial. We also have no problem bringing in expert witnesses when necessary to testify on behalf of our clients.
If a firm never brings a case to trial, it can negatively affect the outcome for a client, because the other side may not be as motivated to make a fair settlement offer.
About Stein & Fox, LLC
Stein & Fox is an Atlanta-area personal injury firm with attorneys that have served Georgia clients for nearly half a century. The firm has earned strong recognition over the years for its ability to take on personal injury and wrongful death cases of all levels of complexity, recover maximum compensation for their clients, and provide highly personalized representation throughout the process.
For more information about Stein & Fox, go to https://www.steinfox.com/.