If you watch TV, you’ve seen the ads; a lawyer or law firm promising to fight for you if you’ve been injured in an accident or been the victim of medical or pharmaceutical malpractice. The attorney on the screen may even seem like the kind of attorney you’d like to have working on your case. But before you “call now,” you should ask yourself some important questions:
- Where is that attorney located?
- Will you be able to meet with them without spending hours in the car?
- Will they know the local laws, rules, procedures, and judges?
- Will they in fact be the one you work with or meet with?
- Will they be the one answering your questions and handling the case?
- Will they be available whenever you need them?
- Will they have any idea who you are or care about you?
More often than not, the answers to some if not all of these questions is a resounding “no.” Just like you won’t be speaking with a talking gecko or meet “Flo” when you call about car insurance, there is a good chance that you will never meet the lawyer you see in that ad or that he will be working with you on your case. Many of these firms are located hundreds of miles away and are staffed by scores of attorneys, paralegals and other support staff. These are the people who you are entrusting your important matters to, and while they may be perfectly fine professionals, personal attention, accessibility, and in-depth knowledge of the local legal landscape are likely not their strengths.
By contrast, I’ve been helping my neighbors in Brunswick, Glynn County, and surrounding communities for over 20 years through some of the toughest challenges they will ever face. With a combination of personal commitment, aggressive representation, and compassionate counsel, I’ve worked tirelessly to earn the trust of hundreds of people in our community who have faced serious injury or medical or pharmaceutical malpractice issues. I know my clients, and my clients know me. This allows me to not only get superior results, it allows me to provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their lawyer – not a random staffer – has their back.
Why is it important to have a local Brunswick lawyer handle your injury or malpractice case? Here are just a few reasons:
ο Knowing the Ropes
The outcome of your case depends heavily on where it is heard and who hears it. The where is jurisdiction; the who is the judge or magistrate. Your jurisdiction is based on the county in which you live, and individual counties can vary greatly in how they handle the most important issues in injury or malpractice suits. Most attorneys practice primarily in one or two counties and appear before the same judges and magistrates over and over. This kind of repetition makes them knowledgeable on how those courts are likely to rule. If your lawyer works primarily in another county and only takes one or two cases a year in your jurisdiction, he might not be very familiar with your courts and how they decide important issues. A good local lawyer knows when to push an issue and when to cut losses and move on. This comes with experience. An attorney could have an excellent reputation in a major metropolitan area, but if he is unfamiliar with the local nuances here in Brunswick or Glynn County, he might not be the best choice.
ο Are They There When You Need Them?
It seems simple, but many people don’t bother to put their prospective lawyer to this basic test: does he call you back? If you contact a law firm for a consultation and the attorney can’t be bothered to return your call, cross him off your list and move on. It’s also a red flag if you’re constantly stuck speaking to a receptionist or secretary. This means your attorney is either too busy (a bad sign that could mean he has stretched himself thin across too many cases) or too arrogant to speak directly to clients. You’re paying for an attorney’s services, not brush-offs by office staff. The law prohibits non-lawyers from dispensing legal advice. If you have an important question about the legalities of your case, the only person who can really answer it is your attorney. Lawyers can’t make money without clients, and an attorney who doesn’t take care of his clients probably isn’t going to take very good care of his clients’ cases.
ο Answers to Your Questions
When you are reeling from a serious injury or a medical error, you likely have a lot of questions, concerns, and worries. You look to your lawyer to provide you with answers and a path forward. Ask questions and see how the lawyer responds: does he seem annoyed or does he listen to your concerns and address them compassionately? If you can’t talk to your lawyer about what’s on your mind, you will probably find yourself constantly worrying whether he’s doing the best job possible on your case.
ο Keeping You Informed
Your case is exactly that: it’s your case. While your attorney can and should provide you with guidance and use his experience and knowledge of the law in developing the best strategy for your case, you should know what is happening and participate in the decision-making process. A good attorney will consult a client before filing a motion or making a big decision in the case. You shouldn’t have to go weeks (or months) without an update from your lawyer. A local lawyer who gets to know you and who may only be blocks away will be more likely to keep you informed and involved in your case.
J. Alan Welch: Your Local Brunswick Injury and Malpractice Lawyer.
Most law firms rely on outside health care experts, such as nurses or emergency medical technicians, to review potential medical-related legal claims. It is relatively rare for an attorney to possess the medical and scientific background necessary to examine medical records to determine whether a client has an actionable claim. As a pharmacist, I bring years of medical experience to the practice of law. Because I have an in-depth understanding of these issues, I help my clients understand how medicine and the law intersect. If you or a loved one has been injured or been harmed by a defective drug or a medical professional’s negligence, contact me today at (912) 265-9811 to discuss your case.
This article has been prepared by J. Alan Welch Law for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.