As a rule, generally, no lawyer should contact an accident victim via phone, in-person, or electronic media (i.e., email or text) after an accident unless the person has reached out to the lawyer first. If a lawyer contacts you unsolicited, they may be subject to disciplinary action by the State Bar of Georgia. Keep in mind, however, that there are exceptions to this rule.
Be wary of Attorneys who contact you and offer their services after you’ve been in an accident – it should raise a red flag
Accident victims are usually physically and emotionally distressed for several days after an accident. Most people are uncertain of what to do or if they should contact an attorney. Lawyers who reach out to you unsolicited after your accident know you are vulnerable, and they may take advantage of the situation by making promises that are not always in your best interest, such as:
- A promise to provide you with transportation
- An offer to get you a loan to cover medical bills or living expenses
- Referring you to high-priced medical clinics for treatment
- A promise to recover money for your injuries, which can never be guaranteed upfront
The Rules of Professional Conduct
Attorneys who reach out to accident victims to solicit their services may have obtained their contact information through unethical methods. These types of lawyers are often referred to as “ambulance chasers.” Some attorneys, knowing they can get in trouble for engaging in this type of unethical behavior, may try to circumvent the rules by hiring a non-lawyer to reach out to you and guide you to their firm for help. These non-lawyers, often referred to as “runners,” may or may not work for the law firm, but they serve the same purpose and are still against the rules of professional conduct.
When is it okay for a Georgia Attorney to directly contact you after an accident?
There are times when a lawyer is allowed to directly contact a person and offer their services:
- When the person injured is a family member;
- If the injury victim has a close personal relationship with the lawyer or law firm; or
- If the person has a prior business or professional relationship with the lawyer or law firm.
Finding a Trustworthy, Qualified Attorney in Georgia
If you’ve been injured in an accident and think you may need legal help there are many ways to find an experienced, ethical attorney:
- Ask friends and family for a referral.
- Search the internet for local injury lawyers & look at their website – read their practice areas, their case results, what past clients say about them, etc.
- Review attorney bios on their website – see what type of cases they handle, any awards they’ve received, if they have written any books, what others say about them, etc.
Free Consultations After an Accident
Once you’ve found an attorney who you think can handle your case schedule an appointment to sit down with the lawyer to discuss your situation. At Gautreaux Law, we welcome people to sit with our lawyers and ask questions about how we can help you and how we would handle your case. Our consultations are always free and there is no obligation to hire us. We want you to know who we are – experienced, professional attorneys who have been helping people in Georgia recover from their injuries for over 20 years. Contact us online, via phone at 478-238-9758, or toll-free at 888-876-6935.