We are living in a time that digital and mobile outlets are used more frequently
than ever before. According to
Hubspot.com, it is estimated that 81% of consumers conduct online research prior to
making a decision. The internet is full of helpful information and makes
it very easy to access what a person is searching for quickly and easily.
And while most the time this improves our daily lives, there are times
when online information can be deceiving as well. Don’t forget,
not everything you read on the internet is true.
Online legal research websites, such as LegalZoom, have become more and
more popular to search for personal injury facts, attorneys, reviews and
more. While we always encourage Georgians to do their research before
hiring an attorney, we also realize that online legal information can
sometimes be mistaken for legal advice. So while you’re doing your
research, it is always important to consult with an actual attorney before
believing something you’ve read on a website.
The LegalZoom website disclaimer speaks for itself in regards to the quality
of content within the personal injury practice area of the site. It is
labelled “ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT” and warns visitors that
LegalZoom is an advertising website which doesn’t offer legal advice.
It also states the following:
“This portion of the LegalZoom website is not a lawyer referral service.
LegalZoom does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who advertises
on our site. We do not make any representation and have not made any judgment
as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating
So not only should the information found on LegalZoom not be considered
actual legal guidance, but the lawyers and legal professionals advertised
on LegalZoom are not vetted prior to being added to the website. While
some websites require certain qualifications and legal achievements to
be met before listing attorneys on a website, those on LegalZoom have
simply paid for a listing on the website.
The disadvantages associated with not fully understanding the content one
consumes on the internet may seem minimal, but can become large issues.
Hiring the wrong attorney to represent you in a legal claim can mean the
difference between a successful resolution and your loss of ability to
recover damages for someone else’s negligence. So while we would
never suggest that readers shouldn’t perform online research before
hiring an attorney, we also want to educate on the reliability of information
found on the web.
Should you ever come across legal information online or elsewhere, personal
injury or not, the experienced staff members and attorneys at Jones &
Swanson are happy to confirm the validity for you. We’re only a
phone call away at 770-427-5498.