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Navigating the Legal Landscape: Tips and Tricks from Top Lawyer Riah W. Greathouse, Esq.

Jesse Mills

Riah W. Greathouse, Esq. is a personal injury attorney and businessman based in Atlanta, who has made a significant impact in the legal industry. From winning the Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Small Law Firm in 2020 to handling complex cases, Greathouse has established himself as a leader in his field. In this interview, he discusses his approach to managing and leading a team, the habits necessary to run a successful company, and his commitment to giving back to the Atlanta community. Greathouse also shares his top three tips and three don’ts for anyone who has been involved in an accident and seeking advice from a personal injury attorney. Get to know more about Riah Greathouse, Esq. and his journey in the legal field as one of the leading attorneys in Georgia.

Can you discuss a specific accomplishment or project that you are particularly proud of in your career?

I’m very proud of winning the Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Small Law Firm in the entire nation in 2020. I think that that spoke volumes about being able to create something bigger than me. The ability to create jobs and careers for our amazing team members and to be able to provide services to people is something I am very proud of doing. Our clients who would continue to support us and refer friends and family members show how much of an impact we are making outside of just me. 

Can you walk us through a particularly challenging case you’ve handled in your career?

To be honest with you, there are so many that are complex. That’s one of the things that we try to communicate to our clients. Not every case is just the same. I think we all know someone who has been involved in various types of legal situations, and we try to compare and say, “Well, you know, my neighbor was in a car accident and they got $100,000. Why can’t I get the same? Or why am I not getting mine faster?” I think it’s hard to label just one particular challenge when every case has its unique challenges. We currently have a case where I can’t divulge too much because it’s ongoing, but she’s an adult entertainer. It’s really interesting in making sure that we can tell her story on how she’s been affected in her career, yet make sure that we are diplomatic with her career because I know that can be off-putting to some people. Some people may not empathize or sympathize. Nonetheless, whether you agree with what she does and her life or her career choices, this is still a human being who was hurt, and at no fault of her own can’t make money in the way that she was normally accustomed to.

How do you balance the responsibilities of running a business with your personal and family life?

Therapy, lots of it. And I mean that seriously. It is intentional on making sure that I’m not allowing my frustrations at work to enter my family life and vice versa. Every day at home is not going to be sunshine and roses, just like every day at work is not going to be sunshine and roses, but one has nothing to do with the other. When it comes to making sure that I’m giving each relationship its full attention, that’s something that I focus on. Through therapy, I think I’ve been able to do a great job of balancing that.

What is your approach to managing and leading a team?

It starts with me. I’m the leader. It’s taking complete ownership. I realized that whether it’s a success or a failure, it comes with me, and that’s the ownership mentality that I embrace. I know that if there’s a shortcoming, then that means that it fell on me where I either didn’t properly train them, or I didn’t properly pick that employee or put them in the right position to succeed. That’s the way I approach everything. I try to look at every single challenge, and I try to ask myself, “Why is this happening for me?” Not,  “why is this happening to me?” As such, I tried to take that mentality and lead my team with this method, and it’s been successful though so far. It’s certainly had its ups and downs. We’ve certainly had turnover and challenges and staffing issues like every other business through growing pains and then the pandemic and so forth. I won’t say that we’ve completely solved it. I don’t think any company will ever get a 100% approval rating, but I think we’re pretty good at what we’ve done and establishing a great culture and community for the city where people want to work and succeed.

From running a business to running a law practice, what would you say are the ultimate habits to cultivate to run a successful company?

Consistency. I think that the way you do anything is the way that you do everything. It’s consistency and accountability. I believe in putting out what your goals are and this is what we’re trying to accomplish then holding everyone’s feet to the fire to make sure we’re on the right path, and that includes myself. I think that if you keep working towards it, you’re consistent day in and day out, then you’ll get closer to your goal. That’s probably oversimplifying it, but I think that’s it: consistency and accountability.

How do you approach community involvement and giving back to the Atlanta area through your personal injury practice and business ventures?

Being from Atlanta means my family’s here so I need people to associate good things when they hear our name. It brings so much joy when my mom or my dad can call me and have so much pride in the work we do. I can’t put a price tag on the effect that it has on it, and it’s not even to get something in return. It’s just knowing I did something. I’m blessed, and I’m blessing others. That’s kind of how I try to look at it. It’s an energy thing. I know the more good energy I’ve put out there, the more good energy I’m going to receive, and that’s pretty much what’s happened. This community has really embraced this. 

What are your top three tips for anyone who has been involved in an accident and seeking advice from a personal injury attorney? And your top three DON’Ts?

#1: Attorneys matter, so call me. 

#2: Doctors matter. So make sure that your attorney is getting you to the right doctors. 

#3: And then the third one is to actually go to the doctor. 

It’s not a complicated process. The reason that so many people screw their cases up is that they don’t do what they’re supposed to do. In the courtroom, you have to have evidence to prove your case. The only way to prove your case and provide evidence is to go to the doctor and get your treatments, your medical bills, and your medical records. That’s the evidence. If you give me or your attorney the tools to succeed, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. So I guess to summarize, number one, hire me. Number two, go to the right doctors. Then number three would be to do what I tell you to do.

As for the Don’t’s:

#1: Do not talk to the insurance company. They’re not your friend. Right after a wreck, it’s a race for them to get to you because they know that you’re going to think that they’re wanting to do the right thing and want to pay you. They’re going to ask you what happened. Are you hurt? Your inclination is going to want to be to talk, but it’s just like in a criminal case where anything that anything you say can and will be used against you. 

#2: Don’t skip medical treatment. Don’t say, “Oh, I think I’m fine,” or, “these treatments aren’t helping so I’m not going to go to the doctor. I’m not going to follow the treatment plan,” because that comes back to bite you. It makes it harder when I’m trying to convince an insurance company to pay you, and then they say you can’t be that hurt because you didn’t follow the doctor’s orders.

#3: Stop talking so much. We’re in the day and age of social media where we want to share everything with the world, and that can hurt your case. I had someone recently who claimed that they tore a ligament in their knee in a car accident, but it turns out they hurt it doing CrossFit because we go on the video and we see that they’re exercising and doing all this extraneous workout on their social media. So, definitely keep this social media activity to a minimum, or make your account private if you feel that you must post. Don’t post anything that you’re on vacation and you’re living the best life when you’re sitting here trying to convince the insurance company that your life sucks.

Is there a difference between personal injury in Atlanta as opposed to other states?

We practice in Atlanta. I think it’s probably one of the toughest places because there are so many car accidents. Atlanta has turned into such a large city, and it’s one of the most populated metro areas. But overall, every law is different. Every state has its own set of laws and every jurisdiction handles its values differently. A car wreck in a certain city can be deemed as more valuable because of the demographics, and those are things that insurance companies take into account. So it varies from city to city, from county to county, from state to state, and so forth.

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