Most personal injury lawyers will offer free consultations to individuals who think they may need an attorney. Not only is this consultation helpful for the lawyer to find out more about the circumstances of your case and decide whether or not it is worth it to add you to their list of clients, but it is also beneficial for you. In particular, this free initial meeting helps you learn whether you have a valid claim and if you think you and the lawyer would be able to work well with one another. With that all being said, how exactly do these consultations work? What can you expect?
Preparing for the Meeting
Your first step is going to be to visit the the law firm's website where you can either fill in the fields of a form or give the office a call to schedule an appointment. Make sure to double-check that they do offer free reviews. As for preparing for the actual meeting, you are going to want to ensure that you have all the facts, evidence and documents that the attorney could need to thoroughly assess your individual case. This not only saves time, but it ensures that the lawyer gets as full of a picture as possible and can make adequate decisions regarding your case.
Some of the things you'll need to take to the meeting include police reports (if there are any), medical records, receipts for any injury-related expenses, pay stubs (for lost wages), and any legal correspondence that you've received from the insurance company. In addition, prepare a list of a few questions that you have or the lawyer to take with you. These questions can include anything that you're curious about and could include fees, experience, how long they expect the case to take, if they see any potential issues with your case, and so on.
Attending the Actual Consultation
If you have never had to speak to a personal injury attorney before, you probably have no idea what to expect. First, make sure you clear your schedule for at least an hour, although ensure you are available if the meeting goes longer. Just as you will have questions, the attorney will ask you about your sustained injuries, treatment and additional facts that he or she deems necessary regarding the case. In some cases, the lawyer may let you know immediately that they'll take your care. In other instances, they may feel they need to gather some more information before making a final decision.
Keep in mind that you are not required to hire the first lawyer that you speak with, even if they're willing to take your case. In fact, it can be in your best interest in some cases to meet with a few different lawyers to gain as much insight into your case as possible.