How to Prepare for Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer
When you or a loved one are involved in an accident that was not your fault, it can cause a lot of added stress in your life. It’s very common for accident victims to feel overwhelmed trying to get to and from doctor’s appointments, working, taking care of themselves, and much more.
In the aftermath of an accident, making time to see a personal injury attorney who specializes in auto accidents can sometimes feel like just another burden you have to deal with. But if you want to protect your legal rights and get fair compensation for your injuries, it’s a crucial step you need to take. Better yet, many law firms offer free consultations to potential clients.
In order to get the most out of your initial consultation with your attorney, find solid answers to your legal questions, and start the attorney-client relationship off on the right foot, you should take some time to prepare beforehand.
I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.
What Is Included in a Free Consultation With a Lawyer?
The initial consultation is an opportunity for you and your attorney to get to know one another, discuss the merits of your case, evaluate your legal options, and determine the best next steps to take. Typically, the initial consultation lasts about 30-60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the case and how much information you provide.
At this meeting, the attorney will be carefully listening to what you have to say and reviewing any documents you bring along. The more detailed and accurate you can be about your circumstances, the better the advice the attorney can give you regarding your particular legal issue. Ultimately, if the attorney believes you have a strong case, he or she may offer to take you as a client.
The legal consultation is also an opportunity for you to determine whether or not the lawyer you’re meeting with is a good fit for you and your family, too. It’s a two-way conversation, and establishing trust between both sides is extremely important if you want the best chance at a successful recovery.
If, at the end of the consultation, the attorney agrees to take your case (and you agree to their legal representation), there will be some additional documents for you to sign, including a contingency fee agreement, medical release, and notices informing you of your legal rights.
However, whether we take your case or not, you can still expect any attorney you speak with at The Brown Firm to use that initial meeting to fully explain the legal implications of your situation, answer whatever legal questions you may have, give you their honest opinion about whether you have a case, and help you make an informed decision about what to do next.
What to Bring to Your Legal Consultation
Before we continue, it’s important to understand that the list below is not a “minimum requirement” for your free case evaluation. You may not have access to the police report just yet, for example. Or maybe you didn’t take photos at the accident scene.
We understand, and we’re not going to turn you away if you don’t have everything discussed below right now.
Don’t delay scheduling your appointment because you don’t have every last record, bill, and document. If you and your lawyer decide to work together, they will do more evidence gathering.
With that said, let’s look at what’s helpful for your initial consultation:
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Details of the Accident
As soon as possible after the accident, write down all the details you can remember while they are fresh in your mind, and bring that list with you to your legal consultation.
Key details include:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- Weather and roadway conditions
- How the accident happened
- Photos or video you took of the accident or your injuries
- Witness names and contact information
It’s okay if you don’t remember every detail or if some of the details are fuzzy, but it is good to write down everything that you can.
The Police Report
The police report will contain important details of the accident, such as witnesses and maybe the responding officer’s opinion about who was at-fault.
You might a copy of the claim number needed to obtain the police report after the accident. However, your attorney may also be able to obtain the report if for some reason you’re having trouble getting your hands on it.
Proof of Injury
Before you meet with an attorney, you should have already been seen by a medical professional. The sooner you receive diagnosis and treatment for your injuries, the easier it will be for your attorney to obtain full compensation for your losses.
At the very least you should be able to tell your attorney:
- The name of the hospital or medical professional you saw
- Your initial diagnosis and treatments
- Any tests or images taken
- How long your doctor expects you to need treatment
- Whether you were injured prior to the accident
When demanding compensation from an insurance company, you are allowed to claim medical bills for any treatment that you’ve received, as well as future expected medical expenses based on your expected recovery.
Bringing medical records, bills, and related receipts with you to the consultation can help your lawyer provide a more accurate initial estimate of how much compensation you might be entitled to.
A List of Questions for Your Attorney
Free legal consultations are your time to ask attorneys any questions regarding your case and the process of obtaining a settlement.
Some common questions you may want to ask include:
- Have you handled similar cases in the past?
- How will we communicate throughout the legal process?
- Will you handle negotiations with the insurance company?
Of course, there are many more questions you might have, and your consultation is the time to ask anything and everything that is on your mind. Get the clarity you need to feel comfortable that your case will be handled properly.
What Does “Free” Really Mean in a Free Consultation?
In the context of a free legal consultation, “free” truly means free.
There are no hidden fees and no obligations. If, at the end of the consultation, either you or your lawyer decide not to pursue a further attorney client relationship, you can walk away with a clear conscience.
What If I Decide to Hire the Attorney After the Free Consultation? How Much Will I Owe?
Like the vast majority of other personal injury law firms, The Brown Firm works on a contingency fee basis. What does that mean? In short, it means that you don’t pay a thing until we recover a settlement or jury award for you.
Rather than paying hourly fees or a flat fee, you’ll pay your attorney an agreed-upon percentage of your eventual settlement or verdict. At The Brown Firm, we will also cover the up-front legal fees associated with your case (such as filing costs, hiring expert witnesses, etc.) on your behalf.
Working on contingency helps ensure that the financial incentives for the client and the attorney are always 100% aligned.
Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Attorney at The Brown Firm Today
At The Brown Firm, we believe that scheduling and navigating your first meeting with a personal injury attorney shouldn’t be an intimidating process.
We know you’re going through an extremely difficult period in your life. Finding the right attorney should be stress-relieving, not stress-inducing. We work hard to make the consultation process as easy and comfortable as possible for you.
You can schedule a consultation today by calling our law firm at (800) 529-1441. You can also complete our convenient and simple online contact form and a member of our team will follow up with you to schedule within 24 hours.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.