Stephen Hasner | Personal Injury | November 1, 2021
Most people do not have a lot of experience with the personal injury claims process. As a result, many victims are unsure about what it takes to hire a personal injury attorney.
One of the most important steps in hiring a legal representative is to schedule an initial consultation. Most reputable attorneys offer new clients a free, no-obligation legal evaluation to discuss the facts of their cases.
This meeting is a good opportunity to learn more about a lawyer or firm. It is also a chance for the attorney to ask you questions.
Below, we will explain what to expect during the initial meeting with an attorney.
Evaluating Your Case
During the initial consultation, the attorney will ask questions to help them evaluate your case. Lawyers want to understand the chances of success before agreeing to take a case.
The lawyer will want to know whether they can handle the legal issues and challenges that your particular situation requires. If the attorney is not a good fit, they may recommend another legal professional to you.
An attorney may ask questions that are focused on the following information during the initial legal consultation:
- Details about the circumstances surrounding your accident
- Parties who may be liable for any injuries or damages
- The causes of the accident or injuries
- The potential value of your injury claim
- Your current health and medical conditions
- And more
When you attend the consultation, make sure to bring any documentation or information that is relevant to your case. Having this information readily available will ensure that the attorney can get a clear picture of the details of your situation.
Lawyers cannot guarantee a specific outcome or value of damages in your case. However, they will use their experience to provide an estimation of the financial compensation that you can expect if your case is successful.
Evaluating an Attorney
The initial consultation is not only an opportunity for the lawyer to decide whether to take your case. It is also a chance for you to determine whether the attorney or firm is a good fit for you.
You should think of the first legal consultation as a job interview in which you are the hiring party. It is critical to hire a lawyer with whom you have full confidence.
Clients and attorneys must have good working relationships. Clients are forced to share feelings and thoughts that are very sensitive throughout the course of a legal case.
That is why it is vital to hire a legal representative that you trust for your tort case. If the lawyer says or does anything that makes you feel uncertain or uncomfortable, keep looking.
You do not have to hire the first attorney you meet. Successful attorney-client relationships must be built on trust and effective communication.
Before you attend the consultation, make a list of questions that are pertinent to your situation. These questions might be about the specifics of your case or about the legal process in general.
Some questions that clients often ask during consultations include:
- How many years have you been practicing law?
- What is your success rate?
- Do you believe that I can win this case?
- How much do you believe my case is worth?
- What is your negotiation strategy?
- What will be the biggest challenge in this case?
- How does your firm handle attorneys’ fees?
These are only a few examples of relevant questions. You should also ask about any issues that are relevant to your case.
It is crucial to find a lawyer with experience in cases like yours. If you have been involved in a car accident, for example, you should hire a legal professional with experience representing collision victims.
The initial legal consultation is the best chance you have to determine how well you will work with a specific attorney. Choosing a legal representative is a big decision.
Knowing what to expect during an initial consultation will allow you to use the time wisely and make an informed decision about your representation.