When meeting a personal injury attorney, you need to know what to expect. Personal injury attorneys are often portrayed to be intimidating and aggressive fast talkers.
If you have sustained injuries in an accident then you may want to know if you have a case. In the United States, unintentional injuries are the fourth cause of deaths. It is important that you find a good lawyer that will help you get the compensation to cover for the suffering, loss of wage and medical expenses.
Knowing what to expect and understanding the steps involved in personal injury cases will play a significant role in ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve.
Here are a few pointers on what to expect when you meet a personal injury attorney.
The intake call
Try to picture a small law firm where there is only the personal injury attorney and a few clerks. When you email or call the attorney, you will be connected to the clerk. It’s the job of the clerk to get the details of personal injury case over the phone. When you call, the clerk will ask questions right away.
When you email, they will call you back to get more information from you. Either way, the first conversation is usually over the phone.
You should expect more questions in your initial conversation, and it is in your best interested that you be up front and honest when answering the questions. Remember that you are being asked these questions so that the attorney can have a better understanding of your case, so the more information you provide the better.
You will be asked things like you age, name, address, the type of case, who was at fault, if the police came to the scene of the accident, how the accident happened, if you have seen a physician or any doctor etc. The personal injury attorney will also inquire about your insurance and whether you have applied for the benefits or not.
The initial conversation can take between 30-45 minutes. A good firm will definitely ask more questions so that they can come up with strategies that will help you win the case. The first call is usually free for most personal injury attorneys.
After the intake call, the attorney will personally read through your report to determine if he can help you. If you are confident that the attorney can, they will set-up a one-on-one meeting consultation.
Setting up a meeting is a good thing. It means that you may have a strong case and the attorney might be interested in representing you. During the meeting, the attorney will try to gather the missing pieces of information so that he can determine the strength of the case.
You should be prepared for questions about the personal injury lawyer your medical coverage, your job, your psychological state and so much more. Consultations are usually longer than the intake call and should just be treated like your conversation with your friend or partner over tea or coffee
There is no commentary or judgment. There are many good people who are in tough situations and whatever the situation you are in, always remember that you are the first one and you are not alone.
As a client, you should understand that the consultation is as much for you as the attorneys. You should feel 100 percent comfortable with the client you retain. No matter the size of the law firm or the attorney you see, they will definitely ask questions. It is also important that you ask questions.
Remember that this is about your life and you are in control of it; therefore, make sure that you are comfortable about the attorney who handles your case. In the event that you don’t, just move on. Always trust your instincts.
Is the consultation really free as they say?
Some personal injury attorneys advertise free consultation. It is important that when you meet an attorney, ask if they will charge you for the consultation.
Thirty minutes isn’t a long consultation time. In fact, most consultations are usually 30 minutes if the attorney can’t help. This is usually new information that has surfaced after your intake call.
A good lawyer should not charge you any consultation fee, regardless of how long it will take.
What happens after the consultation doesn’t work?
Most personal injury attorneys get paid when the case becomes successful. That means that if the attorney feels they can’t guarantee you the success you are looking for, they won’t take your case.
However, it is always important that you seek the opinion of a second or a third opinion. In the event that you have been turned down by a bug law firm, then you may want to try a small firm. Here are a few points that you may want to consider:
- If the attorney says that he can help, then he believes that he can really help you. The attorney gets his share when you get paid; therefore, you are partners
- You will meet with a team member during the process. The clerk of the attorney should be a patient and kind to the clients, regardless of the situation
- It is also important that you work with the main lawyer in the team. You don’t want to contact a firm that only delegates your case to the juniors who have no experience. When you hire the attorney, then you should be able to work with him
- Only hire an attorney you are comfortable with. It is important that you choose a lawyer that is friendly and really cares about the success of your case.
- Honesty is very important because when you win, the attorney also wins.
- If a personal injury attorney turns down your case, try to get a second opinion. If an attorney turns down the case, you may still get another attorney to handle your case. If more than three attorneys turn down the case, chances are that you don’t have a case.