What Should I Expect From My First Meeting With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
In the aftermath of a serious accident, one of the choices you will have to make is whether or not to contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. Often, clients will meet with several different attorneys to decide which attorney is the best fit for them, and discuss their case. Here is what you should expect from those initial meetings.
Meeting Your Attorney
When you come into an attorneys office after scheduling an appointment, you will meet with the attorney and explain what happened in your accident in detail. Almost every personal injury lawyer charges on a “contingency basis” meaning that you only pay out of whatever they can recover for you in a settlement or jury verdict. As such, the initial consultation will likely be of no charge to you. During this time, you will be feeling out the attorney and asking questions about your case and how their practice operates, and they will likely be asking lots of questions and gathering information pertinent to the case.
After going over the incident in detail and gathering all relevant information, the attorney will probably give you their general idea of what your chances of success are, possible strategies, and strength and weaknesses on both sides. The attorney will then tell you whether they can help you with your case, and whether its worth hiring a lawyer at all, or if you should try to resolve your claim on your own. If both sides feel comfortable moving forward, you will most likely be sign a contract, medical information (HIPAA) release forms, insurance information, and any other legal documents they need to operate on your behalf.
your lawyer should explain clearly how their fee process works. In almost every case, this means explaining the ‘contingency basis’ process, which means that you pay nothing until your case settles or receives a judgement in court, at which time they will take a percentage. Typically this percentage is between 33-40%. Some attorneys have a fee structure that goes up slightly if your case goes to trial, to account for the large amount of work and expenses involved taking a case to trial. The attorney may also deduct additional expenses from your payment, such as court costs, filing fees, depositions and other legal expenses. This should all be explained to you up front so that there is no confusion down the road.
If you have questions about an injury that you’d like to discuss with an experienced personal injury lawyer, our team would be happy to discuss the particulars of your case to see if it is something that we can assist with. We often advise our clients how to settle their case on their own, when it is in their best interest to do so. If you have questions, Call or Email and we would be happy to discuss your case with you.