Did you know thirty-five million people go to the emergency room every year for injury-related visits? If you were recently the victim of an accident you’re likely considering whether or not to press personal injury charges.
Many personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. But, what exactly happens during these consultations? If you want to know the answer to this question, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll walk you through exactly what to expect when you meet with one of these professionals. Let’s get started!
Get Ready to Tell Your Story in Depth
The first thing you need to do is tell your story to the personal injury lawyer. Start with the incident that caused the injury and the circumstances that lead you to their office. It’s important to leave nothing out.
This can seriously hurt your case down the line. In addition to the accident, you should also discuss the injury itself.
Explain the timeline of your injuries and your current status. In some cases, your injury may get worse or better over time. Inform them of any changes that occur in this area.
Bring Any Documentable Evidence
At the end of the day, your injury case is only as strong as your evidence. It doesn’t matter how egregious the crime was. If you can’t prove that someone caused your injuries, you don’t have a case.
What’s more, you need need to prove that you experienced losses because of those injuries. It’s important to bring as much evidence as possible to your consultation.
That way, your lawyer can review it in-depth to see how strong your specific case is. Here are some of the documents you should bring if you have them:
- Medical records related to your injury (bills, prescriptions, discharge instructions, etc.)
- W-2s, pay stubs, or any other income verifications (to calculate any lost wages)
- Names and contact information for any potential witnesses
- Pictures of the accident, location, and your injuries
- Police accident report if it was recorded
- Any relevant insurance information
- Communications you may have received from an insurance company
Most of the time during the consultation the lawyer won’t review these documents in depth.
However, they will do a quick scan to find the advantages and disadvantages of your case. If you decide to take them on, they’ll likely make copies for a more close study.
Prepare Yourself for Some Hard Questions
It’s a sad fact, but many people try to take advantage of minor injuries to get money out of them. This small minority of the population is a problem because they make things harder for people trying to get money for their serious injuries.
To weed out these people you can expect some hard questions from the personal injury attorney. When you have a legitimate case, these questions can be very frustrating.
But, they’re a necessary part of the lawyer’s process to find out whether or not they want to represent you. What types of questions can you expect?
Usually, they cover areas like your job, personal financial situation, home life, and even details about your relationship. If these questions feel pointed, it’s because they are.
These are questions that insurance attorneys will be asking if the case goes to trial. So, they need to be covered by your lawyer so they’re prepared for them.
Prepare Your Questions as Well
During your initial personal injury consultation, the lawyer will decide whether or not they want to take on your case. However, this isn’t a one-way street. You also need to decide if they’re the right fit for you.
If you aren’t sure what questions to ask, here are some good ones:
- How long have you been in practice with these cases?
- What were the outcomes in cases similar to mine?
- How many people will be handling my case?
- Will you be available personally?
- How long do you think this case will last?
- What’s your success rate?
- Can I talk to a past client?
During this time you should also talk about prices and fees. Most of the time, personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees. That means that the amount you pay will depend on the outcome of the case.
You should make sure to discuss this price in detail. That way, you aren’t surprised if you win the case.
Don’t Be Afraid to Meet With Multiple Lawyers
It’s not a good idea to meet with just one personal injury lawyer. Instead, schedule multiple consultations. Don’t decide on one until you’ve heard a few out. That way, you have options at the end of the day.
Remember you need to be as candid as possible with your lawyer. So, don’t settle until you find one that you trust.
How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
The best way to find a good personal injury attorney is to find one that specializes in your specific injuries. For example, if you were hurt in an automobile accident, then limit your search to the best car accident lawyers.
At the end of the day, you should go with your gut. If something about the lawyer feels off, or you don’t feel heard or taken care of, look for someone else. You don’t want to risk it all on a bad lawyer just to save some money.
Appreciate Learning About a Personal Injury Consultation? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn what to expect from a personal injury consultation. As you can see, these consultations can be a bit of a hassle.
They require you to go over a painful experience in sometimes excruciating detail. But, it’s still a vital part of getting your injury lawsuit off the ground. So, contact a professional today to schedule your appointment.
Did you learn a lot from this article? We’ve got plenty more just like it so keep reading to find them.