Free Lawyer Advice? What to Expect & Ask at your Free Consultation
If you have been involved in a car accident or any other personal injury accident, it is imperative you find a qualified and reliable personal injury attorney for legal representation. Fortunately, most lawyers offer a free legal consultation where you can receive free lawyer advice before you sign any checks or contracts. A free legal consultation is the first meeting with a lawyer prior to hiring the lawyer. A free meeting with a lawyer? You read that correctly! Attorneys use the consultation to evaluate your case to see if it is worth their time and effort to represent you.
It is important to understand that meeting for a free consultation does not indicate the attorney is obligated to your case or you are obligated to the lawyer. No strings attached! This is the perfect time to ask all your questions and receive lawyer-grade answers concerning your legal case.
Since the consultation is free, you should be prepared to dive deep into the details of your case. Know what to ask and expect when receiving free lawyer advice with the help of this guide.
What to Expect During a Free Consultation
After you have researched car accident lawyers in your area, you should schedule a free consultation with each lawyer. To attain the right lawyer for you, you should sit down and meet with the lawyer. Not only should you inquire about legal matters and your specific case, but also take note of the lawyer’s attitude and mannerisms. Is it easy to talk to the lawyer? Are they distracted or unorganized? Are they giving you their full attention? Apart from getting to know the lawyer and building trust, you can learn more about personal injury law and your specific situation.
To get the most information concerning your car accident case, you should ask relevant questions concerning your case and the lawyer. The length of the consultation varies depending on the law firm or specific attorney. However, to make the most of that time, you should prepare ahead of time to get the most out of the free lawyer advice.
Questions You Need to Ask for Free Lawyer Advice
To find the perfect lawyer for you, you need to ask the right questions in the free consultation. Not only will you receive the exact info you need to choose a reputable lawyer, but you may impress some of the presenting lawyers along the way. Some of the questions to ask include:
How much is my claim worth?
This is a question we often get asked. However, no good lawyer will be able to answer this question until they have thoroughly reviewed your case and until you are finished with all of your medical treatment. The value of your claim is based upon a multitude of factors – liability, medical treatment, injuries, permanency, and economic damages. .
Most Columbus car accident attorneys charge based on contingency, which means they get paid after receiving your settlement.
Do you have experience with similar cases?
Your lawyer should be knowledgeable and skilled in the logistics and details of your case. Prior experience with similar cases can be proof of industry knowledge. Ask the attorney during the free consultation about their case portfolio. Have they handled a similar case? What was the outcome of that case? While each case is somehow different, an experienced attorney will find similarities between cases to use to their advantage in the future.
You can also ask how long the lawyer has been practicing law, especially in your area. This will give you an idea of how familiar the attorney is with the legal matter procedures and local judges.
How long will the case take?
When you pose this question for free lawyer advice, you will want to keep in mind that car accident settlement cases can take months or even years. Don’t have an expectation in mind that your claim will be settled in a couple weeks. Knowing exactly how long your case will take will depend on several unpredictable factors.
Take note of the lawyer’s answer. Does it seem abnormally long or short? You can even consider specifically asking the lawyer what factors about your case will take the longest.
Who will work on my case?
Don’t be surprised if later down the line after hiring a lawyer, you find out the one lawyer you scheduled the free consultation with is not the only sole associate on your case. There may be several associates working on your case. However, it would be best to ask who will be your point of contact and inquire about the experience other lawyers have in handling similar cases.
Is going to court the only solution?
Filing a lawsuit can be expensive and time-consuming, and many clients look for other possible settlement solutions. Most of the personal injury cases don’t end up in court. Oftentimes, your lawyer will negotiate a just and fair settlement with the insurance company before resorting to filing a lawsuit and taking it to court. Even after filing a lawsuit, there is a good chance of settling your case at a mediation, which can help you avoid court cases.
Questions the Lawyer Might Ask You
Receiving free lawyer advice at a free consultation helps you understand your legal situation and the possible outcome for your case. However, just like you have prepared questions to ask the lawyer, the lawyer has done the same for you.
- What exactly happened during the car accident?
- What kind of injuries did you suffer?
These are the core questions most personal injury attorneys will ask, and you should be prepared with clear answers and evidence concerning the questions. In addition, the lawyer might ask branching questions about details of the car accident. Your lawyer has to make sure they understand all of the weaknesses in your case too so they can better protect you. It is important that you are honest in answering questions.
What to Bring to your Free Meeting with an Attorney
There are many advantages of scheduling a free consultation with a Columbus car accident attorney. One of them is that you will have an idea of the expected outcome of your case and know the estimated cost of the case. You will need to answer questions thoroughly with adequate proof, and the lawyer will also require lots of information to answer your questions precisely.
Here are things to bring during your first consultation with your free lawyer:
- Police report- Sheds light on parties involved in the accident, what exactly happened, and insurance carriers.
- Photos of cars involved- Gives the lawyer an idea of what happened and how severe the accident was.
- Photos of your injuries
- Tow truck information- Location of your car
- Car insurance information- Helps the attorney know the type of coverage applicable to you.
- Any medical records relevant to the car accidents- Helps the lawyer prove that you suffered injuries.
- Your driver’s license
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer after a Car Accident
A car accident can change your life. It can cause inconveniences, pain, expenses, and fear. One of the first questions that comes to mind after a car accident is whether you need to hire a lawyer. A simple answer is “Yes.” Having a lawyer after a Columbus car accident will increase your chances for compensation. Also, it is known that car accident victims with legal representation get a significantly higher amount of compensation than those without a lawyer.
Remember, if you delay filing a lawsuit right away, you may not claim or recover what is rightfully yours. Hiring a reliable Columbus car accident lawyer will help you avoid financial loss.