What Is a Free Consultation? What Should I Expect?Published: Nov 25, 2015 in Personal Injury
When you are the victim of a personal injury, car accident, defective product, or other legal matter, taking advantage of a free case consultation provided by an experienced Alabama law firm can help you to learn more about your options. If you are not sure what a free consultation is, here is an overview of what to expect and how to prepare.
What Is a Consultation?
A consultation with a personal injury lawyer is a meeting where you can discuss the details of your accident, your related injuries, and what your options are for recovering damages.
Something that is very important to understand about your consultation with an attorney is that everything you say is completely confidential. The information remains between you and the attorney.
Another important thing to know about a consultation is that it is free. A consultation provides you with an opportunity to ask questions and get a legal perspective on your accident.
But it does not obligate you to hire the attorney or work with the attorney moving forward if you do not want to, or if you do not feel comfortable doing so.
How to Prepare for a Consultation
Before you attend your consultation, here are a few suggestions to help ensure that your consultation is as productive a meeting as possible. These include the following things listed below.
Bring all relevant documents.
If you have documents related to your injury—such as police reports, medical bills, photographs of injuries, and insurance documents—make sure that you bring these to your consultation. The more documentation that you can present to your attorney, the more information he or she will have to evaluate your case and legal options.
Remember, your consultation is completely confidential. Nothing you say during it can be held against you. However, if you are not honest, then your attorney may not get the full picture. Without accurate information, your attorney may make a recommendation that is not as well-founded as it could be otherwise. By withholding relevant facts during your consultation, you are only harming yourself.
We will discuss what questions to ask in more detail below, but remember: this is your opportunity to get to know the attorney and make a determination about whether you want to work with him or her moving forward; the more you ask, the better.
Read all documents before you sign.
During your consultation, you may be asked to sign a retainer agreement if you and your attorney decide to work together moving forward. Before you sign anything though, make sure you read it thoroughly and completely understand what it is saying.
Listen to your lawyer.
Remember, the lawyer that you are consulting with is trained in the law, and likely has a lot of experience working on cases similar to yours. Trusting your attorney and listening to him or her is within your best interest.
Questions to Ask Your Attorney During Your Consultation
As mentioned above, you want to ask as many questions as possible during your initial consultation. This will give you a good idea of whether or not you and the attorney are a good fit, as well as what the chances are of your case being a valid personal injury claim.
Important questions to ask during an initial consultation include:
- How long have you practiced in this area of law?
- How many cases have you handled that are similar to my case?
- What was the outcome of those cases?
- What type of law do you primarily practice?
- How long does it typically take to resolve a case like mine?
- Who will be working on my case?
- Is there any way to know in advance how much I might be able to receive?
- How much do your services cost?
- Are you working on a contingent fee arrangement? If so, what percentage will you received if successful?
- Will I have to pay anything up front out of pocket?
A qualified personal injury attorney will have experience in the area of law related to your case. The lawyer will be able to provide you with information about multiple cases that the law firm has handled successfully in the past.
A good attorney will also be honest with you about how long your case will take to resolve. Any attorney that promises that you will receive a million dollar settlement within a few weeks’ time should not be trusted.
You should also know that the best personal injury lawyer for you will never charge you anything up front, and in fact, will never charge you anything unless your case is successfully resolved. This is called working on a contingency fee, and refers to an attorney getting paid a percentage of the settlement amount if your claim is successful.
Take the Next Steps Now
What are you waiting for? The next step is to call an experienced Birmingham law firm to schedule your free consultation.
The Alabama personal injury lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. will never charge you for the initial consultation. Our attorneys have been successful in recovering millions of dollars for their clients and work on a contingency fee basis.
For legal counsel that you can trust, schedule your free consultation online, or call us today. If we do not answer, you can expect a call back within 24 hours. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, we can travel anywhere in the state of Alabama to investigate your case.