9 Things You Need to Know About Free Lawyer Consultations

Lawyer Consultations Helpful Hints When You Meet with a Free Consultation Attorney at a Personal Injury Law Firm If you have experienced a car accident, slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or any other unfortunate event that resulted in injury, you may want to consider a free personal injury attorney consultation. Once you’ve done some research for a personal injury attorney in your area, you should schedule an initial attorney consultation where you can get answers to any questions you may have about your damages and injuries.

 

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation, and Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, is no different. We offer legal advice during a no-obligation initial consultation with anyone who has been injured and needs answers. Before we meet, here are 9 things you need to know about free attorney consultations.

 

What to Expect During Your Personal Injury Attorney Consultation
At your initial meeting, your personal injury attorney will first want to hear a detailed explanation of what happened. They will collect a variety of information from you during this process, but for the most part, you will have the details they need to make an initial determination about your case. This article will help you make sure you’re prepared, know what to expect, and bring the necessary documents to make your initial consultation as productive as possible.

 

You should know that the length of the initial interview varies greatly, depending on the type of negligence, how many people are involved, and the circumstances that led to your injury. For more straightforward cases like car accidents with personal injury protection insurance, the first meeting probably won’t take long. The initial interview usually lasts longer in more complex cases such as medical malpractice or defective products. However, no case is simple or straightforward.

 

Here are nine things you need to know about your free consultation attorney review:

 

#1: What is the statute of limitations for your personal injury case?
Before you think too much about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries, you should first consider whether your case is time-barred. The best time to seek compensation is immediately after the injury to avoid missing any deadlines. However, sometimes a client may wait to file a personal injury lawsuit and miss the opportunity to recover damages.

 

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is reduced to two (2) years from the date of the incident. If the claim is against a government agency, like the city where you live, you may have a different deadline to file a lawsuit. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is two (2) years from the date of death.

 

There are several reasons why you should not wait too long for a free attorney consultation to make the best decision about working with a personal injury law firm. First, evidence may disappear, witnesses may move or become unavailable, and as time passes it becomes difficult to build a strong case. Also, your attorney needs enough time to prepare an insurance claim, enter into settlement negotiations, and explore various options before filing an official lawsuit.

 

If you haven’t waited too long, you can proceed with your initial consultation with your personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case and get to know your potential attorney.

 

#2: Getting to know your attorney

Before you choose a lawyer to consult with, you should do basic internet research on them. Check out websites like Avvo.com, SuperLawyers.com, the Florida State Bar Association, and of course, Google Reviews. These are great places to start.

Remember, a consultation is your time to get to know the attorney you are working with to understand your case, answer your questions, and…
What should you bring with you to your free consultation attorney meeting?
Your personal injury attorney will want to review your case using as much information as possible. For this reason, it is important to bring any and all documentation you have regarding the injury and accident.

 

The following are some records, statements and information you should bring to your initial consultation:

 

Photographs of the accident and your injuries
Accident report
Police investigation notes
Citations or tickets
Witness statements or contact information
Self-taught notes about your injury (see #4 below)
Doctor’s notes and emergency room notes
Medical records
X-ray and MRI results
Automobile and Health Insurance Card/Information
Information about the other driver or the property where your accident occurred.
Bringing in all of this information gives your personal injury attorney a chance to understand the full picture of your case so they can give you answers about your prospects for pursuing compensation. The more detailed information a lawyer evaluates, the better the legal advice will be. With all of this information, your personal injury attorney can provide you with a basic understanding of how they will seek compensation, giving you the opportunity to determine whether their plan of action is reasonable.

 

#4: Bring updated notes and records about your personal injury accident

 

Two critical issues will frequently arise during your legal injury claim:

What exactly happened during the incident that led to the claim?
What kind of damage or injury was caused?
Since these issues will come up at almost every stage of the process, it’s important to have a clear record to refer back to so you don’t forget important points. Read this article for more detailed information on what to do at the scene of an accident.

To preserve this information, take detailed notes immediately after the incident and throughout the process, including what happened, where it happened, who was involved, and how your injuries affect your daily life. This will almost certainly help strengthen your legal claim.

Here are some pieces of information about your personal injury accident that you should keep track of:

What exactly happened before, during and after the incident
Time and place of incident
Weather conditions
Witnesses and what was said
What you experienced physically and emotionally during and after the accident
The type and extent of your injuries, both physical and mental
Any medical treatment you have received or expect to receive
The impact of your injuries on your work, social and personal life
Time off from work, as well as any events you have to cancel or miss
Your injuries have affected your close family relationships
This information, both in consultation and ongoing, can help your attorney understand what happened and how it has affected you. This allows them to create a list of damages that you can pursue through a personal injury claim and gives a more complete picture to help ensure you receive the right compensation. If you don’t tell your lawyer something or forget to mention something, they can’t include it in the demand or claim.

Always prioritize your health after a personal injury accident. If you cannot gather some of this information right away due to the severity of your injury, ask a trusted friend or family member to help. Also, once you retain an attorney, they can conduct thorough investigations and gather evidence on your behalf.

 

#5: During a free consultation with an attorney, you must provide a detailed account of your personal injury accident.

Most initial consultations involve providing an account of what happened during your accident, injury or illness. At this time, the attorney will also ask you detailed questions to elicit more details and gain more insight into …

 

#7: Ask about the viability of your personal injury claim at your free attorney consultation

 

Once you have given an account of what happened and told the attorney about your injuries, they will discuss the viability of your case. Not all cases require filing a lawsuit and not all cases will result in a financial settlement from the insurance company. It is better to know now if it is not worth pursuing your case rather than wasting your own time. If this happens, and you feel you want to continue, get a second opinion.

 

At this point the lawyer may refer you to another lawyer. This may be an unusual occurrence if your case does not fall within that particular attorney’s practice area or if there is a class action lawsuit you may be involved in. An honest lawyer will know their limitations and won’t take on cases just as a way to make more money. If an attorney refers you to someone else, they may understand why that attorney is qualified and what they can do differently to help you.

 

Understanding which laws may affect your personal injury claim
If you and your attorney are ready to move forward with your case, they will explain the laws that cover your situation. Each type of personal injury accident has its own laws that govern how these claims are processed. They may have different rules for statutes of limitations, what constitutes liability, and what conduct is considered negligent. Be sure to ask your personal injury attorney about which laws affect your particular case, so you can do your own research after you leave the initial consultation.

 

Once you have discussed the feasibility of your case and any applicable law, your personal injury attorney can explain your best possible options and the strategy they will use to get you compensation. Obviously, they won’t have a detailed plan of action ready to go in 30 minutes, but they can give you some ideas. This is often an exciting part of a client’s consultation as they feel relieved that they are on the right track to compensation.

 

#8: Discuss attorney fees and compensation for a personal injury attorney

 

Once you and your attorney have discussed possible options, strategies, and a general plan of action, it’s time to tackle the logistics. Most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they will be paid for their work if they recover compensation for your injuries. This is the best plan for both parties.

 

Often, injured victims cannot afford to pay out of pocket for an attorney. This allows people to get legal representation that they might not otherwise be able to afford, and encourages the attorney to work as hard as possible to get the most money possible. If you pay a flat fee, the attorney will be paid no matter what and have less incentive to do more work.

 

Signing a contract with your personal injury attorney
At this point, you will sign a contract in which you and the attorney agree to the negotiated fees. You will usually give your lawyer a partial power of attorney, which means they have limited permission to collect and sign documents on your behalf. It is used for things like medical publications and documents submitted to court.

 

You will also sign a HIPAA release form so your attorney can request your medical information and records. That way, they can handle most of the work for you.

 

#9: Discuss what your next steps are for your personal injury claim

After you cover all of the above information and sign contracts and documents, the attorney and his legal team will begin handling your case. At this point, they will notify the insurance company of their demands and negotiations will begin. If things cannot be handled directly with the insurance company, mediation, arbitration, and possibly litigation may be used.

 

Before you leave the meeting and hand your case over to a personal injury attorney, it’s important to know what the legal process will be like. Ask what they’ll be doing in the next couple of weeks and months, so you get an idea of what you’re doing and how you can help while you wait.

 

You have to focus on recovering from your injury and your medical bills will pile up. Make sure you have a way to contact your personal injury attorney to get consistent updates about the claim process and to provide them with updated details about your medical treatment and costs and any other issues that pop up.

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