What Can You Learn from a Personal Injury Lawyer Consultation?

If you were injured due to medical malpractice, a car accident, or any other type of unfortunate event, you may be considering a consultation with one or more accident attorneys to help you get the answers to the many questions you probably have.

One of the most important things to do, other than to hire a lawyer, is to do your research to find someone who is not only qualified but who you can develop a good rapport with, meaning that you can trust that person to be at your side when it comes to everything from legal advice to filing a lawsuit and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. According to IBISWorld, there are over 135,220 personal injury lawyers employed in the U.S. alone, so you'll first want to narrow down the list of options in the area in which you live by searching through reviews and checking with the bar association in your state to ensure they are currently licensed to practice there. 

Once you have a short-list of possible lawyers to hire, it's time to schedule consultations. The “initial consultation” takes place before signing a contract and formally hiring the attorney. It's usually free and will allow you to determine whether you want to form an official relationship. 

Here's what you can and should learn from that consultation to make the best decision possible. 

An In-Person Impression
While you can tell a lot about a person over the phone, there is really no better way to get a true impression than with an in-person consultation. This is your opportunity to get to know who they are, whether you feel like you can trust them and whether or not they seem confident in their abilities to be successful, assuming you have a case.

If You Have a Valid Claim
On that last note, a consultation will allow the attorney to determine if they think you have a valid claim. You'll discuss the facts related to the issue at hand and any potential legal claims. The lawyer will then be able to tell you, based on the information you provide and the law, whether you have a valid case from a legal standpoint. 

Whether or Not You Really Need a Lawyer
The attorney should also be able to tell you if his or her services are really necessary or if you'd be better off resolving the situation on your own. Generally, that means weighing the financial cost of hiring a lawyer against the potential damages you may be able to recover.

The Fees
While the initial consultation is free, if you hire said lawyer, you'll need to know beforehand what kind of fee arrangement there will be. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning they'll take a percentage of the amount that's recovered, so if they aren't successful, you won't be charged.

  • What their services will cost. An initial consultation should include a discussion of the fees that the attorney may charge. In addition to providing some idea of overall cost, the attorney should explain the fee arrangement (e.g., contingency fee, flat fee, or hourly fee).
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