When seeking a lawyer for any case, particularly a personal injury case, you will find that they offer free consultations for your case before you even commit to choosing them. Even we here at Freeman & Freeman offer free consultations in all areas of law that we cover. However, if it is your first time ever contacting a lawyer, you may not know what to expect from these consultations. Everyone likes to know what they are getting into the first time they ever do something, so if you are considering a free consultation with a potential lawyer, here is what you can expect from the experience.
What is a Free Consultation For?
A consultation for a personal injury case might be more apt to be called a getting to you know meeting for both sides. These consultations typically last for about 30 minutes to an hour in which the potential client will meet with their potential lawyer.
During this time, the client will give a description of what happened, what injuries occurred, and why they want to pursue a personal injury case. During this time, the attorney’s only job is to listen and then give feedback on the validity of a potential case. Essentially, they want to hear about your case first to see if you actually do have one. If you don’t, they will let you know and let you know why it is not valid in the eyes of personal injury law. This will save you a lot of wasted time and legal fees in the end. However, if your case is valid, they will want to proceed further to see how strong it is. Even clients that think they might have a weak case could very well have a stronger one with the right evidence.
What to Bring To a Consultation?
A personal injury case consultation isn’t just about discovering validity in your case, but it is also about discovering how strong that case will be. This is why when heading into a personal injury consultation, even though you are not technically meeting with your lawyer yet, you should bring as much documentation as possible in with you. While it is possible to bring in too many documents, having everything your potential lawyer could ever need to see is never a bad thing.
At very least, for the initial consultation you should bring:
- Medical Records – Your medical records should record any injuries that resulted from the incident and the treatment or procedures that your doctor administered. These records should also include the cost of the care and contact information for those that treated you.
- Police Report – The police report will explain what happened and give a number of crucial details including if anyone was breaking the law or contact information for witnesses. Essentially it proves what you believe happened, did actually happen.
- Insurance Policy Information – This will let the lawyer know what your insurance policy does or doesn’t cover.
This is just the very bare minimum. You can also consider bringing records of any correspondence between you and the other party, pay stubs that prove you had to miss work and pay because of the accident, or any other legal documents that the other parties lawyer may have sent over.
How Does a Consultation End?
If it is shown you have a valid case, your lawyer will then begin the other half of the consultation in which they essentially sell themselves to you. A good personal injury lawyer will want you to feel both comfortable with them and confident in their abilities. They will also end the consultation by going over a potential game plan and including the cost and any fees associated with the process. They will be there to answer all your questions and hope you choose them, but even if you want to shop around for legal counsel, anything you disclosed in that consultation is still protected by attorney-client privilege.
If you have been injured in the Los Angeles area and are looking for a personal injury lawyer, contact us today. Freeman & Freeman can help look over your case and build your confidence in our free consultations.