Do you need to hire a lawyer but are unsure about the process? Hiring a lawyer is a big decision, and you want to choose the right one for the job.
Most law firms offer a free consultation. This initial meeting helps you determine if the lawyer is the right one for you.
Being prepared for your lawyer consultation is so important. Take your time to gather documents and prepare questions to get the most out of your initial meeting.
If you’re thinking of hiring a lawyer, we can help. Here are some tips to remember when you consult a lawyer.
Before your lawyer consultation, take the time to gather any documents that may be relevant to your case. This includes any court-related documents or police reports.
Bring copies of any documents you’ve collected or you think could be helpful. Some important documents you may need include:
- Insurance information
- Birth certificates
- Relevant texts or emails
- Audio recordings
- Medical bills
- Doctors’ reports
- Witness contact information
Prepare copies of the original documents for the lawyer. Providing relevant documentation can help the lawyer better understand your situation and prepare your case.
You may be able to fax or email documents ahead of your initial consultation.
Discuss Your Situation
You probably have many things you want to tell the lawyer at your consultation. Write down everything you think is relevant to your case.
It’s easy to forget details if you’re nervous or emotional during your consultation. It’s important to give an honest account of your situation.
Your lawyer needs all the details to assess what’s important and determine how to start legal proceedings.
Remember that everything you share with the lawyer is confidential. This includes details that may be sensitive to you or your family members.
You may think some things are too embarrassing or trivial to share, but they could be important details. Don’t hesitate to speak up.
People often make a list of questions for their doctor. You should do the same for a lawyer consultation. Have your questions prepared before your meeting.
Some questions to ask may include:
- Do you have specialized training that may help my case?
- How long have you been in practice?
- What kinds of cases do you typically handle?
- Do you have experience with cases like mine?
- Do you have litigation experience?
- What are your fees?
- Who will I be working with?
- What kind of settlement can I expect?
- What is the likely outcome of my case?
- How long will it take to settle my case?
- Will I go to court?
- How will we communicate?
Share your questions and concerns at your initial consultation. Choosing a personal injury lawyer is a big decision. Take the time to make sure you’re choosing the right lawyer for your case.
Talk About Costs
Talk about fees during your initial consultation. A reputable lawyer will be upfront about all legal fees, including any additional fees you may incur along the way.
Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing until you receive your settlement.
If you decide to hire a lawyer, get your fee agreement in writing. Feel free to ask about the fees they charge and when they expect payment from you.
Keep Your Own File
You should keep a copy of every document you provide your attorney and every document they give to you. Keep copies of any police reports, accident statements, doctor’s notes, and medical bills as well.
Keep your fee agreement and any correspondence between you and your attorney in your file. It’s important to keep your own records in case you need to refer to a certain document or hire another attorney at some point.
Understand What You Sign
You want a lawyer you can trust to navigate the legalities of your case. But you should know what’s happening with your case and understand the purpose of any document you sign.
Be sure to read any documents before you sign them and ask your attorney to fully explain the document’s purpose. A good attorney will take the time to keep you informed and answer any questions you may have.
Listen to Your Lawyer
Once you decide on an attorney, it’s important to listen to them and follow their advice regarding your case. You’re hiring a lawyer for a reason, so don’t try to make legal decisions on your own.
Your lawyer’s advice is based on years of training and legal expertise. Although you may not be thrilled about every turn of events in your case, it’s important to follow sound legal advice.
Keep in mind that your attorney is doing their best to get the outcome you deserve. Choose a lawyer you can trust and communicate with and allow them to take the lead.
Preparing to Consult a Lawyer
If you need a personal injury lawyer, there are many things to consider. You want the best person for the job, but that takes a bit of effort on your part.
Hiring a lawyer is a big decision. The goal is to find a lawyer who will work diligently on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.
Following a few tips can help you be prepared when you consult a lawyer. Before your initial consultation, gather relevant documents and write down any questions you may have.
Above all, be upfront and honest and share any questions or concerns you may have.
At Sweet Law, we have over 40 years of experience representing accident victims and their families. We’d love to put our experience at work for you.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.