When you start researching personal injury lawyers, one of the most common phrases you’ll hear is “Schedule a free consultation with us.” These consultations can be a great way to get to know a lawyer and get advice about your case. But what should you expect during these consultations?
Proper preparation can help you make the most of your free consultation. Read on to learn what you should know before you show up for a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
1. Use Your Time Wisely
Although free lawyer consultations are – well – free, they do come with a time limit. In most cases, an initial consultation will last somewhere between thirty and sixty minutes. You want to make sure you make the most of the time you have with the lawyer.
2. Write Down Some Questions
One of the best ways to make the most of your time is to write down your questions ahead of time. You may want to ask how long they’ve practiced personal injury law, if they think they can win your case, and what size settlement you might expect to get. It’s also a good idea to check what kind of legal procedures you can expect and if they think your case will settle or go to court.
3. Bring Documentation
It’s also a good idea to show up to your consultation with as much documentation about your case as possible. This will give your lawyer all the information they need to give you an initial opinion about the outcome of your case. Before your consultation, gather your police report, your medical records from the accident, any time sheets showing you had to miss work, your insurance information, and photos from the accident.
4. Think of It as an Interview
When you go into your consultation, it’s a good idea to think of it as an interview. This is your chance to interview this lawyer and see if you want to hire them onto your case. Talk to them about fee structures, how they manage communication, and how much experience they have.
5. Ask About the Merits of Your Case
Depending on the documents you bought, your lawyer may or may not want to discuss how much merit your case has. They won’t want to make you any promises they can’t keep. But it’s a good idea to ask how much merit they think your case may have and if you should file a claim.
6. Remember the Statute of Limitations
Another important topic to bring up with your lawyer is how the statute of limitations applies to your case. In most instances, if you talk to your lawyer within three years of your accident (the time on the New York statute of limitations), you should be okay to file a case. Sometimes, you may be able to file a case after that three-year limit, but you’ll need to talk to your attorney about that.
7. Don’t Bow to Pressure
One of the biggest red flags you should watch out for during your free consultation is your lawyer putting any pressure on you to sign a contract. It should be 100 percent your decision to hire a lawyer in your case. If they start pressuring you to sign anything, stand up and walk away.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
A free consultation is a good way to get a feel for a lawyer and see if you have a viable claim. Make sure you take full advantage of the time you have with them and bring as much documentation with you as you can. It’s also a good idea to write your questions down ahead of time and ask about the merits of your case.
If you’d like to talk to a personal injury lawyer, give us a call at Oresky & Associates. Our lawyers have recovered more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ve got your back, too. Schedule your free consultation with us today to discuss the details of your case.
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