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It does not cost anything to consult with a personal injury attorney about a personal injury case – at least it shouldn’t.
If the attorney is charging a consultation fee, this should immediately signal to you that the attorney may not routinely handle personal injury cases. That’s because personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
In other words, personal injury attorneys only get paid when you get paid. This also means that consultation fees are not charged.
1) What will it cost for me to consult with an attorney?
Personal injury lawyers typically do not mind answering the occasional questions for potential clients.
However, there are limits to the amount of advice most attorneys will provide, but not because they don't want to help.
Any time an attorney provides legal advice, they are opening themselves up to potential malpractice as well as discipline for professional misconduct, depending on the circumstances.
2) Can I call a lawyer and ask a question for free?
After you’ve suffered an injury, there are several questions you can ask a lawyer to gauge their ability to give you the care and attention that you deserve.
Here are a few:
How many cases are you currently handling? It’s common sense that if your case is one of hundreds, then you may not be getting the attention you deserve. Simple math should tell you that there just isn’t enough time in the day to satisfy every client. Instead, it’s more likely that your attorney is more comparable to an adjuster, turning cases over as quickly as possible.
Who will be handling my case? Many attorneys sign up clients only to send the case to a completely different law firm and attorney. Alternatively, the attorney offloads the client on to a paralegal or inexperienced attorney. Right away, clarify who you can expect to be the quarterback of your case.
How often should I expect to hear from you? This is a loaded question, and the attorney’s answer will be telling. If their answer sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Confident attorneys can’t – and won’t – commit to unrealistic expectations. Pay attention to how the attorney responds to this question.
What are your fees? Again, this is a loaded question. It is more important to pay attention to how the attorney answers this question more than what they promise. This is because personal injury attorney fees are generally uniform, with reasonable variations. So, if the attorney over-promises or over-sells you on their fees, they likely need your case more than you need them.
3) What questions should I ask a personal injury lawyer?
There are certain steps you can take to prepare for a lawyer consultation to maximize its benefit to you.
First, take time to get organized and pull together important paperwork the attorney may need. This could include the police report, photographs, medical bills, and similar items.
Next, identify specific questions for the attorney. Come prepared to ask precise questions so that you understand how the attorney may be able to help.
Then, be prepared to answer questions the attorney may ask of you. Be prepared to discuss how the incident underlying your claim occurred, and be honest.
Finally, if you believe you'll be inclined to hire the attorney, be prepared to provide the information the attorney may need for your file, including social security number, health insurance information,
Remember, attorneys are busy. The easier you make it on your attorney, the better the experience will be.
4) How do I prepare for a lawyer consultation?
Generally, yes, anything discussed during a legal consultation with a lawyer is confidential.
This means, the attorney cannot share the contents of the communication with other people, nor can he be compelled to share your communications.
5) Is a free consultation with a lawyer confidential?
Typically, personal injury consultations can last as long as an hour.
However, consultations usually don't last near that long unless the case involves complex issues or catastrophic injuries.