What You Should Know Before Consulting A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured in an auto accident or while visiting a public or commercial establishment, your friends and family will probably advise you to talk to a personal injury lawyer right away. That is good advice, but before making that first appointment, make sure you are prepared and know what to expect. Here are some important tips that will help you obtain the most out of your first consultation:
Take Some Time to Prepare
At your first consultation, both you and your lawyer will have an opportunity to decide whether he or she will represent you. In order to properly evaluate your case and determine whether you have a good chance of winning a settlement or verdict, your lawyer needs to know as much as possible about what happened.
To prepare for the first meeting:
- Write down the details of the accident. When and where it occurred, exactly what happened to the best of your memory, what you remember from before and after the accident, whether there were any witnesses, etc. When you write down the details, you are less likely to forget something important.
- Bring any evidence or information you have. This might include a copy of the police report or incident report, names and contact information of any witnesses, and pictures or videos.
Any information you bring will help your lawyer evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of you case and allow him or her make an informed decision about whether to take on the case.
When you hire an attorney for a personal injury case, you are beginning a relationship that may last for months or even years. You should be comfortable and confident that the person you are hiring is capable and willing to give your case the attention it deserves. Do not be afraid to ask about the lawyer’s experience and track record.
Find out as much as you can about the law firm’s procedures: who will be assigned to your case, whether you will be communicating directly with the lawyer or with members of their support staff, and whether someone will be available when you need to ask questions or have updates.
Ask about what you should expect during the process and how much time it might take. Of course, it is impossible to know exactly how long a case might take to complete, but the lawyer should have a general idea of how cases like yours might proceed.
Ask about the firm’s fees, court costs, and other potential costs involved in pursuing your case. Almost all personal injury cases are handles on a contingency fee basis, but you should know what the fee will be if you win. You should also find out whether you will be expected to pay expenses such as court costs, fees for investigators or expert witnesses, or whether those fees will be taken out of your final settlement.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions
During your initial consultation, you will determine whether you want to hire that attorney to handle your case. Remember that the attorney will also be determining whether your case has merit and if he or she should represent you. To make this determination, a lawyer may ask for more details about the accident, your injuries, previous medical conditions, and other personal information.
If you have been injured, call us today at 212-227-4000 and arrange a no-obligation consultation. You can count on the experienced personal injury attorneys at Mirman, Markovits & Landau, PC to give you an honest, up-front evaluation of your case with the information you need to make an informed decision.