Meeting with a personal injury lawyer for the first time can be intimidating. You may be wondering if the attorney is going to think you have a case, or if he or she is going to charge an exorbitant fee for their services. If you are thinking of hiring an attorney for your personal injury case, be aware of the following things below.
The Initial Consultation
Most lawyers will invite new clients in for a free consultation before agreeing to do any work. Come to this consultation prepared to discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury and what you hope to get out of filing a lawsuit. However, it is generally not necessary to bring a lot of paperwork at this time. If the consultation goes well, you may decide to retain the attorney for the duration of your case.
Paying the Fee
In general, personal injury attorneys don’t get paid unless their client receives compensation. The attorney takes his or her fee in the form of a percentage of the amount paid. If you are worried about the lawyer taking a large chunk of the settlement that should have been yours, keep in mind that legal fees are often factored into the final amount you receive.
Questions to Answer
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from your attorney. He or she may ask about your medical treatments, witnesses to the injury, and your relationship with the person you are filing the lawsuit against, in addition to other topics. Be honest when it comes to information you aren’t sure about, and if you need to consult with your records before answering a particular question don’t hesitate to say so.
Paperwork to Expect
Filing a personal injury claim also comes with a lot of paperwork. Take the time to fill out all documents accurately and as completely as possible. Making your attorney’s job easier in this way increases your chances of getting paid sooner rather than later.
Building a Case Together
Keep in contact with your lawyer and provide any additional information he or she requests as promptly as possible. Additionally, if there is any change in your condition or you develop complications from your injury, be sure to inform your attorney as soon as you reasonably can so he or she can begin to modify your case. You can ask for deadlines for various aspects of the case so you know what kind of timeline to expect.
Remember that your initial consultation with an attorney is as much for you to evaluate them as it is for them to evaluate your case. If you don’t feel like you are getting what you expected from the first meeting, consider shopping around until you find someone with whom you can work well.