Personal injury lawyers, like Kuzyk Law, usually offer free consultations to new clients. This consultation gives you valuable time with an experienced lawyer to get feedback about your case. But if you have never hired a lawyer before, you might not know what to discuss during the free consultation. Planning ahead helps you make the most of your meeting. It also gives you the information you will need to pick a lawyer for your case.
Here are three topics to cover during your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
What Happens During a Free Consultation
During your free consultation, you will usually meet an experienced injury lawyer. Some firms have paralegals handle initial consultations. This is not necessarily bad. But you should consider whether this meets your expectations for the law firm you want for your case.
You will explain your accident and your injuries. You will also explain how your injuries have affected your life, including your work life and personal life. Based on your story, the lawyer will explain your legal options for recovering injury compensation.
You should approach this consultation as your chance to interview the lawyer and the law firm. To get the best outcome for your case, you need a lawyer you can work with. This consultation allows you to discuss those issues that can interfere with your working relationship with the lawyer.
Some topics you should consider discussing include:
All injury lawyers charge for their services. Most injury lawyers, like Kuzyk Law, charge a contingency fee. The amount of the contingency fee depends on the outcome of your case. If your lawyer settles or wins your case, you pay a portion of the settlement or damage award. If your lawyer loses your case, you pay nothing.
Discuss the lawyer’s percentage during the initial consultation. The amount that injury lawyers charge varies widely.
Also, discuss how the lawyer handles costs. Court filing fees, court reporter costs, and expert witness fees may be incurred in your case. The lawyer will pay these fees on your behalf. But at the end of the case, you will need to reimburse your lawyer. Ask the lawyer if you need to pay costs even if you lose.
Communication About Your Case
The most common problems that develop between lawyers and their clients surround communication. Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer must keep the client reasonably informed about the case and respond to any reasonable request for information.
But lawyers get busy and may not answer your calls, texts, and emails immediately. If you anticipate this, you can discuss how you can get updates when you cannot reach your lawyer. Often, associates, paralegals, and legal assistants have access to your file and can provide information on your case when your lawyer gets tied up.
Experience with Similar Cases
Experience is critical. Not all injury lawyers have handled a wide range of cases. If a lawyer only handles car accident cases, the lawyer might not have the knowledge and experience to handle a slip & fall case. Discuss the lawyer’s experience with cases like yours. And ask what outcomes the lawyer has obtained in similar cases. This will help you decide if the lawyer is a good fit.
Hiring a Lawyer
You should not feel pressured to hire a lawyer at the end of your consultation. Your choice of lawyer could determine the outcome of your case. Take your time to speak to a few lawyers and pick the best match for your situation.