Most law firms offer a free legal consultation prior to taking on your case. This is your opportunity to discuss your case with a legal representative and discuss how they can help. By initiating contact with a lawyer for this consultation, you are not obligated to hire them. This consultation gives you the opportunity to get a copy of your potential contract and compare contracts between law firms if you are deciding between more than one law firm.
The free legal consultation is an initial meeting with a representative from the law firm you are interested in hiring. The law firm cannot take on your case until you sign the contract. The main thing that will be discussed in the free consultation is the attorney contingency fee, as well as how that fee may change if your case goes to court.
Prior to this meeting, you will need to gather all the necessary materials for your case. For auto accidents, you will need a copy of the police or accident report. If you own your vehicle, make sure you have a copy of the title available for review. Keep track of all documents in regard to the accident. Keep voicemails, emails, and phone call records of interactions with the insurance agents.
If you are receiving medical treatment, you don’t need to provide copies of bills to your lawyer during this meeting. In fact, upon hiring a lawyer, your lawyer and medical providers will enter a lien agreement. This agreement means that your medical providers won’t pursue you with debt collectors. Instead, your medical providers agree to receive payment for their services out of your insurance settlement.
Legal Claims and Facts
You and the representative will discuss the details of your case. Be honest in this discussion. Any proof of lying may result in their dropping or refusing to take your case.
Any legal consultation with your potential or hired attorney will be confidential. Provide as much information about your accident as possible, and bring pictures of your vehicle/accident if you have them. This will enable them to properly evaluate your case.
Questions to Ask the Representative
- Who Will Specifically be Handling my Case?
- What is Your Contingency Fee?
- What Other Fees are Included in the Agreement?
Other things to know
Know that you can negotiate your contingency fee. You may not receive a lower contingency fee than the initial offer but know that the option to negotiate is always open to you before you sign the contract. After you have signed the contract, if you decide against hiring a lawyer, you can cancel your contract as long as the lawyers haven’t initiated any work on your case. If they have initiated work, they may require you to pay a fee for the time they’ve put into your case.