After a car accident, you may face debilitating injuries, extensive rehabilitation, and you may not be able to work.
Perhaps you believe the insurance company isn’t doing everything it can for you and need a lawyer’s help. There is no such thing as free lawyers for car accidents. But most lawyers offer free car accident legal advice.
A free consultation is especially helpful because you can learn how a lawyer will assist with your case and make an informed decision on hiring one. Here’s how to ensure you get the most out of your free consultation.
How Do I Schedule a Free Consultation?
If you had a car accident, car accident legal help is just a phone call or a few mouse clicks away. Scheduling an initial consultation is the easy part. Most lawyers have a website or toll-free number to contact their office. When you call their office, ask if you can schedule a meeting with the lawyer for an initial consultation for a car accident case.
Some firms won’t allow you to meet with their attorneys and instead hire case managers who filter out calls. Law firms should make it easy for you to get a hold of them, and it could be a red flag that you won’t get personalized case service if they don’t.
What happens during the consultation is more complicated and involves some preparation. We will discuss this more below. However, the end goal of a consultation is to allow the lawyer to assess your case and give you its chances of success.
What Happens During a Consultation?
During a consultation, the lawyer will ask you to describe your accident and the extent of your injuries. When you describe your accident, begin at the beginning and recount the situation in as much detail as you can. Don’t worry about discussing liability; the lawyer will be able to assess that based on the facts you give them.
When describing your injuries, explain how your injuries affect your ability to work and quality of life. It’s helpful to explain the symptoms plaguing you and how often you see a doctor or other medical provider.
Sometimes it’s difficult to divulge all your symptoms because you don’t want to sound like you’re exaggerating or want to feel like a victim. However, leaving out important details about your health could hurt your case.
What to Bring to a Consultation
Insurance claims and lawsuits come down to evidence. You have to prove another person or company caused your injury and that you suffered financial losses as a result of your injury.
Because evidence matters above all else, you should bring to the consultation any evidence you have that might support your claim. Here is a list of common documents (if you have them):
- Medical records;
- Medical Bills;
- A list of medical providers who have treated you;
- Pay stubs or other income verification;
- Accident report;
- A copy of your insurance policy;
- Photographs of the accident scene, vehicle or property damage, and any injuries;
- Any communication you’ve received about your accident (especially from the insurance company); and
- Contact information of witnesses.
Depending on the number of documents and the complexity of your accident, the attorney may only get to review some of the records. However, it gives the lawyer some idea about the potential of your case.
Even if you don’t have the documents, don’t worry. It would help if you still went to the initial consultation. Often a lawyer will request these documents for you, which saves you time and helps the lawyer do their due diligence.
What Questions Will the Lawyer Ask Me?
The most important questions the lawyer will ask concern the extent of your injuries and the facts surrounding your accident, as mentioned above. However, the lawyer may also ask about your job, finances, hobbies, and marriage. All your answers will be confidential.
It is not the lawyer’s job to drill you, but they may ask very pointed questions. Sometimes, the lawyer may test to see how good of a witness you may be if the case has to go to trial.
Other lawyers will care more about keeping you comfortable to build trust and rapport with you as a client. A compassionate lawyer will be mindful that you’re hurt and understand that you simply want compensation for your undeserved injuries.
What Questions Should I Ask?
In addition to getting a lawyer’s opinion on your case, a consultation is also an opportunity to ask any question you have to the lawyer. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure the lawyer is right for you:
- How much do you charge?
- Are you able to hire experts?
- What is your experience with car accident cases?
- Have you handled a case similar to mine, and how did it turn out?
- Will I be able to speak with my lawyer directly?
- How often do you go to trial?
- How long will my case take?
- How involved do I need to be in my case?
You’ll notice that specific legal questions are not on the list. The reason is that most lawyers need time to review the evidence before they can come up with definitive legal answers. More often than not, when you pose a legal question to a lawyer, they’ll answer, “It depends.” Allowing some time for them to review your case will ensure you get a better answer than that.
Also, remember that it is very difficult for lawyers to give definitive answers early on because there has been no investigation, they haven’t reviewed your medical records, and they don’t know if the insurance adjuster will be difficult. Initially, they can only give you their best guess.
Free Consultation Lawyers for Car Accidents
Finding the right lawyer is crucial because you could be their client for years. Many cases settle quickly and out of court, but it can take up to three years to resolve when they don’t. If you were in a car accident and are looking for a car accident lawyer with free consultation, don’t hesitate to schedule it with us.
The Tenge Law Firm is a compassionate firm, where you can speak directly with your lawyer. In 2019, Attorney and Practice Magazine named Mr. Tenge one of the top 10 personal injury attorneys in Colorado. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.