Meeting with a personal injury attorney for the first time can be daunting. The attorney, however, is on your side and wants to help. The attorney is there to answer your questions and provide knowledgeable legal advice. Knowing what to expect during your first meeting can help you feel more at ease when the day of your consultation with a personal injury lawyer arrives. Make your meeting as smooth and productive as possible by preparing ahead of time.
Prepare Questions for the Meeting With the Attorney
The initial consultation with a personal injury attorney is your chance to ask questions about your case. Unless you have a legal background, you most likely have a number of questions about how and why your injury happened, who may be liable, how long your case will take to resolve, and what it might be worth. To make things more efficient and ensure you do not forget any important questions, make a list before you arrive.
Think of the who, what, where, when and why of your accident. These are questions that the attorney will ask you. Tell the attorney what you can remember from the accident and bring organized notes. The attorney will listen to your story and help you fill in the blanks based on relevant laws. Then, the attorney can give you tailored advice about what to do next.
Don’t forget to ask questions to determine whether or not the attorney is the right fit for you and your case. You do not have to retain the very first personal injury lawyer you meet. Instead, schedule free consultations with a few different options in Kansas City and ask around to see which is the best match. Ask questions about the attorney’s practice area experience, years in the field, past case results and legal methods.
Ask About Attorney Fees and Contingency Fee Basis
It is important to fully understand how the attorney charges and how much his or her services will cost. Do not be afraid to ask these questions during your initial consultation. Most personal injury lawyers operate on either an hourly rate or a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee basis means the lawyer does not charge any fees for his or her legal services unless the lawyer succeeds in securing the client financial compensation.
If you hire an attorney that works on a contingency fee basis, you can avoid the financial risks associated with your lawsuit. The law firm will front the costs of litigating your case. Then, if the attorney wins a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf, he or she will deduct attorney’s fees as a percentage of the overall award. If the attorney does not win financial compensation, you won’t owe anything. Ask for details about the attorney’s fee arrangement, including the percentage charged if he or she operates on a contingency fee basis.
Important Things to Remember to Bring to a Personal Injury Consultation
Finally, bring a few things with you to the consultation to give the personal injury attorney a better understanding of your case. This can help the lawyer assess your case to determine if it has merit and what it might be worth. Create an organized folder that contains copies of key documents and medical records related to your accident and injury.
If you can, bring the following items to show the lawyer:
- All of your accident-related medical treatment and medical information, bills, records and x-rays
- Photographs of the accident, if you have any
- A copy of the police accident report
- A copy of your insurance policy
- Documentation of any wages or work missed
Do not worry if you cannot bring these items to your initial consultation. If the attorney offers to represent you and you accept, collecting evidence and documentation to prove your case is one of the services the attorney can perform for you. The more information you bring about your case, however, the more you can get out of your first visit during the meeting with the attorney.
If you are ready to schedule your initial consultation with a personal injury attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, contact The Dickerson Oxton Law Firm to request an initial meeting today.