No matter how minor or serious a car accident is, getting injured in a wreck can be a difficult experience. There’s a lot going on—doctor’s visits, calls from insurance companies, coping with an injury, all on top of your day-to-day responsibilities.
Many people come to us wondering how a lawyer can help, which is something we will discuss during our first meeting. While many people find the very idea of meeting with a lawyer intimidating, it could be the best decision you will ever make following an accident. And while it’s not unusual to feel nervous about talking to a personal injury lawyer, remember that this is what we do every day. We are accustomed to talking with people who are stressed, anxious, and feeling uneasy. Knowing what to expect during your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer can help.
What Happens During an Initial Personal Injury Consultation?
When you meet with a lawyer for an initial consultation, you can expect the following:
An initial consultation always begins with a discussion about the accident. First, the attorney will ask you questions about what happened, including the who, what, where, when, and how, the extent of your injuries, how much medical care you’ve received so far, any lost earnings, etc. The attorney will assess your case based on the information you provided and determine what, if any, claims can be made and what your case might be worth.
Explain Your Legal Rights & Options
Once we have discussed the details of your case, our attorney will be able to explain possible next steps. Our attorneys will advise you of all the options you have, including whether legal help is viable and/or necessary, walk you through the legal process and what to expect, and give you an idea of what possible outcomes might look like. At SettleUp, you can trust us to be honest and upfront with you about whether or not we believe we can properly assist you. This decision often involves weighing the potential damages you can recover against the financial cost of hiring an attorney.
In some cases, you might be better off handling your matter on your own. In other cases, we might think you’re better off in the hands of another skilled attorney in our network. And no matter the case, you can trust our lawyers to always be honest and upfront with you.
Answer Your Questions
One of the most important aspects of a free consultation is to give you the opportunity to ask questions. Regardless of whether you choose to hire us or not, we’re here to help you make the most informed decision about your specific matter. And no matter how intimidating it may feel, there is no such thing as a dumb question. We talk to people just like you every day. You will be treated with respect and compassion every step of the way.
Discuss your Role
Understanding your role and responsibilities in a personal injury case is another important part of a consultation. While your attorney handles all of the legal aspects of your case and carries most of the responsibility for ensuring that it is successful, the attorney-client relationship is a partnership. The client plays a vital role and you will need to work with your attorney to get the best result. Responsibilities might include seeing your doctor as instructed, never missing doctor’s appointments, and providing necessary documentation in a timely matter. Following the direction of your attorney will increase your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome.
Explain fees and payment ARRANGEMENT
We provide you with details regarding how our fees are calculated and paid. Nearly all car accident lawyers, including us, represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means we only collect attorneys’ fees if and when we collect money on your behalf. We will explain how this works and what you can expect. At SettleUp, providing better access to quality lawyers is our purpose which is why we offer our legal services for a 20% contingency fee – that’s nearly half of what most other car wreck attorneys charge.
How to Prepare for a Personal Injury Consultation
Here are some important things you can do to get the most out of your free consultation.
1. Gather Documents
First, you’ll want to gather any documentation related to your case, such as:
- Any evidence you have from the scene of the accident, such as photos and videos
- Photos of your injuries
- Official accident or police report
- Witness statements and contact information
- Any relevant medical documents and records related to the accident, including bills, receipts, invoices, doctor’s orders, visit summaries, prescriptions, etc.
- Verification of income, such as pay stubs, W-2s, or 1099s
- Auto and health insurance policy documents
- Any written or recorded correspondence with the other party or their insurance company. This can include written statements, emails, phone calls, and text messages.
2. Be PREPARED to Answer Questions
As we discussed earlier, an attorney will ask you questions about your car accident. Questions will likely include:
- Specifics about your injury, including what kind of pain you’re experiencing
- Details about the doctor’s prognosis
- Any preexisting injuries
- What details you’ve given the insurance company or other lawyers
- Employment information
- Insurance information
3. Have Questions Ready to Ask
Finally, before your initial consultation, you should prepare a list of questions you would like to ask the attorney. While you probably have some questions in mind, here are a few to consider:
- How long have you been practicing law in Colorado?
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- How many cases like mine have you or your firm handled?
- How many personal injury cases have you taken to trial and what were the results?
- What kinds of settlements have you obtained?
- If I am not satisfied with a settlement offer, are you prepared to take the case to trial?
- Do cases like mine usually settle out of court or go to trial?
- Will you be the attorney that is actually handling my case?
- Will anyone else will be working on my case (i.e. paralegals, experts, law clerks)?
- How long do you expect it will take to resolve my case?
- How often will I receive updates about my case?
- If we lose, will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses?
- What is your reputation among your peers?
- Are you a member of any professional organizations?
- Have you received any awards or honors?
- What is your fee arrangement?
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
An initial consultation is the first step in recovering damages for a car accident. To get the process started, contact us for a consultation today.