9 Things You Should Know About a Free Lawyer Consultation

9 Things You Should Know About a Free Lawyer Consultation

Personal injury lawyers practice within several areas of law. They often have widely different personalities and may approach cases in completely different ways. However, there is one thing they almost all have in common: nearly all personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations. 

A free consultation provides an opportunity for you and your prospective attorney to get to know each other. It also allows you to be informed before deciding how to approach your case. 

These nine tips will help you take full advantage of a personal injury consultation.

1. It Is an Interview

Effectively, you are interviewing the lawyer in the same way an employer interviews a new job prospect. At the end of the interview (or within a few days), you will decide whether to hire them to do work for you.

Essentially, you should treat it like an interview. Pay attention to qualifications and determine whether you get along. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who doesn’t have the skills you need or who you can’t stand. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long to determine whether someone has the proper skills to handle a car accident or a workers’ compensation case.

2. Your Time Is Limited

When you sit down with an accident lawyer, free consultations generally last 30 minutes to an hour. That may seem like plenty of time, but it can go quickly. Avoid small talk and focus on the important aspects of your case. You don’t want to waste time. 

If you think you might not be able to make the consultation, you should cancel as early as possible so the lawyer can redeem that time.

3. Write Down Your Questions Before the Consultation

This tip partially harkens back to the last one. If you write your questions down before the consultation, you will spend less time asking them (or trying to remember them). More importantly, this ensures that you don’t accidentally forget a question.

A free consultation is typically a one-time event. If you forget to ask a question, a lawyer might be nice enough to answer it in a follow-up call, but you shouldn’t expect it. It is better to write everything down and make sure everything is checked off your list before the consultation ends.

4. You Are Not Obligated To Hire the Law Firm or the Lawyer

It doesn’t matter how much time the lawyer gives you, how many questions they answer, or even whether they give you advice. Free is free, and these consultations always come without obligation. Will a lawyer encourage you to hire their firm? Usually, yes. But they can’t coerce you and you can’t be forced to hire the law firm just because you accepted the free consultation.

5. You Should Bring All Relevant Evidence in Your Possession

A consultation is a discussion. During that discussion, the attorney gives you an honest assessment of whether you have a strong case and how much compensation you might receive. However, that assessment is only possible if you provide the lawyer with all the evidence you have.

This means you should collect all your medical records and anything else you think might be relevant before attending the meeting. If you aren’t sure what evidence will be useful, ask whoever you speak to while making the appointment.

6. The Attorney Might Not Accept Your Case

A personal injury lawyer is not obligated to take your case, even if they give you a free consultation. They might determine, based on your description of the case, that it is outside their practice area, will require too much time, or that your claim isn’t strong enough.

7. Be Honest (Attorney-Client Privilege Applies)

The good thing is that, regardless of whether the lawyer takes your case or not, according to the American Bar Association, attorney-client privilege attaches as soon as you request legal advice. This means that nothing you say during the consultation can be used against you in court, and the attorney can’t be obligated to testify against you.

Thus, you have no reason to hold anything back. Tell the lawyer the undiluted truth during the consultation. This will help them better understand your case and make an accurate determination of your chances of getting compensation.

8. A Good Lawyer Will Fully Explain Their Fee Structure

You should never leave a free lawyer consultation with any confusion about how your attorney will get paid. If the topic of pay doesn’t come up or isn’t explained in full, you should look for a different attorney. 

The South Carolina Bar requires lawyers to put all contingency fee agreements in writing. However, that doesn’t mean you will understand what is written down. A good lawyer prefers that their clients are informed and won’t try to trick you into agreeing to something unfair.

9. Take Time Before Signing Anything

Even if you are considering hiring an attorney, you shouldn’t sign a contract immediately. Take some time to read through it and possibly consider other options. Nothing is stopping you from taking advantage of a free consultation at another law firm (or multiple law firms) to get a better understanding of your options. 

If a lawyer tries to coerce you to sign an agreement without giving you time to think, they probably aren’t the right choice.

Take Advantage of Your Free Consultation To Make the Right Decision For Your Personal Injury Case

The result of searching the internet for “a personal injury lawyer near me free consultation” should yield several options for lawyers in your area. Maybe you won’t find the right lawyer on the first consultation or even the fifth. But the more information you get, the better. Take advantage of each consultation to get informed and make the right decision about your claim.

Contact our South Carolina personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation if you need guidance.

For more information, please get in touch with our personal injury lawyers in South Carolina at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve York County, Lancaster County, and its surrounding areas:

Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys – Rock Hill Office
212 E Black St,
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 324-7574
Open 24hrs

Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys – Lancaster Office
204 A S Main St,
Lancaster, SC 29720
(803) 902-7065
Open 24hrs

Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys – Fort Mill Office
1201 Carolina Pl Suite 102D,
Fort Mill, SC 29708
(803) 902-4045
Open 24hrs

Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys – Lake Wylie Office
264 Latitude Ln #102A,
Lake Wylie, SC 29710
(803) 902-3608
Open 24hrs