If most people had their way, they would go through life without ever needing to take legal action. Taking legal action in any way can be stressful and cost you money. However, life is not that simple. The world is full of things you cannot control. People can be reckless and negligent, causing an accident that leads to damages and injuries. Unfortunately, you may be on the receiving end of someone else’s negligence. Accidents can and do happen. However, with the assistance of a trusted personal injury attorney, these situations can be less stressful.
A legal consultation may be a daunting step for many, which is why you need to come prepared. Wormington & Bollinger have assisted countless clients over the years. We understand how crucial the initial consultation is, which is why we are here to help you come as prepared as possible.
What is a Legal Consultation?
Even if you are the most careful person in the world, you cannot control the actions of others. Someone else’s negligence can put you in harm’s way, leading to accidents that cause injuries and more damages. In these instances, seeking legal action will help you get the compensation your rightfully deserve. To do so, you must meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
As we mentioned earlier, a legal consultation provides an attorney with essential information regarding your case. Remember, this meeting is not the beginning of legal representation. An attorney uses this time to decide whether to take a case or not. During this consultation, you will present all the essential facts about your case. The attorney will then explain the potential legal implications of the accident in general terms.
Often, these meetings are short and can be done in person, over the phone, over email, or via video chat. If an attorney agrees to take your case and you feel comfortable with them and trust them, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to plan your next move. Before meeting with an attorney, you should prepare.
Whenever you come to a legal consultation prepared, you set both yourself and the attorney up for success. You can quickly jump into the details of your case while getting a feel for each other. Doing so will also show the attorney that you are serious about your case. Your attorney needs a few things from you to get a better understanding of your case. Conversely, you may also want to bring a list of questions to ask the attorney to help you feel more comfortable with them.
Questions to Ask
While having an attorney who wants to take your case is good, you also want someone that you feel comfortable around. This initial consultation is not just for your attorney to get to know your case. It is also for you to get to know your attorney. If you have any questions or concerns, write them down, so you can ask them during this meeting. Some questions you might ask include:
- How much experience do you have working on this type of case?
- How will the opposing side react to this case?
- Have you ever represented someone on the opposing side of this issue?
- Do you see any glaring issues or concerns with my case?
- How do you charge for your services?
- Can you detail the process you would typically take for a case like this?
- How long will it take to resolve this matter?
- Do I have any options that are not legal?
- Would you handle my case personally, or would someone else from your firm be given my case? If so, can I meet them before agreeing to representation?
These are just a handful of questions you can ask. Don’t be afraid to come up with questions directly associated with your case, either. The more you ask, the better prepared you and your attorney will be.
Provide General Case Information
This meeting is vital as it allows your attorney to learn as much about your case as they can. You must be upfront right away. If not, you set your attorney up to fail. Write down the events of the accident in chronological order. Write down everything you remember in vivid detail. The more detail, the better. Always include:
- The names of everyone involved, as well as their contact information
- Your own contact information (phone number, home address, work phone number, email, etc.)
- The date the accident or case occurred
- Type of case
- Essential details of the case (who, what, when, how, why, etc.)
Finish off by explaining what you hope to gain from this process, such as compensation for any damages you incurred.
Gather Relevant Documents and Evidence
Along with the general information you provide, your attorney will need to see any documents and evidence about your case. This information may play a pivotal role. It will give your attorney a clearer picture of your case and allow them to assess the strength of it. No two cases are the same, so the evidence may differ from one to another. However, in general, you should bring:
- Contracts (employment agreements, leases, etc.)
- Police reports
- Financial documents
- Photos of the accident from the scene and of any damage
- Any communication (text, email, letters, etc.) between you and the relevant parties
- Witness statements and their contact information
- Medical documents detailing any treatment or future treatment due to injuries sustained in the accident
Gathering this information and giving it to your attorney will give them a head start.
Figure Out What Your Goals Are
Once you have decided to take legal action, you must clearly think about what you hope to gain from this process. Far too many people fail to think about what their goals are. Decide what you want your lawyer to do for you. While achieving your perfect outcome will depend on the facts and the law, letting them know what your hopes are gives them something to aim towards. Spend some time thinking about what you hope to achieve with your claim.
If you find yourself in a situation that requires you to take legal action, legal consultation is a vital first step. It allows you and your attorney to feel each other out while giving them a chance to understand your case better. Coming prepared creates a cooperative environment that sets you up for success. If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact Wormington & Bollinger to schedule a free consultation.