How to Prepare for Your Free Legal Consultation
Preparing for a free legal consultation can be intimidating if you are not sure what to expect. However, arriving to this meeting unprepared can result in the loss of valuable time as your injury lawyer orients him- or herself with the facts of your case. Gathering necessary documents, bringing note-taking supplies, and creating a list of questions are a few things you can do to prepare for and get the most out of your consultation.
Know the Consultation’s Purpose
Before you attend your free legal consultation, you should know what typically occurs at these meetings. Lawyers use free consultations to gather the facts about clients’ cases. After discussing you case, a lawyer will advise you about the legal options available to you based on what he or she has heard. Once the attorney presents these options, you can advise the lawyer about which course of action you would like to take.
Gather Relevant Documents
Before your free consultation, make sure to gather all documents related to your case. Make copies of these documents and hand them to your lawyer for reference. This will save time and help apprise your lawyer of the facts.
- You should bring copies of police reports and arrest records, if available.
- You should bring insurance policy information.
- You should bring photos, notes, and witness contact information from the incident, if available.
- You should bring correspondence with insurance companies, involved parties, and other entities related to the case.
- You should bring medical bills, invoices, and other receipts detailing expenses related to bodily injury and property damage from the incident.
- You should bring pay stubs, time cards, and other evidence detailing lost wages, if applicable.
- You should bring death certificates for wrongful death cases.
- You should bring any documents you believe are relevant to the facts of your case.
Prepare a List of Questions
During your free consultation, the lawyer will ask you plenty of questions about the facts and circumstances of your case. During this time, you may ask any questions you have. It’s important to take advantage of this time to ensure that you and your attorney see the case the same way. In addition, these questions can help you determine whether to hire this lawyer or explore other options.
- How do I file a personal injury lawsuit?
- What exactly can I claim damages for?
- Is my case big/important enough to go to court?
- How do I calculate damages?
- Should I file an insurance claim or a lawsuit?
- How long will it take for my case to reach settlement?
- What does [legal term] mean?
- What should I do if the at-fault party contacts me?
- What do I need to do to help this case reach settlement?
- Can I claim damages for…?
Always come to a legal consultation with a pen and paper. Throughout the meeting, your lawyer will be communicating vital information to you regarding your case and your legal options. Take diligent notes during this meeting. In the future, when you find yourself wondering about your case, you can refer to these notes to refresh your memory.
At the end of the meeting, the lawyer will ask you how you would like to proceed. You do not always have to decide right there. You can go home and think about your options for the next few days before responding to the question. Having your notes will help you make a fully informed decision.
Contact Liljegren Law Group Today
If you are seeking legal counsel for a personal injury or wrongful death case, contact Liljegren Law Group today.
Our attorneys have experience in multiple practice areas related to personal injury, including car accidents, workplace injury, and premises liability. We provide free consultations at our offices in San Diego.