The vast majority of personal injury claims that are filed in Memphis and surrounding areas in Tennessee start with a free case consultation.
The consultation is designed as an opportunity for a lawyer to get to know more about the accident that harmed a prospective client, and for the lawyer to explain the journey that could lie ahead for both of them.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, and you are now considering taking legal action, it may help you to know more about the nature of consultations and what you can expect from one.
WHY DO LAWYERS CONDUCT FREE CASE EVALUATIONS?
Most lawyers conduct free case evaluations because they are genuinely concerned about the well-being of those in their community. They want to help injured persons to seek just compensation from those who have wrongfully harmed them.
By providing a free case evaluation, a lawyer gives a person the opportunity to talk with someone about what has happened to them. A lawyer, above all, must be a good listener. By listening carefully, a lawyer can get a good understanding of how an accident occurred and how it has impacted a person’s life.
Additionally, a lawyer can help a person to understand his or her legal rights. While many of us may have a vague idea of what our rights are after an accident, a lawyer can explain them to you in a way that makes them clear and easy to understand.
During a consultation, the lawyer will also do his or her best to give an assessment of a person’s ability to recover damages and the potential damages that could be sought through a claim with an insurance company or, if needed, a lawsuit.
Because we don’t want concerns about cost to stop a person from seeking legal help, we never charge for consultations at The Law Office of David E. Gordon, P.C. As we tell prospective clients, by attending a consultation, they will have no obligation to work with us, and everything they say will be kept confidential.
WHAT INFORMATION IS A LAWYER LOOKING FOR IN A CONSULTATION?
Lawyers are looking for a variety of information during a free case evaluation. So, it is important that you come prepared. Some things that your attorney is likely hoping to learn about your case during a consultation include:
- Where and when your accident happened?
- Who else, if anyone, was involved in the accident?
- How the accident occurred?
- Who do you believe was at fault for the accident?
- Was the accident reported to the police?
- Has your insurance company been notified?
- What medical treatment you have sought – and when did you seek it?
- Beyond expenses, what other harm have you have suffered?
- Are there any other important details about your accident?
Do not be surprised if the attorney asks a lot of questions, including some questions that may seem personal. These questions are all asked in order to form an accurate picture of your claim.
HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE FOR A PERSONAL INJURY LEGAL CONSULTATION?
The lawyer is not the only one who should be asking questions during a case consultation. You should feel free to question the attorney about his or her experience and about the process of filing a claim.
Some questions that you should consider asking the attorney include:
- How does the lawyer charge clients? Some lawyers ask for upfront payment. Some bill by the hour and send you periodic invoices. In a personal injury case, our law firm believes that a contingency fee agreement is the best option. Under this arrangement, a client pays no costs for legal fees unless the lawyer obtains a financial recovery for the client. The lawyer’s pay will reflect an agreed-upon percentage of that recovery. You can read more about different ways that lawyers charge clients on the website of the American Bar Association.
- What type of law does the lawyer focus on? You should choose to work with an attorney who focuses his or her practice in the type of law that corresponds with the injury type that you have suffered. For example, if you have been injured in an auto accident, you would want to work with a lawyer who has handled many auto accident cases and, in turn, understands the nuances of those cases.
- What is the lawyer’s success rate? Do not be afraid to ask the attorney about his or her record of success. Keep in mind: A lawyer’s past results do not guarantee that the same or a similar result will be reached in your case. Every case is different, and what can be recovered in your case will depend on the unique facts of your case. However, it may be helpful to know what the lawyer has done in the past. If a lawyer doesn’t want to discuss his or her record, it may be a red flag.
- Has the lawyer gone to trial? While most cases are settled out of court, some claims must go to trial. Ask your attorney about his or her trial experience, including the most recent trials. This information may help you to feel assured that, if your claim is contested, your case will be in good hands.
During preparation for your case evaluation, be sure to bring as much information as you can gather about your accident such as:
- The police report
- Doctors’ notes and medical bills
- Photos of your accident and injuries
- Eyewitness contact information.
Also, remember that it is very important that you tell the attorney the absolute truth when discussing your claim. If you are keeping anything back, your attorney will eventually learn about it.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A FREE CASE EVALUATION?
After your free case evaluation, you will have the opportunity to think about whether you want to hire the attorney and pursue your claim together. If you decide to hire the attorney, then you will enter into an agreement.
From that point, you should focus your efforts on your health and your recovery. While you focus on getting better, your attorney will work on the case, beginning with a thorough investigation of your accident. Throughout the process, your lawyer should keep you updated on its progress and reach out to you as needed.
GET HELP TODAY FROM OUR MEMPHIS ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
At The Law Office of David E. Gordon, we want to help you to pursue the compensation that you deserve. Because time may be running out to file your claim, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible. We offer free consultations to all injury victims in Memphis and surrounding areas in Tennessee. Simply reach out to us by phone or online today.