Personal injury lawyers help clients recover compensation for injuries caused by others. Fortunately, most (like our firm) offer free consultations to injury victims, during which the lawyers review the cases and determine the next appropriate steps. If you have a free consultation coming up soon, there are a few simple tasks that you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your consultation.

Research Your Attorney 

Every personal injury lawyer leaves a footprint. Take the time to read up on any attorney you are considering hiring. Law firm web pages are a good start. However, don’t limit yourself to those. Check out online review sites such as Google Reviews.

Beyond review sites, attorney listing sites also provide good information about attorneys. Avvo.com, SuperLawyers, and others detail professional information relating to licensure, awards, honors, and disciplinary actions.  But some of those charge for lawyers to “participate” and even receive awards through that website.

You should also do enough research to verify that your potential choices are experienced in cases such as yours and can demonstrate a successful track record. When you arrive at the office of an attorney you know to be competent and familiar with your issue, you get the peace of mind you need during the compensation process.

Gather and Bring Related Documents 

Depending on the type of personal injury you have experienced, your personal injury attorney may want to see a variety of documents. If you were in a car accident, for example, the police or accident report would be beneficial to have. The medical records of your injuries will also be helpful, including tests performed and the results of such.

Other documents that may be helpful to your attorney during your first meeting include:

  • Health & auto Insurance information
  • Pay stubs
  • Employment files or records
  • Personal accounts of the incident
  • News reports or social media posts about the incident
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Professional licenses

Essentially, any document that has anything to do with your accident could be helpful and should accompany you to your first meeting. Even if you are unsure or almost convinced that a document would be irrelevant to your claim, bring it anyway.

Bring Photo and Video Evidence 

Often, personal injury victims can take photos or video footage of their accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries. Their friends and family may also snap photos and record video footage. These images and videos are a powerful form of evidence that can give your attorney a much clearer idea of what your case entails.

Do Not Delay 

Taking swift legal action after becoming injured will do nothing but help your case. Delaying only runs down the two-year statute of limitations. The more time your lawyer has to investigate your case and prepare a claim, the better for your case.

Discuss the Attorney’s Fees 

Understanding an attorney’s fees from the beginning is important to avoid problems later on. Most personal injury attorneys work on a fee-contingent basis. They receive a percentage of the money they win for you by settlement or verdict. Precisely what this percentage works out to be often depends on how long it takes to resolve your case.

Generally, cases that are settled out of court result in the attorneys charging around one-third of the gross compensation. So, an award of $100,000 would result in the attorney receiving roughly $33,333. The percentage goes higher in more complex cases or when trial becomes a reality.

Aim for Open and Honest Communication 

The initial consultation is extremely important to your claim and is the time to be as open and honest about your case as possible. Full candor will prevent any issues from arising down the line.

If there is anything that you are afraid or reluctant to tell your attorney, remember that they are bound by attorney-client privilege. Your communications are confidential. Also, revealing a problem or issue early on to your attorney allows them to effectively deal with the matter in a timely fashion.

The first consultation is a way to give you an idea of what types of legal actions are available to you and how much compensation your claim may be worth. Your attorney will use all available evidence, including your words, to try to give you the best ballpark figure they can during the initial meeting, if possible based on the specific facts of your case. Further down the line, the precise amount of compensation will become much clearer.

Answers You’re Looking For 

Your free consultation will give you solid answers to your questions. Contact the Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC, to schedule a meeting at our Nokomis or Litchfield locations in Central Illinois. We also offer phone and video consultations, such as through Zoom or Microsoft Teams.