If you get injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer in Dallas can serve as an important source of information about your legal rights. If you choose to hire an attorney, you can focus on healing while your lawyer handles the claim.
Before you retain an attorney, attend a free consultation to get to know him or her and make sure the attorney is the right fit for you and your case. Here are five things you should know about the free lawyer consultation before you make the call.
A Lawyer Has Your Best Interests in Mind
Talking to a lawyer is not the same as talking to an insurance claims adjuster about your personal injury case. An insurance company will want to diminish your payout as much as possible to save itself money and boost profitability. A personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, will share your goal of maximizing the financial payout for your medical bills and other losses.
Your success is your attorney’s success – especially if the lawyer operates on a contingency fee basis, where he or she does not get paid unless you do. During a free legal consultation, therefore, you can trust the advice the attorney gives you to be in your best interests. You do not need to worry about the attorney trying to take advantage of you or using any information you provide against you later.
Prepare Questions for the Lawyer to Answer
One of the main goals of a free lawyer consultation is to get answers to all of your legal questions. Before your free consultation, prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney. This can help you get the most out of your meeting. Some of the questions you should ask include:
- Do I have grounds for a personal injury case?
- How much is my case worth?
- How long will my case take to settle?
- What is your experience with this type of case?
- What is your law firm’s success rate?
- Are you the attorney who will be working on my case?
- How much are your fees?
The lawyer will ask you questions, too. Be prepared to answer questions about your accident and injury, as well as details about your personal life, such as what you do for work. Be honest with the attorney, as this is the only way he or she can truly protect your rights.
The More Information You Have, the Better
If you can, bring facts, photographs and documents related to your accident with you to the free consultation. The more information you bring with you to the case review, the better the understanding the lawyer will have about your case. Bring documents such as a copy of your police report, medical records and photographs with you, if possible. This can help the personal injury lawyer more accurately assess your claim.
What You Say to the Lawyer Is Confidential
Do not worry about the personal injury lawyer disclosing any information you give him or her to third parties, including an insurance company, the other party involved in your case or the police. Plaintiff’s attorneys are bound by law to maintain client confidentiality, even during free initial consultations. This means the lawyer is not legally permitted to disclose anything said during the consultation to a third party (with rare exceptions).
You Are Not Obligated to Hire the Lawyer
Finally, recognize that attending a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer does not obligate you to hire that lawyer. The initial case review should simply be an opportunity to get your questions answered and get to know the attorney. The law firm should not force you to sign anything or retain the attorney at this meeting. You should be free to continue searching for the right lawyer for you after the consultation, if desired.