Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | February 8, 2022 | Personal Injury
You have many options for legal representation in New York City, and many NYC personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation about your case.
When you’re looking for accident lawyers who offer free case evaluations, it can be hard to narrow down your options. Plus, you may not know what to ask during a free consultation.
Knowing how to approach a free consultation with a NYC attorney can help you get the most out of the meeting so you can select the best one for your case.
What Can I Expect from My Lawyer Consultation?
Think of your consultation as an interview where you get to know the attorney while they evaluate the strength of your case.
Most consultations last between 30 minutes and an hour. It can help to have as much information as possible written down since your time is brief.
You’ll be asked for details such as:
- How did you get hurt?
- What medical expenses do you have?
- What damages to your property or vehicle did you incur?
- Who do you think was responsible for the incident?
Even if you don’t think you have a case, it’s always best to have a legal professional review the facts. After learning the circumstances surrounding the accident, the lawyer will tell you whether you have a strong case or not.
If you have evidence in your case, bring that, too. This could be a police report of an accident or an incident report if you were injured at a place of business, such as a slip and fall accident.
Be as honest as possible about the incident, including whether you were drinking or using drugs. Your lawyer can’t help you without all of the facts. You may feel more confident if you remember that everything discussed between you and your lawyer is confidential.
What Questions Should I Ask During My Attorney Consultation?
People often have two common questions: “How much will this cost?” and “Do I have a case?”
Many NYC personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they take their fees out of any compensation you receive from a settlement or court verdict. If your lawyer works on a contingency basis, you don’t pay for their legal services unless you win your case.
Other questions you should ask during the personal injury lawyer free consultation include:
- What type of cases do you handle?
- What kinds of personal injury law does your firm handle?
- Will I be working with just you or with a team?
- How much is my case worth?
- How long will it take to settle my case?
Many personal injury lawyers focus on a few different areas, while others handle car accidents exclusively. Ensure that your lawyer has had experience handling the kind of injury and circumstances you have, since the laws covering damages can vary depending on how and where they happened.
Many larger law firms have teams that work with clients, including paralegals. It’s important to know who will be handling your case and answering your questions or concerns.
Your attorney will determine the value of your damages, including the cost of medical care, replacing or repairing any damaged property (like your car), and recouping any lost wages if you had to miss work because of the accident.
Be wary of lawyers who promise a considerable settlement or assure a win. While your lawyer has to put a dollar amount in the lawsuit paperwork filed with the court, that’s not a guarantee of what you’ll actually receive.
Finally, ask if the lawyer is willing to take your case to trial, if necessary. The parties involved in the case will often settle out of court and negotiate the damages. However, if you can’t come to an agreement, then the case will go before a judge. Ask your lawyer how much trial experience they have.