Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | February 10, 2023 | Personal Injury
From slip and fall injuries to automobile accidents to medical malpractice, you’re probably wondering how to schedule a free personal injury lawyer consultation if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence.
First, you should do some research on attorneys in your area so you can select someone who is right for you. Once you’ve decided on an attorney, you can schedule an initial consultation. During this first meeting, you can present the attorney with your case details and ask any questions.
What To Expect At the Initial Consultation
Aside from being a general introduction, your first meeting with your personal injury lawyer is where you will provide a detailed account of your injuries. While you do this, the attorney will ask you pointed questions so they can gather the information they need to represent you.
The length of the initial interview will vary depending on the extent of your injuries and the complexity of your case. If the case is fairly straightforward, the interview will likely be short.
However, the consultation will likely be longer if the case involves multiple parties and lots of legal wrangling, as in medical malpractice and product liability cases.
Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for the initial consultation. However, confirming before agreeing to the meeting is always a good idea.
Here are nine things you should know about how to get the most out of a free personal injury lawyer consultation.
1. Get To Know Your Attorney
Before you speak with anyone on the phone, research online to better understand what the attorney is all about. What do their clients say? What is their standing with the State Bar Association? To find the answers to these questions, consult the Florida Bar Association website and Google Reviews.
Remember, the initial consultation isn’t just about figuring out whether you can work with the attorney on a personal level. It is also your time to evaluate their qualifications and expertise so you can ascertain how well they will advocate on your behalf.
General impressions are important, but you’ll also want to pay attention to how you feel about their confidence and believability.
2. Bring Supporting Documents
The more information you supply to your attorney, the more thoroughly they will be able to review the details of your case.
Remember that details can vary from case to case. Some documents might apply more than others in your specific situation.
Here are some suggestions regarding what documents you should bring:
- Photographs of the accident
- Photographs of your injuries
- Police notes
- Crash records
- Tickets or citations
- Witness statements
- Personal notes regarding your injury
- Medical records
- Health insurance information
- The other party’s information
This information will give your personal injury attorney a comprehensive picture of your case and allow them to formulate a plan of action. It will also enable them to provide you with answers regarding potential compensation.
3. Understand the Florida Statute of Limitations
Before you or your attorney can do anything, you will need to determine whether your case has expired by looking into the statute of limitations.
If you live in Florida, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is typically four years from the date of the injury. If you file a claim against the government, the statute of limitations is three years. If the suit involves wrongful death, the case will expire after two years from the date of death.
4. Bring Notes and Records Related To Your Accident and Injuries
Your claim will revolve around two critical questions. First, what occurred that gave rise to the injury? Second, what kind of injury did you incur? These two questions will repeatedly arise throughout your case. For this reason, you’ll want to bring all notes relevant to your accident and injuries.
Ideally, you have been keeping a journal since the accident to document how the injuries have impacted your life. Your notes will give your attorney insight into your injuries and help them bolster your claim in court.
Here are some details that many attorneys find helpful:
- Time and place of the incident
- Witness statements
- Your subjective experience during and after the incident
- A description of your injuries
- A description of any medical treatment you received
- Details of how the injury has impacted your work and personal life
- How the injuries affect your close relationships
This information will help during the consultation and beyond by functioning as a record of your mindset following the accident.
5. Provide a Detailed Account of the Accident and Your Injuries
The majority of the consultation will revolve around your account of what happened. As you provide details, your attorney will ask probing questions to better understand the extent of your injuries.
6. Ask the Right Questions
In order to receive adequate compensation, it is important to come prepared with the right questions.
Here are some topics you can discuss:
- Important evidence related to the claim
- Length of the process
- Medical payments and related treatment
- Which damages may be available to you
- Terms of payment
Depending on the nature of your case, there might be additional questions.
7. Find Out Whether Your Case Is Viable
After you give your attorney a detailed account of the incident and present your documents and evidence, they will inform you of the viability of your case. They will tell you whether your case is eligible to proceed and which damages you can seek.
8. Discuss Attorney’s Fees and Compensation
Once options and strategies are out of the way, it is time to discuss fees and compensation. Most personal injury attorneys in Florida work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they get paid when you do. However, you will want to discuss the terms with your attorney.
9. Formulate a Plan of Action
After you agree on payment terms, the attorney and their legal team will begin handling your case. Before you leave, ensure that the attorney gives you a detailed explanation of what the next few weeks will look like.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC in South Florida For Help Today
Now that you know a little more about free personal injury lawyer consultations, you’re ready to begin your search. Schedule free consultations with a few personal injury lawyers to find the best match for your situation.
For more information, please contact the Stuart, Port St. Lucie, or Palm Beach Gardens personal injury law firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC, at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We proudly serve Martin County, St. Lucie County, Palm Beach County, and its surrounding areas:
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Stuart
73 SW Flagler Ave
Stuart, FL 34994
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Port St. Lucie
1100 SW St. Lucie West Blvd. Ste 202
Port St Lucie, FL 34986
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Palm Beach Gardens
300 Avenue of the Champions Ste 220
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418