Philadelphia, PA - After a car accident, the last thing on your mind is meeting with an attorney, but it’s vital that you do. Every second you delay can have long-lasting repercussions on the results of your case and potential settlement. That’s because a lawyer can offer you advice on how to move forward.
What to Expect When Meeting With a Car Accident Attorney
Your first call with an attorney is called the “consultation” stage. Here, they’ll assess your case and determine if you’re a good fit. You should expect the following things on your call.
1. Expect the Lawyer to Ask Questions
The lawyer will screen you by asking a few basic questions and performing a conflict check. But these questions may have already been asked in their online intake form. Once you’re past this step, the lawyer will ask more specific questions about your case and why you contacted them.
For example, they may ask if you spoke to the insurance company about the accident or if anyone else was in the car with you when it occurred. Whatever you say has to be backed up with submittable evidence, so be prepared to provide medical bills, photos, and police reports.
2. Expect the Lawyer to Confirm the Details
You’ll hear the lawyer repeat information back at you a lot. This doesn’t mean they don’t trust you; they’re just making sure they heard you. A good lawyer will write down what you tell them.
The lawyer will also confirm details on their end to make sure you understand how they price their services or whether the initial call is free. Searching for a free consultation is ideal.
For example, if you wanted to contact Munley Law for more information about car accident settlements in Pennsylvania, they’ll set you up with a free consultation. They also operate on a contingency agreement, so you won’t have to pay any fees unless you win your case.
3. Expect the Lawyer to Press You a Bit
Even if you haven’t hired the attorney, your first meeting is still protected by attorney-client privilege. Therefore, you should provide any relevant information about the accident, no matter how embarrassing or detrimental it could be. If you don’t, it could come back to haunt you.
To ensure they develop a complete understanding of your case, they may press you a bit. It’s easy to feel intimidated, but the right lawyer will approach sensitive topics empathetically.
4. Expect the Lawyer to Decline Your Case
Just because you should expect the lawyer to decline your case, it doesn’t mean they will. What we mean is you should brace yourself for rejection in case it happens. When a lawyer declines a case, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot or that the attorney doesn’t like you personally.
Attorneys turn down cases for multiple reasons, including their workload, a potential conflict of interest, the scope of the lawsuit, and financial implications (even if you could win your case).
5. Expect Your Lawyer to Answer Questions
Clients shouldn’t hire an attorney unless they can trust them to handle their case. During the consultation, the lawyer will ask you if you have any questions for them, so come prepared with a few of your own. You’ll want to assess if they can capably represent your legal interests.
Be sure to ask if the attorney has experience handling car accident cases like yours and how much trial experience they have (as most car accident cases settle). Question whether the person you're speaking to will handle the case or if their associates will handle most of the work.