You’ve been in a car accident or wrongfully terminated. You thought you’d never be in this position, but now you’re looking for an attorney. For many, the idea of consulting and retaining an attorney can feel overwhelming. We wrote this post to help clients understand what to expect at their initial attorney consultation, and what is expected of them.
When clients meet with an attorney for the first time, they can expect the attorney to gather information about their specific case, as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding it, and assess their legal needs. Clients should be prepared to answer background information about their situation and providing relevant documents, such as contracts, police reports, or medical records will be invaluable to the consultation.
Proof of the accident, such as police reports, photographs of the scene, and witness contact information. Some other documents that would be helpful if the client has them would be:
- Medical records and bills related to the injury
- Any correspondence or documents related to insurance claims or settlement offers
- Lost wages documentation if applicable
- Insurance documentation.
The attorney will likely provide an overview of the legal process and their experience in handling similar cases, as well as discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the client’s case and explain the potential outcomes. They will also discuss any deadlines that may apply to the case and any potential risks or benefits associated with different legal strategies.
It is typical that a discussion of the fee structure and any costs that the client can expect to incur during the legal process.
It’s important for clients to be open and honest with their attorney about their case and to ask any questions they may have. It is our recommendation that before even meeting with the attorney, take time to prepare a list of questions you want to ask or need clarity to. A good attorney will take the time to listen and address your questions and provide clear answers.
It’s also important to note that the first meeting with an attorney is an opportunity for the client to evaluate whether they feel comfortable working with the attorney. It cannot be overstated enough that it is vitally important for the client to trust their instincts and to feel comfortable with their attorney in order to keep an open line of communication for the best chance of success.