9 Things You Should Know About a Free Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer Consultation
June 30, 2023 | Personal Injury
The lawyer you pick for your personal injury case could significantly affect the outcome. A lawyer’s knowledge of relevant laws can give you the strategy to overcome a claims adjuster’s denial. And an attorney’s litigation experience can persuade a jury to award you damages in a complex case.
You can interview lawyers for your case by scheduling free consultations. The purpose of these meetings is to gather the information you need to choose which attorney you want to represent you in your personal injury case. The questions you ask will help you understand your case’s strength and whether the lawyer can help you.
What Happens During a Free Consultation?
Free consultations allow you and a lawyer to evaluate whether you have a case. They can also help you determine whether you and the lawyer can work together.
During the consultation, you will explain the injuries you suffered and how you got them. You can bring documents, such as accident reports and medical records, as evidence. But since the initial consultation is just the first step in your case, you do not necessarily need these documents to make the most of your consultation.
The lawyer will probably ask you some questions about your accident and then use your explanation to assess the strength and value of your case. Their assessment will help you make decisions in your case going forward.
9 Things to Know About Free Consultations
You can accomplish a lot during a free consultation — but only if you prepare. By understanding what you can and should accomplish during your consultation, you can make the best use of your time.
1. Your Allotted Time Is Limited
When you schedule your initial consultation, the law firm will tell you how much time they will give you. A free consultation typically ranges from 30 to 60 minutes.
You should respect the lawyer’s schedule by staying within your allotted time. Writing down your questions is a good way to ensure you get all the information you need from your appointment.
2. Your Discussion Is Confidential
Under Arizona’s Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyers must maintain the confidentiality of all information they learn when someone seeks legal representation. This means the lawyer is required to refrain from disclosing or using anything you discuss during your free consultation.
You will get the best advice if you give a full account of what happened. You should include any facts that embarrass you or might jeopardize your claim. For example, if you were distracted by your ringing phone when someone rear-ended your vehicle, you need to let the lawyer know.
The attorney can use this information to prepare a defense against any assertions that you caused the accident.
3. You Have No Obligations After the Consultation
After your free consultation, you have no obligation to:
- Hire the lawyer
- Follow the lawyer’s advice
- Tell the lawyer you hired someone else
And, of course, you also have no obligation to pay for your consultation, regardless of whether you hire the lawyer.
4. You Can and Should Raise the Issue of Fees
The lawyer’s fee will play a role in deciding whether to hire them. Most personal injury lawyers in Phoenix charge a contingency fee. You pay this fee when the case ends based on the compensation the lawyer recovered for you.
Lawyers quote contingency fees as a percentage of the settlement or damage award. During your consultation, discuss the lawyer’s fee and ask questions about the charges you will pay.
5. You Should Interview the Lawyer
The free consultation is your chance to interview the lawyer.
Some topics you should ask about include the following:
- What experience do you have handling similar cases?
- What strengths and weaknesses do you see in my case?
- What range of outcomes can I expect?
You are looking for two things when you interview the lawyer:
- Whether the lawyer has the right experience to handle your case
- Whether you can work well with the lawyer over the months or years of your case
Listen to the lawyer’s answers and assess their communication skills. If their logic or explanations confuse you, the lawyer might also appear confusing to an adjuster or juror.
6. The Lawyer Will Interview You
Lawyers use free consultations to screen cases. When they take a case on a contingency fee, they accept the risk that they might not win or settle it. As a result, they will try to minimize this risk by only accepting strong cases with truthful and reliable clients.
7. The Lawyer Might Decline Your Case
Lawyers do not accept representation in every case they review.
Some reasons the lawyer might decline representation include the following:
- You caused the accident
- Your injuries were minor
- You have no legal claim because a natural phenomenon caused your accident
- Your deadline to file a claim has passed, and you have no excuse for missing it
- The lawyer has a conflict of interest
If a lawyer declines to represent you, contact additional lawyers. Reasonable minds can differ, and another attorney might accept your case.
8. Remember to Ask About the Statute of Limitations
Arizona’s statute of limitations sets the deadline for accident victims to file lawsuits against at-fault parties. Most claims for bodily injury in Arizona have a relatively short two-year deadline. Discuss your deadline with the lawyer so you know how soon you must decide to take action in your case.
9. Do Not Feel Pressured to Hire the Lawyer
Though you have no obligation to do so, you might feel pressure to hire a lawyer. The decision to work with an attorney will affect the course of your case. You should feel free to walk away from your consultation without hiring anyone if you need more time to consider who you want to represent you.
Scheduling Your Free Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
To schedule your consultation, you should first narrow down the list of lawyers you would consider working with. Contact those firms to schedule your consultations. A legal secretary or receptionist will take your information to ensure the firm handles your type of case. They will schedule your appointment to speak with a lawyer.
When you arrive for your appointment, make sure to have a list of questions and discussion topics ready. This will allow you to make the most of your free consultation and gather the information you need to move forward with your case.
Contact an Experienced Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Claim
If you were injured in an accident like a truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, or car accident in Phoenix, AZ, and need legal help, contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711