What Is A Free Consultation? How Does It Work in Glendale?
You still can’t remember where the other driver suddenly appeared from.
You were minding your own business, and the sedan driver smashes right into your car, leaving you injured and hurt.
You know that the bills will be mounting and that it wasn’t your fault.
But you wonder what you should do next.
You wonder if you need to hire an auto accident attorney to help with the claim process. But you hesitate because you worry you will be obligated to retain their services.
However, things don’t work that way in Glendale.
So, most of the attorneys here offer a free initial consultation to accident victims. This first consultation is to:
- Determine if you have a legitimate case
- Explain the legal process
- Answer all your questions
- Determine their fees
Glendale Auto Accident Attorney Initial Consultation- What Happens
1. Determining Your Case Eligibility
Your lawyer will decide if you have a legitimate claim by considering various factors. He or she will mainly ask:
- What type of accident were you involved in
- What injuries were sustained
- If there were any witnesses
However, being honest and open during the consultation helps the lawyer provide accurate feedback about your legal options.
2. Explaining the Legal Process
Your attorney will guide you through the legal process timeline if you are eligible for a claim. So, depending on your circumstances, the legal process generally involves:
- Gathering evidence
- Assessing your injuries based on medical records
- Calculating total damages incurred
- Drafting a demand letter for compensation
- Trying to reach a fair settlement through negotiations with the insurer
- Filing a lawsuit if no settlement is reached
- Gathering additional case evidence from the other side and responding to their questions during the discovery process
- Mediating to try and settle the case without a trial
- Heading to trial as a last option
3. Question and Answer Session
It’s important to hire not only an experienced attorney but someone you are comfortable with. You will be working together for some time, so there must be comfort and trust between you two.
That’s why it’s not just your lawyer who asks you questions during the consultation.
You can also use the opportunity to ask them questions like:
- How experienced the lawyer is, specifically in auto accident laws
- If they have experience handling similar cases
- How old the law firm is
- Who will be personally handling your case
- How long these types of cases generally take to settle
- What factors affect your compensation amount
4. Discussing Lawyer Fees
Your lawyer will next explain the fee arrangement.
Most auto accident attorneys in Glendale work on a contingency fee basis.
It means that the lawyer’s fees depend on the case outcome and don’t have any upfront costs. The amount is usually a percentage of the settlement amount or verdict.
So, you don’t have to pay your lawyer if you don’t win the case.
When Your Lawyer May Not Accept the Case
It’s not just you who’s under no obligations during the free consultation. Your attorney too is under no obligation and may not take up the case for reasons like:
- Conflicts of interest with your case
- Your case has passed the statute of limitations
- Minor injuries that don’t require treatment
- Minimal or lack of damages
- Lack of evidence to prove the at-fault party
Furthermore, law firms will explain why they don’t think your case is a good fit. You can always next consult with another law firm to get their opinion.
You Have Nothing to Lose
You are under no obligations and have nothing to lose. So, make maximum use of your free initial consultation with your Glendale auto accident lawyer to clear all your doubts.