Whether you’ve been injured in a car crash, a trip and fall, a bicycle collision, or another type of accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you secure the compensation you need to recover your losses and move forward. However, you might feel nervous about contacting a lawyer and have a lot of questions about what will happen next. Here’s what you can expect at your initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer:
- The Lawyer Will Review the Facts of Your Accident
The first thing a personal injury lawyer will do is review the facts of the accident and your injuries. They will want to fully understand how the accident occurred and the ways in which your injuries have affected your life.
It’s critical to be honest with the attorney and accurately explain the details surrounding the incident from beginning to end — even if you were partly at fault. This can help the lawyer to understand what strategy to implement in your case. You should be prepared to answer a number of questions about your claim and be ready to produce several documents, including accident-related medical records, the police accident report, photographs, and any other relevant paperwork.
- The Lawyer Will Discuss the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Case
Once the lawyer has reviewed your case, they can determine whether your claim is viable. Although a good personal injury lawyer will never guarantee a specific outcome, they can advise you regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your case. While clear-cut liability, a large amount of damages, and solid evidence can make for a strong personal injury claim, factors that can weaken a case may include pre-existing injuries and contributory negligence. However, a good personal injury lawyer will know how to use any weaknesses in a case to your advantage.
- You Will Have an Opportunity to Ask the Lawyer Questions
It’s crucial for you to ask questions at your consultation. Not only is this the time for your lawyer to get to know you and your case — but you should also get to know the attorney and how they approach cases like yours. You might consider asking questions about their experience handling similar cases, how often they communicate with clients, and what legal rights you have.
The most common question asked by accident victims is, “how much is my case worth?” An attorney won’t be able to provide an estimated amount of damages at the consultation since there are so many variables that can affect compensation. But they will be able to advise you regarding the types of compensation (ie. economic and non-economic damages) that may be available to you.
- The Lawyer Will Explain What Happens During the Legal Process
The legal process associated with a personal injury case can be complex — and lengthy. At the initial consultation, the lawyer will explain the stages of a lawsuit and what happens during each phase. They will also discuss how the insurance companies play a role and advise you regarding your right to no-fault benefits, if applicable for a car accident case.
- The Lawyer Will Discuss the Retainer Agreement and Fee Structure
One of the remaining items to discuss at the initial personal injury consultation is the attorney’s retainer agreement and fee structure. Specifically, the retainer agreement outlines each of your rights and obligations to one another as attorney and client. Personal injury matters in New York are handled on a contingency basis — meaning the client does not pay unless the attorney recovers compensation on their behalf.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.