You were injured at the hands (or wheel) of someone else.
And you want someone to pay, at least for your medical bills and any time you had to take off work. That’s a fair ask, given that they were truly at fault.
Proving they were at fault, though, is where it gets tricky. Unless you’re well versed in law (and even then), it’s best to get a lawyer on board to help you make your case. Or to tell you, based on the facts, if you have a case.
To do either, start with a case evaluation. This is a free meeting with an attorney to flush out if you have a case or not, determine if they’re the right lawyer for you, and set up your legal agreement if you choose to move forward.
Case evaluations are no-obligation, and you’re welcome to shop around different firms. Just don’t take too long. These cases do better when they hit the court soon after the accident.
How Do You Set Up a Case Evaluation?
Before you call any law firms, you want to look at the Google listings for personal injury attorneys in your area. Their websites will have “about” pages where you can learn who works there, what their specialties are, and start to get a feel for their personality as a firm. Whether or not they offer free consultations should be listed on their site.
You want to make a list of two or three firms that give you a good feeling and align with your values. Then, call your top choice first and ask for a free case evaluation. Sometimes a law firm will be so busy that they’ll tell you they aren’t taking cases right now and will refer you to another group.
If you get in with your first choice, great! If not, move on to choice number two. Establish at least two appointments. If you fall in love with the first attorney, you can call and cancel your other reservation.
What Kind of Questions Will do They Ask?
You’re the kind of person who likes to be prepared, or else you wouldn’t be reading this article! And as such, you want to know what to expect at the evaluation.
Here are five things that a lawyer will ask you at a case evaluation (to start):
- Where did it happen?
- When? Who was involved?
- Did the police come?
- Whose fault do you think it was?
- What kind of expenses have you incurred?
Once you’ve gone over your case in detail and you’ve answered all their questions, they’ll let you know if they think you have a case, how much they think it’s worth, and if they want to take it on or not. Then it’s up to you to sign the paperwork or tell them you’ll think about it and go to your other evaluation appointment.
How to Make a Case Evaluation Go Smoothly
You know how to set one up, what questions they’re going to ask, and now you want to know if there’s anything else you can do to get ready for a case evaluation. And yes, there is. You can show up on time, tell the truth, and bring every document you have that pertains to the accident with you.
This will make you your lawyer’s favorite client, and they’ll be more willing to take on your case since you’re obviously serious.
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