Many people who come to us have never met with a lawyer and are unfamiliar with the process. After suffering a serious personal injury, the prospect of filing a claim for financial compensation can seem daunting. Here we will walk through what happens in a consultation, and cover the questions that you should consider when searching for experienced legal representation in Rhode Island.
Typically, the process begins with an initial consultation after an injured person or their loved one contacts us. During the consultation, an attorney reviews the specific facts involved in the accident and answers questions that a prospective client may have. We will be candid about whether we think we can help you. A consultation allows you to understand your legal options so that you can make a decision about how to proceed.
What is the Cost of a Consultation with a Lawyer?
The cost of a consultation varies from firm to firm. To be sure, the Rhode Island Bar Association emphasizes that many lawyers provide free initial consultations while some may charge a fee for this service. Some law offices, however, can ask for a retainer fee at the time of consultation. Your initial case evaluation is always free at Marasco & Nesselbush LLP.
What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you are seeking legal representation, the Rhode Island Bar Association underscores the importance of asking good questions. You should hire an attorney after asking the same types of questions that you might of anyone who will be providing you with professional services.
Some specific questions you should consider asking during your initial consultation with a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer include:
- How many personal injury cases like mine have you handled?
- Have you recovered for plaintiffs in cases similar to mine? What kinds of recoveries and settlements have you won?
- Do you work on a contingency fee, and what will that contingency fee cost me? Many personal injury lawyers, including those at Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, will handle a personal injury case on a contingency fee agreement. That means your lawyer will not receive a legal fee unless she recovers compensation for you.
- Who will pay for up-front costs that I cannot cover until I receive compensation for my injury?
- How much money will I be eligible to recover? In other words, what do you think my personal injury claim is worth?
- Will my claim go to trial, or will it be possible to receive compensation through a settlement?
- Will I work directly with you as my attorney?
- How long will my case take before I receive compensation?
Is a Consultation with a Lawyer Confidential?
Yes. Under the Rhode Island Rules of Professional Conduct, personal injury lawyers in our state have duties to prospective clients. Even if no client-lawyer relationship yet exists during a consultation, the attorney cannot reveal information learned during any initial discussions.
Where Does a Consultation with an Attorney Happen?
An initial consultation can happen in different settings. Your initial consultation may occur in the attorney’s office, or you may be able to set up a phone consultation. If your injury prevents you from traveling or discussing your situation over the phone, a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer may be able to come to you.
What Do I Need to Bring to a Free Consultation?
You should bring any documents in your possession related to your personal injury claim. These materials can include but are not limited to:
- Medical records;
- Written statements;
- Insurance information.
How Do I Know if I Need a Consultation?
If you have suffered a personal injury because of another individual or business’s carelessness or bad action, it is important to seek legal representation. Personal injury claims can be complicated, and you will need an experienced advocate on your side. Setting up an initial consultation is essential, as it can help you to determine whether you have a strong claim through which to recover compensation.