What To Expect at an Initial Legal Consultation
If you have never hired a Miami injury lawyer, you may not know what to expect from the experience and that can be a little intimidating. Since this isn’t something you can avoid doing if you’re facing a legal issue, it’s best to find a way to overcome that apprehension and you can do that by learning more about what’s involved in your first meeting. Called the initial consultation, this meeting is an opportunity for you and the attorney to evaluate one another.
The Attorney Will Evaluate Your Case
Possibly the most important aspect of your first consultation meeting is providing the attorney with the opportunity to learn about your case. Depending on the type of situation, the lawyer will attempt to determine if he can help you. He may ask you questions about the situation and request to see documents and photos that support your position. This is also the time to share information about witnesses to the incident. The attorney will need a comprehensive understanding of the situation to evaluate the merits of your case.
Where civil lawsuits are concerned, the initial consultation is an opportunity for the attorney to determine if your situation merits a lawsuit. There are certain criteria you must be able to meet in order to pursue a civil case and the lawyer will use the information you provide to determine if your case qualifies under those conditions. If not, he will let you know that and the meeting will likely conclude at that point.
However, if the attorney does see merit in your case, you will discuss the situation further. While an attorney can’t guarantee you a specific monetary award, he can use his expertise and past experiences to give you an idea of what to expect in your case. This is also an opportunity to learn more about the options open to you in pursuing your case, such as mediation, out of court settlements, or other options. It will be up to you to decide how to move forward, once the attorney has expressed an interest in handling your case.
In other types of cases, such as criminal cases, estate planning, and family law, the initial consultation will go a little differently. You will still have to give the attorney a comprehensive understanding of your situation. Rather than determine if you have grounds for a case, the attorney will use this time to explain what he can do for you. Sometimes, hiring an attorney will have little effect on the outcome of your case and, if this is so, the lawyer will let you know at this time. Otherwise, the lawyer will explain how he would like to move forward in handling the case.
It’s Time For You to Evaluate the Attorney
This first consultation meeting is also an opportunity for you to evaluate the attorney. This is important, because you will be sharing thoughts and feelings that you may not share with anyone else. For that reason, you should feel comfortable speaking with the attorney and you should feel that you can trust the attorney to act in your best interests. While it’s difficult to thoroughly assess someone after just one meeting, you should pay attention to any misgivings you have. There are plenty of lawyers to choose from, so don’t feel that you have to work with this one lawyer.
Finally, your initial consultation is an opportunity to find out what you’ll be expected to pay. Depending on the services they offer, attorneys charge their fees in a variety of ways. In civil suits, lawyers charge a contingency fee, which means the attorney takes a percentage of the amount awarded at the end of the trial. Conversely, their contingency will be subtracted from a settlement in an out-of-court agreement.
Where criminal cases, family law, and estate planning services are concerned, a Miami injury attorney and attorneys may work for an hourly rate or for a flat fee. At the time of your initial consultation, it’s important to make sure you understand how you will be charged, so you can avoid future misunderstandings. By the time you leave this consultation meeting, you should fully understand what the attorney will do for you and what you’ll be expected to pay in return. This will help you make an informed decision and help you and your attorney develop a good working relationship.
Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a freelance writer and small business blogger.