If you’re exploring whether you need to hire a Broward injury lawyer after a car accident or medical malpractice or slip-and-fall or some other injury caused by another, you may have seen the bookend on Florida injury lawyer advertisements offering “a free initial consultation.” But what does that mean, exactly? What should you bring? What sort of questions are they likely to ask? What should you be asking them? How much should you tell the attorney if you haven’t actually hired them?
As a longtime Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, I take seriously the responsibility to advocate for my clients’ best interests. That begins even with prospective clients. I start with a brief overview of the facts of their case as presented. I look to identify any parties that may be held legally liable. I’ll want to assess the anticipated scope of damages and apply the knowledge and experience gained in decades of practice in Florida injury law to provide a frank assessment of the likely viability and value of their case – and how I may personally be able to assist. All of this can happen before a person has chosen to formally hire an injury lawyer.
Given that you may want to engage more than one Broward injury lawyer in a free initial consultation before deciding which to hire, it’s best to walk in with a good sense of what to have ready. The more a person understands going in what to expect – and what may be expected of them – the more they’ll get out of the process. Ultimately, the goal is to find an injury lawyer who is not only experienced, qualified, and with a proven track record of success, but someone with whom you feel you can be honest, trust, and have easy communication.
Here are some Frequently Asked (and Answered) Questions to get you started:
Why Do Florida Injury Lawyers Offer Free Initial Consultations in the First Place?
Many attorneys charge by-the-hour, and the value of that hour can vary, depending on their experience, the complexity of the case, etc. Attorney consultation fees can run anywhere from $0 to $400. There are a few reasons initial consultations with injury lawyers are free. One has to do with the type of case, and how it’s paid. Plaintiffs in injury lawsuits do not pay attorney’s fees unless or until they win their case. This is called a contingency fee arrangement. Claimants in these types of cases aren’t typically large companies (which can afford lawyers on retainer). They are vying for fair compensation from someone who has legally wronged them. The injury lawyer they hire is paid at the end of a successful case with a previously-agreed portion of the insurance money or damages awarded. Contingency fee arrangements allow people with meritorious cases – but not a lot of extra cash upfront – to access quality legal representation. Attorneys are compelled to be honest with prospective clients, and only help pursue injury cases that have a pretty decent shot at winning. Knowing that many injury case clients don’t have a lot of money upfront, free initial consultations are a low-risk way to help both sides glean the information they need to get a good sense of whether the case is worth pursuing, and if the attorney is a good fit for the client’s needs.