What Does It Mean When A Lawyer Offers A Free Consultation?

Lawyer and client shaking handsAttorneys usually want to schedule an initial consultation with a plaintiff before deciding whether or not to take a particular case. Many injury attorneys who take contingency fees offer free consultations to victims, since their goal is to lighten the victim’s financial burden. No matter what kind of case you have, the purpose of the first consultation is the same: to determine whether you and the attorney can work together.

What to Look for in a Free Consultation With an Attorney

Free consultations offer many benefits to injury victims, such as allowing the victim to learn more about the case without paying out of pocket and without the obligation of hiring the lawyer at the end of the meeting. In essence, the consultation is like a job interview—you ask questions to see if he or she is a good fit for the job.

Here are a few things to expect during your injury consultation:

  • Undivided attention. An attorney should listen to your problems and concerns without distractions, such as answering calls or reading emails.
  • Courtesy. An attorney and his or her staff should treat you with respect, no matter if you are visiting the office in person or speaking over the phone.
  • Honesty. Even if the answers you get may not be what you wanted to hear, a good lawyer will be honest rather than give you false expectations.
  • A brief overview. The consult is an opportunity to get some initial thoughts about your case, not a complete legal strategy. The attorney will be able to give more definitive answers once he or she has been hired and can dig into the specifics of the case.
  • Next steps. At the end of the meeting, the attorney should lay out your options for what to do next, whether or not you hire the firm. If you decide to hire the lawyer, he or she should explain any fees and conditions before you sign an agreement.
  • Referral options. In some cases, an attorney will decide that he or she cannot help you with your problem. If this happens, the attorney should be prepared to refer you to a lawyer who may be able to help.

If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, our attorneys can provide perspective on your case at no cost to you. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to schedule an appointment, or download your FREE copy of one of our books: When the Rules of the Road Get Broken: A Guide to Illinois Car Wreck Cases or The Missouri Car Crash Guide: Don't Wreck Your Car Crash Case!.