Block O'Toole & Murphy
New York Personal Injury Lawyers
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Are Free Consultations Really Free?

Many people are reluctant to consult an attorney after being injured in an accident because of the negligence of another person. They think that the insurance company will take care of their expenses. They may feel awkward about suing someone or believe that they can't afford legal representation. This post will discuss the third reason for not talking with a lawyer: "I can't afford it."

The bottom line is that you can afford to talk with an attorney about your case. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation. This is an opportunity for you to tell a lawyer about your accident or injury and find out if you have a case - at no cost.

Not all accidents are the result of negligence; sometimes they are just accidents and no one is to blame. In some cases, the damages are small - maybe a few days lost from work - and it really is not worth taking legal action. In these cases, your best bet probably is the insurance company. Isn't it worth your time to learn this from an experienced counsellor? You have nothing to lose.

You may be asking yourself why a lawyer would be willing to speak with you at no charge. The answer is pretty simple. By offering free consultations, attorneys learn about possible cases that might be successful and could mean business for them.

Free Consultations Work Both Ways

If you take advantage of a law firm's free consultation and learn that you may have a case but don't feel that the attorney is the right fit for you, it is absolutely fine for you to speak with another lawyer at another firm if you wish. The free consultation is a way for you to find the legal representation that fits your needs and your style.

Think of it as an interview: You want to know whether the attorney believes you have a case and whether you would feel comfortable using the firm. The lawyer wants to know the details of your case before you make a hiring decision because there may not be a case. Free consultations work for both sides.

Be Prepared for Your Free Meeting

The free consultation will be more productive if you are prepared. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, try to bring an accident report. If you were seriously injured, get copies of your medical records. If you can no longer work, bring employment information. If your insurance company denied your claim, bring the denial letter.

Phone Consultations Are Also a Good Starting Point

In some cases, attorneys may offer free phone consultations as the starting point. If, after a phone interview, a lawyer believes that he or she may be able to help you, you will be invited to visit the office for an in-person meeting that is also free. If you have been seriously injured and are unable to travel, some attorneys will visit you in the hospital or at home.

It's true: Free legal consultations really are free. Don't hesitate to take advantage of them if you were injured and want to find out about your legal options.