What can you expect at an initial consultation with a lawyer? The consultation should cover three general areas.
The first thing the lawyer wants to learn are the facts of the case. You should bring with you any documents you have regarding the case, such as police reports, medical bills and repair bills. If you lost time from work, you should be able to provide the lawyer with the number of days you missed and how much you are paid. The lawyer will also ask you to describe in your own words what happened. This serves two purposes: It gives the lawyer the facts of the case, and it provides a chance for the lawyer to observe how you speak, your mannerisms and whether you come across as a person who would be believed by a jury.
After reviewing the facts with you, the lawyer should be able to provide you with a general discussion of the law applicable to your case and answer any questions you have about court procedures and how long your case should take to resolve. He should also be able to give you a brief description of the cases strengths and weaknesses.
This is your opportunity to evaluate the lawyer as well. Do you like this person? Do you think you can work well with him or her?
If both parties want to go further, the attorney's fee should be discussed. Will you be billed by the hour? If so, at what rate? Will this attorney be the only one working on your case, or will his associates work on it as well? Is it a contingent fee where you pay nothing or perhaps only some expenses until a settlement is reached?
Attorneys use initial consultations to determine if they will take the case. You should use an initial consultation to determine if you will hire the attorney to work on your case.