The thought of calling or hiring a personal injury lawyer for advice may be a nerve-wracking experience for you. We understand this feeling, as our office has spoken to many first-time callers who, for various reasons, said they were unsure about contacting a lawyer.
Maybe you’ve seen a news headline about an unethical attorney? Perhaps you feel a bit intimidated or are unsure of what to say? Possibly a family member or friend had a negative experience with the law firm they hired? Or you believe it will cost too much money to hire an attorney?
At the same time, you are tired of receiving calls from insurance adjusters. Medical bills need paid. You feel pressure to settle your claim, but you have no idea how much your case is worth. And if this is the case, contacting a personal injury lawyer is likely the very thing you should be doing.
Boulton Law Group places a tremendous amount of focus on client relationships. In fact, we consider it just as important as winning your case. We take our motto, “Get Treated Like Family” very seriously. For that reason, we thought it would be helpful to spell out what you may encounter when you first contact a personal injury firm.
Whether you or a loved one may be considering hiring legal counsel for an accident claim, this blog simply aims to ease any worries and dispel myths about contacting a reputable Indiana personal injury lawyer.
You should never pay for a consultation
Before we jump into the specifics of a first call, we want to cover legal consultations. One of the first questions callers often ask before they hire us is, “Do you offer free advice?”
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Not only do we never charge for legal advice, Boulton Law Group offers every injury victim a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that our legal consultations are always free, and no one at the firm will ever ask you for a cent until your case is successfully settled. Why do we do this?
In most cases, the people we speak with have never been involved in an accident before. It can be a very confusing time for victims. Their mind is filled with questions, unsure of what to do next. We do not believe injured people should also be burdened with wondering how they will be able to afford reputable legal advice
However, while we never charge accident victims for advice, we cannot speak for all personal injury firms. Some firms may require a fee for consultations, so you should always verify that the attorney you are contacting provides free legal advice. (It will often be very clear on a law firm’s website whether or not their lawyers offer complimentary consultations.)
Questions a personal injury lawyer may ask during your first call
When you first call a law firm, you will often be greeted by a receptionist or intake staff. The first question you should ask this person is whether or not you will be able to speak to an attorney. Sometimes, law firms will employ non-attorneys to fact-gather and provide general advice to your initial questions. You should never settle your case or make decisions based on advice from a non-attorney.
Typically, once you are speaking with the attorney, they will begin the consultation by simply asking you to tell your story. It is important for a personal injury lawyer to gather as many facts as possible about the accident, your injuries, and all related medical treatment.
The questions you can expect to be asked, may include:
Have you seen a copy of your police or accident report?
- If you have a copy of your police report, the attorney may ask you specific questions about the report related to liability, whether or not witnesses are listed, and/or a dollar estimate of the total property damage.
How did the accident happen?
- In addition to reviewing your accident report, the attorney should also ask you to describe your version of how the incident happened. Sometimes there might be discrepancies between the two accounts that may call for some additional investigation or a potential report amendment.
Do you have any insurance information?
- Because each caller’s circumstances are unique, the attorney will want to gather as much information as possible about any interaction you have had with your and/or the defendant’s insurance company.
Do you have pictures?
- Pictures related to your accident/incident are always valuable to any injury claim. Your attorney will likely ask you for any copies of photos in your possession. (It is also possible that the investigating officer may have taken photos at the scene of the accident. This may be indicated on the police report. If so, your attorney may wish to order them on your behalf.)
What type of medical treatment have you received?
- Medical treatment is essential to personal injury claims, so you can expect an experienced and competent attorney to ask about your treatment to date. This will include when you first sought treatment and any ongoing therapy that your doctor has assigned you.
Have you missed any work to date as result of your accident?
- Depending on the severity of your injuries, your doctor may have requested that you take time off work to recuperate. It is important that this be documented so that it can be included in any future compensation demands.
Not all personal injury lawyers are created equally!
Like any profession, there is good and there is bad. It is why we always encourage injury victims to select an attorney that makes them feel comfortable. For this reason, you should be hesitant to hire an attorney if you experience or learn any of the following during an initial consultation:
The retainer agreement is confusing.
- A retainer agreement is the contract you sign that officially hires an attorney to represent you for your injury claim. Boulton Law Group strongly believes that this documents should be simple and easy to understand, and not multiple pages of legalese.
Do not be afraid to ask the attorney to explain anything in the retainer agreement that you do not fully understand.
You feel rushed.
- An experienced attorney will likely have answered similar questions to yours many times before, however, that is never an excuse for them to assume you should already know the answers. You should always be allowed to ask all your questions and have them answered in a respectful, friendly manner.
They promise you a specific amount of money.
- No attorney can predict the amount of your settlement during an initial consultation. Every accident is unique and there are many factors that will be considered to help calculate a demand from the insurance company.
The attorney does not focus exclusively on personal injury law.
- General practitioners will handle a wide variety of lawsuits, such as family law, criminal matters, bankruptcy, etc. Hiring an attorney that restricts his focus to accident claims will help to ensure they are fully aware of all the current laws and nuance associated with personal injury law.
Have a question about your case? Talk to Indiana injury attorney Matt Boulton.
Attorney Matt Boulton founded the Boulton Law Group to give Indiana accident victims access to first-class legal representation and exceptional client service. Every member of the staff is hand-picked by attorney Boulton to help ensure the firm delivers on their promise.
No matter the type or size of your accident, you are always welcome to contact attorney Boulton direct to ask him your questions, or simply seek some guidance on what you should do next. There is never a cost to speak with him, and you will be receiving advice from an award-winning, highly sought after Indiana personal injury lawyer.
To speak with attorney Boulton direct, you can contact him at 317-350-2680, or write to him by using our confidential contact form.