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What Is A Free Consultation With A Car Accident Lawyer?

Posted On: January 18, 2024
If you’ve been in a car accident and need legal help, you’ve probably done some research and found that some car accident attorneys provide a free initial consultation. But, what does that mean and what can you expect?

The free consultation is great for many reasons.

First, it’s an opportunity to vet each other. The free consultation allows you to meet an auto accident attorney and evaluate them as a possible representative at no cost to you.

At the same time, this meeting also allows the lawyer to assess if they can genuinely help you with your case.

Additionally, most people with a minor car accident case don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees, but still want advice from a legal professional about the car accident claim or, in many cases — help with navigating insurance and the legal process.


A ‘Free Consultation’ Means You Pay Nothing for an Attorney to Review Your Case

At Rush Hannula Harkins & Kyler PLLC, we believe legal advice should be accessible to everyone, especially after a motor vehicle accident. We offer no obligation free consultations because we want to help you and get the word out about our services. Here’s what you need to know about free consultations:




It Won’t Cost You Anything

The best part is you don’t have to pay anything for this initial meeting. It’s a way for you to talk to a lawyer, explore your legal options, and see if they can help you without worrying about upfront costs. Before going to the consultation, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to gain from the meeting.

In some cases, car accident victims simply want the confidence they need to be able to pursue self-representation. Other times, the case feels overwhelming and complex, especially when dealing with serious injuries and mounting medical bills, so legal help is greatly needed.


Here’s What You Can Expect

A consultation with a respected lawyer from a reputable law office will include:

  • Comprehensive consultation: The length of the initial interview varies depending on the type of car accident, how many people are involved, and the extent of your injuries. Car accident cases with personal injury protection insurance tend to be more straightforward and typically won’t take longer than 60 minutes.
  • Professional location: The consultation should take place at a private meeting location at an established law firm.
  • A meeting with a lawyer: You should be meeting directly with one of the firm’s auto accident lawyers, not an assistant.
  • Respectful and compassionate treatment: You should not feel rushed or overlooked. Every case and person is unique and should be treated as such.
  • A free case evaluation: The lawyer should give you an honest initial evaluation of your case and the process to receiving fair compensation.
  • A discussion about next steps: The lawyer may talk a bit about strategy, their qualifications, their firm’s resources and suggestions for next steps.
  • A discussion about fees: The lawyer should give a realistic impression of costs and attorney fees.


What You Should Bring

Before the meeting, gather important papers to bring like:

  • Medical records
  • Property damage estimates
  • Photographs or video footage
  • Police report about the accident
  • Witness statements or contact information
  • Accident reports
  • Citations or tickets
  • Self-taken notes about your injury
  • Doctor’s notes and emergency room notes
  • X-Ray and MRI results
  • Auto and health insurance cards/information
  • Other driver’s information
  • Anything else related to the accident

This information helps you decide if your lawyer is the right one for you. It makes you understand all parts of your case and shows the things needed to plan a legal strategy. The more your lawyer knows, the quicker they can explain how they’d handle your case.




You Can Ask Questions

In fact, it’s highly encouraged that you bring a list of key personal injury and/or auto accident case questions for the lawyer to answer. Most personal injury attorneys won’t go into the details in the initial consultation since time is precious and there’s a lot to cover, but you can get quite a bit of insight and enough information to make next step decisions. The attorney can offer more help once you’ve hired them and as the case progresses.


Think of This Like An Interview

Both you and the lawyer are determining in this meeting if you’re a good match. Your case can hinge on this connection so it’s important to get to know the attorney that could be potentially representing you. Just like in an interview, you want to verify the lawyer’s experience and skill. If you have a personal injury case due to a severe injury, you’ll want someone on your side who can get you maximum compensation and help you deal with other injury attorneys and insurance companies.

Ask the lawyer how long they’ve practiced personal injury law, what kind of cases they’ve handled during that time and if they have any testimonials.

Here are a couple more questions our car accident lawyers love to hear:

  • How long have you been practicing personal injury law, specifically handling car accident cases?
  • Have you dealt with cases similar to mine [i.e. complex cases such as drunk driving, motorcycle accidents, traumatic brain injuries]?
  • What is your fee structure? Do you work on a contingency fee basis?
  • How do you determine the value of a car accident claim, considering factors like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering?
  • Are you experienced in negotiating settlements with insurance companies?

A good law firm will have many lawyers who can also answer these questions genuinely and be able to prove their track record.


Prepare To Tell Your Story

Whether you are deciding between seeking legal representation or representing yourself, you’ll still need to know how to tell your story.

Most of the initial consultation will give your story the floor as you recount what happened during your accident. You can expect the attorney you meet with to ask you follow up questions to better understand the situation and how they can help you. We recommend jotting down key pieces of the story to ensure you cover everything. Think — who, what, where, when, and how.


Talk About Legal Fees

The free consultation is the time to discuss the firm’s fee and payment structure. Ask any questions concerning your fees, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Discussing expenses early can help you avoid a disagreement or surprise later.

RHHK personal injury lawyers work on a contingency agreement basis, meaning you don’t pay unless we win or settle your case. In this way, our success will determine the legal charge. However, you owe nothing if your case is lost. It’s a win-win for our clients.




Prepare for Your Case to Move Forward

If you decide to work with the lawyer, they will start doing things to help your case. They might talk to the insurance company, the other driver’s lawyer or get ready to go to court if needed.

If you can’t reach an agreement with the insurance company directly, you may have to consider your next steps, which could involve mediation, arbitration, or, eventually, a lawsuit. A lawyer can advise you on the best course of action for your situation.



Retain a Reputable, Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Everything we detailed above is our exact process for a free initial consultation. For over sixty years Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC has provided experienced legal representation following serious Tacoma car crashes and we would be honored to represent you and get you maximum compensation.

To schedule a free consultation, call today at 253-383-5388 or contact our office online.