Let’s be honest; when you see a billboard advertisement or television commercial promoting free legal advice and hassle-free consultations, you can’t help but become a little skeptical. We all know that legal services are expensive and law firms need to make money to survive, just like all businesses do.
So what’s the catch?
If you call the number on the billboard or T.V. screen, are you going to be lured into signing a contract that maybe you weren’t ready to sign? The truth is, a clear understanding of the personal injury claims process as a whole, in addition to what “free legal advice” actually means, is the best way for you to make educated decisions for yourself.
Is It Really Free Legal Advice?
If you’re seriously injured in an accident or because of someone else’s negligence, the first thing that you should do is get yourself taken care of. Getting your injuries treated by a medical professional is the best way to reduce the long-term effects of your injury and get yourself back on your feet. You will quickly find, however, that medical treatments and procedures do not come cheap, and you could wind up facing thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Let’s say you’re at home on the couch, feeling overwhelmed about your predicament when you see a commercial on T.V. promoting a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Seattle. But since there is no further information about what this free legal advice entails, you might not call them at all.
When an attorney offers free legal consultation, they are essentially providing an opportunity for both sides – the attorney and the injured person or victim – to evaluate the possible options. If an attorney offers a complimentary meeting or phone call, or another form of free legal meetings, there is no danger in taking it as long as you do not sign a contract hiring them.
What Determines a Case’s Value
From a business perspective, an attorney does not want to take on a client whose case is not valuable enough to pay off for both sides. Therefore, attorneys often offer free legal consultations with potential clients to get a feel for the person’s situation. This will allow the attorney to determine the business sense that the case makes for the law firm, in addition to the overall benefit for the client.
Sometimes, attorneys are only after financial gains and they do not care about the end result for the client. However, a truly respectable attorney with positive client reviews and a stellar reputation for personal injury cases will look at the case from the client’s perspective as well. If a lawyer feels that the victim will not financially benefit from hiring an attorney, they will offer resources or simple advice for the next steps that person should take in order to make a financial recovery.
The important thing to look out for is an attorney who is using the free legal consultation to lure you into hiring them. If you attend a free consultation and the attorney pressures you or makes you feel uncomfortable, you should explain to them that this is an important decision and that you want to feel like you are putting your case in capable hands.
Again, the best possible way for you to get a realistic understanding of what to expect from a personal injury attorney in the Seattle area is to read reviews from previous clients about their experiences with that particular attorney. For future reference, InsiderPages, Google Places,CitySearch and Avvo are some of the more popular places to read reviews from past clients about their experiences with various attorneys.
After all, when it comes to your well-being and future, it’s in your best interest to have the best possible attorneys on your case.