9 Things You Should Know About a Free Personal Injury Lawyer Consultation in Florida

You have probably seen the phrase “free consultation” on billboards, TV commercials, and print advertisements for lawyers. But unless you have hired a lawyer, you might not know how these consultations work.

These consultations give you and the injury lawyer time to discuss your situation. You will explain your personal injuries and how you received them. The lawyer will explain your legal options and what they can do to help you. At the end of the consultation, you should have enough information to decide how to proceed with your case.

What to Know About a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney

As you prepare for your free consultation, you need to set some goals for your conversation. With these goals in mind, you can prepare some topics for discussion. This preparation will help you use your time efficiently and gather all the necessary answers to make your decision.

Some basics about free consultations to help you prepare include:

1. Free Means Free

Lawyers and law firms do not charge for free consultations. This might seem obvious. But you should not see any hidden charges or additional costs due to your free consultation.

2. You Have Limited Time

Free does not mean unlimited. Since the lawyer provides their time for free, they will usually cap the length of the consultation. When you schedule the meeting, ask the receptionist or legal secretary how long you will have. You can use that information to prepare a list of questions and issues to discuss.

3. You Have No Obligation to Hire the Lawyer

Free consultations come with no strings attached. You do not need to hire a lawyer to receive a free consultation. You should only hire a lawyer you trust and feel comfortable hiring. If you do not like a lawyer, you should continue to look for a lawyer you like.

4. You Can (and Should) Speak Openly and Honestly

Attorney-client confidentiality applies to free consultations even though you have not hired a lawyer. According to Florida law, a lawyer cannot use or repeat anything you disclose while seeking legal representation. This rule encourages clients to seek legal advice and ensures lawyers have the full picture when providing advice.

Under this rule, you should disclose everything relevant to your case to the lawyer, including facts adverse to your claim. Suppose that you were in a car accident with a driver who ran a stop sign. The other driver probably bears liability for your injuries. But if you were texting and driving right before the crash, you should disclose that fact.

By understanding your case, the lawyer can give blunt and objective legal advice. And if you decide to proceed with a claim, having the full picture will help the lawyer prepare for any counterclaims from the other driver.

5. You Should Discuss Deadlines

Every state has a statute of limitations. Florida changed its statute of limitations in 2023 to give recent accident victims only two years to file a lawsuit. Anyone injured before the amendment may still have four years to file. This change in the law throws court cases into disarray for the next few years as courts sort through which deadlines apply.

You should discuss your case’s deadline during your free consultation. You need to know how long you have to file your lawsuit and whether any of the exceptions to the statute will apply to you.

6. You Can Ask About Fees

You should not be shy or embarrassed to discuss fees. If you hire a lawyer, you will need to pay for legal services. You should know how much you will pay for the lawyer’s assistance. Most injury lawyers charge contingency fees. Make sure you understand how your fee will get calculated at the end of your case.

7. This Is Your Chance to Interview the Lawyer

Your main goals for the consultation are to learn about your case and determine whether you want to hire that lawyer. 

The information you need to make a decision includes the lawyer’s:

  • Experience with similar cases
  • Communication skills
  • Evaluation of your case
  • Enthusiasm for representing you
  • Ability to work with you

If you have any reservations about the lawyer’s experience, skills, or knowledge, talk to a few more lawyers to see if you can find one that more closely meets your expectations.

8. This Is the Lawyer’s Chance to Vet Your Case

While you evaluate the lawyer, they will evaluate you and your case. Lawyers are not required to accept every case. They choose which cases to take. Consequently, there is no guarantee that the lawyer will offer to represent you at the end of the consultation. 

Some reasons a lawyer might turn you down include:

  • The lawyer lacks the experience or knowledge for your type of case
  • The liability or damages in your case are unclear
  • The law does not provide compensation for your type of injury
  • The attorney has a conflict of interest preventing them from representing you

If a lawyer cannot take your case, they will usually explain the reasons during the free initial consultation. Regardless of the reasons the lawyer gives for turning down your case, you should talk to other lawyers about taking your case. 

9. You Do Not Need to Decide Anything at the End of the Consultation

You should not feel pressured to decide whether to hire a lawyer at the end of your consultation. If you know the lawyer is the best fit for your case, you can hire them. But most clients will take some time to think about the case and whether the lawyer can provide the services they need.

At the same time, the sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner you can get your claim started. You are probably facing medical and financial difficulties, and a settlement or jury verdict could provide significant relief.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After Your Free Consultation

When you are ready to hire a lawyer, you must sign a fee agreement. Before signing the agreement, read it carefully because it will explain the terms of the engagement. If you have any questions, discuss them with the lawyer and, if necessary, ask them to change the agreement to clarify or alter the questionable term.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida

If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.

We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 347-7770

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 287-0566

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 556-7873