Nearly each and every attorney in Boston that handles personal injury cases offers potential clients a free consultation. This allows a victim of a personal injury accident to interview different attorneys without incurring any out-of-pocket cost. It is an opportunity therefore for the accident victim to get free legal insight as to whether or not he or she has a legitimate claim that is worth pursuing.
But what exactly happens during a free consultation with a Boston personal injury attorney?
Typically, at the attorney’s office, you’ll meet with either the attorney, or an assistant for the attorney, or even a paralegal for the attorney. The individual who you meet with will begin to ask you some specific background questions about you.
For example, you may be asked basic questions. They will involve questions such as what is your name, your date of birth, your education level, marital status. Also, employment questions will be asked, as well as any and all other background information that will help assist the individual in letting you know whether or not you have a case. Gathering this biographical information is really important because the insurance company will need to know this information when presented with the claim, so it’s important for the attorney’s office to collect this at the outset.
As a side note, it is always advisable to bring any and all paperwork that you have about the accident. This paperwork may include any police reports, as well as documentation, such as photographs at the scene of the accident, photographs of your injuries, etc.
Once the biographical background questions are asked, then you will be asked exactly how the accident happened, and that’s really important. The individual at the attorney’s office asking you questions will need to know the date and the time of the accident, location of the accident, whether or not there are any witnesses, etc.
For example, let’s say you had a car accident and the person at the attorney’s office asking you questions, will probably want to know exactly how the accident happened, and will ask you for specific facts on what happened. Similarly, for a workers’ compensation accident or a slip and fall accident, the individual at the attorney’s office, or the attorney here himself, will need to know as much as possible on how the accident happened, because that information is crucial in these situations. Next, you will be asked about your injuries from the accident. You’ll be asked in detail exactly what body parts were injured in the accident. Additionally, you’ll be asked the names of the medical providers, who you saw for treatment from the accident.For example, let’s say you had a bicycle accident in Massachusetts. It will be important for the attorney or the attorney’s assistant that is doing the intake to gather all of the names of the medical facilities that you treated with for your injuries. This is very, very important because if the attorney takes the case, he or she will need to know where you went for your medical treatment because the attorney’s office will need to request all the medical bills and all of the medical records stemming from the accident.
If the attorney decides to take your case and represent you, then you will be asked to sign a contingency fee agreement. This is essentially a services contract by which the attorney’s office agrees to represent you for your accident case, and keep in mind that this fee agreement is structured so that the attorney only gets paid if the case settles. And if the case does not settle, the attorney’s office will collect no fee whatsoever, and this is called a contingency fee, and the amount of the contingency fee be it 33%, 35%, 40% will be outlined in the fee agreement.
Additionally, you’ll be asked to sign a medical authorization form. This form is important because it will allow the attorney’s office to collect your medical records, as well as your medical bills stemming from the accident. By law, one cannot request another person’s medical records without prior written authorization, and this written authorization is called a HIPAA authorization.
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