July 11, 2024

Is it Free to Consult with an Attorney About My Car Crash Case?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Georgia, you may face missed time at work, high car repair bills, and mounting medical costs. The last thing you can afford right now is the additional expense of speaking with a lawyer.

Thankfully, many Georgia car accident attorneys offer free initial consultations for people injured in car wrecks. That means you can learn more about your legal options without having to pay anything up front. Here is what occurs during a free consultation and what you need to know about legal costs during a car accident case.

What Happens During an Initial Consultation?

Initial consultations may take place over the phone, via video conference, or in person at a law firm. They usually consist of a 30- to 60-minute meeting in which you and the lawyer discuss the following:

  • The facts of your case 
  • The strength of your case 
  • Deadlines related to your case, including the statute of limitations
  • Costs and fees
  • Next steps

The consultation also gives you a chance to learn about the attorney, their experience, and their communication style. 

What Should I Bring to an Initial Consultation?

Initial consultations are typically brief. The better you prepare for the meeting, the more you can accomplish. Georgia car accident attorneys frequently request that clients bring the following documents:

  • A brief (one page or less) synopsis of the accident, including who was involved, where it happened, and when it occurred
  • A copy of the police report or the police report number
  • Your auto insurance information
  • Any photos you took of the accident scene, including the vehicles, damages, visible injuries, road conditions, and any other pertinent details
  • Key medical records relating to any injuries sustained in the accident, including doctor’s notes or hospital bills
  • A list of questions you have for the attorney

While it’s important to be concise, it is also important to give an honest account of your accident. When attorneys have all the information up front, they can give you better legal advice and prevent surprises from damaging your case later on.

Attorney-client privilege protects what you say in a one-on-one meeting with a lawyer. This means it will stay confidential, with rare exceptions. 

How Do Legal Fees Work After the Initial Consultation?

There are no costs associated with a free initial consultation, but you still need to know how the law firm charges for representing clients. Attorneys typically have one of three fee structures:

  • Hourly: As the name suggests, these attorneys charge an hourly rate for time spent working on your case. You will typically pay a retainer (a lump sum) up front, and the attorney will deduct money from that amount for expenses in your case. 
  • Flat: Attorneys who work on simpler, more predictable cases may charge a flat rate for each matter, which you will pay in advance. Examples are simple bankruptcy cases, uncontested divorces, and real estate transactions.  
  • Contingency: With this type of fee structure, you typically pay no fees up front. Instead, attorneys will deduct their fees — plus court filing fees, mailing costs, and other expenses related to your case — from the amount of compensation awarded. Contingency fees are usually a percentage of the final amount. 

Be sure to ask your Georgia car accident attorney about their fee structure and rates during your initial consultation.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today

At The Foster Firm, we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. That means you’ll pay no costs up front unless we collect for you. Call us today at 404.559.8325 to schedule a consultation with our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys.