My name is Chris Clifford. I’m a partner with the personal injury law firm of Bergeron Clifford and I’m a certified specialist by the Law Society of Ontario in Civil Litigation. I’m here today to answer your question regarding what to expect during one of those free initial consultations that are offered by personal injury counsel.
So that initial meeting provides the personal injury lawyer with an opportunity to get to know you your case, but more importantly it provides you with an opportunity to get to know the lawyer and their law firm. You’re entering into a relationship that’s going to last a long time and you want to be comfortable, have confidence and trust in the lawyer and the firm that you’re entering into this relationship with.
From the lawyer’s perspective or what they’re looking for is to understand what happened and more particularly from a liability standpoint. Sometimes accidents happen and no one’s at fault it’s just simply an accident. To be successful in a personal injury claim we need to establish liability or fault on another party. So that’s the first step in the analysis from a lawyer’s perspective.
The second step once you’re satisfied that there is or may be liability in another party is to determine what the damages might be. Whether it’s pain and suffering – we call those general damages or monetary losses – we call those special damages, i.e loss of income out of pocket expenses future treatments and the list can go on.
So that’s what the lawyer is trying to determine and at the end of the initial meeting the lawyer will indicate to you whether they’re interested or how they may be able to help going forward from your perspective of course you’re listening and hoping to be educated throughout the course of that initial meeting on what’s important and what you can expect going forward.
So at the end of that initial meeting both parties, both you and the lawyer ought to be in a position to determine how it has to proceed and quite often we’ll provide our clients with an opportunity to think about it for a period of time and reach back out once they have an opportunity to determine whether they have any more questions or of they may want to speak to family. Then of course we’ll follow up and we’ll determine how best to proceed from there.