Free Consultation—What’s it mean?

Free attorney consultation with injured clientLawyers are just like anyone else – we have only so much time in a day.  Some lawyers charge by the hour while others charge a flat fee for a service. Other lawyers charge a contingent fee, which means they get paid only if they win your case. When the case is won, they take a percentage of the money they earn on your behalf.

When a lawyer says that he or she will provide a free consultation, it means they will sit down with you, hear about your problem, and give you initial thoughts about it, at no charge or obligation to you.  This meeting gives you a chance to "interview" the lawyer and the lawyer to interview you. After the meeting, you may decide that you do not want to hire the lawyer and, likewise, the lawyer may decide that he or she cannot help you with your problem.

During our visit, you can ask about our experience with matters similar to yours, our thoughts on the best course of action for your situation, and the timeline for a case like yours. You will also get to meet the people assigned to your case if we represent you. 

The discussion should help you discover your rights and whether you need an attorney to represent you.  Sometimes, the consultation itself may provide you with enough information to solve your workers’ compensation issue.

The meeting usually lasts somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes and can be done in person or over the phone—sometimes both. We will discuss the facts of your case, review the legal and practical issues you may expect to face and outline how we might pursue your case if we work together. If your claim is more complicated, the consultation can take a little longer.  We want to take the time to understand your situation.

Preparing for Your Free Consultation

The more prepared you are, the less time it will take for us to understand and discuss your legal issue with some level of intelligence. Look through my website for answers to lots of questions you may have and download a copy of my book The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio. It’s free, jam-packed with thrilling information about Ohio workers’ compensation and more fun to read than just about anything you can imagine! (OK, even I have to give that statement a few Pinocchios). Also, if we meet in person,

  • Bring all documents. Make copies of all the materials you have collected regarding your case. Give these copies to the lawyer.
     
  • Get organized and take notesWrite down notes outlining your legal problem, or questions you may have. We need details to decide what is essential and how to move forward in your best interests.
     
  • Be honest. You should give an accurate account of your legal problem. This includes issues that may be sensitive to you or your family. Remember that the conversation with us is private, and cannot be discussed with others without your permission.
     
  • Talk about how much this will cost you. We strictly work on a contingency fee basis for our workers’ compensation clients.
     
  • Ask questions. For us to serve you better, I want you to understand your case and the legal procedure. My job is to guide you through this process that can be lengthy and frustrating. It's no help to either of us if we don’t have clear communication. I’d prefer you ask questions than not.
     
  • Read all documents carefully before signingBefore you sign a document, we will explain to you what exactly it is that you are signing. If you do not understand the material you are being asked to sign, ask us to go over it again.
     
  • Keep your own files. We’ll do our best to copy you on all letters and documents prepared on your case. Also, keep the written fee agreement between you and your lawyer for your records.
     
  • Listen! My evaluation of your situation is based on legal training and experience. Remember that I cannot work magic. No lawyer wins every case, and sometimes the best legal advice may not be what you want to hear. I will advise with your best interests in mind.

A free consultation with us is easy to set up by calling 614-334-4649.

James Monast
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Fighting for Ohio’s Injured Workers and their Families