What Happens During the Free Consultation With a Lawyer?
Below you will find a Hardison & Cochran Podcast episode on the topic of what happens during a free consultation with Hardison & Cochran. The transcript of the episode is also below for those who would simply like to read and not listen. To listen or read transcripts from other podcasts from Hardison & Cochran, please visit our Podcast Page.
Episode #9 What Happens When I Call Hardison & Cochran for a Free Consultation?
Bill Campbell: [00:02:22] Alright Ben, take us through the process of a new caller to the firm.
Ben Corhan: [00:02:26] When you first call Hardison and Cochran, you’ll be greeted by an individual who will take down your information as a preliminary matter. First and foremost, to determine whether or not it is the type of case that we handle here at our firm.
Primarily, this is done so that mostly your time is not wasted by providing all of this information and then being transferred to one of our attorneys and being told that this is a matter that we cannot help you with. So when you first call them you will be greeted and someone will take your name down your information and what you’re calling about. Through that process, once it’s determined that it is the type of case that we handle here at Hardison and Cochran, they will get down specific information.
They will get the details of the circumstances concerning your injury, what type of benefits you are currently receiving, and any questions that you may have prior to transferring your call to an attorney. Once we hand down the information that is helpful for our attorneys to review, you will be transferred to an attorney that can properly evaluate your client. We have several attorneys here that their specific job duties and their roles are to talk and give free consultations during an entire eight hour day.
So these are specific attorneys that are able to evaluate your case and determine whether or not that this is a matter that we can assist you with. And if it’s something that we can’t assist you with, they offer you available resources ultimately at the end of this to hopefully help you find the right place you need to be.
Bill Campbell: [00:03:59] You said information is collected. What kind of information would somebody need to have readily available to streamline the whole the whole process? Is there anything that’s more valuable through the course of you know personal information to information of the what happened just speak on that. I know you do different practice areas so it’s going to be different for each one but just the just the general.
Ben Corhan: [00:04:27] When you call you want to make sure that you have certain information that’s readily available. For whatever matter that you’re calling about, whatever type of case it is you want to have the relevant documentation that has currently been filed in your individual case. Now whether that be filed documents with a governmental body, whether that be file documents if there is an adverse party or an other side to it have those available so that they can be discussed with the attorney when they’re getting a free consultation.
Additional information is to have readily available the medical information that you obtained so far. Any information as to who you’ve been treating with, any discharge summaries that you have that acknowledge what diagnosis has been rendered by your treating physicians thus far.
Those two pieces of information and the documents that have been filed as well as the medical reports that have been rendered in regards to the injuries that you’re calling about are most helpful when dealing with an interview or consultation with the attorney.
Bill Campbell: [00:05:37] For people who are calling and share their information and you hear it and you want to accept their case. What happens next. What’s the process of accepting a case and actually getting the person signed up?
Ben Corhan: [00:05:50] After the consultation if it becomes a situation where the attorney that is speaking with the potential client or the caller determines that it is a particular matter that we feel like we can offer assistance several things happen. Number one, obviously we go over any fees or costs that are associated with representation. That depends on the individual case type or what is your particular claim that you’re calling about as to what the individual attorney fees and are costs are going to be.
That’s what we address first. Once is determined by the potential caller that they wish to become a client there are several different ways that we can actually bring them in to the Hardison and Cochran Law Firm. The different ways or through electronic sign up or we actually send folks out to you to sign up. So we offer the option whether it be through the electronic signature or through individual sign up where we send someone to come to your house and meet with you get your paperwork and get the documentation signed. That choice becomes up to the eventual potential caller and a future client.
So whichever way you choose to become one of our clients, we make that readily available. Either option works for us. We don’t prefer one or the other and it becomes a situation where you choose. Once we get the paperwork back, we get to work with you immediately. The way this works procedurally within our firm is that within the first 24 hours you are going to receive a call from your individual case manager that will be working with you as well as the attorney that’s going to be working with you.
Bill Campbell: [00:07:41] What if the call goes on and it’s determined by the attorney that, you know, the assistance of Hardison and Cochran might just might not help or for some other reason they just don’t need an attorney. What what happens then?
Ben Corhan: [00:07:53] After the consultation, if the attorney determines there we’re not able to assist them at this time it could be for a number of reasons.
Number one is unfortunately we received a lot of calls where we do not feel that that individual has a claim to which they can receive any type of benefits. So they’ve given us information, we’d evaluated it and for some reason based upon our interpretation of the laws we do not feel that is a situation where they are entitled to a particular recovery. So if that’s the case we tell them unfortunately we don’t believe that it is a circumstance where they’re entitled to recovery.
However, we do advise them that we are only one law firm. Other law firms may have different experiences. So at that point in time we always encourage folks to get a second opinion. Based upon the nature of our business and other law firms that operate the similar way. These are free consultations. So it never hurts to call another law firm and say OK I just spoke to one law firm but I wanted to make sure to get a second opinion and to go through the evaluations with that firm because another law firm may have a different experience than we have. They may review the facts and circumstances and feel that there is a case that they can pursue it. So we always encourage people to get a second opinion if we do not think that there is a claim there for which they’re entitled to recovery.
There’s also circumstances where they may not need an attorney because they’re going to be able to get the benefits themselves. A lot of times people will contact us, they’ll give us the information that they have, the documentation that they’ve received thus far, how it’s going with their medical treatment, how their communication has been between them and the other side, and based upon the conversations that they’re having with the other side and based upon the facts that they’ve reported to us, sometimes it appears and ultimately it will be a circumstance where they will receive all the benefits that they’re entitled to without having to hire an attorney.
Even if it’s not the exact benefit more likely than not even hiring an attorney would not benefit their position. A lot of times I tell folks as well as the other attorneys here, that it really is not advantageous to hire an attorney if ultimately you are going to have to pay the attorney a percentage, depending on the type of case of the settlement, when you’ve already got an offer which is fair and reasonable.
And so basically it becomes a circumstance where if someone has a certain amount of money on the table offered for settlement and I don’t think they’re can get them a significant increase in that offer, based upon the fact that there’s going to be an attorney fee at the end of it, I advised him of that and I tell him Look here’s what I think the value of your case is and based upon what’s being offered at this point I can’t get you sufficient enough more to hire me.
So I want you to take this value that I’ve told you what your case is and you work on getting as close as you can to that value. And sometimes they’re able to get that value without even having the requirement that they have me as their attorney. So that’s the other situation. Another circumstance that we deal with is that the claim is just not ripe yet to determine whether or not someone needs an attorney. And what I mean by that is is that based upon where they are in their claim, you really don’t know how the conversation between the potential client and the other side is going to resolve at the end.
So it could be a circumstance where everything was going well everything’s going well at the time of the conversation, however at the end of this we don’t know what’s going to happen. So at that point I’ll tell them you can go ahead and hire us if you want to. Ultimately, we don’t know how this is going to resolve. But it is a situation where, if you want to wait see what happens see how that communication goes, and give us a call back when you think that it might be a better time to evaluate the circumstances than do that. Give us a call back. OK. That’s another option that you have.
Bill Campbell: [00:12:32] Obviously, we’re talking about people who have done the research and wanted to call you and get your opinion on it. And for every one of those people there’s got to be some people out there just have a fear of calling. What would you say to those people who have a fear of calling a personal injury lawyer, workers comp lawyers, security disability lawyer to get an opinion, and a free opinion at that.
Ben Cochran: [00:12:54] What I’d tell an individual who’s got reservations about contacting an attorney is to understand a couple of things to hopefully put their minds at ease.
First and foremost is that it is confidential. That means that any conversation, any communications, whether it be e-mail and or over the phone, they are going to be kept between the attorney as well as the individual that has called us. So they can feel free to speak about as much or as little. You can call, you can tell us who you work for or not. You can tell us who’s providing medical treatment for you or not. You can give as much information as you would like.
You can restrict your questions or you can make them as broad as you want to. The consultation is completely free and all of the questions are up to you. If you don’t want an answer a question that we have, you can feel comfortable and just say you know what I’d rather not answer that right now. You will not receive any hesitation from our office. You can ask about anything that you feel to be relevant or important. So there’s really nothing to lose.
The only thing that you’re going to lose is the time that you invest pick up the phone and to call us. And certainly since the valuations are free all the information that you receive will be completely available for you to use however you’d like. So there’s really just no reason not to pick up the phone and call our law firm or any other law firm that does what we do, because it certainly doesn’t hurt to have added advice from trained professionals about the circumstances that you’re going through.
As we’ve discussed already, not every case can be helped by us and so it is a circumstance where we know when we answer the phone that we will do our best to point that person in the direction that they need to be in. But not everybody needs our help. And so when we’re advising folks we advise them about everything that we are capable of being able to direct them and say here’s what you need to do. Here’s what we think is the best option. And you can either take that and use it or not.
Like I said there’s no strings attached. This is a circumstance where we are an available resource to just pick up the phone calls.