The first interview
This initial interview is normally free of charge, so it is almost always worth at least one meeting to explore compensation. In cases of serious disability and handicap, the solicitor would usually be prepared to visit the 'client' at home or in hospital. If you are worried whether there will be a charge for this first discussion, simply ask the solicitor. Wherever the interview takes place, the client should expect sympathy, understanding, expertise and explanation.
The solicitor will ask what happened to cause the injury. It is important for the solicitor to find out the nature of the accident, some idea of the mechanics of the injury (that is, the type of forces involved), and what the client has been like since. It is not uncommon for there to be an early medical report saying that the patient seems to have made a good recovery from an injury to the head, although the family find that they notice significant changes in memory, concentration, motivation, aggression, personality and other areas.
The solicitor should always ask questions aimed specifically at the family's observations on the change in the client since the accident, and he should treat them as potentially important. Family opinions really matter.
When the interview is finished, the client should have a preliminary idea whether there is, or might be, a good claim. He should also know the next steps to be taken and the approximate timetable. For the solicitor, much will depend on the nature of the injury.