If you’ve been involved in an accident and are planning to file personal injury claims, you will need to meet with a lawyer to discuss the case. This can seem daunting if you are suffering from trauma or don’t feel you know what to ask the attorney. We’ve compiled this list of tips to help you be more prepared for the meeting.
What to Bring
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to work through your case more quickly and efficiently if you provide all the pertinent documents and information from the outset. This can save you money as well, as the time the attorney needs to prepare your case should be shorter. Here’s what you will need:
• Police documents. The attorney’s office may request this paperwork in advance of the meeting, but even if you submit it early, you should still bring it to the initial meeting. These are things such as police reports and supporting documents.
• Medical records. This includes records of how you have been treated by any medical professional as a result of the accident. Bring medical bills as well.
• Correspondence from insurance companies. Bring records of contact you have made with both your insurance company and the insurance company of anyone else involved in the accident.
• Documentation about lost work time. Also, bring proof of loss of income, if any. Having details written in calendar form can be helpful.
• Photographs. It is best if you can take photos of property damage, your physical injuries, and the accident scene. If you are unable to take them, the police report could include photos.
What to Ask
There are some basic questions to ask a personal injury lawyer during your first meeting. You want to get feel for whether the attorney is experienced in this specific type of case and has a record of successful resolutions. Be sure to ask:
• How many trials has he or she handled with personal injury cases, and what was the success rate?
• Will the lawyer be handling the case personally or delegate it to members of his or her staff?
• How would the attorney go about addressing your case? What would the process entail?
• What kinds of problems or hurdles would he or she anticipate in your particular case? How long should the case take to resolve?
• What is the charge for his or her services, and what are the payment options?
Preparation is key before meeting with a personal injury lawyer. You will need to have all your documentation ready to go and be an active participant in the process if you want things to go smoothly. The success of your case could depend on you having keeping a close eye on the details needed to defend your rights.
You can learn more about our personal injury services here.