It may seem daunting to meet with a personal injury attorney about your case. You're injured; you're worried. You're thinking, do I have the right attorney? Are they going to do the right thing for me?
The right personal injury attorney will have tons of experience with cases just like yours. They'll know what to expect from the insurance companies and get you more than you would on your own.
The best way to quell any pre-meeting anxiety you might be feeling is to prepare.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your meeting with your personal injury attorney so that you can have a productive meeting.
The first thing that you can do to prepare for your meeting is to locate any pictures that you have of your injury or an accident scene, if that is the case. Your pictures should show physical injuries, including blood and torn clothing, as well as damage to property, such as any damage done to a vehicle or home.
Make sure that you bring any pictures that show the scene surrounding the injury if you have them. It will not only help the attorney understand the situation of your injury, but it can act as evidence in support of your claim, if the attorney chooses to represent you.
The second thing that you should bring with you is any bills that you might have acquired as a result of the injury, or, in the event of a vehicular accident, any estimates for cost of repairs.
Estimates should be from reputable repair shops that have their logo and information on the letterhead. If you've been given a document that shows your car was a total loss, bring that instead.
If the police appeared at the location of your accident, there should be a police report on file that you can bring with you to your appointment. The police report will have the names of the people involved in the accident, the time of the accident, location of the accident, and other information that can be vital to helping you with a personal injury case.
A police report is especially helpful because it's coming from a third party’s perspective and will not be slanted by your opinion or viewpoint. A police report can also claim who was at fault in an accident and indicate whether anyone was given a citation for the event.
Likewise, if your personal injury claim involves an injury sustained at a certain location and the police were called, there should still be a report on file about it. The report will really work to your advantage if one exists, while still helping the attorney better understand what happened and whether your case might be worthwhile to take.
We know that no one likes to share their medical records with the world, but in the event that you're pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you're going to need them for evidence as well as support for your case.
If you have any records of doctor’s visits, hospitals visits, or even visits with a therapist, you need to bring them to your consultation. This includes chart notes about your visits, any diagnoses that were given, and any prescriptions that have been prescribed.
Additionally, all of your receipts and bills for medical care and prescriptions should be found and brought in. Your prospective attorney should be able to get an idea of the severity of your injuries as well as the amount of pain and suffering that you have experienced.
If you've received any bills that are related to the injury, but not necessary doctor bills, you need to bring those in as well. This can be the cost of taxis to drive you, if your car is in the shop, or the cost of support devices, such as crutches.
This encompasses anything that has come out of your pocket and is a result of your personal injury. Itemized receipts are beneficial to get an exact figure of how much you've had to spend.
If you've been out of work, lost wages, or been cut hours as a result of your personal injury, you need to bring all of that information in with you as well. Some injuries mean that you might be completely unable to work and have filed for unemployment.
This type of information should include your past pay stubs to show how much you were paid prior to the injury, any documentation from your employer that will show days or hours missed due to the injury or doctors’ visits, and the documentation that will show how many sick days or personal time you have used while you heal from your injury.
This will help the attorney see the exact amount of money that you have already lost and will continue to lose as a result of your personal injury.
The final thing that you need to bring into your meeting is a list of questions for the attorney. These questions should be about both your individual case and information about the law firm that you are working with. These questions can include:
The ultimate goal here is to bring in as much information about your personal injury as possible. The more information that you have, the better idea an attorney will get about your case and the better chance you have of winning a settlement as a result.
6 months ago