Scheduling a consultation with a personal injury attorney is the first step toward getting the compensation you deserve for an injury you suffered due to the negligence of another party. But, understandably, you might be a bit nervous about your first meeting. These tips will help you prepare for your consultation to make sure you and your attorney get all the information you need.
You will want to give your potential attorney all the facts of your case, which means you’ll need to gather all relevant documents to provide them with at your initial meeting. These documents include your medical records (only those pertaining to the case), your current and future care plans, any bills you’ve received for treatment thus far, any prescriptions you’ve been given and the bills for those prescriptions, any repair bills you’ve incurred (for an automobile accident, for example), and proof of missed work and wages. These documents will help your attorney value your case.
Additionally, your attorney needs to see the police report for your case (assuming you filed one), contact information for any witnesses to the accident, your insurance information, and the other party’s insurance information. You might not have all of these documents, especially if the other party denies responsibility. That’s okay. Your attorney can help you get any missing information if you agree to work together on your case.
Write Down Your Questions
A personal injury consultation is an opportunity for you to assess the person who might be handling your case, so you’ll want to have a list of questions to ask while you’re at the meeting. If you’re visiting several attorneys, make sure you ask them all the same questions so you can compare their answers. This will help you determine which attorney is the best match for your situation.
Some questions you should be sure to ask include:
- What is your experience handling personal injury cases that are similar to mine?
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- What outcomes have you seen in cases like mine?
- How long do you think my case will take to settle or go to trial?
- How much do you think my case is worth?
- Can you handle both the settlement negotiations and a court case if one becomes necessary?
- What is your fee structure?
- Will you handle my case personally?
- Who else will be working on my case?
- Will I be able to contact you directly to discuss my case?
- How long does it take for you to return calls or emails?
- How much involvement will I have in my case?
- What other information do you need from me?
The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your options for a personal injury attorney. Keep in mind that most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay for your attorneys unless you get a settlement or win a court award. Other fee structures should be carefully considered before you accept.
The first meeting with any potential lawyer is crucial because you need to ensure they’re the right attorney for your case. Being prepared will help you make that decision to get on the path toward justice.