It may be nerve-racking to meet with an attorney for the first time. You have a lot riding on the success of this encounter, and you may feel intimidated by the attorney’s position as a legal authority. Still, remember that an injury lawyer’s job is to help you through a challenging legal matter.
During the initial consultation, your lawyer learns more about your situation, assesses your case’s viability, presents your legal options, and answers your questions, all with the goal of securing the compensation you deserve. If you know how to prepare for your consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you can facilitate their ability to do that. Here’s what you need to remember:
You are Ultimately In Charge of Your Personal Injury Case
While you may feel intimidated going into your first consultation, always remember that you are in charge of your injury claim. When you select an attorney, you are hiring them to do a job. The personal injury lawyer you meet with will decide if they will take your case, but you are in control. This is not just their opportunity to assess your case; it’s your chance to interview your potential legal representative.
Going into your consultation with this understanding can empower you to communicate openly, speak confidently, and feel more comfortable engaging in this unfamiliar territory.
One of the goals of the consultation is to help the personal injury lawyer get familiar with your case. You and the lawyer need to know if you have a case with legal standing. To serve this goal, be sure to bring any paperwork and documents related to your accident. Documents you should bring to your consultation include:
- Medical records
- A care plan you are using or any reports or documentation explaining necessary treatment
- Names and addresses of hospitals, EMT services, or other health care services you’ve used
- Dates on which you received any health care from the above services
- Admittance and release dates
- Prescribed medications
- Insurance information
- Paperwork detailing your insurance claim policy (if applicable)
- The other party’s car insurance policy number
- Photos of your injuries taken at the scene
- Official police reports
- Documents showing missed time at work, lost benefits, or sales
The paperwork and evidence you bring to your consultation provide a starting point for your attorney. From there, they can determine the next steps to take and create the beginnings of a strategy for pursuing your compensation.
The Personal Injury Attorney Will Ask You Questions at the First Consultation
To prepare for your consultation with a personal injury attorney, anticipate the questions they might ask. Each question helps them understand more about your case. They may ask about your injuries and your role in the accident. Some questions may be difficult for you to answer, but do your best to provide as much detail as possible, and always be honest.
Potential questions a personal injury lawyer may ask you during a consultation include:
- What injuries are you dealing with from the accident, and what is your current pain level?
- Have you seen a doctor already, and what is your prognosis?
- How has the accident affected you physically and emotionally? Are there any limitations you’ve experienced since the accident?
- Have you spoken to other attorneys about your matter?
- Have you spoken with the insurance company involved in your case or given a recording statement?
- Do you have medical coverage or car insurance? If so, what kind?
- Where do you work, what do you do for a living, and how long have you worked there?
- Have you ever been to any other accidents?
- Did you have any existing injuries before the accident?
Write Down Your Questions for the Injury Lawyer
Your injury consultation is also your chance to ask the attorney any questions that you might have to assess their suitability for your case. Write down your questions beforehand and bring them to your meeting. You may want to ask the attorney about:
- Their background and experience in law
- Their experience handling cases similar to yours
- The money they charge and how they charge for their legal services
- How terminating the attorney-client relationship works
- Case results they’ve achieved in similar cases to yours
- How they primarily will communicate with you and their availability
Preparing for your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer can make the process run efficiently.
Call Us for Help With a Personal Injury Case Today
If you were injured in New York, call Shulman & Hill for legal assistance at (555) 555-5555. Our personal injury law firm provides free initial consultations that allow us to get to know prospective clients and discuss their legal options for recovering compensation. If you are seeking an attorney for a legal matter, you can get answers to questions today to help you decide if hiring legal representation is right for you.