Being prepared before working with your personal injury lawyer is very important if you want to negotiate a fair settlement or file a proper lawsuit. Getting your case off to as smooth a start as possible will mainly depend on how well you’re prepared for the first meeting with your attorney. Here’s what you should put on your checklist before you take a large folder and collect all the documentation you have that may relate to the incident.
Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer: Documents to Put on Your Checklist
- Copies of the accident report.
- Contact details of the ambulance service, hospital, or emergency room you visited after the accident.
- Names and addresses of physicians who have examined and treated you.
- Copies of your health record including the diagnosis and prognosis.
- Medical bills or other receipts for medications you had to buy due to the accident.
- All the insurances you have, including your medical, automobile, or veterans insurance, as well as any other hospitalization or disability certificates.
- Copies of any correspondence concerning the accident with the insurance companies, if applicable.
- A copy of your sick leaves stating your income loss as well as describing any work you’ve missed as a result of your injury.
- Copies of any written statements relevant to the case.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Who Is Right for You
If this’s the first time you’re hiring a personal injury lawyer, papers and documents are not the only things you should prepare. Make sure, you ask questions and learn as much as possible about the person before you ask him/her to take up your legal case. Here’s what you should try to find out:
Talk to your potential lawyer to find out how many personal injury claims did he or she handle, how many went to trial, and what is the number of successful ones. Pay attention to the percentage of lawyer’s practice devoted to personal injury cases as well as find out whom does he or she usually represent – plaintiffs or defendants.
- You particular case.
Ask whether the documents you’ve provided are sufficient to start the case. Inquire whether your potential lawyer sees any problems in your case and how long will it take to eliminate them. Make sure you set up a deadline and agree the time limit by which you lawyer is supposed to have the lawsuit filed or the case settled.
Find out whether your lawyer would handle the case personally or pass it on to someone else in the company. If you don’t feel like you’re conversant enough to discuss your personal injury lawyer’s action plan, ask for explanations and get acquainted with it at least.
- Financial issues.
Since the majority of injury lawsuits are typically about money, make sure you know exactly how much you can make out of your case as well as are informed of all the fees from the very start. Ask about any advanced payments and how much would your lawyer charge for his or her services.