A severe injury can quickly turn your life upside-down, but meeting with an attorney is often the best step you can take to get back in control. A personal injury case can ease the burden of your medical bills and lost income, helping you put the incident behind you. However, your attorney will rely on you just as much as you rely on him or her—and it pays to be prepared from the very first time you meet.
Documents to Bring to Your Personal Injury Consultation
Many injury attorneys will offer free consultations to give an honest appraisal of your case and your chances of securing payment for your losses. The good news is that these consultations are protected by attorney-client privilege, and you are under no obligation to hire the lawyer at the end of the meeting. The bad news is that these meetings are often short, so you will have to be sure to use the time wisely.
In order to get the most out of your injury consultation, you should bring:
- Official reports of the accident. There can be many forms of official documentation of your injuries, including police reports taken at the scene of a crash or an incident report completed by a store employee after a slip-and-fall. Your attorney will need to examine these and compare them to your own account of the accident.
- A written description of the event in your own words. Your attorney may ask you for a summary of the accident, including who was there and the events leading up to the injury. It is vital for victims to make a full written account of the entire day’s events, including the time of day, any witnesses present (and their contact information), what you did before and after the injury occurred, and any other details you can remember.
- Photos of your injuries and the accident scene. A picture is worth a thousand words, and providing photos can demonstrate the severity of your injuries to an attorney in minutes. Similarly, photos taken at the accident scene can provide evidence of negligence, such as a spill on the floor, a broken stair, or the position of two wrecked vehicles.
- Full documentation of your injuries. You should bring as many copies of medical records relating to your injury as you can, organized from your emergency room visit through to your most recent check-up. Include all imaging tests (such as x-rays and scans), your initial diagnosis and treatment recommendation, prescribed medication, and the names of all hospitals, clinics, and doctors that provided care for your injuries.
- Evidence of your losses. In addition to copies of your medical bills, you should bring any paystubs and correspondence from an employer detailing your work absences. You should also bring any invoices or receipts for payments you have made related to the accident, such as vehicle repairs or purchase of medical assistance devices.
- Any insurance policies that apply to your injury. The attorney will need to know the sources and limits of insurance that can be used toward your injury costs. Copies of your car insurance, health insurance, and the other party’s insurance information will help the attorney estimate the amount you can recover for an accident.
- Any questions you may have. It is a good idea to make a list of questions for the lawyer before your meeting to ensure your most pressing concerns are answered. Questions such as “what are my next steps,” or “should I pay medical bills now or wait until the case is resolved” can lead to answers that provide immediate relief for victims and their families.
If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, our attorneys can advise you on your legal rights at no cost to you. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to schedule an appointment.