If you have been injured in an accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention and the second thing you’ll need to do is talk with a Personal Injury Attorney to determine if you are a candidate for filing a claim for your injuries. A personal injury attorney is someone who represents clients that have been injured through accidents that were caused by the negligence of another person or business. For instance, if you were injured at work due to the negligence of management or if you were injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, such as texting while driving or driving while intoxicated. Here are a few tips that will help make your initial consultation go as smoothly as possible.
Be Prepared for Questions
During your consultation with a personal injury attorney, they will ask you a lot of questions about the accident, which will help them to have a better understanding of what happened. You will need to describe the accident in full detail, including when the accident happened, where you were when it happened, how and why it happened, and if there were witnesses who saw it happen. The more details you have about the accident the easier it will be for the Personal Injury Attorney to make a decision about whether or not you are a candidate for filing a claim and having strong details about the accident is typically the key to maximizing the compensation. The attorney will also ask you about your medical treatment and pain and if you have had any loss of income as a result of the accident.
Paperwork and Documentation
Before the scheduled consultation, you should gather all of the paperwork and documentation that you have pertaining to the accident. For instance, if you went to the doctor or hospital following the accident, you should bring all paperwork and documentation that you received from the doctor, including X-rays, diagnosis, emergency room documentation, and any follow up treatments that you may have already begun. Other items you’ll need to take with you include:
- The police report
- All medical procedures, including prescription medications
- Photographs that are relevant to the accident, such as photos of the area where the accident occurred
- Information for any witnesses, including name, address, and phone number
- Notes from conversations with contacted insurance companies
- Documents from your employer that lists all dates for missed time due to the injury
Although the bulk of the consultation may be dedicated to the injury attorney asking you questions, you should not be concerned to ask questions or to express your concerns. Be sure to ask questions, such as how involved the attorney will be with your case, for instance, will they personally talk with you about the progress or will other office personnel contact you? You should ask for an estimate of how long the process will take and whether you should talk about your case with others, including insurance adjusters. It’s essential that you are open and honest with your attorney regarding the accident and you should also let them know if you have already discussed the accident with another attorney and/or an insurance company.
The majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you aren’t required to pay any upfront fees, but the attorney will get a percentage of the total compensation as payment for their work. Be sure to discuss the percentage with the attorney before signing an agreement.