If you have been injured in an accident, you likely want to talk to a personal injury attorney about your situation and discuss whether you have a case. For many people, the prospect of speaking with a lawyer during a personal injury consultation is anxiety-inducing. Most people have no idea what to bring, what to say, or what to expect.
If this sounds like you, let us relieve some of your anxiety with our tips for how to prepare for your personal injury consultation. Our personal injury lawyer in Douglasville, GA has lots of experience consulting on behalf of our residents.
How to Prepare for a Personal Injury Consultation
While you may feel some anxiety about your legal consultation, the first thing you should do is try to stay calm. After all, the personal injury attorney has done this numerous times. He or she can help you feel comfortable as you discuss your case. As for what to bring, say, or expect – consider the following:
What to Bring
Generally speaking, you want to bring as much information with you as possible to your initial consultation. For a personal injury consultation, this may include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Summary of injuries and prognosis
- Name and contact information for all healthcare providers
- List of current prescriptions
- Insurance information (auto and health)
- W-2s or other forms proving income
- Statement of lost wages/days missed
- Police report (if applicable)
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
- Photos or videos of your injuries
- Name and contact information of any witnesses
What to Say
At your personal injury consultation, the most important thing to say is the truth. Stick to the facts of the case and how your accident has impacted your life. Most of what you say at your consultation will be responding to questions asked by the attorney. Examples of such questions include:
- Have you given your insurance company a statement about your accident?
- Who else have you spoken with about your accident? What did you tell them?
- Have you posted information about your accident on social media?
- What type of insurance coverage do you have?
- How has the accident impacted your life? What about your spouse/partner and children?
- How are you feeling physically now? Are you in pain?
While it may be difficult to relive what has happened to you, it is important to give the attorney as much information as possible. This helps him or her decide if you have a case, and if so, how best to pursue compensation.
What to Expect from a Personal Injury Consultation
The ultimate goal of a legal consultation is two-fold: First, you want to make sure that you have an actionable claim. Second, you want to vet the attorney and determine if he or she is right for you. With that in mind, you can expect:
- The attorney to ask and answer questions
- Offer information about his or her practice
- Discuss fee schedules
If hiring the attorney, you can further expect:
- To sign a representation agreement
- To sign medical release forms
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not pay any fees up front. Make sure to discuss this with the attorney you are speaking with before signing any agreement. Be wary of an attorney who asks for money up front.
As you can see, the personal injury consultation is a process that will help you find the right attorney for your needs. The process also helps the attorney establish whether you have a case, and what direction the case should go. By preparing for your legal consultation in advance, you can move through this process with confidence and ease.