Tips For Your First Meeting With Your Personal Injury Lawyer

1. Bring all relevant documents
These may include accident or incident reports, medical bills, medical records, witness statements and/or lists of potential witnesses, any documents or journals you have kept to describe your injuries, recovery and limitations, etc.

2. Write things down before the meeting
As discussed, it is helpful to have all the information available that can help your attorney obtain a quick and positive result. Remember, it’s a team effort. Make lists of potential witnesses, insurance companies covering your property damage and injuries, and health care providers, with contact information Law tutor.

Keep a journal that lists your injuries, your limitations, your doctor visits, and how your injuries progress over time. A meeting (and a legal case) will always progress more smoothly if you come prepared.

3. Prepare to fill out some paperwork
When a personal injury attorney decides to take your case (and sometimes before taking the case), one of the first and most important things that will happen is the collection of medical records related to your injury.

You will be asked to sign releases to allow medical providers to send your records to your attorney for review and use in your case. If the attorney takes your case, he or she will mail these communications to everyone who has treated you, with requests for your records.

Another thing that could happen is that the attorney will ask you to sign a contract for his or her services. In a personal injury case, this will generally mean that you agree to give a certain percentage of your claim proceeds to the attorney in the event of a victory or settlement in court rather than paying for services on an hourly rate, as would do with a different type of legal case.

4. Answer all of your lawyer’s questions as completely and honestly as you can
Your attorney will need to gather as much information as possible to evaluate whether it is worth pursuing your case and what the likely outcome of your case will be. Questions may include, but are not limited to:

The details of the accident;
The details of your treatment;
What daily tasks you can and cannot do since your injury;
How long your recovery is expected to take;
If a full recovery is possible;
How the injury has impacted your personal and professional life;
Your pain level; and
Your medical bills and costs to date

This is where journaling about your injuries and writing down information about your accident and healthcare providers can really come in handy!

Lists of other people the attorney can talk to, such as witnesses, insurance companies, and health care providers, are also helpful at this stage. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for the attorney to decide how to move forward with your case.

In addition to providing all necessary information, it is also important to be honest with your attorney. Don’t withhold details that you’re afraid to tell him because they’re too personal or even embarrassing.

Your attorney has a duty of confidentiality, and your case will be easier if your attorney has all the information and that information is accurate.

5. Listen to your lawyer: he or she will give you a preliminary opinion and explain what happens next
If you have been able to provide your attorney with a fairly complete breakdown of your injuries, expenses, and limitations, the attorney will most likely be able to provide a preliminary opinion on your case at the initial consultation (although you may need to gather more information first).

You can find out if the attorney believes you can win this case in court, if it is better to settle your case outside of court, and what some of the parameters are for determining the size of the award you should seek.

Your medical and job loss expenses, your long-term limitations, and the other party’s level of fault will be considered here. Your attorney may decide to take your case or, in some cases, refer your case to another attorney who can better assist you due to your particular circumstances.

Your attorney may also tell you that you should wait to begin your case until you have reached your maximum level of recovery from the injury. This makes it more likely that you will receive full compensation for your injuries and for problems that may not be obvious when you are first injured.

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