Injury Checklist: What to Bring to Meet Your Lawyer
If you've never hired a lawyer before, the process can seem daunting. Navigating this process can be even more stressful if you're seeking out a lawyer's services because you were recently injured.
Before you meet with your personal injury lawyer for the first time, collect any documents you have relating to your accident and injury and keep them in a folder or large envelope. Below is an injury checklist of some of the documents and other important information to take with you to your lawyer.
|____||Name and address of ambulance service|
|____||Name and address of the emergency room where you were initially taken|
|____||Dates you were admitted to the emergency room/hospital|
|____||Names and business addresses of all doctors who have examined you (If you can't remember every doctor's name, at least the names and locations of the offices, clinics, or hospitals you visited, so the attorney will know where to request medical records.)|
|____||Names and addresses of chiropractors you have consulted|
|____||Names of all people who were involved in the accident|
|____||Names and addresses of witnesses to the accident|
|____||Dates you missed work because of the accident, your employment status, and your pay rate (for calculation of lost income damages)|
|____||Name and telephone number of each insurance adjuster you have talked to|
|____||List of people you have talked to about the accident or your injuries|
|____||Copies of any written statements|
|____||Your automobile insurance policy if you were injured in a car accident along with the "declarations" page or "coverage certificate" that shows what kinds of coverage you've purchased and what the policy limits are|
|____||Your homeowner's or renter's policy, along with the declarations page or coverage certificate|
|____||Medical or disability insurance policy or coverage certificate|
|____||Other policies, including major medical, hospitalization, veterans insurance, and the other party's insurance information|
|____||All correspondence you have received from any insurer about the accident or your injuries|
|____||Receipts for things you have had to buy because of your injury|
|____||Receipts for things you have had to fix because of the accident|
The First Meeting: Questions to Ask a Lawyer
You want a lawyer who is right for you. While every lawyer has their own style and method of practice, there are some basic things you may want to know before hiring them. Feel free to meet with more than one attorney before you decide who to hire so you can find the right legal representative for your case.
In addition to having the proper documents to show your future lawyer, it's a good idea to prepare a list of questions to take with you to your first meeting. Some questions you might ask an accident and injury lawyer would include:
- How many personal injury trials have they handled? Of those, how many did they win? How many cases settle?
- What percentage of their practice is in the personal injury area of expertise that you need?
- How long have they been in practice?
- Would the lawyer handle the case personally or would it be passed on to some other lawyer or support staff in the firm? If other lawyers or staff may do some of the work, could you meet them?
- What problems does the lawyer foresee with your case?
- How would the lawyer go about handling your situation? What is the process?
- How long will the case take?
- How will the lawyer communicate with you and keep you updated?
- How would the lawyer charge for their services? Is the fee fixed, charged at an hourly rate, or by contingency fee?
- What types of experts would the lawyer use to prove your case?
- Is there a time limit by which you must settle the case or file a lawsuit?
Get Peace of Mind From an Experienced Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may need an experienced accident and injury lawyer. Protecting your rights and pursuing a case actively are just some of a lawyer's obligations, and they often will provide a free initial consultation. Get started today by contacting a local injury law attorney.
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