Meeting with an Injury Attorney
By FindLaw Staff | Legally reviewed by Garrett Monteagudo, Esq. | Last reviewed December 16, 2022
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During your first meeting with a personal injury attorney after an injury, they will want to hear about what happened. In any such meeting, the attorney will collect many different kinds of information from you.
The length of the initial interview can vary depending on the circumstances that led to your injuries. In rather straightforward cases, such as car accidents, the first meeting probably won't take very long, especially if you come prepared. In more complicated cases, like medical malpractice or injuries from defective products, the initial interview will usually take longer.
Read on to learn more about what to expect when you meet with a personal injury attorney.
How Consultations Work
As you tell the lawyer about your injury, they may ask questions about it. Frequently, lawyers wait until you have told them everything before asking questions. While some of these questions may be difficult to hear, let alone answer, your lawyer does need to know the answers in order to help you find the best solution for your case.
Generally speaking, these communications are confidential under attorney-client privilege rules. Excluding some exceptions, you needn't worry about whether your attorney will keep secret what you share with them. In exceptional cases, such as if you were to share with your attorney plans to commit a crime or to cover up a crime, for example, an attorney would not be bound by attorney-client privilege rules.
Whatever the case may be, your attorney will collect information relating to your accident or injury. Examples of the topics you'll cover with your attorney are your medical treatment, the parties involved in the accident, and potential witnesses. They will likely also discuss practical aspects of your case, such as a representation agreement, different types of legal fees, and the kinds of costs you can expect in your case.
What to Expect During Your Consultation
A personal injury attorney will likely address any or all of the following during your first meeting:
- Whether you're willing to sign a form authorizing the release of your medical information from healthcare providers so that the attorney can obtain your medical records on your behalf
- All or many of the details of your insurance coverage
- Whether you have talked to any insurance adjustors, what you said to any such adjustors, and whether you provided a written statement about the accident or injury
- Whether anyone else has interviewed you about the accident or your injuries, who those people were, and what you discussed exactly with them
- The current status of your injuries, such as whether you are in pain and what your prognosis is
- Recommendations that you seek medical care for the injuries if you have not done so already, given that a doctor's testimony will be very important in substantiating your claims
- Whether the attorney will actually take your case
- Referrals for other lawyers, if they don't take your case
- If they do take your case, they'll likely ask you to sign a retainer contract or agreement, which you should read carefully before signing
- What your legal options are based on the specifics of your situation
- What next steps will look like
- An investigation before a lawsuit is filed or settlement is considered
- An estimate of how long the case may take to resolve
- That you do not discuss the case or what you and your attorney talk about with others
- The methods for how the attorney will update you, as well as the frequency with which the attorney will provide those updates
Consider Meeting with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Accident lawsuits are often complex affairs, involving evidence gathering, expert witnesses, and detailed knowledge of negligence law. As a result, it's important for accident victims to find an attorney who's experienced in accident cases.
To learn more, consider speaking with a local personal injury lawyer near you today.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected.