Getting injured in an accident is a harsh, traumatic experience. There’s a lot going on—doctor’s visits, calls from insurance companies, and excruciating pain and suffering. If your injury resulted from another party’s negligent actions, you have the opportunity to recover damages from them, but that will mean finding a lawyer.
It’s normal to be apprehensive before your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Knowing what to expect can help you move forward with the process.
What Happens During the Initial Consultation?
During your initial consultation, an attorney will review your situation and determine if and how they can help. When you meet with a lawyer for an initial consultation, you can expect the following.
The attorney will ask questions about your case in order to determine if legal action is viable. This means evaluating the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and determining what legal claims might be made.
Need for an Attorney
During your consultation, the lawyer will also determine whether legal help is even necessary. In some situations, you may be better off resolving things on your own, such as when it’s not worth the expense of hiring an attorney. Additionally, some cases may require specialized expertise that the lawyer does not possess, in which case they might refer you to another attorney.
Finally, they’ll do a cost assessment. That assessment will include a general idea of what fees will be involved.
How to Prepare for a Personal Injury Consultation
When getting ready for a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you’ll need to prepare. Some of the steps you’ll want to take before meeting with an attorney include the following.
1. Gather Documents
First, you’ll want to gather any documentation related to your case, such as:
- Victim or client statements
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Videos and photography related to the incident
- Audio recordings
- W2 forms proving lost wages
This information can help the attorney piece together what happened during the course of your accident and make an early determination on whether you might have a viable case.
2. Be Ready to Answer Questions
You’ll also need to be ready to answer questions. The attorney will likely ask about the following:
- Specifics about your injury, including what kind of pain you’re experiencing
- Details about the doctor’s prognosis
- What details you’ve given the insurance company or other lawyers
- Employment information
- Insurance information
- Information about notices or lien claims
Remember, the purpose is not to try to make you relive the horror of your injury, but to help your attorney win your case.
Have Questions Ready to Ask
Finally, you’ll want to have some questions ready for the attorney. Questions you might ask include:
- Who will handle my case?
- Have you handled similar cases in this area?
- What connections do you have with doctors and expert witnesses?
- What kinds of settlements have you obtained?
- When would my lawsuit be filed? How long will it take?
- What will I need to do?
These questions can help you get a feel for how it will be working with the attorney, which is important when entering into an attorney-client relationship.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
An initial consultation is the first step in recovering damages for a personal injury. As such, many law firms, including Hart David Carson, LLP, offer free initial consultations. To get the process started, contact us for a consultation today.