An initial consultation with an injury attorney can give you a lot of information, both about your claim and about the lawyer. Before that meeting, however, you may want to make sure that you’re fully prepared to make the most of it. Try these key strategies to be sure that you are fully prepared for your consultation.
- Prepare a List of Your Questions
There may be a lot of things that you want to know about both your lawyer and your claim. Before you head in for your consultation, take the time to put together a comprehensive list of the things you want to know most. For example, your questions might include:
- Who at the law firm will work on your claim?
- What does the lawyer feel that you can recover in compensation for the damages you have suffered?
- Does the law firm have the bandwidth to handle your claim?
- What are the law firm’s fees?
- What does the firm’s success rate look like?
- Does the firm typically take cases to trial, or generally settle out of court?
- What does the lawyer feel your odds of success are?
- What type of evidence will you need to establish your right to compensation?
With your list in hand, you can make sure that you actually ask all the questions you have about your case, rather than forgetting some of your top concerns during the consultation itself.
- Gather Your Paperwork
It can take considerable time to gather all the evidence related to a personal injury claim. Your lawyer may spend weeks or even months collecting all the data related to your accident, sifting through it, and putting together a comprehensive claim that will establish the other party’s liability and the compensation you deserve. However, by taking the time to gather what paperwork you can do ahead of time, you can make your initial consultation proceed more smoothly and get more accurate answers from the lawyer about your case. You may want to gather:
- Your medical records. Those records will help establish the full extent of your injuries, which your lawyer will use as a foundation for much of the compensation you can recover as part of your claim.
- Information about your insurance coverage. For example, if you carry PIP insurance, it can impact the compensation you can recover for car accident injuries.
- A copy of the police report, if relevant.
- Any correspondence you have had with the other party or the other party’s insurance company.
- Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident.
You do not have to have perfectly organized paperwork or complete evidence at the initial consultation with a personal injury attorney. However, the more information you can provide, the more you may get out of that initial consultation.
- Prepare to be Honest
When you talk to your attorney, you need to offer honest answers to any questions they may have. If you lie to your lawyer, it can make it much more difficult for your attorney to help you. Furthermore, the truth will typically come out eventually. Honesty may mean:
- Admitting any contribution you made to your accident. Your attorney can help you determine how to best handle any case of shared liability.
- Clearly assessing the extent of your injuries and the limitations they have caused. You should neither downplay the extent of your injuries nor play up those limitations when talking to your lawyer.
- Letting your lawyer know when you do not know or remember something. Post-traumatic amnesia, or the inability to recall the events that surrounded an accident, can make it difficult for you to provide an honest assessment of everything that surrounded your accident. Do not try to make up information just to fill in the blanks. Instead, honestly detail what you need to remember.
Sometimes, honesty after an accident can feel difficult or embarrassing. However, while your lawyer can help prepare you to deal with many common challenges that may come up during your claim, your lawyer cannot prepare if you do not offer honesty.
Are You Ready to Start Your Injury Claim?
If you suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party, you may need a lawyer to help guide you through the claim process and maximize the compensation you can recover. Contact an attorney today to start your injury claim.