During your first meeting with a personal injury attorney after an accident, the attorney will want to obtain as much information and as detailed of information as possible regarding the accident or incident. While you may have already spoken with the attorney on the phone before meeting in person, it is not unusual for the attorney to want to hear your account from the beginning. It is important to be honest with your attorney. It does neither you nor your attorney any good to be anything but truthful. One way or another the facts will come to light. It is better if your attorney knows from the beginning not only the positives of your case, the but negatives as well.
How A Legal Consultation Works:
The more prepared the client comes to the meeting, the more efficient and meaningful the meeting will be. Your attorney will likely ask you to bring all documents related to the incident that you have in your possession. This includes things like photos, medical records, medical bills, incident reports, police reports, a list of your doctors and witness, as well as your insurance information.
Your attorney may ask questions that feel invasive or forward. However, he or she must know all the facts and circumstances related to your case in order to best inform you of your options moving forward. The attorney will discuss with you the positives of your case, as well as the aspects that may prove difficult.
Some additional areas that may be covered include:
- Whether you have spoken to any insurance adjusters or the person or persons who caused your injuries and the contents of those conversations.
- The current status of your injuries and your doctor's treatment plan.
- Whether your were insured at the time of the incident (health insurance, car insurance, etc.) as well as whether your receive any government benefits.
- Whether you were working at the time of the incident, and the amount of time missed.
- Whether there are any other potential parties that may be responsible or liable for your injuries.
The attorney may decide to accept the case, may decline to accept to the case, or may refer you to another attorney who may be better able to assist you. At the end of the day, it is always the client's choice whether or not to hire the attorney.
If however, the attorney and client both agree to move forward, both should put their intentions in writing by way of a fee agreement or contract for legal representation. This clarifies the scope and nature of the representation, as well as gives the attorney the authority to represent you in the matter. The client should always read the agreement be for signing and ask questions if there is any confusion. Additionally, the client should always receive a copy of everything they sign in the attorneys office. This will likely include authorizations, which allow the attorney to request medical records and other pertinent documents on your behalf.
Accident lawsuits are complex and if the case proceeds to a lawsuit, the attorney/client relationship can last years. It is important to have an advocate on your side who you trust and can work well with.