If you were hurt in an auto accident or you’re seeking advice from a lawyer to discuss your personal injury case, you need to prepare. Have all of your important documents and information ready before you meet. This can be a very confusing time for most people, but with this guide, you’ll show up to your meeting prepared. It’s never a great idea to walk into the first meeting with your lawyer without any information. So, when you’re meeting with your lawyer to discuss your personal injury case, make sure you have the following items prepared.
Image via Flickr by Michael Mandiberg
If you’re meeting with a lawyer due to medical malpractice or other personal injury cases, you need to make sure that you have all of your medical documents with you. It is a good idea to get a copy of your medical records for your lawyer to have on hand. In addition, you should have copies of items such as x-rays, discharge papers, and even a medication list. Anything that was given to you in the hospital as paperwork can be beneficial in your case. If you signed any paperwork or releases, make sure that you have copies of these as well.
These medical documents can help your lawyer look at the case in depth. These will help the lawyer find out if there was negligence or medical malpractice. The more medical documentation and paperwork you have on hand, the better for everyone involved.
Whether you are dealing with a car accident injury or other personal injury case, make sure that you bring any relevant insurance information with you. You need to have your insurance provider, number, and a contact number for someone the lawyer can talk to. If you don’t have a contact number, make sure you at least bring along the toll free number for your insurance provider.
If you were in a car accident, you should bring information for both your health and car insurances, to cover all the bases. If you have information on the other party’s insurance, such as in a car accident or in the case of a homeowner’s insurance claim, make sure you bring all of this as well.
Photographs to Help Your Case
Image via Flickr by John
Many cases will use photographs. You should bring any photos you have pertaining to the case when you meet with your lawyer for the first time. This is most important in the case of a car accident. Anything you can document with pictures can be helpful. If you have before and after pictures of a medical problem, bring these. They will help the lawyer figure out what the problem is, and whether or not there is a medical malpractice suit.
Not everything will require photographs. However, if you have them make sure to bring them along. If you are in a car accident, make sure to take pictures of the damage, as this will help with both the insurance and the lawyer. If you are dealing with an injury such as a dog bite, make sure you document this, as well. It may be long after the injury has healed before you are able to settle the claim, and the photographic evidence is important.
Bills Related to Your Case
Most personal injury cases are also going to come with bills. In general, this will be medical bills from the hospital, doctor’s office, and continuing treatment. When you bring a copy of the bills, your lawyer is able to look at the financial aspect of the case, helping to build the lawsuit properly. If you don’t currently have this documentation, try to get a copy from the hospital or clinic where you were seen. Another avenue you can go through to get a copy of medical bills is through your insurance provider.
Other bills may come up during your case, as well. For example, if your case has caused mental trauma, you may need to see a therapist. Make sure to bring this documentation and the bills for these expenses, as well. Anything you have to pay that is in relation to you case is something your lawyer should see.
When you are injured, it’s always a good idea to write down what happened, when, and where it all happened. This documentation of your own may not hold as much weight as things like medical records, but it is important for the lawyer to have on hand. As time goes by, details are forgotten and dates and times may be changed. Because of this, having a written account of what happened, near the time, can help you remember exactly what happened in your case.
Documentation of Missed Work
Many personal injury lawsuits include missed work. If you win your case, you may be compensated for the time you missed, though this is wholly dependent on the case itself. However, it’s important that you bring any documentation about work that you missed due to your injuries. A copy of your time card or even a paystub showing missed hours is a good idea. You can also get a written statement from your boss or management to help verify the time that you were out from work.
Copies of Any Correspondences
If you have written correspondences with the insurance companies or other parties involved with the injury, make sure that you bring copies of these to the lawyer’s office. If you don’t have written conversations, such as email, make sure that you keep records about the conversations and give these to the attorney. Any conversations you have with parties involved, from police reports to talking with the other party involved in the accident should have a written documentation.
Getting ready to meet with a lawyer can be a daunting prospect. However, keep in mind that the attorney is trying to help you. Make sure that you work with an experienced law firm, to ensure that you get the settlement that you deserve.