What should I bring to my first meeting with my personal injury lawyer?
Now that you have contacted a personal injury attorney you need to prepare for your first meeting. What should you bring: your complete medical history, the kitchen sink, or your first-born child? Thankfully it is not that complicated. Accident-related documents are all you need. The more documents you have the faster the attorney can begin work on your case. Bring as many of the things in the following list as you can.
1. Any police reports
If you have been in an auto accident you probably received a driver exchange information form from the police officer who came to the scene. That information can be immensely helpful when the case is just beginning because it lists the other driver and his or her insurance information.
If your accident required a police investigation your attorney will need a copy of the police report as a pivotal piece of evidence. Your attorney can request a copy of the police report from the agency involved because police reports are public records, but it will save time and money if you already have it.
2. Any accident reports from private parties
If you have been injured in a retail store, at a hotel, or on private property most companies will require management to record and file an accident report. That report could become a key piece of evidence in your case, and your lawyer will definitely need it. If you have a copy, bring it to your first meeting.
3. Claim Numbers and Insurance Information
Insurance companies are at the center of most personal injury claims. If you have filed a claim on your accident, please bring the documentation to your first appointment so that the attorney can send the insurance company a letter saying the firm represents you and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
4. Any medical records and bills
If you have been injured you cannot receive compensation until you have been diagnosed and treated. Your attorney will need to track down all of your medical records and all of your medical bills before the claim can be settled. Bring any medical records and bills you have acquired since the accident. The most common form is a hospital discharge form. If you are still being treated your attorney will need the names and addresses of all of your medical providers so that they may collect the necessary documents.
Personal injury claims are built and destroyed on the strength of the evidence the parties provide. Any evidence, such as photographs of the scene and photographs of injuries, can help your attorney build your case. Your attorney will spend a lot of time tracking down first-hand evidence such as photographs. If you have any, bring them with you to your first appointment
6. Any other accident-related documents
It seems like attorneys have a love affair with paperwork that is only surpassed by the love affair insurance adjusters have with the stuff. In personal injury claims you will deal with both lawyers and insurance companies, so documentation is key. Any documents related to your accident will be important to your claim. For the first meeting bring your attorney everything you have.