Your First Meeting With a Lawyer
When you are looking to hire a personal injury attorney, you need to be prepared for that first meeting. The first meeting is usually free, so take advantage of this time to ensure you’re comfortable with this person representing you. Here are 5 things you should be prepared for when you meet your attorney for the first time.
1. Tell Your Side of The Story
Your potential attorney will want to know whether you have a case. It would be best if you told the attorney how the accident happened. While you are telling your story, the attorney will be assessing whether or not you will make a good witness in court should your case proceed to trial. Just as you want to find out if this is the attorney you want representing you, they’re looking at you as well to see if you’re a good fit.
The attorney will be trying to determine if you come across as genuine since your credibility as a witness will be critical if your case goes to trial.
2. Bring All Your Documents
You should bring every document you have that pertains to your accident. These include photographs of the accident that are part of the police report and all medical information or any medical treatment necessary due to your accident. You also need to bring a list of the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. Your lawyer will want any documentation that you have that can prove your case.
3. Show Expenses Related to Your Accident
If you have any receipts and other expenses from your accident, then bring them with you. These items can be for physical therapy or transportation costs to get to medical visits, in-home care, or any other out-of-pocket expenses. Request itemized receipts that show what each charge was for.
4. Provide Wage Loss Information
If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you should provide proof since you may be entitled to compensation due to income loss. If this is the case, bring the following information to your meeting:
- Pay stubs
- Documentation from your employer showing the days you missed
- Documentation that shows benefits you had to use because of your accident, such as sick days or personal days
- Tax Returns
5. Be Prepared to Ask Questions
Be prepared to ask your attorney a lot of questions.
Here are some questions you should ask:
1. What type of cases do you handle?
Some lawyers are general practitioners; you want a personal injury specialist to handle your claim.
2. Do you try every case in court? What percentage of cases are settled?
These are important questions that many people never think to ask. The only way to get the best offer for your claim is to hire a lawyer who’s not afraid to go to court. Conversely, if you hire a lawyer that always settles and never goes to court, you probably won’t get the best settlement offer.
3. What is your track record?
You want to know how successful the attorney you’re planning on hiring has been at winning personal injury cases.
4. Who will handle my case? Do you refer to other lawyers?
You need to find out if the lawyer you’re talking to will handle your case or give it to someone else to work on. You want to know the lawyer’s skill and experience who will work on your case, not just the attorney you first talk with. There’s nothing wrong with having more than one lawyer on the case; the law firm should just be transparent about it. Most firms have multiple attorneys handling personal injury claims. The senior attorney sometimes supervises the junior attorneys and paralegals.
5. How much will it cost me?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay unless you win your lawsuit. Make sure you find out how your attorney expects to be paid before hiring them and what percentage they will take once a settlement is reached.
Finding The Right Lawyer For Your personal Injury Case
Hiring a personal injury lawyer should be utilized if you’ve been in an accident. Trying to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Use this list to help you make a wise choice.