Getting into an accident that isn’t your fault is stressful enough. You are likely just trying to recover and figure out what to do next and the idea of meeting with an attorney is just overwhelming. Being prepared for that meeting can help ease some of the anxiety that you may be feeling.
There are a few key things that you will need to have ready when you are meeting with your personal injury attorney for the first time. It is important that they have a full picture and all of the information. If they don’t, they can’t advise you correctly.
What to Bring
Knowing what to bring is half the battle. If the accident happened recently, it is likely that you will have most of these documents on hand or at least readily available.
If you have any doubts about a form and whether or not the attorney will need to see it, err on the side of caution and bring it. Being over-prepared is far better than being underprepared.
If you have gone to the doctor or hospital, and it is likely you have since this is an injury claim, do not throw any of the paperwork or records you have received away. These will be vitally important to your claim.
When a personal injury claim is made, your word is not good enough, you will need solid medical proof. This proof will also need to be very clear that the injury or condition was caused by the accident and nothing else.
Another important thing to have ready for your attorney is a typed personal statement written by you detailing the accident. This will be your point of view. Being able to clearly state what you believe happened in writing will save a lot of time later plus it will keep accusations of you changing your story away.
If you don’t remember part of what happened due to the injury then just write what you remember and state that you cannot recall the rest and why. Do not make something up.
You not ever leave home without some form of identification but it would be wise to bring your Driver’s License or ID card as well as your social security card to this meeting. Copies will also work just fine.
Police Reports/Accident Reports
If your injury was caused by an accident that required a police report or an official accident report, please bring those with you to this first meeting. These reports are very hard to dispute since they are typically unbiased and tell at the very least parts of both sides of the story.
You can make a copy of the report or ask the attorney’s office to make a copy of your originals so you maintain a complete record for yourself.
Health insurance information is helpful to have on hand as well. Make a copy of both sides of your insurance card if you have one to put with the paperwork you give the attorney. They may need to talk to someone at your insurance company about the case.