You should bring any documents pertaining to your injury and the circumstances involved in sustaining that injury to your first meeting with a lawyer. As to the injury itself, this would include copies of any medical documents you may have obtained and photographs of the injury should be brought to the initial meeting.
As for the circumstances of the accident, any police or incident report, insurance company correspondence, vehicle repair estimates, towing receipts, as well as photographs of the vehicles and scene will be useful for any potential Suffolk County personal injury lawyer. Be sure to bring any wage loss information as well.
What is the first meeting with a lawyer called?
Your first meeting with a lawyer is usually referred to as a consultation. Many attorneys offer a free initial personal injury consultation with potential clients to evaluate their case and see if the professional relationship is a good fit.
What to bring to your first meeting
Here’s everything to know before meeting with your personal injury attorney for the first time.
The initial consultation is a case review, so the more information you can bring to the meeting, the better sense the lawyer gets of your situation and the more insightful their advice. Some of the important documents to bring when meeting with a personal injury attorney include the following.
Your post-accident medical records
Although your lawyer will request all of your records directly to the hospital or doctors, if you have received any of these records or medical billing yourself, be sure to bring them to the initial consultation.
Any police report that was filed
For example, if you called 911 after a car wreck, the responding law enforcement officer would have filed an official police report. This contains details about the accident to help your attorney further investigate the case.
An incident report if you were injured at work or at a business
If you slipped and fell at a grocery store or a hotel, the property owner or manager will likely have drafted an incident report to submit to their insurance company. You should ask for a copy of that report, or take a picture of it with your phone. Your lawyer can use this in much the same manner as the police report.
A pain journal
If you aren’t keeping a log of your daily pain levels and how your injuries impact your life, you should start. You’re entitled to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you feel and for your diminished quality of life. Your attorney can better understand the value of your pain and suffering losses through your account of how the accident changed your life.
Estimates for property damage
This may be an estimate from the body shop for your car or the cost of replacing other personal property damaged in the accident, like a cell phone, watch, or jewelry.
Names of witnesses
Jot down the names of anyone you know who was present at the time and contact information if you have it. If you don’t know the names, offer a description of each one, like employees who may have been present if you were injured in a premises liability case.
What to bring to following meetings
In your subsequent meeting with a lawyer, bring any additional documentation they asked for in the initial consultation. This could be medical records from follow-up appointments, or pay stubs, or a letter from your employer stating the time you missed at work. Make sure to take notes during each lawyer meeting so you remember what to do, say, and bring to appointments.
The other party may have contacted you, so bring any letters, emails, or screenshots of text messages. Trust your lawyer to handle all communications with the other party on your behalf.
Hurt in an incident that wasn’t your fault? A Suffolk County personal injury lawyer can help.
Do you need help after being hurt in a car wreck, slipping and falling, or another personal injury accident? Contact Carner & DeVita today to learn how a personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.