What to Bring to a Personal Injury Case Consultation

June 24, 2024 / RP Legal

The first step in filing a personal injury claim is to meet with your attorney for an initial consultation. This meeting will help you understand your legal options and the possible value of your case.

You, the potential client, can play an integral role in this consultation by bringing certain documents and information to give your lawyer. It’s perfectly fine and, in fact, likely that you won’t have everything you need at your first meeting, and your attorney can help you obtain other information.

Nonetheless, the team at Rikard & Protopapas has some suggestions for what to bring to a personal injury lawyer consultation. Our injury attorneys in Mt. Pleasant can set up a free consultation at your convenience.

What to Bring to Your Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney

     1. Personal and insurance information

Start with the basics such as your contact information, where you work, the best times of the day to reach you, and your photo identification.

You should also bring a copy of your liability insurance information if you were involved in an accident (and the at-fault driver’s insurance, if you have it). If you have health insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid, bring that information, too.

     2. Police accident report

If you have an accident report, which is generated by law enforcement in response to automobile wrecks, bring a copy of it. You may have something similar, known as an incident report if you were involved in another type of injury like a slip and fall. In the event you don’t have a copy of it, bring details like the identity of the police officer or the accident report number.

Your attorney can use this to obtain a copy of the police or incident report.

     3. Pictures and videos related to the accident

Every personal injury victim should take pictures and record video of the accident scene, whether it’s an automobile wreck or something else. These pictures and videos provide powerful evidence and may include images and recordings of the damaged vehicles and your injuries.

You should also bring pictures and videos that depict the aftermath of your injuries, like your use of crutches or participation in physical therapy. Anything showing the physical limitations caused by your injuries should be included.

     4. Medical records and information

You likely won’t have all of the medical records you need yet, especially because your treatments may be ongoing. That’s okay because your lawyer can obtain everything else later.

For now, take with you any records you do have. This is important so your attorney can know the facilities where you were treated. If all you have is the name of the doctor who treated you, then you can bring that. If you have made any payments regarding your medical treatment, including insurance co-pays, for example, bring receipts.

     5. Proof of lost work and decreased working ability

Document all the work you have had to miss because of your accident. Write down dates missed and include any vacation or sick days you’ve taken. List the name and contact information of your supervisor and bring any work-related correspondence or documents you have.

If your doctor has said anything about your ability to work, now or in the future, mention it to your attorney.

     6. Correspondence and communications

Insurance companies routinely contact accident victims to ask questions and even make settlement offers. It is strongly advised that you do not answer these communications, but instead forward any written correspondence to your attorney.

Make a note of the time and date of any phone calls you received and the names of adjusters or other representatives who called you.

Finally, if the at-fault party or parties have corresponded with you, do not respond to these communications. Give them to your lawyer.

     7. Witness contact information

Eyewitness accounts of accidents and injuries are invaluable pieces of evidence. Especially beneficial are neutral third parties who saw what happened, who can identify who caused the accident, and who can discuss the consequences it had on you.

Don’t neglect to tell your lawyer about family members and friends who may have observed your injuries and the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. Give your attorney the names and contact information of all of these individuals.

     8. Your account of the accident

Some victims overlook their recollections of how the wreck or other personal injury happened.

However, your testimony in court is a form of evidence. It can provide compelling proof of your physical, emotional, and mental injuries — including pain and suffering — stemming from the accident.

As soon as you can, write down all of the details you can remember. Be sure to include events leading up to and immediately after the accident, including anything the at-fault party told you.

Write “written for legal advice” on each page of your notes and give them to your attorney.

What to Expect in Your Case Consultation

Remember, your lawyer will help you get ahold of any other records you might need, including items that are hard to obtain. For now, expect your attorney to ask you questions concerning:

  • What are your injuries and how are you handling them?
  • What has your doctor recommended and are you following his or her advice?
  • How are you feeling? (e.g., what sort of pain are you in?)
  • Have you spoken to the at-fault party or his or her insurance company, and if so, what did you say?
  • Who are the witnesses you’ve spoken to and what did you say to them?
  • How, in detail, has your accident affected your daily activities?

Your lawyer will explain the process ahead of you and your legal options, such as settlement with the insurance company through mediation or taking the case to court if needed.

Although it probably won’t be possible at the initial consultation to determine the exact value of your case, your attorney can help you understand what it might be worth.

Call Rikard & Protopapas to Start Your Personal Injury Case

After an injury, your medical bills will start piling up, you will begin missing work, and you will likely experience pain and suffering. Don’t delay seeking the compensation you deserve from the negligent parties who caused your injuries.

To learn more about what to bring to an injury lawyer consultation and to schedule yours, reach out to Rikard & Protopapas. Use our online contact form or call us at 803-978-6111.

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