How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation
The Initial Meeting with a Personal Injury Lawyer
During the initial interview
Our attorneys will want to hear about what happened to you and collect a variety of information from you. The length of the initial interview can vary. It depends on how complex your personal injury case is including the extent of your injuries.
As you tell us about your accident, we may ask questions about it. Usually, we will wait until you have told us everything before asking questions. Some of the questions may be difficult to hear, let alone answer. Always be honest and tell us everything. We need to know the answers to help you find the best solution for your case. We will collect a variety of information from you that relates to the accident, your medical treatment, who else was involved in the accident, potential witnesses and the like. You can expect the following things to occur:
- We may ask you to sign releases and medical record authorizations so we can obtain your medical records, medical bills, and employment records.
- We will want to know about all your insurance coverage. It is helpful to bring your insurance cards and any copies of your policy with you for us to review.
- We will ask if you have talked to any insurance adjustors and if so, what you have said and whether you provided a recorded or written statement about the accident.
- If you have any medical records pertaining to the initial accident or the treatment relating to your injuries, we would like to review those records during this meeting.
- If you have any photographs pertaining to the initial accident, including damage to you or any objects, such as your vehicle, please provide those to us for review
- We will ask you if anyone else has interviewed you about the accident or your injuries, and if so, whom you talked to and what you said.
- We may ask you about the current status of your injuries, whether you are in pain, and what physicians have told you regarding your prognosis and any potential future treatment.
- We may tell you that your case will be considered and that you will hear later if we will take your case. Many times we “roundtable” your potential case with all of the attorneys in our office and our in-house nurse prior to accepting the case.
- We may decline to take your case. We may do this for many reasons, such as our current case load, knowledge of our capabilities, or for economic reasons. You should always seek a second opinion from another lawyer if we decline your case.
- We may refer you to another attorney. This happens when we cannot take your case or we think the other lawyer is better suited for your type of case.
- We may ask you to sign a retainer agreement or employment contract. Read the contract carefully and ask questions before you sign it. You may take the contract home to study it before you sign. Please note, we cannot start to work on your case until we have a signed contract that we represent you.
- We will give you a general overview of what the next steps are. There may be a factual investigation before a lawsuit is filed. We should be able to give you a rough estimate of how long it will take to litigate the case.
- We will tell you not to talk about the case with others, and that you should refer questions back to our firm. This is very important.
- We will give you an idea of how we intend to keep you informed of progress on your case.