Experiencing an injury is never a pleasant experience. If you’re lucky, you’ll escape the situation with just some minor bumps or bruises. But in many cases, you’ll experience significant injuries, one that requires you to visit a doctor or even miss time from work. When these types of injuries occur, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer, specifically if the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence.
Meeting with a personal injury attorney is a great way to determine if you have a chance of receiving financial compensation for your injury. To make the most of this first meeting with a potential personal injury attorney, there are some things you can do to prepare beforehand. Below, we’ll walk you through a few steps you can follow to prepare to meet a personal injury lawyer.
Schedule an Appointment
The first thing you’ll want to do is schedule an appointment with a local personal injury lawyer. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is often the best way to ensure a positive outcome after you’ve been injured. According to The Chopin Law Firm, a group of personal injury attorneys in New Orleans, “a good personal injury attorney can help you investigate the accident, collect evidence, submit an accurate claim on time, and negotiate a fair settlement.” Take some time to research personal injury attorneys in your area, then call one to schedule an appointment.
Gather Important Documents
Once you have an appointment with a personal injury attorney, you’ll then want to start collecting some things for your meeting. The first place to start is with important documents. Your personal injury attorney will want any documentation you have related to your accident. Some examples of documentation you’ll want to collect include medical bills, documents explaining any diagnoses or treatments, information about any hospitals or ambulance services you used, insurance information, and any documentation related to lost work or income as a result of the injury. The personal injury attorney may also want any copies of official reports, such as police reports.
Spend some time gathering all these documents and printing out copies as necessary. Don’t worry if you can’t find everything, as your personal injury attorney can also help you collect some of this information. However, the more documentation you can bring to your meeting, the better your personal injury attorney can determine if you have a case.
Collect Any Pictures or Videos
In addition to important documents, it can also be helpful to bring along any pictures or videos you have of the accident or your injuries. For example, if you were injured on a business’s premises, you may want to take some pictures of where the accident occurred. You may also have footage from your own camera, a dashboard camera in your vehicle, or from someone nearby who recorded the incident. You can bring these pictures or videos to your meeting either by storing them on your phone, printing them out, or storing them on a portable USB flash drive.
Be Prepared to Answer Some Questions
Once you have all the documents and pictures you can find, you’ll then want to prepare for the questions you’ll likely get from the personal injury lawyer. The attorney will ask you some basic questions to determine whether or not you have a good case. However, it can sometimes be hard to answer these questions, especially after a traumatic experience, making it a good idea to prepare beforehand to give yourself more confidence.
Your personal injury lawyer will likely ask you questions about your injuries, any medical visits, the events leading up to the accident, and details about the accident itself. Do your best to provide as much information as you can, as the more details you can provide the better your personal injury lawyer can assist you.
Have Your Own Questions Ready
Finally, you should prepare some of your own questions before you go in to meet with a personal injury attorney. Just as this attorney is trying to determine if you have a case, you should also be trying to determine if this is the right lawyer for you. Come up with a list of questions that will help you learn more about this specific lawyer’s experience and expertise. Ask them about their previous cases, their fees, timelines, and the resources they have available to assist you.
If you don’t feel confident in the lawyer’s abilities by the end of the meeting, it’s okay to search for a better option. At the end of the day, you need someone you feel comfortable with and who you believe will get you the best possible outcome.