A personal injury accident can throw your life off balance as you try to figure out your next move. Considering that you’re dealing with physical injuries and medical expenses on top of the heightened emotions that you might experience after an accident, it’s perfectly normal to have some anxiety about meeting with your lawyer for the first time.
Putting together a list of documents to bring to your first meeting can help you start preparing for the next phase of your recovery.
What to bring to your first lawyer consultation
The first consultation that you have with a personal injury lawyer typically involves going over the facts regarding your case. They’ll ask you questions about what happened, and it’s best to provide as much detail as possible.
The following documents will make it easier for your lawyer to provide you with a realistic evaluation of your case and can greatly expedite the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
A copy of the police report
If a law enforcement officer or other emergency responder came to the scene to provide aid after a motor vehicle accident, there should be a report of what happened. You can obtain this report by requesting it from the agency that responded.
Your attorney can use this report to find out more information, including whether or not there were witnesses that made statements. They can use this information to gather evidence as to who was at fault for the accident from a neutral party.
A copy of your medical records
The next item on your attorney consultation document checklist is copies of your medical records. Keep in mind that this can include a variety of different documents. If you visited an emergency room immediately after your accident, bring the doctor’s notes from that visit, as they can be crucial in proving that your injuries were a direct result of the accident.
In addition to documents regarding your diagnosis and treatment, you’ll also want to bring any medical bills or receipts for the care that you received.
Any correspondence you have with the other party
When you’re thinking about what to bring to a lawyer consultation, you might not think about emails, texts or other forms of contact that you may have had with the other party involved in the accident.
Although it’s usually recommended that you avoid personal contact without a lawyer present, you might still find the other person calling, emailing or texting you to try to settle the case. Your lawyer might be able to use this information to discover other details about what happened on the day of your accident.
Your insurance policy information
You might be working with the other party’s insurance company, and your personal policy might also be involved in providing some form of coverage. Bring any information that you have about any insurance companies that are working on your case.
Bringing a copy of your policy and any paperwork that was sent by the other party’s insurance company will make it easier for your attorney to start figuring out how the companies have begun handling any claims.
Any receipts related to your injury
Your medical bills may not be the only cost that you have to cover for your treatment. You might also have to pay for transportation to and from your medical appointments or medical supplies such as bandages and non-prescription pain medications.
Although these expenses may seem minor, they can quickly add up to a major cost when you have extensive injuries. Depending upon the amount and nature of your expenses, your attorney may use them when determining what constitutes an appropriate settlement.
Proof of lost income
Make sure to include your pay stubs on your personal injury checklist. If you’ve been unable to work, then your lost income may be included in your settlement.
This could also apply to your case if you’ve been forced to:
- Change to a lower-wage job because you’re unable to fulfill your former work duties
- Reduce your hours to part-time to be able to attend your appointments and treatments
In addition to your current and previous pay stubs, consider adding bonus reports and other forms of related income that might not be included in your weekly pay if they’re impacted by the changes in your work schedule or responsibilities.
Other recent legal documents
Few things are worse than being inundated with mail and other paperwork filled with legalese. Lawyers go to school for years to learn how to understand complicated legal terms and jargon. In an attempt to avoid being responsible for covering an accident, some insurance companies and legal teams send out letters that are designed to intimidate an accident survivor.
For example, you might receive a counterclaim by another party or a cease-and-desist order from another law firm. Since you never want to ignore a potential legal order, it’s important to fully understand what the paperwork says. Bring anything that looks like an official document to your lawyer so they can look it over and advise you accordingly.
When to consult an Alabama personal injury attorney
The days and weeks after a major accident often feel like a whirlwind of events, but meeting with an attorney can start to make you feel like you’re finally regaining control over your life. We know how difficult it is to focus on getting better when you’re dealing with pain and worried about the bills that are piling up. A personal injury attorney can start the process of gathering evidence and negotiating with insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery.
If you live in Birmingham and have suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Nomberg Law Firm. Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and third parties to get you the money you deserve. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.
About Nomberg Law Firm
Nomberg Law Firm has been helping people in Alabama recover fair compensation for their injuries since 1967. We know our clients are hard-working men and women who deserve the best representation possible. That’s why we’ve dedicated our entire practice to fighting for your rights after an injury.
The small size of our family-owned firm allows us to focus on our client’s needs and enables us to provide individualized assistance and personal attention that larger firms simply can’t match.