I'm looking around to set up an appointment with a personal injury attorney, and would like to know what all I should bring with me to our first meeting?
The more information you bring, the better. With more information at an initial consultation, the attorney will better be able to understand and evaluate your situation. The most important information at an initial consultation typically is:
1. Any accident/police report (if you already have it)
2. Medical records (if you already have them)
3. Info about lost wages
4. Info or documents about medicare or medicaide, your medical insurance, and any unpaid medical bills.
5. Any pictures or videos of the accident, videos, scene, or your injuries.
6. Any written statements given by you or any other person.
If you do not already have the medical records and police report, it usually is not a problem. If you hire the attorney, medical records and police or accident reports are some of the first things the attorney will work on collecting after the meeting. However, the situation will be clearer for the attorney if he or she can take a look at these types of documents at the initial consultation.
I suggest you bring your automobile liability insurance policy with you if this is a car accident case. It would also be helpful to have a police report and any of your available medical records concerning your accident related injuries. You also should be prepared to discuss pre-existing medical conditions, prior accidents, your income for the past 5 years (bring copies of your tax returns if you have suffered lost earnings as a result of your injuries). Also bring any photographs of your damaged property as well as your injuries. If you don't have any of these materials, don't worry. It is better to establish a relationship with an attorney as soon as possible, rather than waiting to collect all of the possible information you can.
Generally I would advise:You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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