4 Things to Bring to your First Meeting with an Injury Lawyer
To make the most out of your time with a personal injury lawyer, you will want to be sure to bring a list of doctors, your prior medical history, insurance information, and photographs of the car. Bringing all of this information gives your lawyer the clearest picture of your case.
What Doctors Have You Seen?Your lawyer is going to need an accurate list of doctors that you've seen since the crash. If you have medical bills already, you should bring them with you. If you have any of the medical records, even better. That will give your lawyer a real head start on your case. But the lawyer needs an full list of your doctors so that he can start collecting your medical bills and records.
Your lawyer will also need to know what your injuries are. If you're not certain, it's probably best just to tell him that rather than to give misinformation. The lawyer is going to be embarrassed later in the case when he has to explain to the insurance company that your "herniated disc" that he told them about during the first phone call turned out to not be herniated after all.
What is your Prior Medical History?Your lawyer needs to know more about your case than the other side does and so you need to tell him early on if you have a prior history of any medical treatment to the same region of the body as was injured in this crash.
The lawyer also needs to know whether you have been in previous auto accidents where you were hurt. Insurance companies all share claims data on a database called ISO. Without accurate information, your lawyer will be at a disadvantage when negotiating your case with the insurance company.
Photos of the VehicleA picture tells a thousand words. More importantly, a picture gives the lawyer an accurate look at the extent of the damage to your vehicle. Many clients will come in and tell us that their car was "totalled," but leave out the fact that the car was only worth $750 to begin with and that it didn't take much to total it. Photographs let your lawyer see the real extent of the damage. This will be important because it lets the lawyer begin to evaluate and posture your case from the first day that he represents you.
Insurance CardsYou should bring all of the information for your own automobile insurance as well as your health insurance cards to be copied.
In Virginia, your health insurance is almost always the primary payor and the lawyer will want to send a copy of the health insurance card to all of your doctors to make sure that they have the information on file and are billing the health carrier.
Your auto insurance declarations page will be an important source of information as it tells the lawyer how much coverage you have. You may have valuable Medical Expense Payments Coverage that the lawyer can use to get you reimbursed for your out of pocket expenses and you likely have some underinsured motorist coverage which will come in handy if the person who hit you did not have adequate insurance to cover your injuries and medical costs.