When you are involved in an accident that was not your fault, it can cause a lot of added stress in your life, not to mention the physical injuries can be detrimental for carrying on every day activities. It’s very common for accident victims to feel overwhelmed trying to get to and from doctor’s appointment, working, taking care of yourself and much more.
Finding the time to see an attorney might be another burden added onto your already growing list of things that you need to deal with. However, hiring an experienced Car Accident Attorney is crucial if you want to be compensated for your losses.
The best way to make sure your initial consultation with your attorney goes smoothly, and you’re able to get answers to all of your questions, it’s important to follow these tips on how to prepare for a consultation with a car accident lawyer.
Write Down Details of the Accident
In order to win any lawsuit, evidence is needed. As soon as possible after the accident it is important to write down all of the details that you can remember while it is fresh in your mind. Some important details to try and remember and document include:
- The date and time of the accident.
- The location of the accident.
- Weather conditions at the time the accident occurred.
- The condition of the roadway.
- What you were doing right before the accident.
- Where you were going/coming from when the accident occurred.
- How the accident took place.
It’s okay if you don’t remember every detail or if some of the details are fuzzy, but it is good to write down everything that you can. When you speak with your attorney about the case, they will want to know as many details as you can remember in order to help win your case. No detail is too small when it comes to a car accident case.
Get the Police Report
The police report is crucial because it will contain important details of the accident. For example, if there were witnesses to the accident those details along with the witnesses identities will be in the report. The responding officer may also have determined who was at-fault for the accident and described the fault in detail.
You should have received a copy of the claim number in order to obtain the police report after the accident, however, your attorney should also be able to obtain the report if for some reason you’re having trouble getting your hands on it.
If you took down names of any witnesses, provide that information to your attorney as well. They will be able to call and speak with anyone who saw the accident and find out if they are willing to provide a formal statement on your behalf.
Obtain Proof of Injury
When you are involved in a car accident and want to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation, it’s crucial to have documentation of your injuries. Before you meet with an attorney, you should have already been seen by a medical professional or gone to the Emergency Room after the accident.
It’s okay to go to your consultation without having the medical records in hand, but you should be able to tell your attorney:
- The name of the hospital or clinic that you have gone to.
- The name of your doctor, chiropractor, or physician.
- Your initial diagnosis and treatments.
- Whether or not x-rays were taken.
- The tests that were performed.
- How long you must receive treatment, or a general idea.
- Whether you were injured prior to the accident.
- Whether you suffered similar injuries in the past.
If you took pictures of your injuries after the accident you can present those to your attorney. If for some reason you have not been seen by a medical professional, you should see someone immediately.
It is always recommended that you seek the opinion of a doctor or chiropractor after being involved in a car accident. The sooner you receive treatment for your injuries the easier it will be for your attorney to obtain full compensation for your losses.
Prepare a List of Questions for your Attorney
During your initial consultation is your time to ask your attorney any questions that you may have regarding your case and the process of obtaining a settlement.
Some common questions that you may want to ask your attorney include:
- Have you handled similar cases in the past?
- Will you be available to answer questions throughout the lawsuit process?
- Have you ever gone to trial?
- What can I expect?
- Will you handle negotiations with the insurance company?
- Will you help me obtain medical records?
Of course there are many more questions one might have, and during your consultation is the time to ask anything and everything that is on your mind. Get the clarity that you need to feel comfortable that your case will be handled properly.