What Should I Bring With Me for My First Meeting With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You should bring as many of the following items as you can to your first meeting with a personal injury attorney (not all may apply to your case):
- A copy of the accident/police report.
- Photographs or video records of the accident scene.
- Repair estimates for your vehicle or other belongings.
- Statements from witnesses.
- Medical treatment records.
- A copy of your accident-related diagnosis.
- Insurance cards or contracts.
- Documentation of lost income.
Why having the right documents is crucial to your case
To win your personal injury lawsuit, you will need as much supporting documentation as possible. A lot of money is at stake, so you can count on the other side to do everything it can to dispute the details of your case. That’s why having hard evidence on your side is crucial to achieving a successful outcome.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the documents listed above:
- The accident/police report: Official statements from a person in authority, such as a law enforcement officer, manager, or business owner will go a long way to proving your side of the story. If the at-fault parties are reluctant to provide these documents, then ask your personal injury lawyer to give them a call.
- Photographs or videos of the accident scene: The closer to the time of the incident the better. Cell phone pictures are fine. Photos of your injuries or the damage to your car are especially helpful.
- Statements from witnesses: Including their contact information. Eyewitness testimony is often the most important factor in resolving a legal matter.
- Repair/replacement estimates for your vehicle: Or any of your other items that were damaged in the accident.
- Your insurance information: Including proof of your automobile and/or healthcare coverage. If you were involved in a car crash, then you should also bring a statement from the adjuster.
- Medical treatment records: Such as hospitalization forms, prescription medications, ambulance bills, and costs for mobility aids such as crutches or a wheelchair. Bring any records you have for over-the-counter (OTC) products you purchased to treat your injuries, such as pain relievers, sleep aids, or liniments.
- A copy of your formal diagnosis: Signed by your doctor and stating the exact nature of your accident-related medical problems. It should describe any ongoing problems you’ll face as a result of your injuries.
- Documentation of lost wages or salary: An accident can have devastating effects on your ability to earn a living. It’s a good idea to bring check stubs, tax returns, or income statements from the past several months or years before your injuries. This will help your personal injury attorneys to calculate how much income you have lost.
You should also bring along any other records or documents that you believe will bolster your case. As we said above, you can never have too much evidence.
Please understand that it may take a while to collect all of the materials mentioned in this post. If you’re unable to provide all of them at the time of your first consultation, then advise the legal staff of this fact ahead of time.
What to ask your personal injury lawyer
In addition to the items we’ve already mentioned, you should also bring a list of any questions you have for your law firm.
For example, you may want to know how long your attorney has been practicing law, the types of cases he or she has handled, and the amount of money the practice has recovered for its clients.
California’s state laws limit the amount of time you have in which to seek compensation. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. Choose a law firm with a track record you can trust: The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law have recovered more than $350 million for their clients. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you owe us no fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.