What to expect at your first consultation
Your first meeting with your personal injury attorney will set the tone for the rest of your relationship with your personal inury lawyer. Your attorney is going to want to hear exactly what happened to prompt you to contact him or her. The attorney will gather as much information from you as they possibly can, in order to help build a strong case. The length of your initial consultation will vary depending upon each case.
Below is an example of what you can expect during your first consultation with your personal injury lawyer:
- Your lawyer or the case manager may ask you to sign a form that authorizes the release of your medical records from and all healthcare providers you have seen since you’re reported injury.
- He or she will want to know about your insurance coverage, i.e. what sort of coverage you have, what your deductible is, etc.
- The lawyer will want to know if you have spoken to any insurance adjusters. If so, did you provide them with a written or recorded statement in regards to the accident.
- The lawyer will ask you what the extent of your injuries is, if it is not evident at the time of your consultation.
- If you have any lingering problems that have been the result of the injuries that you sustained, your lawyer may suggest that you seek treatment, if you are not already doing so. Your lawyer will advise this because the defendant’s lawyer may try to argue that you weren’t not seriously injured.
- If the personal injury attorney you meet with decides to take your case, they may have you sign an agreement for representation. Again, this will depend on the attorney – not all personal injury lawyers will do this.
- Your personal injury lawyer will ask you to not talk about your case with others and that if you have questions regarding your case, refer them back to your attorney.
- Your lawyer will give you an idea of how he or she will keep you updated on your case – some lawyers will provide you with periodic emails or what is called a report letter; others may call you periodically or when there is an important development in the case.
Most lawyers will not charge you for your first consultation. And choosing the right personal injury attorney for you is like searching for the correct doctor; choose an attorney who you believe will represent you to the best of their ability and will treat you with the respect you deserve.