It’s Monday morning and you’re flying down I-35 headed to an early meeting at the office when the Mercedes in front of you slams on the brakes. Fortunately you are able to stop before crashing into their back bumper, but the car behind you hadn’t left enough room between your car and theirs resulting in a serious collision.
With major back and neck injuries, you are now left dealing with pain, out-of-pocket expenses, tremendous stress, and the possibility of lost wages as you receive medical treatment. Hiring a Texas personal injury attorney is a great first step in getting your life back on track; a skilled personal injury attorney can help you recover for your losses so that you can move forward with your life.
But even after you have chosen an attorney, you may be worried about what you need to do going forward. It's possible you've never met with an attorney before and may feel unsure about your legal rights and options.
How do you prepare for an initial consultation with an attorney to discuss your personal injury case?
Brad Parker says that one of the most important things he needs to accomplish during the initial consultation is what happened from the client’s point of view. “I need to understand the full extent of the client’s injuries and how they’ve been treated as well as what future medical care they will need. We convey to them the overall process that occurs to complete their claim. They need to know it doesn’t happen overnight. We explain how the insurance companies work and the events that will happen leading up to the final demand.”
It is critical to be forthright with your attorney during the initial consultation.
Leaving out facts such as preexisting injuries could affect the outcome of your case. “Clients will often forget to mention that they’ve been seeing a chiropractor, for instance, several months before having the accident. They will also sometimes not have their facts straight. They think they had a green light, but actually they had a yellow light,” Parker says.
Because it could take weeks or months to gather all the information necessary for your case, Parker says that clients shouldn’t wait to take legal action. “The time limit to file is two years after the date of the accident. You never want to wait to start pursuing your claim because memories will fade over time,” he says.
First-Meeting with Attorney Checklist
- Name and address of emergency room where you were initially taken
- Dates you were admitted to the emergency room and hospital
- Names and business address of all doctors who have examined you
- Names of all people involved in the accident
- Names and contact information of witnesses to the accident
- Dates you missed work because of the accident
- Name and telephone number of each insurance adjustor you have talked to
- List of people you have talked to about the accident or your injuries
- Copies of any written statements
- Accident report
- Your auto insurance policy if you were injured in a car accident
- Your homeowner’s or renter’s policy
- Medical or disability insurance policy or coverage certificate
- Other policies, including major medical, hospitalization, veterans insurance
- All correspondence you have received from any insurer about the accident or your injuries
- Medical bills
- Receipt or things you have had to fix because of the accident
- Receipts for things you’ve had to buy because of your injury
Questions To Ask a Personal Injury Attorney at the Initial Consultation:
- What areas of law do you specialize in?
- Have you handled injury cases like mine before? If so, how many?
- How many personal injury cases have you taken to trial? What were the results?
- How long does it typically take to resolve an injury case like mine?
- What is your honest opinion and assessment of my case?
- How often will you communicate with me about my case? Will I be able to speak directly with you if I need you?
- How many cases are you currently handling? Do you have time to handle my case?
- If I am not satisfied with the insurance company’s offer to settle my case, will you be the actual attorney filing a lawsuit on my behalf and taking the case to trial?
- Can I get references from some of your past clients?
- Have you ever been suspended from the practice of law? If so, why?
If you live in one of these , Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Arlington, Grapevine, Richland Hills, and would like to speak with someone from our office call today at 817.440.3888.