Before you meet with any personal injury lawyer following a car collision, you want to make sure you are prepared. The more information you are able to provide the attorney, the more likely they will be able to give you an accurate consultation. In your initial consultation, your personal injury attorney will examine all of the facts about your accident and help you determine if you have a case. Through this process the law firm should help you decide if your post-accident situation would benefit from their legal representation.
What should you consider before meeting with a personal injury lawyer
Before the initial consultation, it is important to go over the details of the car crash in your mind. It helps to refresh your memory and look over any notes you have taken and even the police report. You should be able to tell a chronological story of the event from beginning to end in your initial meeting. If you filed a police report, it might help you to look over the facts that were detailed in the report. Reporting laws will vary from state to state.
In Idaho, the driver of a vehicle that was involved in an auto accident must report the crash to the authorities under certain circumstances. If the accident caused bodily injury or death to any one person, or resulted in property damage over $1,500 an official report must be made. Idaho statues 49-1305
In Washington, any driver, pedestrian, cyclist or property owner that has been involved in an automobile accident must complete a motor vehicle collision report within a reasonable time after the accident occurred. You are required to fill out the report if anyone suffered an injury or created property damage in excess of $500. Washington State Attorney General
In both Idaho and Washington, you should not have to submit your own report if a law enforcement officer fills one out at the scene of the accident. In either case, each driver should fill out their own report that tells what happened, from their own perspective. If you haven’t already completed this, it will be very helpful to your legal counsel to provide a detailed analysis of all of the events leading up to the accident.
What should I bring to the initial meeting with a personal injury attorney?
Before you arrive at your initial consultation at a law firm, we suggest you gather the following information, if at all possible. The more information you provide in the early stages of your case can help get the whole ordeal out of the way sooner, so you can stop dealing with the insurance companies and get on with your life.
The original police report from the accident.
This will be one of the most important documents you can provide to your attorney, as it offers an impartial government official account of the details and circumstances that caused the accident.
Your individual account of the circumstances leading up to the auto accident.
Your personal account of the details of the wreck will help the law firm determine if you have the right to a legal claim. This, along with other information you provide can go great lengths in moving your case forward. You should try to include as many details as possible. If you have not done this yet, we suggest doing as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your memory.
Photos from your cell phone or camera that show the vehicles and people involved in the accident.
Images from the accident are an excellent tool to help you and your personal injury attorney prove your case in a court of law. They can also help your lawyer evaluate your claim and have a better understanding of the nature of your accident. Try to include photos from all possible angles, showing the circumstances as much as necessary.
List of all medical expenses arising from the auto accident.
Any medical bills, prescriptions, receipts or other records you have received in your treatment for injury should be brought with you. A list of all medical providers you’ve had to see as a result of the accident will help your attorney solidify your claim. A list of all diagnosed injuries such as bruises, cuts, back pain, whiplash, or any other type of injury is needed to fully assess the value of your claim. If you are still undergoing treatment, include any health care facilities you may even plan on going to, even if you haven’t needed their care yet.
A list of all contacts, including potential witnesses, other people involved in the accident and any insurance adjustors you’ve spoken to.
Hopefully you gathered some information from the other party involved in the accident and some eyewitnesses who might be willing to testify on your behalf. Names, telephone numbers, email addresses and insurance policy numbers are all valuable information that will help your automobile accident lawyer in pursuing your claim.
Any and all documents: (letters, forms, emails or other correspondence) you’ve received from both the at-fault insurance company and even from your own auto insurance provider.
Any correspondence you receive from either insurance company will be pertinent information to your personal injury lawyer. Having your automobile insurance cards is helpful, as well as any personal health insurance cards you may have. This information will help guide your attorney through any coverage gaps that may affect your medical treatment regimen. If you have already incurred costs like hospital bills or other types of medical expenses, your personal injury attorney will work hard to get you reimbursed for your out-of-pocket costs.
A list of your own questions for your accident lawyer.
This is a good time to get the information you need to have peace of mind as you proceed with your claim. We want to make sure you completely understand the circumstances and potential outcomes regarding your case. Ask about anything you may be unsure about. This is a great opportunity for you to have your questions answered. You want to make sure you understand the ins and outs of your case before you make the important decision to hire professional legal counsel.
Should I bring money to my initial consultation with an auto accident lawyer?
At Caldwell Law Group we offer a free initial consultation. There is no need to bring payment to your first meeting with one of our expert personal injury attorneys in Idaho, or Washington State.
If you have been involved in an accident and you feel the insurance company is not treating you fairly, they probably aren’t. We’ve worked with thousands of clients in Washington and Idaho to get fair settlements for their traffic accidents.
Please call us today at: (855) 529-1946 or simply fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.
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