If you are looking for a personal injury attorney, you may have noticed that many firms offer a free consultation. A free consultation is a great opportunity for you to ask questions, learn more about the attorney and the law firm, and talk with an attorney about your legal rights and options. Before you contact a law firm or go to your initial consultation, there are a few things you should know that can help make sure your meeting is as productive as possible.
Facts and Timeline of Events
Prior to your free consultation, take some time to write down the main facts and timelines related to your case. This includes things like what happened, who was involved, the date it happened, any charges or investigations, and what happened in the days after the incident. An attorney will likely ask you many of these questions, so having this information pulled together ahead of time will help make the consultation go more smoothly.
If you were injured in the incident, the attorney will likely ask you questions related to your injuries. Some of the questions may include:
- How did the injuries happen?
- When did you first notice each injury?
- When did you first seek medical treatment for your injuries?
- What medical treatment have you had so far for your injuries?
- Are you still receiving medical treatment?
- Has a medical doctor given you a diagnosis? If so, what was the diagnosis?
- How much are your estimated medical bills to-date?
- Have you had any similar or other injuries in the past?
- Are you covered by a health insurance policy? If so, is it provided by your employer?
- Have you communicated with any insurance company about your incident and injuries?
- If you were injured in an auto accident, did you have a policy of auto insurance at the time of your injury?
- Were there any witnesses to the incident that caused your injuries?
Having this information already gathered will help the attorney be better able to assess your situation and provide you with advice tailored to the specifics of your case.
During your initial consultation, the attorney may ask you about several documents. Documents that would be particularly helpful to have on hand during the consultation may include:
- Accident Report or Incident Report – This report is usually prepared by the agency (police, highway patrol, sheriff’s office, etc. that responded to the incident). Sometimes the report is not available until a week or more after the incident; however, if you do have it at the time of your consultation, plan to bring it with you so the attorney can review it.
- Photos – If you have photos related to the incident, bringing those with you to the consultation can help give the attorney a better idea of what happened. Photos may include photos of the scene, your injuries, or the people and vehicles involved.
- Medical Records – If you have received medical treatment for injuries sustained as a result of the incident, you may have been given some medical records from your doctor at the time of your visit, such as a discharge summary, a visit summary, or an invoice. If you have any of these items, plan to bring them with you to the initial consultation.
- Dec Page – The dec page, or declarations page, is the page of your insurance policy that summarizes your insurance coverage. For example, with an automobile insurance policy, the declarations page will usually say the dates that the policy was in effect, how much insurance coverage you had, and who is covered by your insurance policy. Most attorneys will ask you about insurance during your initial consultation. If you are able to bring your dec page with you, even better! Your insurance agent should be able to provide you with a copy of your dec page, or you may be able to find this information in your online account.
- Other – Other documents that might be helpful to have on hand during your consultation include health insurance cards, your driver’s license or some other form of valid ID, and any other documents you can think of that may be relevant to your case.
Fees and Procedures
The initial consultation gives the attorney a chance to learn more about you and your case, but it is also a chance for you to learn more about the attorney and his or her law firm. You will likely want to ask questions about the firm’s fees and procedures such as:
- Which attorney will be assigned to my case?
- What is the best way to reach you if I have questions?
- How often do you provide case updates to clients?
- How much are your attorney fees?
- Will there be any other costs in addition to the attorney fees?
- Have you handled cases like this before?
At Burton Law Firm, we offer free consultations to potential personal injury clients. We want to make sure you have a chance to get to know us, ask questions, and learn more about your rights and options. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call today at (833) 623-0042.