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What to Bring to a Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident, whether a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, crash with the big truck or another personal injury incident, consider a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. The first step entails researching about personal injury lawyers near you. After narrowing down your list, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to learn about the legal process, your personal injury lawsuit, and get answers to other questions.

When you speak with to an accident lawyer in the initial consultation phase, they will want to hear exactly how the accident that caused your injuries happened. If you have lost a family member, you might not know details about the accident. In that case, the personal injury attorney will want to know what you know about the crash.

Different personal injury law firms have varying procedures for initial consultations. The length of the consultation varies based on depending on the specific personal injury lawyer or personal injury law firm. Typically, the more severe the injury or property damages are, the longer the initial consultation will take. For some cases, like a car accident, the interview may be as brief as 30 minutes. For more complex personal injury cases, the initial consultation could take longer.

At the Marks Law Group, we always conduct an initial consultation on phone and schedule an in-person interview if the injury case is one, we feel we can help you win. Our skilled Decatur personal injury lawyers have extensive experience and have helped personal injury victims across Georgia get the maximum compensation they deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we win your case. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our Decatur personal injury firm today at (404) 939-1485

What Should I Bring to a Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you’re meeting your personal injury attorney for the first time, and you’ve never had a meeting with an attorney for anything before, you might be scared. You most likely don’t know what you need to bring with you, but you must come prepared. Hopefully, this article will make that less stressful for you. Here’s a list of what to bring when you meet your personal injury attorney:

  • An accident report. One of the first and most crucial piece of evidence you should have for your personal injury lawsuit consultation is the accident report. With an automobile accident, an official traffic accident report will be filled out by a law enforcement officer. The police report will describe the actual scene of the accident, how the crash occurred, names of the drivers involved, issuing of citations, and insurance company information from both parties.  This report can help in determining who is at fault. In other personal injury cases, such as medical negligence, or premises liability, a facility administrator or business owner completes an accident report. Many business owners will refuse to give out a copy of the accident report. If this happens, consult with an experienced accident attorney. Often, a copy of the report will be given to a victim only after a claim is filed.
  • Notes concerning the accident. Immediately after an accident, or as soon as your injuries have been treated, record what you remember about the incident. Time can blur the exact details of the accident, which may affect the outcome of your personal injury case. By recording everything you remember about what occurred, your lawyer may find valuable information in proving your accident claim. It's advisable for every driver to keep a pen and paper in the glove compartment of their motor vehicle in case of an automobile accident. When taking notes, write a detailed account of the event that answers questions, such as:
  • What led up to the motor vehicle crash?
  • How were the weather conditions and road conditions?
  • What did you say at the accident scene? With whom and what was said?
  • What is the extent of injuries and when did the symptoms appear?
  • Are you experiencing ongoing pain & suffering?
consultation with a personal injury lawyer

Even after the actual accident, continue writing notes about any health conditions that occur and conversations with medical professions. All these unimportant details are crucial information for your accident attorney.

  • Photos. Photographs can play a crucial role in determining the extent of injuries and property damage. In a motor vehicle accident case, for instance, take photos of your vehicle, the other vehicles involved, the road conditions, their license plates, weather conditions, and the extent of your injuries. Some injuries, such as swelling and bruising, may heal quickly, while others may manifest a couple of days later. Take photographs of all visible injuries so that your lawyer can accurately asses the cost of treatment, even after your bodily injuries have healed. If you don't have a camera built into your phone, then it's advisable to have a cheap disposable camera in your vehicle just in case. Or you can ask witnesses to take photos and record their contact information.
  • Declarations page of car insurance policy. For injured people, showing your automobile insurance policy to an attorney consultation is crucial in determining the type of coverage you have and what financial damages you're entitled to. The Declarations Page is a documentation that you receive from your auto insurance company every 6 months, and it has details of about your auto insurance policy, including if you qualify for collision coverage, med pay coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Health insurance card. At the initial consultation phase, your lawyer will also need to know if you have health insurance to cover the medical expenses arising from your physical injuries, and if so, the details of your health insurance policy. Even for auto crash claims, health insurance can help you save you thousands of dollars by covering med pay, but some health insurance policies contain stipulations. Your lawyer will need your insurer's information to determine exactly what your insurance policy covers.
  • Medical records and medical bills. Keep all discharge records, prescription receipts, medical expenses, and other medical records and financial records relating to the accident. Your lawyer will use these financial records to calculate the amount of financial compensation you may qualify for and to determine the future cost of medical care.
  • Pay Stubs. Finally, if the incident that will cause you to miss work or caused you to miss work, your lawyer will need your pay stub to verify your lost wages. Your pay stub also contains the contact information of the organization in charge of your payroll.

FAQ: Why Should I Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident?

What Should I Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Before choosing a lawyer for your initial consultation phase, you must do some research to find the right attorney for your specific situation. Further, before you schedule an initial consultation, you must find out a little about the potential lawyers you're considering. 

Not every lawyer is a perfect match for every accident case. Some cases, such as a motor vehicle crashes resulting in a whiplash injury or minor injury probably don't require an attorney to have decades of experience to handle them appropriately—the more experienced an automobile injury attorney is the more likely that he or she will focus on cases with catastrophic injuries and damages. You will want to consider the lawyer’s experience and expertise with the specific type of claim you're inquiring about.

Know The Law: Georgia Statute of Limitations

When you first speak with a lawyer, your first impression is often the best. While most personal injury cases settle before trial, if your case doesn't settle early, your interaction with the attorney will be relatively lengthy. The more comfortable you're talking with the accident lawyer, the better. If you feel the lawyer is too busy, they most probably are. Can you speak directly with the attorney, or do paralegals conduct your interview? Does the lawyer seem reputable? Answering these attorney questions can tell you if the lawyer is the one for you.

Is it Necessary to Hire a Decatur Personal Injury Attorney?

Georgia law doesn't require an injured person to hire an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are many reasons to work with an experienced lawyer when navigating the litigation process.

Often, following an accident, you will file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company. This requires you to prove that another person or party was liable for the incident that caused your injury or property damage. Also, the personal injury litigation process involves negotiating with the involved insurance provider for a fair compensation. Insurance companies aren't on your side. As businesses, the primary goal of any insurance provider is to make profit. Insurance adjusters will often use many tactics to devalue, dispute, or even deny your insurance claim altogether. A skilled lawyer knows how insurance adjusters operate and they'll fight back against these tactics and advocate for the fair settlement to which you deserve. 

car crash in Georgia

Sometimes, the insurance provide may refuse to acknowledge fault or offer a favorable settlement. In these cases, your lawyer can begin litigation and take your case to trial. This is appropriate when you have sustained a catastrophic injury requiring extensive medical care and ongoing future medical treatment and in any other instance when the insurance provider refuses to offer a fair settlement to cover the cost of your damages.

Marks Law Group Offers Free Consultations

We offer free phone consultations on any injury case that occurs in Georgia. If we believe we can help you, and this is a case that we may win, we'll do an in-person consultation at your convenience. The Marks Law Group limits the number of new injury cases that we take so that we can offer the best possible legal representation of injury victims. We'll work with accident reconstruction experts to help you recover fair settlement to cover the full cost of injuries. To schedule a no-cost consultation, contact our experienced Decatur accident lawyers today at (404) 939-1485

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