If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Georgia that was not your fault, you can seek financial compensation from the responsible party. While it is entirely possible to settle a car accident or slip and fall claim without an attorney, you may be able to recover far more compensation with an experienced personal injury lawyer representing you.
At The Graham Firm, we understand how much your future depends on the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit. If we represent you, we will aggressively advocate for your legal rights and work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Many people who call us to schedule a consultation often ask us how to prepare to meet with a personal injury lawyer. You can make the most of your time with your attorney by being prepared. Below are 7 ways to prepare to meet with a personal injury lawyer.
1. Gather All Medical Records and Important Documents Related To The Accident
One of the best ways that you can prepare for your meeting with your lawyer is to get documents together ahead of time. You should bring (or send) your lawyer the police report from your accident, photos, and videos of the accident scene, and any insurance correspondence or policy documents.
If you have to pay for any medical care as a result of your injury, you should keep a record of it, and also provide this to your personal injury lawyer. Whether you pay for something out of pocket or are later billed, it is a good idea to keep a notebook or journal to document your daily care and activities such as dates of:
- Hospital stays
- Emergency room/urgent care visits
- Imaging or diagnostic tests like X-Rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
- Specialist consultations
- Physical therapy appointments
- Other medical care.
Your medical care record is an important part of the evidence of your personal injury claim and documents the care you needed. You should keep track of any expenses related to your injury such as:
- Travel for doctor's appointments (date and miles traveled in your personal vehicle or receipts for bus fare, Uber/Lyft, etc.)
- Pharmacy receipts/medication costs
- Doctor/hospital copays
- Any bills you receive in the mail.
2. Make A List Of Any Questions You Have
If you want to make the most of your meeting with your personal injury lawyer, it is a good idea to come prepared with questions. It may also be helpful to bring a notebook or take notes during the meeting so that you can remember what is discussed. Some common questions that clients ask us during their first consultation after an auto accident include:
- If I hire you, who will handle my case?
- How have cases similar to mine turned out?
- Can I be reimbursed for time away from work as a result of my accident?
- How much is my personal injury case worth?
- Do I really need a personal injury lawyer or can I settle the case myself?
- Is it likely my case will go to trial?
- How does the contingency fee agreement work?
- What is Georgia’s Statute of Limitations and does it affect my case?
For many people injured in an accident, filing a lawsuit is unfamiliar territory. If your personal injury lawyer is the first attorney you've ever hired, you are not alone. At The Graham Firm, we guide our clients through the claims process, from initial consultation to settlement, or a court trial, if necessary. In your initial consultation, we will answer all of your questions.
3. Know Your Goals For The Meeting. What Are You Hoping To Accomplish?
When you schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, it is important to know your goals for the meeting. What are you hoping to accomplish? Are you looking for guidance on whether or not you have a case? Are you ready to hire an attorney and looking for representation?
It is okay if you do not have any real goals for your initial meeting with your lawyer, but if you have expectations for your case, definitely bring them up to the attorney in your meeting. Knowing your goals ahead of time will help you get the most out of your initial consultation.
4. Research The Law Firm and Attorney You Will Be Meeting With
Before you meet with a personal injury lawyer, it is important to do your research. Not all law firms and lawyers are created equal. You want to make sure you are meeting with an experienced attorney who has a proven track record of success.
One way to learn more about a personal injury attorney is to check out their website. At The Graham Firm, we have an extensive website that includes information about our attorneys, practice areas, and recent case results. You can also read client testimonials and reviews to get an idea of what it is like to work with our firm. Your research may prompt additional questions to ask in your initial consultation.
5. Be Prepared To Discuss Your Accident
When you meet with your personal injury lawyer, be prepared to discuss your accident in detail. Your attorney will likely ask you questions about how the accident happened, what injuries you sustained, and what medical treatment you have received. This information is necessary in order to determine how they can help you. Personal injury lawyers understand that accidents are traumatic events and talking about them can be extremely difficult.
You should also be prepared to discuss your work situation and income. If your injuries have caused you to miss work or earn less money, this will be important information for your attorney to know.
6. Follow Your Attorney's Advice And Take Action On It
Your lawyer may advise that you take specific action (like seeing a specialist) - or specifically NOT take action (like discussing your case with the driver’s insurance claims adjuster).
Your attorney’s advice will be aimed at protecting the value of your claim and obtaining the best possible outcome. If you have questions or concerns about what you should do, be sure to discuss them with your attorney. But in general, it is a good idea to follow your lawyer’s advice.
7. Remain Patient Throughout The Legal Process
One of the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer is they can begin working on your case while you are still healing. However, the civil litigation process can take some time, and other parties like insurance companies and defense counsel take time to respond to requests for information and correspondence regarding negotiation. In your initial consultation, your lawyer can explain the likely timeline of your case based on known and unknown factors. You can keep the case moving along on your end by coming to your initial meeting prepared and responding promptly to communications from your lawyer.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, meeting with a personal injury attorney is an important step in protecting your legal rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve. By following these seven tips, you can make sure you are prepared for your initial consultation and get the most out of meeting with your lawyer. If you’d like to speak with a lawyer at The Graham Firm about your potential case, call us today to schedule a free case review.