A consultation with a personal injury attorney is the initial meeting that takes place where you will have the opportunity to share the details about your case, receive legal advice, and ultimately make the decision on whether to hire that attorney to represent your case.
During your consultation, you’ll provide an attorney with an overview of what caused your personal injury and describe what impact it has had on you. This is also the time to provide supporting documents and answer questions to give that attorney the fullest picture possible. This is what allows an attorney to assess your case and move forward in the most appropriate way for your unique situation.
If you have just been in an accident or are looking for a personal injury attorney for an injury you’ve already suffered, please call or text (904) 251-1111 today for a free consultation with the experts at Harrell & Harrell, P.A.
Documents and Information to Provide
When preparing for a personal injury consultation, gather and bring any paperwork and documentation that you have. While it is helpful to bring all necessary documents to the initial consultation, we can always collect anything missing at a later time. Also, be ready to answer key questions, have your own questions ready to ask the attorney, and possibly sign some forms.
First, here are more specifics about the documentation to have for your attorney.
Details of the Accident
Your accident attorney will need to know the specifics of what happened and must have copies of existing documentation. This would include any police reports, photos taken of the scene, and other information that’s been gathered together. If you personally collected information from witnesses of the accident, provide that, as well. It’s important to share everything with your personal injury attorney, even if you’re worried that some details may be problematic.
Also provide your attorney with any relevant medical information, including diagnostic documents, details about treatments provided and projected, any hospitalization dates, medical bills to date, prescription medications, and more. Provide the names, addresses, and specializations of any medical professionals you’ve seen in response to the accident.
Bring this information, as well, including time missed from work because of the accident and injury, how much time has been unpaid, and so forth. Include information that details lost income to date.
Provide your accident attorney with any relevant health care insurance, including account numbers. If the accident involves a vehicle, also provide auto insurance information.
Questions to Answer
To get a good overview of your case, a personal injury attorney will ask you questions about your accident. This will help them to have a full understanding of your case. At times, it may feel emotionally challenging to relive the accident and answer these questions. If so, let your attorney know you need to stop and take a few deep breaths. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Questions can include:
- How you’re feeling now and what types and levels of pain you’re currently experiencing
- What advice you’re receiving from your medical team and what impact that’s having
- Where you work, how long you’ve worked there, and your specific job duties
- Whether you’ve consulted other personal injuries attorneys so far
No two situations are alike and no two personal injury lawyers will ask the exact same questions. Don’t stress about this consultation. Just prepare as best you can and an empathetic attorney will guide you through the process.
Write Down Your Own Questions
Besides preparing yourself to provide an accident attorney with information and answer their questions, it can help to write down questions you want to be answered during the consultation. These questions can be about the expected timeline of your case, what damages you may be able to claim, how your bills will be paid, and so forth.
It’s also reasonable to ask questions about the attorney’s experience in your type of claim, success rates, and so on. This information will help to provide context. Having said that, an attorney’s past successes do not indicate that the same results will be accomplished in your case. Instead, understanding them will help you ensure that your legal issues are in the hands of experienced professionals.
Discussing Accident Lawyer Fees and Signing Documents
Many personal injury law firms charge on a contingency basis. This means that they don’t get paid unless you do—meaning they would get paid if, and only if, you receive compensation for injuries sustained. This is how we operate at Harrell & Harrell, P.A.
No matter how a law firm charges its clients, having a discussion about money will be a good indicator of how well the attorney communicates key information. Once a fee and its structure are decided upon, it’s important to have everything put in writing.
If you’re comfortable with your attorney and feel like they will be a good fit for your case, this is when you sign the contract and a document that will allow your attorney to gather relevant information about your injuries. Known as a partial power of attorney, this document will permit your accident attorney to request your medical information and so forth. You’ll also sign a HIPAA release so your attorney has the right to these documents. This will save you time.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Harrell & Harrell, P.A.
Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve after an accident and injury. For example, one of our clients received a settlement of $9,400,000 after a car/motorcycle collision. Our client was an off-duty police officer who was riding his motorcycle when a woman made a sudden left-hand turn, cutting across his path. Her car crashed into his motorcycle, and our client suffered a burst T-12 fracture.
Diagnosed as an incomplete paraplegic, he underwent a four-level fusion surgery (T-10 to T-12) and needed three months of rehabilitation before he could walk with arm crutches.
This accident had taken place in a conservative rural community and the defendant was a fourth-generation of this small town. The defense offered a settlement under $1 million. But, when the case went to trial, the jury found the defendant 96 percent at fault—and our client was awarded a $9.4 million verdict that included $1.8 million in consortium damages to his spouse.
Each case and each settlement is unique. To discuss your options, please schedule your free consultation.