Meeting with a lawyer for the first time can be an intimidating experience because you may not know what to expect. However, you can prepare beforehand by gathering documents that are relevant to the incident or injury for which you are seeking legal representation.
In the legal world, “documents” are more than just paperwork. Documents include visual and audio recordings, electronic communications such as email or text messages, diagrams, and any other sort of “documentation” that could be related to the incident or injury. Arriving with documents that support your case will facilitate a productive and less stressful first encounter with a lawyer such as the Auto Accident Lawyer Orange County locals have been trusting for years.
It can be helpful to bring your medical and car insurance information to your first meeting with a lawyer. Your lawyer will request this information sooner or later, so by providing insurance information early on you will only be making things easier for yourself and the attorney.
Medical Records and/or Bills
Requesting your medical and/or bills in advance is a huge help to your lawyer. As the patient, you have the easiest ability to get these records yourself. Any sort of medical bills or records that are part of treatment for injuries sustained due to the incident or injury, including images from X-rays, MRI’s and CT scans, should be brought your first meeting with a lawyer.
You may not already be in possession of medical records as these are only released by the respective medical facility upon request. Most hospitals only charge a minimal fee for you to request your own medical records and it can be easily done by giving your medical provider’s office a call.
The police report is often a vital document which will help your lawyer assess your case. Police reports will often list who the driver at fault was in a car collision, and this can determine a case’s strength. Skilled lawyers will be able to use the police report to determine fault and strength of your case.
Police reports may also be easily obtained by either visiting the police station in the city in which the accident or incident occurred, or by giving the respective police station a call. Requesting police reports also may cost a small fee and it is wise to call the police station beforehand to make sure the police report has been completed, as this may take up to several weeks.
Photos and/or video footage can be a major determinant in whether or not you have a good case. It can be evidence of the injuries or incident that prompted you to seek a lawyer. This may also be the easiest type of document to bring as it may already be on your smart phone. Having some sort of visual or audio documentation of the incident is very helpful because it may work as evidence to back up your story and can help with identifying witnesses, locations, and other important factors.
Not sure if something is relevant? Bring it! Let the attorney decide. It is always better to have something and not need it – it could possibly trigger new strategy choices in your case. Remember, lawyers have duty of confidentiality, so be open and honest with your lawyer, even if the information is bad!
A special thanks to our authors at Bruno Nalu for their insight into Personal Injury Law.