If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to consult a lawyer to help you evaluate the case and defend yourself. But for some people, arranging an initial meeting with an attorney can be nerve-racking, particularly when they’re doing it for the first time.
Essentials Before Meeting Your Lawyer
The key to having a successful consultation with a car accident lawyer in the US is to prepare well, but this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Usually, people don’t know what they need to bring to their first meeting with a legal professional, so below are some useful tips to help you:
1. Obtain A Copy Of The Accident Report
Whenever you’re involved in a vehicular accident in Michigan, there’s a high chance a report was filed with the police. As part of your preparations to meet with auto accident lawyers in Livonia, get a copy of this report and bring it to the meeting. Usually, accident reports can be obtained from the agency that generated them like the county sheriff’s office, local police department, or the highway patrol. If the accident report isn’t ready yet, request a face sheet.
Usually, the face sheet will provide critical information about the parties involved in the accident and their insurance service providers. However, the accident report is more valuable to lawyers because it’s crafted objectively from the perspective of law enforcement. It also provides information on whether the other party has been cited for traffic violations.
2. Assemble Photographic Evidence
Before meeting your lawyer, you’ll need to put together any photographic evidence you have of the accident. Photos showing the accident scene, damages sustained in your car, injuries or visible markings you or other people in the car may have sustained, and others you might deem important would enable the lawyer to get a better understanding of the accident.
3. Compile Your Medical Records
If you or any other person in your car sustained injuries and sought treatment, compile all hospital records together. Gather all medical or hospitalization documents from every health provider you visited for conditions related to the incident, including paperwork relating to ambulance services, emergency treatment, and physical therapy. Ensure your medical records include copies of the diagnosis the doctors made and their recommendations for future prognosis.
Be sure to attach all your bills, including the ones from clinics or hospitals you visited for physical therapy, psychological services, or chiropractor sessions. Your medical bills should also include costs relating to transportation during medical visits, crutches, in-home care, and any other relevant out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the car accident. Having these records would enable your car accident lawyer to understand the extent and kind of injuries you suffered.
4. Calculate Any Work-Related Losses
If the car accident you’re involved in caused you to be absent from work, you’ll need to prepare documentation showing how long you stayed out of work and how much it cost you. Whether the absence from your occupation lasted several weeks, months, or years, your calculation of work-related losses should count vacation days too.
The supporting evidence you’ll need to prepare and acquire includes your employer’s documentation showing missed workdays, benefits like personal or sick days you’re forced to use up, pay stubs, and tax returns, among others. Having this information will enable your car accident lawyer to determine how much compensation you’re entitled to as a result of your income losses.
5. Get Car Repair Estimates
The other thing you need to get when preparing for a meeting with your car accident lawyer is an estimate showing the cost of repairing your vehicle. If you’ve already repaired it, provide the receipts and other essential documents for transparency. Also, prepare information about your insurance coverage, including the components covered and the bills you may have received from your insurer. Having these would ensure proper accounting of expenditures, making your settlements easier to discuss.
Having a meeting with a car accident lawyer is the first step to getting the legal help you need following the vehicular incident. In addition to gathering all the information the lawyer will need, try to prepare a few questions for the attorney before the meeting as well. Write them down to ensure you don’t forget any. You can ask the lawyer questions relating to their experience in handling car accident cases, how long they’ve been practicing, how the fee structure would be, and who in the firm will be handling your case.
And no matter what, always be truthful with the accounts you’re going to tell. After all, it’s your case the attorney would help you in.