If you have been involved in a car accident, contacting a car accident injury attorney as soon as possible is important in order to obtain the compensation you deserve. If you are considering whether to file a lawsuit or if you simply need some help assessing your success with a potential claim, you need to meet with an attorney. A very common concern for many people is what to bring to their first car accident injury attorney meeting. Here is our advice.
What to Expect at a Car Accident Injury Attorney Meeting
Here at the Cottrell Law Office, we recognize that many clients are somewhat apprehensive about that initial meeting with an attorney. If you have never been injured in a car accident or had any other reason to see an attorney, you may be wondering what to expect. There are a few things you can do to be better prepared for your first meeting. Regardless, do not be apprehensive because we are here to help you!
What to Bring to the Initial Meeting
Before you come to the first appointment with your car accident injury attorney, there are several types of documents that you may need to bring with you. All of these documents will be related to your potential claim and need to be analyzed to assess the likelihood of success.
While every car accident is different, as is every injury, there are certain documents that are typically necessary. Here are some of the most important documents to bring with you if you have them:
- Police reports from the accident
- Insurance information for yourself and the other party
- Photographs of your injuries
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Medical records indicating any related diagnosis, treatment, and the likelihood of recovery
- Receipts of all injury-related expenses including medical bills, prescriptions, and vehicle repairs
- Any other bills related to the accident
You Must Have the Accident Report and Your Medical Records
The most important documents to bring to your initial car accident injury attorney meeting are the accident report and your medical records. That is because you must be able to prove liability and injury. Without these documents, it will be difficult for your attorney to assess your claim initially.
You can obtain your accident report from the local police department that responded to the accident. They may charge a fee for obtaining a copy of the form and you may not be able to pick it up immediately upon requesting it, so take that into consideration and work on obtaining your accident report as soon as possible. The same may be true for obtaining copies of your medical records from the health care provider that treated you for your accident-related injuries. Don’t forget if you were treated at the hospital emergency room to request copies of those records as well. You will also be asked by your attorney to sign a release in order to allow them to request official copies of your records as well.
Other Useful Information to Provide to Your Attorney
In addition to those required records, you should provide your attorney with your insurance policy information, including health insurance and auto insurance. Bring the policies themselves along with any identification cards. If you already have correspondence from your auto insurance carrier or the carrier for the other party involved in the accident, be sure to bring that along. It is also helpful to bring along contact information for any potential witnesses, particularly those who may not have been interviewed by the police or included in the police report. If you have any preexisting medical conditions that may have been affected by the accident, provide contact information for the health care providers treating those conditions as well.
Write a Statement Regarding the Accident as Soon as Possible
Before your first meeting, it is a great idea to write down everything that happened immediately before, during and after the accident. This should include anything that was said by anyone on the scene and anything you may have said as well. Write this statement down as soon as possible after the accident and include the date and time, as well as the type of weather. Memorializing these facts early can be very useful months later when you are trying to recall what happened. It also helps your attorney to get a better picture of what happened and how your claim will progress.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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