What You Should Know Before Your First Appointment with a Personal Injury Attorney

Explore:  Bodily Injury Damages

The hours and days after you sustain an injury may be fraught with bodily pain and personal anxiety about your future health and finances. Your first step should be to seek appropriate medical attention. Next learn your options for recovering rightful compensation for your undue physical, emotional and financial damages.

Choosing an attorney to represent you in a personal injury claim is an important decision. Your first appointment not only gives a lawyer the chance to evaluate your case, but also gives you the opportunity to learn more about his or her qualifications. Ask the following important questions:

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • Do you focus your practice on personal injury recovery?
  • Do you have substantial trial experience?
  • Do you also have significant experience in negotiating high settlements?
  • Would my case be handled on a contingency fee basis?
  • What expenses do you foresee during the course of my case?
  • Do I owe you expenses or attorneys’ fees if you are not successful in recovering compensation for me?
  • After reviewing the facts of my case, do you have an estimated range as to what my case is worth?

Make the most out of your first legal appointment by preparing the following ahead of time:

  • Relevant documents — Bring whatever evidence you have to your appointment. This helps your lawyer get a fuller picture of your situation. Helpful documents may include photographs, medical reports, police reports and automobile repair quotes.
  • Witness contact information — Your lawyer may want to speak to witnesses of your accident. Provide names and contact details of any witnesses whose information you recorded at the scene.
  • Medical treatment details — Calculating damages involves a thorough review of your medical diagnoses, treatments and prognoses. Keep a notebook with lists of your medical care providers, clinics, hospitals, diagnostic tests and prescription drugs so your attorney can properly evaluate your case.
  • A truthful account of what happened — Tell your lawyer exactly what happened, even if some of the information is unfavorable to you. This gives him or her the opportunity to prepare an effective response to counter the other party’s assertion of contributory negligence.

Georgia imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. For this reason, it’s crucial to schedule a consultation as soon as practicable following your traffic accident, workplace injury, slip and fall, defective product injury, or other incident. The more time you allow yourself and your attorney to file an injury claim, the better chance you have of obtaining the full compensation you deserve.

Topics:  Bodily Injury, Damages

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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