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Personal Injury: What Should I Bring To My First Meeting With A Lawyer?

In short, everything you think is relevant, and probably more.  I always tell clients that we would much rather have too much information than not enough.    While each type of case is different, there are some general things that you should consider bringing to your initial attorney consultation.

1.  ACCIDENT REPORT.  In many types of accidents, you might already have access to accident reports about your case.  For example, if you’re in a car wreck, you should bring the police report.  If you have an on-the-job injury, you should bring any investigation report performed by your company.  If you’re injured on the premises of a business, you were likely required to fill out an incident report.  You should bring any type of reports like these to your initial meeting.

2.  PHOTOS/VIDEOS.  If you have photos or video of the accident scene, the other parties, or your injuries, then bring those in.  Photos can be priceless in helping tell your story.

3.  A LIST OF DOCTORS/MEDICAL PROVIDERS.  Prior to your consultation, you should prepare a list of doctors and medical providers who you have seen for the wreck  We’re going to ask you for that in the meeting.  Instead of you being put on the spot and trying to think of those items off the top of your head, try to prepare the list in advance.  I’ve found that clients who prepare the list in advance  (without  the stress or being rushed) do a much better job of naming everyone that needs to be on the list.

4.  MEDICAL RECORDS AND BILLS.  If you have any medical records or bills, bring those to the initial meeting. 

5.  YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY/MEDICARE or MEDICAID INFORMATION.  It might not occur to you, but it helps to have your health insurance policy.  Because of subrogation principles, your health insurance is probably going to be asked to be reimbursed for any medical expenses it pays on your behalf.  The same is true for Medicare, Medicaid,  VA Benefits and any number of other groups that pay for your medical care.  To help us prepare for your subrogation claims, please gather your health insurnce policy, Medicare or Medicaid records, or any additional information that you think might help us pursue those subrogation claims.

6.  FOR CAR WRECK CASES, YOUR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE.  Again, you might not think about this, but if you are retaining us to represent you in a car wreck, please bring your automobile insurance policy.  We’ll need that policy to help you determine whether you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).

7.  CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY/DEFENDANT.  If you have already started receiving communication from the insurance company or the other side, we’ll want to know about that.  Please bring that information to the first meeting.

There will, of course, be additional documents that you need.  Use your discretion.  If you think there is any chance that we’ll need the information, then bring it.

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