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Personal Injury 101: What to Bring to the Initial Consultation

The Initial Consultation

Following an automobile accident in which you were injured, you may have made the wise decision to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney.  Hiring an attorney means that you will no longer have to worry about fielding calls from insurance adjusters or trying to track down necessary evidence on your own.  Releasing these burdens to your legal advocate will allow you to focus on your injury recovery.  

A reputable personal injury lawyer will set up an initial consultation free of charge to go over the facts of your potential case.  There are a number of things that will be helpful for you to bring to that initial meeting that will help your new attorney complete a thorough investigation of the matter.  

A Statement Describing the Subject Incident

As soon as you are able after the accident, write down all of the details that you can recall about the incident that caused your injuries.  No detail is too small – even if you take notes in the form of a list rather than a narrative, it will be helpful later in the case.  Document the location, date, time, names of other parties, witnesses at the scene, and how the accident occurred.  Make note of any circumstances that may have factored into your injuries.  

A Copy of Any Incident Report

If your injuries were sustained in an automobile accident, it is possible the police came to the scene and drafted a report.  This will be a key piece of information, and if at all possible, try to obtain a copy before your initial consultation.  If it is not yet ready, or there are obstacles to you getting a copy, that should not preclude you from attending the meeting, but again, because it is such a crucial piece of evidence, it helps to have it.  

Photographs or Video Clips of the Incident

It is important to take photographs of the scene following the subject incident.  The photos should document the vehicles involved (if it was a car crash), the location of the incident, and any involved parties.  Many people take videos during or following the subject incident, and you will want to bring this footage to the legal meeting.  If your automobile is equipped with a dashcam, the attorney will want to see that footage as well.

Any Correspondence With the Other Party

Save all written correspondence to and from the other person(s) involved in the incident.  This includes any letters, emails, or texts.  Bring in any communication from the other party’s insurance company as well.  Save any voicemails on your phone so that the attorney can listen to them at the first meeting.  

If you have telephone conversations with anyone from the other side, as soon as possible afterward, jot down the details of the conversation.  Note the date and time of the conversation as well as the name of the person to whom you were speaking.  Keep in mind that you should have minimal to no contact with the person who caused your injuries or their insurance.  Once you hire an attorney you will only be talking with an adjuster if it has to do with the repair of your vehicle.  

Relevant Medical Records

If you received any after-visit summaries, medical bills, chart notes, or imaging reports related to injuries you suffered in the incident, bring those to your initial consultation.  Your medical treatment, and to some extent, your medical history, will be a key part of the case going forward.  

Watch the YouTube video below about how to choose a Northern California personal injury attorney.

Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

Hello.  Thanks for reading.  I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney in Sacramento, California.  Hiring an attorney after you have been injured in an accident can take a lot of unnecessary worries off of your mind.  If you are tired of fielding phone calls from insurance adjusters and would like free and friendly legal advice, please call my office at (916) 694-0002 or at (800) 404-5400 from outside the local area code.

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