If you’ve been injured in any kind of accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You should promptly consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn what your options are. Your first meeting with the lawyer is a good opportunity not only to explain your case but also to learn about the lawyer’s qualifications and about the procedural and financial aspects involved. For those reasons, it is important to go to the initial meeting well prepared.
You should, to the best of your ability, have the following information available at your initial meeting with the attorney:
- A detailed written account of the accident, with dates and times
- The names and contact information of those involved
- The names and contact information of any known witnesses
- Copies of any written statements made by parties and witnesses
- Pictures of the accident scene and of any visible injuries
- Names of your medical providers and copies of any reports concerning injuries sustained
- Police reports concerning the incident
- A list of persons or entities that may have evidence, such as a nearby building with security cameras
- Documentation of any expenses resulting from the accident, such as lost wages and medical bills
- A journal with notes concerning pain, physical limitations and the effects on any family, business or social relationships
- Insurance policy information
All of the above can help the lawyer evaluate your potential damages claim and set reasonable expectations for a successful outcome.
At the meeting, you’ll also be able to raise questions about the lawyer’s own capabilities. Don’t hesitate to find out the following concerning the personal injury firm and its practice:
- Experience — Many firms invite personal injury cases, but experience in the field varies widely. A law firm that concentrates its practice in recovering damages for accident victims is more likely to achieve favorable results.
- Support staff — A lawyer with a strong staff of paralegals and other legal assistants is usually better equipped to handle complex litigation. However, you’ll want to make sure that your case will be under a lawyer’s direct supervision and not handled mostly by support staff. Also discuss how the firm keeps clients updated about status of their cases.
- Fees and costs — Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees. They take a percentage of the damages recovered upon completion of the case. However, there are also court costs and other litigation expenses that are the client’s responsibility. Be sure to discuss the fee structure, including what percentage the lawyer will take and how costs will be paid.
Seigel Law in Ridgewood has decades of experience handling personal injury cases throughout northern New Jersey. If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.