Being prepared for an initial consultation with an attorney is extremely important for a variety of reasons, mainly so that you can use your time during this consultation to get the best understanding possible of how you and the lawyer will be able to work together. Finding an attorney to take your case can be a surprisingly complicated process if you do it on your own, and oftentimes, people will need to go through this process on their own.
However, there is are services that can connect you with a car accident lawyer in Tampa without needing to go through all of the additional legwork of finding an attorney that covers your area of need AND who is available to take your case. By using the 1800injured.care referral service to connect with an attorney, you can focus on your personal needs and the work ahead of you.
Take a look below at some of the most important information that you should gather before an initial consultation with your attorney. Remember that once you start working with your lawyer that they will be able to advise you on the additional information you will need to gather, or will be able to gather the information on their own as you focus on your recovery.
A Copy Of Your Police and Accident Report
The accident report that the police will write will be one of the central sources of truth throughout the entire claims process and will give your attorney a good idea of what they are up against. The sooner you are able to get a copy of the police report in front of a lawyer the better since they will be able to identify any information that may be unclear or could be misconstrued so that you can begin to take steps to correct them or work around these blockers.
Contact Information and Statements From Your Passengers
If there were other passengers in the vehicle that were injured in the accident, your lawyer will benefit from knowing about the extent of their injuries, as well as their own perspective and account of the accident. Since they are firsthand eyewitnesses to the accident as well, their testimony and involvement will be helpful even though they will likely be handling their own claim process at the same time.
Medical Records Relating To the Accident
Any medical-related documentation that you can gather will be extremely informative for your attorney and will help them to get a better understanding of the situation than you will be able to do on your own. These medical records, much like the accident report, will be key documents throughout the entire process, so giving your attorney access to all of the related information as soon as possible will be a significant benefit.
Income and Earnings Statements
Equally important to providing your attorney with a comprehensive understanding of your situation is any relevant income information, such as previous paystubs, employment contracts, or anything else that they can use to understand how much money that you are losing each day that your injuries keep you from work. You will be able to seek compensation for these losses in your claim, as well as your medical costs and any other damages, but the more financial documentation that you can provide, the more clear and compelling of an argument your attorney will be able to make. A single pay stub isn’t going to cut it. Get your tax statements, work contracts, and bank statements together to present a full picture of your financial situation.
Your Insurance Policy
If the other driver caused the accident, then you will likely be going through their insurance to seek compensation for your injuries and financial impacts. However, it is very important for your attorney to understand what sort of insurance you have protecting you regardless, as they will need to interact with your insurance company to some extent regardless of who ultimately pays your damages. Your insurance company will need to know what is going on with your claim from time to time, and your attorney may be able to help you understand what will happen next.
Pictures of the Accident
Take as many pictures of the accident and your injuries as possible. They will help your attorney to get an idea of the severity of the situation, and they will be very useful as you move forward with settlement negotiations or if you need to go to trial. Bruises fade, scars lighten, but pictures will always show the horror and pain that you had to endure in the early days of your injuries. If you do have to ultimately go to trial, these pictures will help your case by showing the judge or jury the actual injuries that you suffered, since they can seem very abstract months—even years—down the road when it goes to court.
Contact Information or Statements from Eyewitnesses
If you have any contact information for eyewitnesses, or if you already have gathered some eyewitness accounts of the situation, this information will be very helpful for your attorney to have. Every additional piece of context that your attorney can bring into your case will help to strengthen your position and allow for more aggressive negotiations. The more eyewitnesses that you are able to get statements from, the less the conversation becomes about your word versus the other driver’s word, which is important if there are disagreements about fault or the cause of the accident.
A Record of Any Communications That You Have Made Related to the Accident
If you have already filed an insurance claim, contacted your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, or taken any other steps on your own, then your attorney will need to know about these contacts and ensure that they are able to incorporate those steps into their own process. This is equally important because you may have unknowingly made a statement that could ultimately come back to haunt you, such as an innocuous apology that the other insurance company uses as proof that you admitted fault (although you did not). The more information your lawyer has, the better suited they are to help you.