A car accident is scary, and life after the crash can be stressful as you try to schedule appointments and coordinate with your insurance company. Many accident victims also face lifestyle changes after a severe crash and may want to file a personal injury claim with a trustworthy lawyer.
Before you meet with a car accident attorney, there are a few things that will be helpful to bring to the initial meeting and save you time. These will also help your car accident attorney get a good picture of what happened and how to proceed.
Bring along the following documents:
Things To Bring To Your Car Accident Attorney Consultation
A copy of the police report
Whether there was a minor scratch or major damage to the car, always call the police and fill out a police report. This report will be helpful for your lawyer to determine who’s at fault by revealing pertinent details—such as the scene of the accident and any witnesses—which could help your case.
When filling out the report, be as clear and detailed as possible. Include as much information as you can. Even the smallest detail can be helpful in determining liability.
Photos of the accident
In addition to the police report, photos and videos documenting the accident are extremely helpful. Make sure to include a wide range of photos that show the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved, street signs, road conditions, weather, and any injuries from the accident.
These will be helpful—especially for a severe car accident—because they will also reveal details that might have been missed in the police report and highlight the severity of your damages and injuries.
A list of witnesses
Depending on where the accident took place, there may be several eyewitnesses who saw what happened and can help fill in any blanks from the accident. After a severe car crash, some details can be difficult to remember, so having a list of witnesses and their contact information can be helpful when determining liability.
Some of the most essential documents you can bring to your initial consultation are medical records, including receipts from doctor visits, prescription notes, X-rays, diagnoses, and other medical bills.
Even if you’re still waiting on some reports or bills, bring what you have and tell your lawyer which day you received medical attention. Any medical documentation will verify your injuries and help add value to your case.
Information regarding lost wages
If you sustained an injury during a car accident, you could be entitled to lost wages if the injury impacts your ability to do your job, if the doctor recommends recovery time at home, or even if you have to take time off to go to a doctor appointment.
Keep a list of dates and receipts from these appointments and bring them to your initial consultation, as well as pay stubs and a W-2. The accumulated time off could add more value to your case.
Ideally, you’ll have the other driver’s insurance information from the accident. Bringing this information, along with copies of your own insurance policy, can help determine which expenses might be covered as they put together your case.
After the initial consultation, stay in contact with your lawyer in case there are more documents needed. Together, you and your attorney will determine if your case is worth pursuing.