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When you meet with a personal injury attorney for a consultation, you don't want to show up empty-handed.
You want to give your potential lawyer all the information you can so she can make an accurate evaluation of your injury case. That won't exactly work if you leave crucial documents at home or at the hospital.
So make sure you bring these seven types of documents to your personal injury consultation:
1. Medical Records.
If you were injured in any substantive way, you likely sought medical help either from a doctor, clinic, or emergency care facility. In either case, the medical provider should have given you records on what procedures were performed, the cost of your care, and contacts for the medical professionals who treated you. You may need to sign a release to get these records, but you have a right to them.
As Whitney Houston famously said, "I wanna see the receipts." If you claim expenses related to your injuries that you've paid, you need to bring those receipts.
3. Correspondence With the Other Party.
If the person who injured you has sent you voicemails, emails, letters, or even text or Facebook messages, bring a copy or recording to your consultation. This is especially important for any settlement offers.
4. Police Report.
You may have a police report associated with your injuries, and you need to give that information to your attorney. You should be able to obtain a police report before you come to the consultation.
5. Insurance Policy Information.
Your attorney can help you determine what is and isn't covered by your insurance policies, but only if you bring your policy information with you.
Did your accident cause you to miss work or permanently diminish your earning capacity? You need to bring prior paystubs to allow your attorney to properly calculate your potential damages.
7. Legal-Looking Documents.
You may have been "served" with a complaint by another party or even sent a cease-and-desist notice on a law firm's letterhead. Make sure to bring these documents as well, as your attorney will want to know why certain parties are suing or threatening to sue you.
By arriving prepared, you can give your attorney a better idea of your case and not waste your (potentially free) personal injury consultation.