If you were seriously hurt in a car accident and you intend to take action against the liable party, you’ll likely start by scheduling an initial consultation with a local attorney. To make the most of this meeting—and ensure your claim gets off to a strong start—you can prepare for it by taking the following steps:
1. Save All Relevant Correspondence
If a claims adjuster reaches out to you via phone, email, or traditional mail, save the correspondence. It’s advisable to avoid responding, however, until you consult a lawyer.
Should you engage with the opposing party directly, they may try to get you to accept some degree of blame or give a premature recorded statement. If you already gave a recorded statement, bring a copy to your consultation for your attorney to review.
2. Compile Any Evidence You’ve Gathered
Your legal team will conduct a thorough investigation in an attempt to gather sufficient evidence of both liability and damages against all responsible parties. If you’ve already gathered any evidence that could potentially contribute to the strength of your claim, though, bring it to your consultation. Such proof might include:
- Photographs of the scene of the wreck;
- The official police report;
- Statements from any eyewitnesses;
- Medical records; and
- Bills and invoices for injury-related expenses.
3. Start a Personal Injury Journal
It’s wise to start a personal injury journal as soon as possible following the accident (preferably that very same day). For the first entry, write down everything you can remember about the incident in question. Keep in mind that no detail is too small to include.
For all subsequent entries, write about the ways in which your injuries are affecting your everyday life. For example, are you stuck at home all day? Are you unable to perform basic tasks like meal preparation or housekeeping without help? Are you in debilitating pain most of the time? Are you unable to participate in hobbies and activities that used to enrich your day?
Bring these entries to your first meeting with a car accident attorney. He or she will use them to gauge the extent of your non-economic damages, like emotional distress and pain and suffering.
4. Write a List of Questions
While much of the consultation will consist of the lawyer asking you about the wreck and the injuries you sustained, you’ll get the opportunity to ask questions of your own before the meeting ends. Since you may be inundated with information during this first meeting, it’s advisable to write down your questions in advance. This will ensure you don’t overlook any of them.
Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
At Emerson Straw PL, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that unanticipated injuries can take on the whole family. If you were struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, we’ll help you pursue the compensation needed to make your life whole again.
Our strategic team has recovered more than $27 million for our valued clients in personal injury and wrongful death payouts. Call (727) 821-1500 to set up a free consultation with a car accident attorney.