Being prepared for your meeting with your car accident attorney can save both you and your lawyer headaches as you are trying to get the case going. To help you be prepared to meet with your lawyer we have created the following guide to help prepare you for your consultation.
1. Accident Information to Bring to Your Lawyer
Be prepared with a list of the following relating to the crash:
- Date of Accident
- Copy of Accident Report
- Your Vehicle Insurance Information
- If possible bring a copy of your declarations (aka dec page) page. If you do not have this readily available you can call and have your insurance company email or fax it to our office.
- The other driver’s vehicle insurance information
- Any pictures you have of the scene
- Contact information for any witnesses that could have knowledge of the crash.
- A list of businesses in the area that could have surveillance camera footage of the crash, if applicable.
- Any statement you have given to the insurance company, if you have given one.
- We strongly recommend against giving a recorded statement prior to consulting an attorney. Anything you provide to the insurance company that is “recorded” can be entered into evidence should the claim go to trial.
2. Medical Information to Bring to Your Lawyer
When it comes to medical bills you will be receiving billing statements from multiple providers for the same dates of treatment. For example, if you want to the emergency room you will receive: a hospital bill, a physician bill, an ambulance bill (if you are taken via EMS), a radiology bill (if any x-rays or imaging are taken), an anesthesiologist bill (if any type of surgery is done) and a laboratory bill. Yes, you can get that many bills from just 1 hospital visit, this is why it is extremely important you have an experienced advocate helping you get all of your bills included in any demand submitted to the insurance carrier.
If you did not see all of these types of medical professionals it is okay, just bring what applies to your case. We are just trying to provide you with a complete list of possible provides to help jog your memory on all that should/could be included.
Be prepared with the following pertaining to your injuries from the car accident.
- Hospital Discharge Summaries, if you went to the ER.
- A list of all the doctors you have seen for accident injuries.
- A list of all the medical providers you have seen for the past ten years. If you cannot remember the past 10 years, at least provide the past 5 years.
- All Medical Bills You have Received, examples of provides you should being bills from:
- Doctor/Physicians Bill(s)
- Hospital Facility Bill(s)
- EMS Bill(s)
- Radiology Bill(s)
- Laboratory Bill(s)
- Anesthesiologist Bill(s)
- Family Doctor Bill(s)
- Chiropractor Bill(s)
- Orthopedic Bill(s)
- Prescription Receipts
- Pictures of Injuries
- Your Health Insurance Card
- Any EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) you have received from your health insurance company.
- Any mileage you have tracked going to doctor appointments
- If any doctor has assigned a permanent disability rating to you, provide us with that note and/or their contact information.
3. Property Damage Information to Bring to Your Meeting with an Accident Attorney
If you have a pending property damage claim when you come to meet with your car crash lawyer bring the following:
- Pictures of the Car
- Any Estimates for Repairs for Crash Damages
- Any Valuations of your car the insurance company has given you.
- Any information you have on customizations you have made to the vehicle.
- Estimates/Receipts for any personal property damages in the crash. Ex. Sunglasses, Eye Glasses, Child Car Seats, etc.
4. Lost Wage Information to Bring to Your Lawyer
If you are forced to be out of work for accident related injuries you are likely entitled to a lost wage claim. If you have missed any work due to the crash bring the following to your injury attorney:
- List of Dates you Missed Work
- Employer Information – include employer name, location, telephone number, job title, length of employment and job description.
- Recent Pay Stub
- Copy of Previous Year Tax Return, if self employed. Depending on how things progress we may need to request additional years but initially the previous years will be helpful.
5. Additional Things to Bring to Your Attorney
Oftentimes there will be additional documentation that can help further prove your claim and help establish a value. Consider also brining what you have from the following list:
- Any journals or diaries you have kept following the accident in which you wrote about the crash or injuries.
- Any statements from friends/family that have knowledge of the crash and how it has affected you and your quality of life.
- Come prepared with a written list of questions you want to discuss with your attorney. Oftentimes so much information is being exchanged that it is easy to forget questions you had prior to your meeting.
We realize compiling all of the information could be a daunting task but don’t fret. If you do not have any of it we can help you get copies. We also understand every case is different so you may not have near that much documentation for your claim or you may have more case specific items that only pertain to your claim.
Bringing us as much information as possible just helps to build out your claim a little quicker.
To help you get organized we have a Google Sheet Template you can save a copy of and make notes directly in. Check out our PI Attorney Meeting Checklist.
We are happy to help you and answer any questions you may have! Contact the experienced attorneys at Costello Law Firm to schedule a car accident consultation!
Chris Costello, ESQ.
Chris handles matters in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is an active member of the New Jersey Association for Justice as well as the Burlington County Bar Association. As a Burlington County personal injury lawyer, Mr. Costello has served as chairman of the Burlington County Bar Association Personal Injury Committee and lectured on topics related to auto accidents and insurance law.
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