Many people who’ve been injured in an accident or suffered property damage as the result of someone else’s negligence have questions about how to get ready for their first meeting with an attorney. You might be wondering if you need to bring documentation or how much working with an auto injury attorney in Houston, TX, is going to cost. Below you’ll find our thoughts on the best way to get ready for your initial meeting with your attorney.
How Should I Prepare for a Meeting With an Auto Injury Attorney in Houston, TX?
You’ll have a ton to discuss during your first attorney-client meeting. Bringing all the important pictures, documents, and policies to your initial meeting is one of the best ways to ensure your case resolves quickly. And it goes a long way toward ensuring your attorney has all the information they need to zealously represent you.
Get organized well ahead of your scheduled meeting to ensure you have enough time to gather all the required information. Consider making a list to work from before you start getting your evidence package together. It’ll decrease the time you spend searching for documents and photos, and you can give the list to your attorney for reference.
Draft a Witness List
Help your attorney get off to a quick start when it comes to investigations by giving them a written list of witnesses. You’re actually one of your attorney’s primary sources of information. The details you provide about what happened and who was there form the basis of your attorney’s defense. Your information will also help shape the nature of any investigation your lawyer decides to pursue.
Don’t make your attorney’s investigators waste time tracking down important witnesses. Provide your auto injury attorney in Houston, TX with a written list of potential witnesses and their contact information. It’s often helpful to include a brief note for your lawyer describing what you believe each witness may have seen or any relevant details you believe they have knowledge of.
Create a Timeline
Spend a good amount of time thinking about the events surrounding the accident. Write down critical facts such as where you were coming from, the time you departed, and if anything notable happened immediately before or after the accident. And don’t forget to include approximate times for all events and the names of any passengers.
Taking your timeline along to your first auto injury attorney meeting in Houston, TX has many benefits, including making it easier for your lawyer to listen as you describe what happened. They can concentrate on what you’re saying as you discuss your case instead of taking notes. It’ll also allow you to answer your attorney’s questions in an accurate, detailed, and efficient fashion.
Get Your Pictures and Videos Together
Most drivers know the importance of taking pictures after any sort of accident or event that results in property damage. The chances are pretty good that you, a passenger, or a bystander took photos or moving images of the accident. Your attorney will absolutely want to take a look at these pictures, so make sure to
If you include a photo taken by someone else, note the photographer’s identity and provide your attorney with that individual’s contact information. Don’t worry about asking third parties for photos or other images. Just let your attorney know you believe a specific person has access to critical photos, and your lawyer will follow up using the appropriate protocols.
Crush the Preparation
Consider packing what you plan to take with you to your first attorney-client meeting well ahead of time. It would be heartbreaking to spend so much time preparing your documentation and evidence for your attorney, only to leave half of it at home or be unable to view it due to some sort of “technical issue.” And showing up well-prepared for these essential attorney-client meetings can go a long way toward reducing the amount of time until you see a payout.
Use your list to ensure you’ve included copies of all the essential documents and photos. Make sure to include a charger for your phone or tablet if you plan to show your attorney photos using this sort of technology. Don’t forget to take something to take notes with, either electronically or the old-fashioned way. Many clients find it helpful when it comes to retaining and reviewing information.
Say Goodbye to Social Media
Many accident victims turn to social media after an accident, particularly if they’ve been seriously injured or have suffered a significant loss. Yet, it’s best to simply avoid discussing certain topics on social media, including the accident, anything that happened before or after the crash, property damage incurred, injuries, or even medical treatment you’re undergoing.
Insurance companies are notorious for scouring social media to find evidence to cast victims’ injury claims into doubt to reduce or challenge the amount of compensation paid. Clients are often surprised at just how problematic prior social media posts can be when attempting to resolve a personal injury case. Your best bet is to simply avoid commenting on or liking anything on social media referring to the accident.
Get Clear on the Cost
Many people who’ve been injured in a car wreck are interested in working with an attorney but don’t pursue doing so because of the cost. Most personal injury lawyers offer contingency fee payment plans. Under these agreements, your attorney will only get paid if there’s a judgment after trial or a negotiated settlement.
While these agreements allow you to obtain legal representation without paying an attorney’s hourly rate upfront, they come with important terms and conditions you need to be aware of. Pay attention to how fees and expenses are to be paid. And consider asking your attorney for a copy of the agreement before your first meeting so you can review the details and ask questions about it during the consultation.
Create a List of Questions
Coming to your meeting with questions written down and ready to go can go a long way towards getting your relationship with your attorney off to an efficient start. You’ll be covering tons of ground during your first consultation. Many clients find the amount of information reviewed during these early meetings challenging to process and, as a result, often end up forgetting to ask important questions.
The absolute best way to ensure all your questions get answered is to arrive at your first meeting with a written list of questions detailing what you want or need to know about your case. It also allows you to prioritize your approach, so you can be sure your attorney has time to address your most important questions. It also allows you to follow up later on quickly and easily in writing or on the phone if you don’t get to the bottom of your questions during your meeting.
Now that you know how to prepare for your first meeting with a local personal injury attorney, why not get started immediately? Contact Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner to schedule a free consultation. It’s your risk-free opportunity to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case, and it won’t cost you a cent.