Meeting with auto accident attorneys is one of the biggest steps you can take to regain control of your life after you are injured in a crash. Finding the right attorney can help you feel confident and empowered as you begin the process of seeking compensation. So, how do you prepare to meet with an attorney in Houston, TX for the first time? How can you get the most out of their services?
How Should You Prepare for a Meeting With Auto Accident Attorneys?
Meeting with the right attorneys is one of the biggest factors that will determine the outcome of your case. Being able to communicate effectively with the lawyer you choose is another factor that will impact how smoothly the process goes. Your first meeting with a lawyer is a time for both of you to determine whether the details of your case are a good fit for the lawyer’s particular expertise.
To prepare for an initial meeting, you can do some homework by reviewing the details of the crash so that you know exactly what information you would like to share. You can also gather documents pertaining to the crash, such as medical bills and evidence of lost wages. When you meet with the lawyer, you can expect to discuss how the accident happened and what damages it caused you to experience.
Tips for Your First Meeting
Go Over the Details of the Accident
The first meeting is a chance for the lawyer to build a baseline understanding of how your accident occurred and why you might be eligible to collect damages from the liable party. To start building a case for you, your lawyer needs to understand:
- Where the accident occurred
- What time of day it happened
- How it happened
- Who was driving
- If there were passengers in the car
- What the injuries were
- What type of car the other driver was operating
The lawyer will likely ask these questions and inquire about other details that are specific to your accident. You should provide as much information as possible, according to the best of your recollection.
Don’t Be Afraid to Tell the Truth
Meeting with a lawyer for the first time is not at all like going to court. No one is judging you on what you say, and the lawyer is on your side 100%. Even if there are aspects of the crash that could indicate that your actions played a role in causing the accident, it is important to be truthful with the attorney. He or she will use the information you give to anticipate the defense’s counter-arguments.
Share Any Statements You Made About the Accident
The best time to meet with an accident attorney is before you make any public statements about the crash or communicate with the insurance company. However, if you are bringing the attorney into the process at a later stage, he or she can help you do damage control for any previous statements that could work against you.
During your first meeting, be sure to tell the lawyer about anything you shared on social media. If you gave a recorded statement to an insurance company, try to remember exactly what you were asked and how you answered. While you cannot take anything back, your lawyer can help you determine how to handle future communications and how to re-frame previous statements if necessary.
Discuss Your Damages
In personal injury law, compensation is only awarded if an individual’s negligence directly leads to damages. In other words, you need to demonstrate how the accident had a negative impact on your life. When you meet with your lawyer, explain what injuries you and/or your passengers suffered. Additionally, you should talk about the physical and emotional impact of these injuries on your well-being.
Apart from physical harm, you should mention any damage to your vehicle and note whether or not you lost personal property inside the vehicle. Be sure to discuss whether or not you had to miss work to recover from the accident, and how much income you had to forego. In many cases, your lawyer will be able to identify opportunities to get compensation that you may have missed.
What Paperwork Should You Bring to the Meeting?
While you don’t need to have all of your documents pre-assembled for the first meeting with a lawyer, it is a good idea to bring all the relevant material you already have handy. After the two of you start to work together, your lawyer will advise you on all the forms you need to go forward with your claim.
If you can, it is a good idea to bring evidence of the crash, including any pictures or videos you took. If you were able to take down the other driver’s name and insurance information, you should pass it along. Medical bills, notes from your employer, and any other forms that demonstrate your damages can also be helpful.
What to Expect During the Meeting
A Review of Your Case
After you are introduced to the lawyer, the two of you will review the accident by going over the forms you brought and the details you remember. Your lawyer will have the chance to ask you for more information about the crash, and you will be able to ask the lawyer basic questions about the legal process.
An Assessment of Your Case
At the end of your meeting, the lawyer should give you an honest assessment of the case. He or she will make some educated projections on how an insurance company would be likely to view your claim, and how a court would respond to your case if you went to trial.
The more experienced the lawyer, the more knowledge he or she will have to draw on. For that reason, it is important to choose a lawyer who specializes in personal injury with a strong track record of securing car accident settlements.
A Retainer to Make the Client-Lawyer Relationship Official
Your meeting should wrap up with a candid conversation about the legal fees. Our firm offers all personal injury services on a contingency basis, meaning that we get paid a percentage of the payout after the claim or case is successful. If you and the lawyer both feel that the match is good, you will sign a document called a retainer to solidify the relationship.
How to Start Meeting With Auto Accident Attorneys in Houston, TX
If you are ready to take the next step towards getting the compensation you deserve, it is time to schedule that first meeting. We offer some of the best personal injury attorneys in Houston, TX. Our consultations are always free, and you can meet with us virtually. For more information, give us a call at (713) 581-6466.
While recovering money for damages can never fully undo the wrong that was caused by a negligent driver, it can go a long way towards helping you and your family recover. Our attorneys have brought in hundreds of millions in victories for our clients, and we will fight to get you all the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner .