Be Prepared for Your First Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, slip and fall, or other serious accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In order to determine whether or not you can file a personal injury claim, you should meet with a New Port Richey personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining your injuries.

The first time you meet with a personal injury lawyer, you should be prepared to talk about your accident and bring every piece of documentation that you have in your possession. The New Port Richey personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can review all of your documentation and determine whether or not you have a viable case. A lawyer may then be able to file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf.

Bring Important Documentation to Your Meeting

  • At your first meeting with a personal injury lawyer, you should be sure to bring certain paperwork and documentation with you, including the following:
  • Copies of your insurance policy and other insurance information
  • Pictures of the vehicles involved and any damages sustained
  • Any pictures of injuries you sustained in the accident
  • Copies of any police report or incident report that was completed at the scene
  • Any medical reports documenting the treatment you received immediately following your accident (included emergency room reports)

All of this documentation could end up as potential trial evidence in your New Port Richey personal injury case.

Be Prepared to Talk about Your Accident

Prepare to talk about your accident at the initial meeting with your personal injury attorney. For example, you should be prepared to discuss:

  • Where the accident happened
  • The date and time of day when the accident happened
  • The weather conditions at the scene
  • The way the accident occurred
  • The injuries you are claiming you sustained in the accident
  • Any conversations you had with anyone at the scene

A personal injury lawyer will be able to determine the best way to proceed forward with your case. In order to be able to file a claim or lawsuit, another person must have been negligent. This means that the other person or entity owed a duty to you, he or she violated that duty, and you the accident victim, sustained injuries and damages as a result of the accident.

For example, in the car accident context, motor vehicle drivers owe everyone else on the road a duty to act in a reasonably prudent manner under the circumstances. If they fail to operate their vehicles in a safe and careful manner, they have likely violated their duty of care and may be deemed liable for any resulting accidents or injuries that incurred.

In the slip and fall accident context, a property owner or manager’s liability depends upon the injured person’s status on the property. For example, if you are a customer in a store and you slip and fall on a puddle of water in the aisle, you may be able to file a claim against the store, the store owner, the property manager, or someone else. However, if you had been trespassing on the property after hours at the time you fell, you might be ineligible to make a claim.

Personal injury cases and their surrounding circumstances are always different. A New Port Richey personal injury lawyer can discuss the facts and circumstances of your accident during your first meeting and can develop a plan for moving forward with your case.

Recorded Statements

At your initial meeting with a personal injury attorney, the subject of recorded statements under oath may come up. An insurance company usually requests a recorded statement when they think that there is something suspicious about your case – either with regard to fault or the damages claimed.

Your attorney will likely tell you not to agree to give a recorded statement. This is true even if the adjuster you are speaking with tells you that a statement is required. In fact, you are not required to provide a recorded statement under oath, and you should never give one outside the presence of legal counsel. Insurance company adjusters often use recorded statements to try and trip you up and find a basis to deny or devalue your personal injury claim.

Contingency Fee Agreements

During this first meeting with your lawyer, you will likely discuss the contingency fee agreement. In order for a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury case, you will need to review and sign this agreement.

Almost all personal injury lawyers collect their fee at the end of a personal injury case, based on the terms of the contingency fee agreement. Most agreements provide for an attorney’s fee of between one-third and 40 percent of the total settlement or verdict awarded in a personal injury case. Many agreements indicate that the fee is one-third before a lawsuit is filed. However, after the lawsuit is filed, the fee may increase to forty percent.

Your personal injury lawyer can work with you to reach an amicable fee agreement. At your initial meeting, you should also ask your attorney any questions you may have about the contingency fee agreement.

Contact a New Port Richey Personal Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation

If you have sustained injuries in an accident, you should not go at it alone. Moreover,  may be of the essence in your case. In Florida, under most circumstances, an accident victim has four years to file a claim or lawsuit for personal injuries. If the accident victim waits longer than that to file a claim or lawsuit, he or she will likely be barred from recovering money damages. The personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group can review your case with you and may be able to take legal action on your behalf.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a New Port Richey personal injury attorney, please call us today at 727-853-6275, or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 853-6275