If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you might be thinking about meeting with a lawyer. Being a little nervous about meeting someone for the first time is normal. It’s even more normal to be anxious about your first meeting with an Alabama personal injury attorney. But knowing what to expect can help you walk into your first meeting with your injury attorney with confidence. Here are 9 questions an Alabama personal injury lawyer might ask you during your first meeting.
Before we begin, you should know that personal injury cases are won or lost based on the facts. This means that your injury lawyer will need to ask you highly personal questions about your injuries, your mental state, and many other things you might prefer to keep to yourself. But don’t worry. The rules of lawyer-client confidentiality mean that anything you tell your lawyer will be kept secret. So, remember to be as open and honest with your lawyer as possible. It will help them prepare your case and give you the best chance of winning your injury claim.
Question#1 – Tell me about the accident.
It may seem simple, but your lawyer will need the details about the accident – where it happened, when it happened, what the weather was like, etc. These basic facts will give your lawyer a good idea of where they should focus their investigation and which Alabama personal injury laws might be relevant to your case.
In addition to being prepared to answer these questions, your Birmingham car accident attorney might ask you to bring any witnesses’ names, contact information, or statements to the first meeting. She might also ask for pictures of the accident scene or a copy of the police report.
Question#2 – Tell me about the other driver.
Hopefully, you were able to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information at the scene. Your lawyer will also want to know if the other driver said anything before or after the accident that might be used to prove that they caused the accident. (Statements like “I’m so sorry,” “I can’t believe I did that,” or the like might matter more than you think.)
Question#3 – Were you injured in the car accident?
The severity of your physical injuries is one of the most important factors in your Alabama personal injury case. That’s why most of your attorney’s questions will focus on your injuries. Remember – be as honest as possible. Knowing the full extent of your injuries will help your injury lawyer give you an accurate assessment of your case. Be sure to bring your medical records and any pictures of your injuries.
Question#4 – Have you suffered emotional injuries since the car accident?
When you think of questions an Alabama personal injury lawyer might ask, “Have you been sad since the accident?” probably wouldn’t make the list. But in addition to physical injuries, car accidents often cause emotional injuries like anxiety, depression, or PTSD. It might be difficult to discuss something as personal as your mental state with an attorney. But your Birmingham personal injury attorney absolutely needs to know how the accident affected your emotional state because you can get damages for these injuries as well. At the first meeting, bring proof of any diagnoses or visits with a mental health professional. If you keep a journal, your lawyer might ask to see it as it might help to prove that you suffered emotional harm.
Question#5 – Did the car accident cause any financial losses?
Of all the questions an Alabama personal injury lawyer might ask during the first meeting, this is one of the most important. Your lawyer will want to know how much the accident has cost you financially. Items you can bring to the meeting to help you answer this question might include
- Medical bills,
- Receipts for prescriptions,
- Pay stubs (from both before and after the accident),
- Tax returns and W-2s,
- Lost personal or sick leave,
- Bank statements,
- Temporary disability paperwork, and
- Pictures of any property damage to your vehicle.
Question#6 – What kind of car insurance coverage do you have?
This is a key question for many reasons. For example, if you were hit by an uninsured driver, your personal injury lawyer will want to know if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Be sure to bring a copy of your complete auto insurance policy (not just the declarations page) to the first meeting.
Question#7 – What’s your driving history?
The other driver might try to claim that you caused the accident. If there are things in your driving record – such as prior accidents where you were at fault – that might make that argument seem plausible, be sure to show them to your Alabama personal injury lawyer at the first meeting. A bad driving record does not mean that you caused the accident. But your lawyer will want to know so she can prepare accordingly.
Question#8 – Has an insurance company paid part of your medical bills?
Having health care coverage while you heal from your car accident is a good thing! But if your insurance covers part of your medical bills, liens or subrogation might be an issue in your case. These tools give an insurance company or hospital the right to collect a portion of your car accident damages. Your Alabama personal injury lawyer will need to know who paid your bills to determine whether these rules apply in your case.
Question#9 – Have you talked to an insurance company?
After a car accident, your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company might ask you to give a formal, recorded statement. Never give a statement to an insurance company without talking to a Birmingham injury attorney first. Remember, the car insurance company’s main goal is to avoid paying you. They will use your words against you to achieve that goal. Your best protection is to stay silent until you speak with your lawyer in Alabama.
Which questions should you ask your personal injury attorney at the first meeting?
We’ve talked about the questions an Alabama personal injury lawyer might ask about your car accident, but you should also be prepared to ask some questions of your own. Here are a few to get you started:
- What is your approach to handling personal injury cases?
- How do you handle fees?
- How much experience do you have handling personal injury cases like mine?
- Will you handle the case or will another associate?
- How often will you update me about my case?
- How long will it take for my case to come to a conclusion?
- Will my case go to trial?
- What do typical jury awards look like in cases like mine?
We can answer your questions about your Alabama personal injury case!
We hope that knowing a bit more about the questions an Alabama personal injury lawyer might ask about your car accident will make your first meeting a productive one. If you have more Alabama personal injury questions or need legal representation after an injury accident, contact Collins Law, LLC. April H. Collins is an experienced Birmingham personal injury lawyer. We handle many types of accidents – trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more – and all sorts of personal injury claims including wrongful death. Our team will give you personal attention while we work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation including a detailed case evaluation, call 205-588-1411 or use the Collins Law online scheduler. We look forward to helping you!