If you are injured in an accident, consult a Riverside personal injury attorney for an evaluation of your potential claim. Our experienced Riverside personal injury attorneys with Russell & Lazarus APC will be able to answer any of your questions and concerns, recommend how you should proceed, and provide insight in what you can expect should you decide to litigate your personal injury claim. This makes the initial consultation very important, both for you and the attorney.
Preparing for Your Initial Consultation
You should come fully prepared to the first meeting. This is the only way you can receive a more accurate assessment of your claim. The more documentation you bring, the better, such as:
Police or incident report
Photographs of the accident scene and any property damage
Names and contact information of other parties involved
Citations from a government authority issued in relation to the accident (e.g. traffic ticket, OSHA citation, etc.)
Photographs of your injuries
Medical Treatment Information:
Copies of medical records, reports, and diagnostic tests, including MRIs, X-rays, CT Scans, and PET scans
Diagnosis of your injuries
All names of your treating health providers and dates of treatment. This includes hospital, primary care physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychological/psychiatric care, neurologist, cardiologist, and other specialists.
Medical history that impacts your current injuries. For example, if you have a pre-existing back pain and if the subject accident aggravated or exacerbated your back pain, you should discuss this during the consultation.
Receipts for your medical bills, prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs
Applicable insurance coverage: homeowners, renters, workers’ compensation, health or motor vehicle
Name and contact information of your insurance company, insurance agent and any representative you may have spoken to
Correspondence related to the accident you had with any insurance agency, including letters, emails and statements you made
Proof of premium payments and effective insurance
Copies of any claims filed with your employer or insurance company
Dates you were unable to work due to your injuries
Documentation of lost wages
Documentation of short or long term disability
Receipts for things you needed to repair or purchase due to the accident and/or your injuries. For example, moderate injuries could prevent you from performing chores around the house. Thus, you may hire a maid service to clean your house. If your injuries are severe, you may hire a caregiver to help care for your needs.
These documents should be provided later during the course of litigation if they are not readily available.
During the initial consultation, you and your Riverside personal injury attorney will discuss:
Accident details. Not only will this include the date, time, and location of the accident, but also the accident details itself. For example, in a car accident, the lawyer will want to know the weather and visibility conditions, what speed you were going at, your estimated speed of the other vehicle, whether you saw the vehicle that was about to collide with you, where the contact was made, how hard the contact felt to you, whether any part of your body hit any part of your car, whether your air bag deployed, whether you were wearing a seat belt, etc. These details may seem minute but such meticulous understanding of the accident will help the attorney develop an accurate picture of the accident, which can then be projected to the jury.
Your injuries, medical treatment and any restrictions or limitations. It is important to continue treatment if you are still symptomatic. This helps the healing process and shows the extent of your injuries and suffering.
Effect of your injuries on your daily life, including your employment. This may include whether or not you lost workdays, if you had to take medical leave, or, if due to your injuries, you can no longer work.
Insurance information, including whether or not you are insured. If you have Medicare or Medicaid, this is important to reveal since Medicare/Medicaid must be reimbursed for your treatment related to the accident from any settlement or award.
Riverside personal injury attorneys usually ask questions after you detail the accident. Sometimes, these questions may make you feel uncomfortable, but it is important to respond honestly. Anything you divulge during the initial consultation is confidential.
After the initial consultation, the attorney may offer a recommendation of whether you should or should not retain an attorney depending on the value or strength of your case. The attorney may refer you to another attorney. If the attorney is interested in your case, then they will discuss the next steps: investigation, document exchange with other parties, retaining expert witness, deposition of witnesses, etc. You may receive a retainer agreement along with medical authorization forms to sign so the attorney may obtain your medical records. Generally, personal injury cases are based on contingency fees; you don’t pay your attorney unless you win.
Consult Seasoned Riverside Personal Injury Attorneys
Personal injury cases are complex. You want a tenacious Riverside personal injury attorney with Russell & Lazarus APC fighting for you. Contact (949) 851-0222 today!