Free Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, How do you prepare?

by Apr 1, 2021Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Slip and Fall Injury

Free Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, How do you prepare?

by Apr 1, 2021Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Slip and Fall Injury

How to prepare for a free Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
How to prepare for a free Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

What Do You Need For Your Initial Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you find yourself in a motor vehicle crash, your first response is getting any needed medical attention.

Soon after the crash, your thoughts may turn to how you might be compensated for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. One of your first steps in pursuing your rights involves a free consultation with a Florida personal injury lawyer. With a free consultation, you get an initial evaluation of your rights and claim. So that the lawyer can adequately assess your prospects and possibilities, here are some things you will need in preparing for the initial consultation.

The Crash Report

The identity of the at-fault parties and their insurance companies starts with the crash report. At the initial consultation, the lawyer will determine from the report who was driving, the owner of the at-fault driver, and the liability insurance carrier. You should have also completed and have with you, a copy of a “Driver Exchange of Information Report” that will have much of this information.

The crash report provides information that may help you and the lawyer prove the fault of the other driver. This includes the investigating officer, sometimes the diagram of how the crash occurred, any citation or determination of fault or cause, and the names and addresses of witnesses or passengers. In the course of the lawsuit, your lawyer may depose the officer and witnesses and may call them at trial.

The accident report has another critical piece of information: the date of the accident. Florida law gives four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawyers use the date of the accident to determine the four years and establish a reminder of when to file the lawsuit.

Statements and Notes

If you are physically able, obtain the name, address, telephone, and email addresses of witnesses. Request business cards from any witnesses or occupants of nearby establishments. Ask them to tell you or prepare statements or notes of the other driver’s actions, whether the lights were red or green, the speed of vehicles, and driving conditions.

In addition, build your own record of the crash. Write in a notebook or journal your observations, what the other driver said, what you said, the weather, driving conditions, and the like. Photographs or videos of the vehicles illustrate the force of the crash and how the crash occurred, especially if the potential defendant rear-ended or t-boned you. At your initial meeting, have your smartphone or camera handy.

Messages From the Insurance Company or Defendant

In a free personal injury lawyer consultation, you will need to share any communications between you and the insurance company or the other driver. Letters from the insurance company may contain offers to settle, requests to make statements, or responses.

You have no obligation to submit to an examination by the at-fault driver’s insurance company prior to a lawsuit. A free consultation with a Florida personal injury lawyer likely will include advice “that you do not make statements to the insurer”. Recorded or other interviews with the liability insurer may lead you into a trap of admitting that you were completely or partially at fault. If you have been interviewed by the insurance company, let the lawyer know when and with whom you spoke or made a recorded statement.

At the consultation, the lawyer will discuss any offers from the insurance company. If you have been given a check, do not cash it until you have sought advice from the lawyer. Cashing or depositing a check may mean you have fully resolved your case and released the at-fault driver or the driver’s insurer from claims for pain and suffering and other extensive injuries.

List Your Injuries and Medical Providers

A free personal injury lawyer consultation includes a discussion about your injuries. Prepare yourself to explain the extent and location of bruises, fractures, and pain. You also need to note if you have experienced memory problems, loss of mobility, reduced vision, or other disabilities.

During the meeting, the lawyer needs your list of hospitals, doctors, and other health professionals who treated you for these injuries. From this information, the lawyer will have you sign authorizations for medical providers to release to the lawyer the records and bills.

Give the lawyer copies of any bills or records you have already obtained and any statements from your health insurance provider or Medicare. If Medicare or your health insurer paid any of the crash-related bills, your personal injury lawyer will have to deal with Medicare and the health insurance company’s right to reimbursement upon the resolution of your case.

Missed Work

A motor vehicle crash can leave you absent from work or unable to work. In preparation for the consultation, list the places you have worked in the last ten years. Your employment history should include the positions you held, your job duties, whether you engaged in physical activity on the job, and your rate of pay. A description of the work you performed before the crash helps illustrate how the wreck has lowered your earning capacity. Bring your recent pay stubs to show your gross earnings.

Daily and Recreational Activities

When you go to the initial legal consultation, be prepared to describe your daily, personal and non-employment activities before the wreck. For instance, make notes of places you had visited, such as the beach or fishing spots, you can no longer go because of your physical injuries. Be prepared to describe any sports, athletic participation, running, or recreation you have been forced to stop. A few photographs may help the lawyer draw the contrast between your lifestyle before the crash and after it. You don’t need your entire family album at the initial consultation, but your lawyer might want it later on.

It may help to have your spouse at a free consultation with a Florida personal injury lawyer. Your spouse has observed and knows what work you did around the home, the extent of recreational or leisure activities, and the vacations you both took together. In Florida, your spouse may have a “loss of consortium” claim. This theory seeks to compensate your spouse for the loss of affection, companionship, and marital relations. Loss of consortium also includes the additional care that your spouse must provide you.

Get a Free Initial Consultation Today

Do not let the time run out on your personal injury claim. Our personal injury lawyers will meet with you for free to learn about your wreck and your damages.

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