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Review This Checklist to Make Sure You're Prepared for Your First Personal Injury Consultation

Steve Wagner

Synopsis

  • A good lawyer will have their own list of questions to ask an accident victim but when a person arrives to an initial consultation meeting with as much information as possible about how the accident happened, it only helps to serve as a strong foundation to making a case.
  • At Wagner Reese, we will want to know everything that you know about your accident event and how it has impacted your life.
  • To get ready for a meeting with us, review our consultation checklist so we can help you identify any further medical history or insurance documentation that is missing and suggest ideas on how you could obtain missing information that will help build your case.
  • It is best to seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter and come prepared to share all the details of your personal injury experience.

Be Prepared for Your First Personal Injury Consultation

Whether it involves a motor vehicle fender-bender, workplace incident, or trip-and-fall at your favorite outdoor restaurant, accidents caused by others happen each day that can result in serious personal injuries. When these accidents occur, it is a good idea for victims and their families to collect as much information as possible about the accident event and make plans to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer about the incident. Although a good lawyer will have his or her own list of questions to ask, coming with information about how the accident happened, photographs, a dated timeline in regard to medical treatments or conditions you have since been diagnosed with, insurance information and any notes you have been taking regarding life after the accident will help an attorney build your case from the start.

Since your case may be settled even before a lawsuit is filed, you will want to present as much information as possible to avoid a lengthy and stressful trial and jury verdict. Yes, the majority of lawsuits are settled before they get to trial, but what happens in your case depends on the facts and what information is presented from all the parties involved.

You can use this checklist as a starting point for your meeting with us and get a sense of the useful evidence needed to make your claim. The Wagner Reese team will then be able to use this checklist and help consult with you on further documentation that is missing, pieces you might need to request and how you could obtain it to make your case.

Personal Injury Meeting Checklist

Official reports

  • Accident reconstruction reports
  • Police reports
  • Private investigation reports
  • 911 dispatch call recordings
  • Reports by other law enforcement agencies

Photos, video, or audio taken at the scene

  • Take photos and video of the scene
  • Photos of injuries
  • Photos of property damage
  • Photos of people present
  • Road/scene condition photos

Statements and notes

  • Witness statements
  • Your journal or notes
  • Victim statements
  • Calendar of events of how life has changed or been disrupted since accident

Medical reports

  • Initial doctor’s examination
  • Second opinions
  • Specialist’s reports

History and research

  • Evidence of past violations or safety concerns
  • Vehicle or machinery service history

Physical evidence

  • Clothing worn during the incident
  • Damaged items

Insurance

  • Any communication from insurance companies (emails, letters, voicemails)
  • Motor vehicle insurance card and policy holder information
  • Other party’s insurance information

Bills and invoices

  • Medical bills
  • Vehicle repair invoices

Other forms

  • Several W2 forms (showing wages lost)

When you visit with us at Wagner Reese, we will want to know everything that you know about the event, including specifics on how the accident has impacted your life. To do this, we are more than happy to talk with you, without charging a fee for the consultation. Even if it is a case that we are not able to take for some reason, we can often make suggestions about what can be done or even refer accident victims out to other legal resources that may be able to provide assistance.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Your Case

Statute of limitations is an important time limit to consider before you set up your meeting with a personal injury attorney. This term refers to the need to file a lawsuit within a certain time frame. In Indiana, most injury cases, such as auto accidents or slip-and-fall claims, have a two-year statute of limitations, but not all. Some lawsuits, such as claims filed against the government require a notice within a shorter period of time. The time begins to run when a cause of action accrues. A good example is someone negligently running into your car. The statute of limitation begins on the day of the accident. But sometimes you have no way of knowing that you have a cause of action for years, such as discovering ill effects from taking a medication or being exposed to chemicals. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney and doctor if you suspect that you are having problems but don’t know for sure if it relates to the negligent actions of another.

Fighting for Maximum Recovery Related to Your Loss

Once we have reviewed your case and consulted with you, like most personal injury law firms, our fee is taken as a percentage of the recovery that is made and paid at the time of settlement. If a lawsuit is filed on your behalf, the percentage usually increases, due the increased amount of work required in prosecuting the lawsuit. However, if we are unable to recover money for you, you do not pay us anything. The actual fee charged in your case will depend on the circumstances of our case and can range anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent. If you have questions about the most common types of cases we handle, we have included a brief list below.

While we hope all of this information is helpful, it is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice in any way. Instead, seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter and come prepared to share all the details of your personal injury experience.

We Can Help You If You Have Been Injured

The attorneys at Wagner Reese have more than 50 years of experience in representing people just like you who have been through a difficult injury and accident experience. When you hire one of our expert lawyers to represent you in your personal injury or work accident claims, we will show the insurance companies you’re serious about receiving the full and fair settlement or jury award to which you are entitled.

If you would like legal advice on an accident, our attorneys will review your information after you call us at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation or share additional details with us by submitting our online form.

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