What to Bring With You for Your Free Case Evaluation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations to determine and discuss your potential compensation after an accident or harmful incident. To get the most out of that session, bring documents and other information to help the lawyer evaluate your situation and assess your options.
Here is a review of the most useful documentation and evidence to bring to your free case evaluation and how a skilled Newport Beach personal injury lawyer may use it to get you the maximum compensation for your losses.
Documents to Bring to a Free Case Evaluation
Bringing the relevant documentation to your consultation allows you and the lawyer to get the most out of the session. It helps to organize them into files or stacks. Key information to bring includes:
Bring any police accident report, correspondence from an investigator, or other summary of what happened in the incident. Photographs showing the accident scene, vehicle damage, or your injuries can help an attorney assess your case.
Your Insurance Details
Bring a copy of any insurance policies you carry that may cover costs from your accident, including coverage statements or summaries. You may have auto, health, or homeowner’s insurance that could pay some of your expenses. If you don’t have access to your insurance policies, bring your insurance ID card(s) so the attorney can research your coverage if necessary.
Correspondence From Insurance Companies
Bring any letters, emails, or other correspondence from insurance companies concerning the accident, treatment payment, or other expenses. This includes documents from your insurers and any liability insurance company representing someone else who played a role in the accident. Insurance pays most compensation for personal injuries, so anything an insurance company sends you could provide crucial information to the lawyer evaluating your claim.
Correspondence From Other Involved Parties
Bring letters, emails, texts, social media messages, or any other communications from another person, business, or entity that played a role in the incident (or their lawyers). Include anything that amounts to an apology, an accusation, a suggestion about who was at fault, or expressions of sympathy or concern about your injuries. These documents could establish the party liable for your damages.
Bring any medical records relating to your injuries and the treatment you’ve received for them, including hospital records, doctor’s notes, appointment notices, and medication summaries. If you decide to hire a lawyer after your free case evaluation, the lawyer may ask permission to seek additional records from your medical provider. These records will remain confidential between you and your lawyer unless and until they must disclose them in the course of a lawsuit.
Invoices, Bills, Estimates, and Receipts
Bring any documents that reflect any money you owe or have paid for care, services, or goods for your recovery. This might include estimates for vehicle repairs, receipts from a pharmacy for medicine, medical bills, and statements of benefits from insurance companies.
These documents can constitute critical evidence of the cost of your accident and the compensation you deserve from at-fault parties. A lawyer can review them to determine the value of your claim accurately.
Pay Stubs and Correspondence From Your Employer
Bring any correspondence from your employer about taking time off from work due to your injury, reducing your hours, changing your job duties, any other accommodations you need to maintain your employment, and pay stubs that reflect your weekly earnings and benefits. These documents are evidence of the financial losses your injuries have caused and will factor into a lawyer’s analysis of the potential amount of your claim.
Information to Prepare and Discuss in a Free Case Evaluation
Before your free case evaluation, you should prepare to discuss various issues. The lawyer or legal professional you meet with will want to hear your story because that is often the most important and compelling aspect of a personal injury claim.
Your Recollections of the Accident, Injuries, and Medical Treatments
Be ready to give your account of the accident and its aftermath. A lawyer will want to know what happened, how it happened, who played a role in it, who you think might have been to blame, and what the immediate and long-term consequences have been for you and your loved ones.
They’ll also want to hear about the nature and extent of your injuries, the treatments you’ve had and will need in the future, and the overall effect of those injuries on your life, livelihood, and well-being.
Personal injury lawyers know how hard it is to discuss these topics, so you can expect to talk to a compassionate, patient listener.
Information About the Other Involved Parties
Plan to share any information you have about the other involved parties or witnesses. A lawyer will want as many details as possible, such as their names, descriptions, contact details, and insurance coverage.
Plan to tell the lawyer everything you can regarding these individuals, businesses, or entities, including any beliefs you have about their level of fault and details of interactions or communications you had with them before, during, or after the accident.
Details of Your Health Providers
The lawyer will want to know the names and contact details of the medical professionals and practices that have treated or will treat your injuries, health complications, and mental health conditions.
Tell the lawyer about anyone whose services you seek, plan to seek, or think you might need to overcome the physical and emotional challenges of your trauma. If you hire a lawyer, they may request permission to speak with these providers to learn more about your injuries, challenges, and prospects for recovery.
Challenges You Face Due to Your Injuries and Losses
During a free case evaluation, provide a detailed account of how the accident and your injuries harmed your life.
- Financial burdens you face, such as medical debt or limitations on your income and ability to work.
- Physical pain and discomfort you’ve experienced due to your injuries or medical treatments.
- Emotional struggles or mental health issues that the accident and its results have caused or made worse.
- Disruptions in your daily activities and enjoyment of life.
- Effects the accident and your injuries have had on your personal and intimate relationships.
Lawyers understand the challenges in describing these topics, especially with someone you’ve just met. Anything you tell the lawyer will stay confidential unless you decide otherwise, and the lawyer will listen to your story with compassion and understanding.
Your Goals and Expectations
Something or someone convinced you to speak with a lawyer. What was it? A lawyer will want to know your reasons for coming to talk with them.
You may explain what seeking legal representation means for you and anything you hope a lawyer might achieve, whether obtaining financial compensation, seeking justice, having your day in court, or holding someone accountable for the harm they caused (or all of the above).
It’s also okay if you don’t have a clear sense of these topics. For many people, it takes talking with a lawyer in a free case evaluation to figure them out. Don’t worry if you struggle to explain your motives for connecting with a lawyer—any thoughts you can share will help, no matter how uncertain they feel for you.
Your Concerns About Hiring a Lawyer or Pursuing Legal Action
Share any concerns or anxieties you have about getting legal representation or pursuing a compensation claim. Feeling uncertain about hiring a lawyer and taking legal action is normal. Lawyers understand the anxiety that people in your situation feel, and they can provide reassurance by answering your questions and explaining how the personal injury lawsuit process works in cases like yours.
Frequently Asked Questions About Free Case Evaluations
It’s normal to have questions about a case evaluation. Here are the answers to common inquiries people in your situation often have:
Do I Have to Hire the Lawyer if I Get a Free Case Evaluation?
No, you don’t. A case evaluation with a personal injury law firm is just that: an evaluation. It’s an opportunity for you and the attorney to establish your case’s potential and what they can do for you. There is no obligation for you to hire a lawyer after a case evaluation and no responsibility for the attorney to take your case.
Is My Case Evaluation Still Free if I Don’t Hire the Lawyer?
Yes. There is never a charge for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer, regardless of whether you proceed with hiring the lawyer or law firm.
Will the Lawyer Keep What I Tell Them Confidential?
Yes. Anything you discuss with a lawyer during your free case evaluation is confidential, even if you choose not to hire them. With limited exceptions, lawyers cannot reveal information you discussed with them during consultations with potential clients without your permission.
What Will It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
It shouldn’t cost you anything unless and until the attorney gets you results. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means they don’t charge upfront fees or hourly rates for the time they spend on your case. Their fee is a percentage of any compensation they secure on your behalf. If they don’t get you money, you owe them nothing.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Case Evaluation
A free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney allows you to learn about your rights and options without financial obligation. To get the most out of it, bring the documents we listed and be ready to share the information we discussed.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today for your FREE case evaluation.