What Are the Essentials for Your First Meeting With Your Lawyer?
The first meeting you have with your lawyer is one that can potentially have consequences reaching far into the future. Depending on the classification of the case, any step in a lawsuit can be life-altering, so you need to have the right person representing you. The first meeting is all about getting a feel for how they can help you navigate the legal system. Although you cannot be a savant when it comes to the law, you can prepare yourself to ensure the first meeting has every opportunity to be a successful jumping-off point for your legal journey.
How the Type of Case Changes Your Initial Preparation
The type of case you have will change the type of lawyer you need as well as your preparation. Whether you are suing based on a car accident, slip and fall, or a worker’s compensation dispute, you need to know what your type of case requires from your first visit with your lawyer.
The first thing to consider before seeking legal representation is the statute of limitations. This refers to how long after an incident you have the right to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations can change depending on the type of case. Consult Florida’s statute of limitations laws to determine whether your case is still eligible to be pursued in a court of law.
Seek The Correct Type of Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Case
You also need to make sure you’ve been in contact with the right type of lawyer. Not all lawyers can handle all cases. Just because one lawyer may have done an excellent job with legal issues you had before, it does not mean that their skill set will be suited to helping you with a personal injury case. You need a personal injury attorney that specializes and has experience in your particular type of injury and accident you were involved in. Do not waste your time on lawyers that are jacks of all trades.
Once you have the meeting set up with your lawyer, it is time to prepare. Here are some things to do to prepare for your first consultation with your lawyer:
Collect Documents Pertinent to Your Case
The most important thing to do before your first meeting with your lawyer is collect documents pertaining to your case. Your lawyer needs these documents to get a clear picture of the situation that lies ahead. They will use these documents to craft a plan of attack for your lawsuit.
There are many documents and forms of evidence that your lawyer will need to get their hands on. Here are some examples of documents to present to your lawyer during your first meeting:
- Police report
- Correspondence relevant to the case
- Medical records
- Receipts for medical expenses
- Financial documents
- Insurance statements
- Court documents
- Photos pertaining to the case
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Create a Timeline of Events That Led to Your Incident
In order for your lawyer to help you with your case, they need to get an understanding of what exactly happened. Before going in, make sure you have your story straight by writing down a chronology of events. This allows you to set straight the key players, events, dates, and incidents that are important for you to win your case.
Craft a List of Goals for What You Want to Accomplish
It’s important to go into your first meeting with your lawyer with a clear list of goals you want to accomplish. You need to know what you want to accomplish not only in this meeting but also in the case overall. These goals could have to do with compensation, clearing your reputation, justice for a wrongdoing, or revealing wrongdoing in a corporation.
This list of goals will not only allow you to have a clearer focus on how to move forward but also how serious you are about the case. It will give your lawyer a guide on how to proceed through the legal proceedings.
Write Down Questions for Your Lawyer
Your initial consultation with your lawyer is as much about you getting to know them as it is about them getting to know you. Prepare a list of questions that you want to be answered by your lawyer. These questions can help clarify the prospects of your case, what compensation you could receive at the end, the prospective timeline of the case, etc. Consult frequently asked question boards to come up with your list of questions.
Research the Law Firm and Lawyer You Will Be Relying On
Before you head in for your initial consultation, it is important to find out as much information as possible about the law firm and lawyer you will be working with. Whether through Google reviews or public case fillings, you can find out about the character of this firm and lawyer. This will better prepare you to commit to a strategy with the lawyer. This will also prevent you from being surprised by troubling information you could find out later on.
Complete a Dry Run of the Meeting With an Associate
The last important piece of preparation is a dry run of the meeting. Get together with a friend or family member to go over the steps you have already taken. Allow them to look at your documents and timeline and come up with questions a lawyer might ask. They won’t be totally accurate, but getting into the mindset of answering for what you’ve collected can be helpful going into the meeting.
This dry run should also include a quick commute over to the location. Transport there in whatever way you will on the day to see how long it will take and ensure that you can easily find the location. The last thing you want is to get lost on your big day.
Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have recently been in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group about your case. Our firm specializes in working closely with our clients to provide award-winning legal representation that gets results. Our firm can provide you with the resources and skills necessary to ensure that your case gets the best chance possible at recovering meaningful compensation that can cover the myriad of damages you may have suffered.