The easy, short answer is: for your first meeting with a car, motorcycle, or tractor-trailer accident attorney, bring every piece of paper that might be related to your case. If you don’t have many papers, or even any papers, don’t worry—one thing good lawyers do is chase down the evidence. We’ll do it for you! Don’t think you need to delay meeting because you don’t have enough evidence just yet.
Documents and Evidence You Can Bring
To help you get organized for the meeting, below are documents and evidence that are most helpful for an accident attorney to evaluate your case at the first meeting. Again, don’t worry if you don’t have all of these. They are listed pretty much in order of importance:
- Accident or collision report. The officer should have given you a form at the scene. That isn’t actually the full report, but it’s a start. If you have gotten the full report, bring it. Don’t worry if it says you’re at fault—the report could be wrong, and we might be able to right it.
- Pictures of anything related to your case. That includes pictures of your wrecked car and the at-fault driver’s car if you are lucky enough to get that. Pictures from the crash scene can be especially powerful. Pictures of your injuries can speak volumes—especially if you have gory cuts or broken bones. Don’t forget pictures related to your treatment, like cast or stitches removal. Another extremely powerful piece of evidence can be pictures showing your disabilities such as using a cane or walker or sleeping in a recliner.
- Contact information for any witnesses. Hopefully, the most important witnesses are recorded by the investigating officer on the crash report. But we also need witnesses who can testify about their observation of the pain and suffering inflicted on you by the accident, especially any physical difficulties or disabilities as a result.
- A medical provider list summarizing your treatment. This can be especially helpful, especially if you’ve undergone extensive treatment from many providers over a long time. This helps us hit the ground running on getting some of the most important evidence in your case—medical evidence of your injuries from clinical professionals. It also lets us know who we need to request medical bills from so we can help you get compensated for those.
- Letters or emails from insurance companies. This helps identify the claims rep, or adjuster, handling your case, and may give us a clue how they intend to defend against it.
- Any medical records you have. Don’t worry about not having all of your medical records—we can get those for you. But you have any notes from any doctor, bring them along because that helps give us a clue sometimes of the extent of your treatment and the nature of your injuries.
- Medical bills and receipts for payment. This helps us identify providers and prove that you paid them.
- Your health insurance card or your Medicaid or Medicare card. If you have any of these options to pay your medical bills, use them because that’s what they are for and they are the very best option. While you do have to repay them from your settlement, it just works out a whole lot better for you to do it that way, I promise.
- Lost wage documentation, if you lost time from work as a result of the injuries. You can be compensated for lost wages. Try to let us know a rough estimate of the total time you missed from work. You can bring pay stubs or even tax documents proving your lost income.
- Color copies of your photo ID, like a driver’s license. We likely need this for our file. It just helps identify you and may help us find information on the crash using your driver’s license number.
- Your declarations page for your own insurance. This is also called a “dec page.” It summarizes your coverage on your own auto policy. You get it from your auto insurance company when your policy renews. Believe it or not, seriously injured victims can recover compensation from their own insurance policy if they have the right kind of coverage. It’s called underinsurance, or UIM, and you need to KNOW WHAT IT IS. Having this coverage can make all the difference in the world, as shown by these cases we’ve handled:
- Drunk Driving Crash Victim's Settlement Tripled By Extra Coverage
- Attorney Finds More Insurance to Help Severely Injured Kids
- Multiple UIM Policies Used to Help Motorcycle Accident Brain Injury Victim
If you have time, organize everything into different categories and put it in a folder or file. This could save us a whole lot of time getting ready when you come in for your first meeting.
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If you’re worried what the meeting will be like, stop. It's free, and I’ve worked very hard to make it a breeze for you. Here’s a sneak peek what goes on at that meeting, which will assure you that gathering this information won’t be for nothing—because I’ll actually read it!
If you’ve got any other questions about crash cases in general, be sure to download my FREE BOOK on crash cases. To get your questions answered, always feel free to call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.