The best answer is any document or piece of evidence that might relate to your work injury, the medical treatment for it, documents from your employer about it, and any communication from an insurance company about it. I’ve got a list of more specific items below. If you don’t have some or even all these items, don’t worry—one of the most important things a good lawyer does is investigate to get all the information that you don’t have. We’ll get it for you.
But first, congratulations! You’ve made the right decision to take control of your work injury case and get some guidance from a professional on how to handle it. By the way, if you’re still a little anxious about how the meeting will work, you can relax. If it’s with me: just check out this article where I pull back the veil on what our first meeting is like—it’s a strategy session where the keywords are “free” and “easy.”
What You Might Bring
Again, if you don’t have all this, don’t let it stop you from the meeting:
- Any communication from the workers’ comp insurance company. This includes letters, emails, and texts. This helps us identify the adjuster we’ll be going against in your case. You may have already found out the hard way they’re really not on your side.
- Any medical records you have. You almost surely don’t have them all. And that’s okay. We’ll get them for you. But bring anything you have, since this helps us identify providers we need to get records from. Any notes you might have can give us an idea of the nature and extent of your injuries and your work restrictions, which helps us evaluate your case to determine how we can help you.
- A list of medical providers, summarizing your treatment. This streamlines our requesting the records. It’s especially important if you’ve waited a while to consider an attorney, and have received extensive treatment from several providers over a long time.
- Any medical bills workers’ comp didn’t pay. One of the primary benefits of workers’ compensation is free medical care related to your work injury. Sometimes the insurance company doesn’t do its job. We need to make sure they do so that you don’t get saddled with medical debt you should never have.
- A timeline of the work you’ve missed. This helps us protect your right to your weekly check if you’ve been shorted by the insurance company. They may be up to date on your checks. If not, bring any documentation you have of missed work, which might include paystubs showing the times you missed for the injury.
- Your photo ID, like a driver’s license. We may need a copy of this for your file, which can help identify you if that’s required.
- Accident report or documentation of the injury. This may come from your employer. But if you are involved in a car accident while working, it’s at least the form you got from the officer at the scene. You may even have a full crash report. Bring what you have.
- Pictures, if you have them. Most folks don’t have pictures of the scene of the injury because it happens at work where you don’t have a camera—and all you care about is getting to the hospital! But you might have pictures of gory wounds or broken bones, or how your wounds healed as time went on, such as removal of stitches or a cast. These can be useful to document the extent of your injuries. It’s sometimes especially helpful to document things that are hard to describe, like the extent of painful swelling to an ankle that’s “as good as it will get” but still balloons to the size of a grapefruit if you stand it for more than a half-hour.
- Contact info for any witnesses. Witnesses are often unnecessary in these cases because many accidents are admitted. And you don’t have to prove the injury was anyone’s fault. In fact, it can even be yours! Plus, as you might imagine, getting your co-workers to testify against your employer generally just doesn’t work. For what’s it worth, you’re very likely not going against your employer—your benefits usually get paid by an insurance company.
- A quick summary in your own words. IF YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR LAWYER SOME BONUS INFO, type or write up a short statement summarizing your accident, injuries, and treatment. We cover all that in our first meeting.
- Additional relevant info. We might need a little more information if your injury got caused by someone else who doesn’t work for your employer. The classic example of this is if you drive for work and someone else causes a car crash. In that case, we can pursue the at-fault driver for additional compensation, called a “third-party case.” A third-party case complicates and improves your case at the same time. For a car crash, we will need information about the wreck.
Now you’re ready! If you really want to “wow” your potential lawyer, organize this stuff by category into a folder or file. This saves a tremendous amount of time, so I can hit the ground running in our strategy session and move it as fast as possible for you to get the answers you need.
Take Control of Your Case
Even if you’re not ready to meet with an attorney, you still need your questions answered. You’re an injured amateur against a colossal insurance company, and you need help! We have a lot available for you, and not just on this website. Be sure to download my workers’ compensation book for free, which answers a lot of questions you are likely already asking—or should ask.
It won’t cost you a thing to meet with us, and it certainly won’t cost you anything but a little time to get your questions answered. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. We’ll get your questions answered and get you pointed in the right direction.