If you’ve been injured in a car crash in northern Virginia and you’re meeting with a lawyer for the first time, there are a number of things that you should think about beforehand. First of all, you should gather as many of these documents as you can and bring them to your first meeting with the lawyer.
Your Version of Events
The first thing that the we’ll will want to discuss with you is what happened. You were in an auto accident. You were injured. We want to hear from your mouth exactly how the crash happened and how you were hurt. We’ll want to know what kind of treatment you’ve had and what kind of treatment your doctors have told you to expect to have. We’ll want to know whether you’ve ever been in any other car crashes and whether you were injured in those. We’ll want to know whether you’ve been dealing with the insurance company at all and, if so, what the adjuster has told you about your case.
We’ll Explain How the Process Works
You shouldn’t feel like you’re in the dark with your case. You shouldn’t feel like the attorney is just handling your case and wants nothing to do with you. We’ll explain the whole process to you – from accident to injury claim to settlement offers to trial. It won’t be in depth (unless you want it to be), but we’ll provide you a basic overview of the system.
You’ll Have Questions
If you’ve never been in an accident before and never hired a lawyer, you’re going to have questions about the process and questions about your lawyer. Usually, the first questions that we get are:
- How long is this going to last?
- What do you think my case will settle for?
Unfortunately, at the outset of a case, it is very difficult to answer either of those questions. But there are other questions that you might not be thinking about that should be on your mind:
- What is your fee in an auto accident case?
- How many cases have you taken to trial in the last year and what results have you gotten?
- Does your firm process my MedPay and PIP payments for free?
- Do I need a lawyer for this case?
You Shouldn’t Feel Pressured
In the vast majority of cases, there is no reason to rush into hiring a lawyer. The exceptions to this are when the statute of limitations is coming up in your case or when you have collections companies beating down your door. If the statute of limitations is approaching, you’ll need to hire someone quickly to file the lawsuit. If the bill collectors are threatening suit over your medical bills, we can sometimes step in between you and them and get the collectors to withhold suit until your case is settled.
In all other cases, there is no hurry to hire an attorney. You should avoid attorneys who tell you otherwise or who make you promises about the result in your case. You should feel free to take any documents that the attorney is asking you to sign home with you to review and return if you want. Just remember that no attorney-client relationship exists until the retainer agreement has been signed by both parties.