If you were injured in a preventable accident, you may be wondering about what takes place during a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Napa, San Francisco, or elsewhere in California and Arizona. Once you have conducted some research and you are ready to schedule a consultation with a member of RS Law Offices, here is what to expect.
During this consultation, your lawyer will first want to get your detailed account of what exactly happened. Were you involved in a car accident? Crosswalk accident? Were you hit by a tractor-trailer? Were there any passengers in your vehicle? Did you get the other driver’s insurance information? These are some of the common questions your attorney will ask during the consultation. The length of the consult will vary widely, depending on the specific facts of your case.
Your Napa personal injury attorney will want to look over any paperwork, documents, photographs, etc. that you have concerning the accident. This includes:
• Photographs of the accident scene
• Photographs of your injuries
• Accident reports
• Police investigation notes
• Citations or tickets
• Witness statements
• Self-taken notes
• Doctor’s notes and emergency room notes
• Automobile insurance policy
• Health insurance card
• Any information about the other driver
Bringing all this information gives your attorney the biggest, most complete picture of your case possible so that you can receive the most accurate information possible. The more thorough the information the attorney has to assess, the better.
Before your consult, make sure to write down a list of questions you want to ask the attorney. This is important because consultations do not last forever, so it is best for both of you if your questions are prepared. Make sure you cover anything that you have been wondering about. This is half the reason for a consultation in the first place. Be prepared to ask questions about how your medical treatment will be paid for, how long the process will take before a settlement is reached, how much insurance money may be available to you, and any other questions you may have.
Once you have given your account of what happened and explained your harms and losses, your attorney will provide a general assessment on the viability of your personal injury case. This includes an overview of what to expect if a claim is filed, the possible defenses that could be asserted, the possibility of reaching a settlement, and the potential for actually obtaining a financial recovery.
Once you and your attorney have discussed possible options, strategies, and a general plan of action, it is time to handle the logistics. The Los Angeles and San Jose personal injury attorneys with RS Law Offices takes cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will only be paid for our work when we recover compensation for your harms and losses. This is the best plan for both parties. At this point you will sign a contract in which you and the attorney agree to the fees discussed and give the attorney limited permission to sign documents on your behalf—this is called the partial power of attorney. This is used for things like medical releases and documents submitted to the court. You will also sign an HIPPA release form so that your attorney can request your medical information and records. This way, they can handle the majority of the work for you, without you having to run around town or spend hours on the phone searching for documents.
After you have covered all the information above, and the contract and documents are signed, an attorney with RS Law Offices will go to work for you. They will notify the insurance company(s) of their demands, and negotiations will begin. If things cannot be worked out directly with the insurance company, then mediation, arbitration, and eventually a lawsuit could potentially be pursued. If you have questions or concerns, you will be able to contact your attorney directly and they will respond to your questions promptly.