How to Prepare for a Consultation with a Truck Accident Lawyer

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By Marcus Fernandez

Thousands of people are injured or killed as a result of truck accidents every year. If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a truck accident and believe negligence was the cause, you may be considering consulting with a truck accident attorney.

At the same time, you may be unfamiliar with the process of working with an attorney and how to approach it. You may also be doubtful as to whether you have a valid case, or you may be wondering what to bring to your consultation. In any case, the following are some ways to prepare for an initial consultation with a lawyer.

The Initial, Free Consultation

If you wish to work with an attorney to represent you in a truck accident case and handle the negotiation process with insurers and other parties, you will need to meet the lawyer in an initial consultation. These consultations should always be free–it’s a red flag if the lawyer charges any type of fee from the start.

During the consultation, the lawyer will evaluate your case and attempt to understand the specific circumstances of your accident and injuries. The attorney can determine if you have a viable case and provide professional advice on how to proceed with litigation, including advice on whether you may be able to file a lawsuit and what type of compensation you may be able to seek.

Make Your Intentions Clear

One of the keys to finding the right attorney is to make sure you’re a good fit for each other based on the outcome you want to achieve. It’s important for an attorney to make you feel comfortable and establish that you should feel free to ask any questions you likely have. You may want to meet with multiple attorneys to gauge which is the best fit.

During a consultation, tell the attorney what type of compensation you believe you deserve and how you want to approach the case. A good attorney will let you know whether you have a viable claim and set realistic expectations for the type of compensation you may be able to recover.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

Before the consultation, there are certain types of documents to gather and other steps to take to ensure that you’re prepared. The following are some items you should collect and bring to a consultation.

Documented Evidence of the Accident and Injuries

During your free consultation, the attorney will want to discuss the accident and the injuries resulting from the accident. In the process, the attorney will want to learn about the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident that caused them, along with the individual who was at fault. To help the attorney understand the nature of the accident and any injuries sustained, bring any documentation that supports your claim.

Evidence could include proof that the accident resulted in lost wages due to time taken off from work, along with any medical bills and records. Photos of the scene of the accident and injuries may also support a claim, and police reports are also potentially helpful. If you collected details about the other driver, including license plate number, insurance details, or contact information, share these with the attorney. Eyewitness statements may also help.

Personal Notes About the Claim and Your Injuries

Like other types of personal injury cases, you will need to be able to effectively reconstruct the incident and detail how any injuries developed. In addition to any evidence of the accident, you should also bring any personal notes that detail your thoughts and feelings about the accident and injuries. Even if your memory of the incident isn’t entirely clear, do what you can to recollect the events as they occurred to help paint an accurate picture of the accident.

Your memory of the event and subjective perception may be able to help support police reports and other eyewitness accounts to strengthen your claim and determine who was at fault. If you can, take notes as soon as you can following the accident while your memory is fresh. Otherwise, it may become difficult to recall details about the accident and how it took place.

For example, you could bring notes on the events leading up to, during, and immediately following the accident as you remember them. You can also include notes about how you felt and your overall experience. Also, take note of the specific time and place of the accident, what other drivers or pedestrians stated, and road and weather conditions present at the time of the accident.

Documentation of All Damages Sustained

During the consultation, the attorney will also want to know about the types of damages that resulted from the accident. Damages could be either monetary or non-monetary. Certain monetary damages are more easily quantified and may include medical bills, medical procedure costs, damage to vehicles and other belongings, lost wages from the time needed to recover, and ongoing treatment. Meanwhile, non-monetary damages may include any pain and suffering that have resulted from your injuries, and psychological trauma.

To help prove these damages, bring evidence such as:

  • Time missed from work due to recovery 
  • The specific types of physical and psychological injuries and the extent of them 
  • Details about medical treatments you’ve received because of your injuries, including any medications, doctor’s appointments, and surgeries 
  • Time missed from events you were forced to cancel 
  • Details about ongoing medical treatments 
  • Effects on your social and personal life, including relationships with your spouse or others 
  • Information about how your injuries have affected your ability to work 

Questions You Have About Your Case

Apart from evidence, you will likely have many questions to ask an attorney throughout a consultation. Some commonly asked questions that you may also bring with you could include:

  • Do I have a valid case? 
  • How much compensation may I be able to recover? 
  • How can I cover my medical treatment? 
  • How long will it take to settle my claim? 
  • How long do I have to wait to receive compensation? 
  • What happens if I’m missing any evidence? 
  • Do I need to hire an attorney? 
  • Could an attorney help me obtain evidence? 
  • How do I pay an attorney? 

Consult with a Truck Attorney as Soon as Possible

Keeping all of these aspects in mind, including any evidence, notes, and questions to bring to a consultation, it’s important to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Every truck accident case has a statute of limitations that will depend on where the accident took place, so it’s best to build a claim as soon as you can to avoid reaching the statute of limitations.

An experienced and reputable truck accident attorney will be able to meet with you to discuss your case and determine if you can seek compensation. With adequate preparation and evidence, you’ll be able to increase your chances of recovering both monetary and non-monetary damages if another party was at fault.