The following few days or weeks after a car accident can be challenging. Stress and worry can set in as your vehicle gets repaired. Financial concerns can hit hard as your time off work becomes extensive. Almost 1,000 fatal car crashes occurred in Michigan in 2017 alone, so being able to walk away from yours was a feat in itself. Of course, pain from injuries or treatment can make it seem like you’ll never get your head above water again. Preparing for your first meeting with your Michigan personal injury attorney may be the last thing on your mind, yet that may be the first step to regaining control again. But how should you prepare to ensure you get the most out of that meeting?
Locate the Police Report
If police were called to the accident, you should have your own copy of the report. If they were called but you don’t have one, get it prior to your consultation. The report will contain pertinent details including the names involved, witnesses, vehicle descriptions, and possibly even an initial determination of the guilty party. If no report was filed, write down the names of witnesses you know and their contact information.
Organize Pictures of the Accident
If your car accident was bad enough to cause damage, pictures should have been taken at the scene. Locate those pictures and bring the flash drive or smartphone to the appointment. The pictures can offer extra clues to decide who was at fault and possibly even clear you of responsibility or help expedite the case.
Document Your Own Memories
The police report and pictures may help recall details of the accident, but they may also help you remember embarrassing mistakes or events on your part. Regardless of how many issues were involved, the more you can remember and write down the better. Essential details may include the date and time of the accident, the exact location, how the accident occurred, the weather and road conditions, and what happened on your end right before the crash. Swerving to avoid hitting a squirrel, bending down to scratch your ankle, or turning your head for a split second to address snarky teens all matter here.
Get Proof of Your Injuries and Medical Treatment
Approximately 20% of all reported car crashes involve injuries. Out of six million crashes annually, 3 million people are hurt. Paying for treatment on your own or even relying on work insurance coverage can lead to countless headaches, but you may be able to get reimbursed. Before meeting with an attorney, obtain your initial and follow-up diagnosis and treatment plans. Gather the names of professionals, clinics, and hospitals that provided treatment. Get documentation of types and dates of X-rays and other tests. And get verification of your past symptoms, current condition, and medical reports of any previous similar injuries.
Prepare a List of Questions
Remember that an attorney isn’t just assessing you, you’re also assessing the attorney. So prepare a list of questions to see if they fit your needs. Inquire about the number of car accident cases they’ve worked on, the date of their latest case, and if any were similar to yours. Ask if they go to trial or prefer settling out of court. Confirm their communication options–phone, email, etc.–and how quickly they respond. And make sure you understand their fee breakdown and your responsibilities to ensure continuing with the potential Michigan personal injury attorney is even worth it on your end. After all, your comfort and security should always be prioritized.