You want to accomplish two main goals when you go through a free consultation with a lawyer after a car accident in New York City:
- First, you want to tell your side of the story. You want to explain how the accident happened, describe your injuries and discuss how your injuries have affected your ability to work and function as you normally would. The lawyer should listen closely to you and get information the lawyer will need to assess your case.
- Second, you want to determine if the lawyer is the right one for you. You will want to learn about your legal rights and options and the role that a lawyer can play throughout your case. You will also want to know about the lawyer’s background and success with cases similar to your own.
In order to meet those two goals, you need to be ready. Take these four steps to prepare for your free consultation with a car accident lawyer:
1. Gather all of your documents.
You should be able to describe your accident and your injuries better if you collect and bring documents to your consultation such as the police accident report, vehicle damage estimate and medical bills. You will also help the lawyer to understand your crash if you have photos and the names of eyewitnesses that the lawyer can contact after the consultation.
2. Write down a summary of your accident and injuries.
Memory fades over time. So, while the details are still fresh in your head, you should write down a summary of what you recall about the accident. What do you remember seeing, hearing or even smelling in the moments before the crash occurred? What were you and your passengers doing? You should also keep a journal that tracks your recovery from your injuries. Your summary will help you to explain your case to the lawyer during your consultation.
3. Come with questions.
You should be ready to ask as many questions as you have about your potential car accident claim. For instance, you may want to know how much you could possibly recover in an insurance claim and/or lawsuit, or you may want to know how long your case could take to resolve. Additionally, you should feel free to ask about the lawyer’s training and experience and the lawyer’s approach to serving clients.
4. Be prepared for an open and honest discussion of your case.
Finally, you need to be ready to talk about your case in an open and honest way with the lawyer. If you think that you may be partially at fault, you should tell the lawyer. At the same time, you should expect to receive a frank assessment of your case from the lawyer. For example, the lawyer may explain problems or issues that could arise as you pursue compensation.
Remember: The most important thing you should do after a car accident in New York City is to talk with a lawyer and learn more about your case – even if you cannot be “fully prepared” for the meeting. To get started, contact Zlotolow & Associates, P.C, in Sayville and Manhattan.