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After you have had a car accident and contacted a vehicle accident attorney, it is natural to wonder what happens next. The first thing that will happen is that you will have an initial meeting with the attorney. This is important so the attorney can assess the case. Also, it is important because you should be sure you are really comfortable with having this attorney represent you. So this first meeting is of the utmost importance.
Even if you have had a brief assessment of your personal injury case online or over the phone, your attorney will not have a complete picture of the circumstances and facts about the case until you sit down face to face.
First you will explain exactly what happened in the vehicle accident and what your damages are. The conversation will most likely be with your attorney, or possibly a legal assistant who works with your attorney. After you have provided the details of the case, there will be some follow-up questions, such as:
Your attorney will also need you to offer any documents you have that relate to the crash, including medical bills, car repair bills, pictures, law enforcement reports, letters and emails from insurance companies.
It is important during this initial meeting to not hold anything back about your vehicle accident case, even if you think it could damage your claim. Even if you have not actually hired this attorney, the first meeting is fully protected by attorney-client privilege. Also, if you withhold any information about your case, it will almost certainly hurt you later.
For example, your attorney may agree to take the case, but if you did not tell him that you were partially at fault in the crash, this could jeopardize the claim. Be sure that you are completely honest about every part of the case, whether you think it is good or bad for your side.
There can arise situations where the attorney will not take your case. That does not always mean you do not have a case. Attorneys can turn down cases for many reasons. He or she could have a workload that is currently too heavy, or there could be possible conflicts of interest. It may be that the scope of the suit does not match his skills and experience. Last, the attorney may not have enough financial backing to try the case.
If the personal injury attorney does agree to take the case, ask what he or she thinks the possible outcomes are, but remember that the attorney may not be able to totally predict your odds of success and the exact award you can anticipate. There are many unknowns, especially what a jury will do with the case if it gets to that point.
Whether this personal injury attorney will work for you is your decision. It is important to find an attorney you are entirely comfortable with, and one who has the skills and experience in your type of case. If you were in a rear-end crash, it would be helpful to hire an attorney with a demonstrated success record in rear-end crashes. Other considerations are the level of trial experience he has, who will really handle your case, and what the fee is and who pays for litigation expenses along the way,
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect when you hire a personal injury attorney, you should be better prepared if you need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.