04 Dec What to Expect at Your First Meeting with a Personal Injury Lawyer
You will likely want to hire a lawyer when you have been injured as the result of a car accident that was not your fault. The first meeting with the lawyer you decide to work with covers a great deal of information. People typically ask their family members, friends and colleagues about personal injury lawyers they have used in the past and their experiences with those lawyers. Most people also search lawyers on the internet and spend time browsing law firms’ websites to get a sense of various firms and lawyers who have experience dealing with ICBC. Some firms will have you attend the initial meeting with a staff member at the firm who gathers information and brings that information to the handling lawyer. The handling lawyer may stop by to say hello but does not attend the entire meeting. Other firms will have you meet with the personal injury lawyer who will be handling your file from start to finish.
The initial meeting structure varies among lawyers and among firms, however, there is basic information that needs to be exchanged between you and the lawyer to decide whether to pursue your ICBC case together. The following are five key information areas that in our view ought to be covered in your first meeting:
- Be prepared to provide a description of the collision, including date, time, location, direction of travel, weather, your positioning as the driver, cyclist, motorcyclist, passenger or pedestrian, as well as any information you have about the other parties involved in the collision.
- Bring with you a copy of any police report, witness information, photos depicting vehicle damage or the scene, ICBC claim number, communication with adjusters and any other information you have relating to the collision.
- Bring with you a copy of your insurance information as well as that of the other party(s) involved (if you have it), including contract information relating to any extended benefit policies to which you may have access.
- Be prepared to provide a detailed description of the injuries you sustained and a listing of health care practitioners you have seen.
- Be prepared for a discussion about how the lawyer will be paid and what other costs to expect when you retain counsel to represent you including disbursements paid, court fees, costs of obtaining records and other expenses likely to be incurred.
You will likely have some, but not all, of the information outlined above. Just be sure to bring the information you do have available with you as it will allow for a more efficient first meeting to take place for both you and the lawyer. In our view it is important to consider whether you and the lawyer you are meeting with are compatible and that you feel comfortable discussing your claim with that person. You want to be sure that you will be working with someone who values you and understands what you are going through.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, please contact Sitka Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your ICBC claim. Your initial contact will be with the lawyer who will be handling your claim every step of the way to get you the settlement you deserve.