How to Get Ready for Your First Meeting With a Lawyer

You made the call or filled out the online contact form, and you have an upcoming appointment with an Illinois personal injury attorney. This may be the first time you’ve ever met with a lawyer, and you may be wondering what you should do to prepare for the meeting.

What to Bring With You

You may have nothing to bring with you to an initial meeting. However, if you have any of the following documentation, then it could be useful to your discussion with a lawyer:

  • Police report or other accident report
  • Medical records
  • Pictures or video from the accident scene
  • The name and contact information for accident witnesses

Questions to Ask

Your meeting is, in part, about a lawyer evaluating your potential personal injury claim, but it is also about you having the chance to interview the attorney so that you can decide whether this is the lawyer you want to hire. To make this determination, you may need to ask questions such as:

  • How are you paid?
  • Have you previously represented clients in similar cases to mine?
  • Are you willing to go to court if a fair settlement can’t be reached?
  • What do you think my case might be worth?
  • How does a personal injury case work?
  • How will you communicate with me during my case?
  • Can I talk to other clients or read testimonials from previous clients?
  • Can I read about any of your past settlements or court verdicts?

Of course, you should also ask any questions specific to your case that you might want answered.

Come as You Are

If you don’t have the documentation described above or you forget to think of questions before your meeting, then don’t worry. You don’t have to cancel or reschedule. The most important thing that you can do to protect your legal rights is to show up for your appointment. The lawyer you are meeting with will walk you through the meeting and make you comfortable. You will leave with the information that you need about the lawyer you met and with the information that you need to make an informed decision about pursuing a personal injury case.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham