When you have been injured in an accident, the last thing you probably think about is how to answer questions attorneys will ask about how your injuries happened. Answering questions incorrectly or inaccurately can significantly impact your chances at making a claim, so it’s important to understand what information an attorney needs to evaluate your claim.
In this article, we will discuss some of the common questions attorneys may ask when they are responding to consultation inquiries. We will illustrate some of the pitfalls potential clients find themselves in that impact their claim and how to phrase your responses to questions so that your attorney can quickly understand the facts and find the most viable ways to help you.
What an Attorney Needs to Know
When you respond to an online consultation request, it’s your first opportunity to let an attorney know what happened. This is one of the most important steps many people make mistakes on that limits the ability to recover for their losses. Too often, potential clients send vague responses that don’t provide enough information.
When an attorney looks at consultation requests, they are looking for several factors. You can help your case by providing relevant information that will encourage an attorney to evaluate your case.
How to Prepare Yourself for Finding a Lawyer
When consultation requests are irrelevant or vague, an attorney is less likely to contact the person who made the request. Some say time is money, and wasting time responding to inquiries that aren’t going to lead to a potential claim wastes money.
You can improve your chances of retaining a top-quality attorney by properly preparing yourself before you begin sending consultation requests. Taking just a few minutes to gather important information related to your accident may enhance your chances of winning your claim.
The Four W’s
Before reaching out to attorneys about your injury, take a few minutes to write down the most important facts. Writing down the Who, What, When, and Where facts about your injury before you start searching for an attorney will help you find the best attorney. By writing this information down ahead of time, you will see information that you need before an attorney asks for it.
Preparing to Answer Who Questions
An attorney is going to need to know more than just your personal information. They also need to know the name of the person you believe caused the accident. While attorney’s can find information through various sources, it’s best when the injured person can provide the names. This can save time and effort for you and the attorney.
Write down the full name of the other person, if you know it. Also write down the names of witnesses, other people who saw the accident, and the names of police officers and medical staff that attended you. If it’s possible, also get phone numbers or addresses from involved persons at an accident scene. Having this information available for your attorney is an important element of your claim.
The Right Way to Answer What Questions
An attorney needs to know more than just the basic facts about your case Before speaking to an attorney, you should write down details about what happened. Start by writing what you remember. Be as detailed as possible. Often, people tend to forget details of an accident quite quickly, so getting this information written down will help you remember the details. When you reach out to an attorney, you’ll be able to describe what happened in enough detail that the attorney might be able to to tell whether you have a claim.
It’s can also be a good practice to write down anything you were told by other people about what happened. It’s common for other people to see an accident from a different perspective, and to notice details you might not have seen. These observations can be important for determining fault, identifying responsible parties, and confirming that you were injured due to the negligence of another person.
When Questions You Need to Know
You’ll need to let an attorney know when an accident happened. Writing down the progression of events before talking to an attorney will help you to organize the facts of your claim. Be sure to document things like the time of day the accident happened as precisely as possible. The responses to this question can also help refresh your memory about what you were doing just before an accident. This is important information an attorney will need for your claim.
Answering Questions About Where an Accident Happened
The location where an accident happens is important information you will need to have. You should write down details about where an accident happened. Every minor detail is important, so you should try to write down things like what direction you were going, where other people or objects were at the time, and where the other person was just before the accident.
Be sure to also record things like the weather, light conditions, and traffic details that may have an impact on how an accident happened. It’s easy to forget many details about where an accident happened, but it can be important for your claim.
How an Attorney Uses Your Answers to Decide to Take Your Case
Personal injury lawyers handle claims that arise from injuries people suffer that are the fault of another person. Just because an incident happened doesn’t always mean you have a claim, though. Attorneys must be able to look at the facts of your claim and determine the likelihood of success.
When an attorney looks at the who, what, when, and where facts of your claim, they often can make a determination about how the accident occurred. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to see similarities and differences between your claim and others they have handled. This is how an attorney decides to take your claim.
Unfortunately, many people have valid claims of personal injury losses, but don’t prepare themselves to answer an attorney’s questions. When you can provide lots of solid information about your claim, you will have a better chance of presenting the best possible claim for your injuries.
Examples of the Kinds of Information You Need
Personal injury law covers a lot of different areas. From car accidents, to property liability, and even defective products and injuries suffered on the job, a personal injury lawyer handles lots of different types of cases. The kinds of information can vary based on the nature of the injury.
In every case, the most important thing is that you seek medical attention for your injuries. Without documented proof of an injury, it is difficult to recover on a personal injury claim. There may be other legal remedies you can seek to recover losses, but a personal injury attorney likely won’t be able to help.
Medical Records You Need
Some of the important information you will need:
- The name of the hospital or clinic that saw you
- The name of the Doctor who treated you
- The diagnosis of your injuries
A frequent mistake many people make when they are injured is to downplay the extent of their injuries. This is the wrong thing to do. When you see a medical professional for your injuries, discuss everything. Even if the things that are bothering you are minor, it’s vital that you have a medical record of the injury.
Discuss Everything with the Doctor
Be sure to tell medical professionals about every bump, bruise, and scrape, every ache and pain you have. Nothing is too small or irrelevant, and often, seemingly small injuries can be a sign of a serious injury.
When a personal injury attorney takes your case, they will need to see the extent of your injuries. Often, when injured people downplay the extent of their injuries, important aspects are missed. A minor headache, for example, could indicate a head injury. Head injuries can take a long time before symptoms are noticed, and can also develop into serious, life altering medical problems days or weeks after the injury.
If you don’t tell a medical professional about a minor pain such as a headache, they won’t investigate the likelihood of an injury, and an attorney won’t be able to recover losses you may suffer from long-term effects. You may even be stuck with medical bills because you failed to tell a doctor about a headache.
How an Attorney Can Help
In many cases, you or your loved one may have been seriously injured and unable to gather relevant records, including who was involved, what happened, where the accident happened, and even when it happened. Your personal injury lawyer can help you when you are unable to get the details.
Keep records of:
- Who was involved including witnesses, law enforcement, and medical staff
- What happened to cause the injury
- When the accident happened
- Where the accident occurred
Sometimes, injuries caused by negligence are difficult to win in court because of a lack of supporting evidence. By documenting and recording as much information as possible you stand the best chance of winning. A well-documented accident claim will encourage the best personal injury lawyer to take your case, helping you to get the best settlement possible.