Hello everyone, this is Robert Mansour, and I want to spend a couple of minutes now talking about what to bring to your initial personal injury consultation with the attorney. Let's begin. The first thing you want to bring with you is the police report if you have one. If you don't have a police report, find out when it's going to be available. Usually the officers will give you a little card at the scene with a report number on it, and a phone number. You should call and find out when that police report is going to be available. Your own insurance company might have already obtained a copy of the police report. You might want to call them, and see if they have it, or if they have access to it. At the very least, find out when it's going to be available.
The next thing you should bring to your personal injury consultation is any and all photos you have of the damage to your car, any injuries to your body. Any photos of damage to the car that hit you. Pictures speak a thousand words, and it's very compelling when you have very good pictures. Take pictures from different angles, don't just take a real close up picture that doesn't really tell the story. Take a picture from different angles, different distances. Remember, the insurance adjuster's job is to belittle your case from the very beginning. Your job is to make sure that they don't belittle your case by taking decent photos to tell the story of just how bad your accident was.
The next thing you want to bring is insurance information. If you have insurance information of the responsible party, claim number, phone numbers of the claims adjuster you've been speaking to, the claims adjusters ... They have a policy number that you might have. Maybe you have a claim number. All of the information that you have about the other party. You want to bring your insurance information. You want to specifically bring something called your declarations page. People say, "What's the declarations page?" The declarations page is a summary of all the insurance that you have on your policy. Usually when you get that little card in the mail that you put in your glove compartment, and it's proof of insurance. Your declarations page is usually with that. It shows all the different kinds of insurance that you have. Here's why you need that. Number one, if you're going to bring a claim, you have to establish that you have insurance. Number two, we may need to approach your insurance company if the other party doesn't have adequate insurance, or perhaps they have no insurance at all. That would be important to bring.
You want to make sure that you bring any of your personal information, an address, phone number, all of that stuff the attorney's really going to need that to be able to help you in evaluating your case. If you have any information about witnesses, people who saw the accident, who could testify about the accident. That would be very helpful as well.
If you've been to a hospital or any other medical care, see if you can get your medical records that you already have. Let's say you have an accident and then you went to the hospital and then you went to urgent care. Maybe you went to your own doctor. You might want to try to get your medical records and billing from all of those places. That might be helpful as well. At the very least, a list of all the medical care that you have received up to that point. If you don't have any medical care after that point, that's okay, but if you do you want to make a list of it and bring it to your attorney, because they're not going to just know about that. You need to communicate that to them.
Armed with this preliminary information about how the accident happened, the attorney might be able to give you some advice about what your options are going to be. At your first initial consultation, present the attorney with the information, listen to all of the options. You're under no pressure, usually. Just go ahead and think about it, and then make the best decision that is best for you and for your family. By the way, that decision might be not to bring a claim at all. You might decide, "You know what, it's too much trouble, it's too much risk, I don't really want to go through all this." That's a perfectly legitimate decision.
You might decide that you do want to pursue a claim. In which case, you might be able to pursue on your own, or you might be able to pursue it with the help of an attorney. A good lawyer will tell you whether or not you are better served having a lawyer, or better served, perhaps, not involving an attorney, and just doing it on your own. I hope you found this video very helpful. Thank you very much. Please call my office if I can be of assistance.
Call us at (661) 414-7100 to see if we can help with your personal injury case.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,