Okay. I’ve figured out that I needed an attorney. I’ve done my research and decided that David Vogel is the best choice to represent me. Now what?
Preparing for Your First Meeting with David Vogel
It is important that you are prepared for your first meeting with me – or any other attorney – regarding your personal injury case. Preparation saves time and money, leading to a faster resolution of your claim.
I’m going to want to know about you – who you are, how to contact you, and some information about your personal background. If you’d like, you can fill out this questionnaire ahead of time. You may either submit the completed form for review, or , if we have a scheduled appointment, you can print and bring it with you.
While you’re visiting for the first time we’ll talk about your case and take the opportunity to get to know the other, and learn whether our working styles will complement each other. Remember that your consultation is covered by attorney-client privilege, so honesty is in your best interest.
You are most likely the best person to give an honest assessment of the various parties involved in your case. I’m probably going to ask some tough questions about the opposition – as well as your witnesses. If there are complicating factors regarding your case it is much better to get them on the table early.
I’m going to need the names of the company or individuals involved and potential witnesses. In addition to documenting this information for future reference, this will also help me determine if there is a conflict of interest. In the event I have represented someone involved in your claim, there is a possible conflict of interest and I would be unable to represent you. In that event, however, I can refer you to another attorney.
Written documentation of your injury and damages is especially important in a personal injury case. Bring all documents relevant to your situation to the meeting. This could include:
Any document detailing your injuries
Relevant hospital, doctor and therapy records
Bills from medical care providers
Documentation regarding insurance coverage of your medical bills
Reports from doctors regarding your diagnosis and prognosis
Information about anticipated future medical costs
Information regarding work you missed as a result of your injury
A calendar with all the important dates like the date of injury, dates of surgery or other injury-related treatment
A description of any interaction with insurance companies
Correspondence with insurance companies
Any claims already filed with your employer or an insurance company
Questions You May Want to Ask Me:
I encourage my clients to prepare a list of questions to bring with you to our first meeting. Some questions frequently asked include:
What are your options?
What problems do I foresee with your case?
What is the process for handling your claim?
How long will it take to bring the matter to a conclusion?
What is the statute of limitations for your case?
You’ll likely want to ask how I will charge for my services:
Is a contingency fee possible?
Will expert witnesses be necessary and how much will they cost?
What other out of pocket expenses do I anticipate?
Will I advance out of pocket costs?
Can my law firm financially afford to prosecute the case if it’s necessary to go to trial and wait for payment on a judgment?
Will there be a retainer payable up front?
Would any unused portion of a retainer be refundable?
Near the end of the meeting, in the event you elect to hire me and I am able to take your case, we will prepare and sign an agreement specifying the terms of our arrangement that sets forth each of our rights and responsibilities in managing your matter. It is important that you understand your responsibilities so I can best represent you.
As a client, what are your rights – and responsibilities to your attorney? This article covers those questions: Client Rights — And Responsibilities .