What should I bring to my attorney’s office for the initial personal injury consultation?

Written Summary of the Event
Prepare a written one page statement that summarizes the event. This will give your attorney a good factual basis for evaluating your claims.

Provide a Timeline
In addition to the written summary, prepare an accurate timeline of events. Include the dates and times of all the important events. The timeline should include things like the date and time the event occurred, each time you received medical treatment and where, the names of the doctor(s) who treated you, when you talked with the police and the names of who you talked with, if and when you had contact with the insurance company and who you spoke with, if anyone else has contacted you about the case, etc. When your attorney builds a case, he or she will create a detailed timeline and your timeline can be a good starting point.

Provide Medical Records
If you have received medical treatment due to your personal injury case, you should have on hand copies of any medical records you have received over the course of the treatment. This includes a description of the treatment, medical bills and prescription records.

Police Report and Information
If the police were involved in your event, you should try to obtain a police report before your meeting and take it with you. You should also bring the name, and badge number if you have it, of any law enforcement officer involved.

Insurance Information
If applicable, you should bring the name of your insurance company, the other party’s insurance company along with the addresses, phone numbers and policy numbers. It can also be a good idea to have a copy of your policy or your insurance card.

A picture can be worth a thousand words when building a case. Even if you just took a snapshot at the scene of the incident with your cellphone, you should bring it along. Also, you should make visual documentation of your injuries and any related property damage as well. Even if you didn’t take pictures at the time of the incident, it may be helpful to go back and take pictures of the scene for reference when explaining what happened.

Job Information
If you have missed work due to your injuries, it is important that you document lost wages. Bring along pay stubs, tax returns, business records, or any other documentation you have that could be used to calculate how much wages or business you have lost. If you have taken personal time or sick leave, bring along this documentation as well.

Other Documentation
Bring along any other documentation that could be helpful as well. For example, if you were bitten by a dog at a party, bring along a copy of the invitation. If you were injured by a defective product, bring along a sample of the product including its label and a receipt where you bought it. If you were injured by a pharmaceutical drug, bring along a copy of the prescription.

If there were any witnesses in your case, bring a list of all the information you know about these witnesses including their name, phone number, email address, and physical address. If you do not have this information but there were witnesses present, make a list of everything you can remember about the people who were at the scene. This information could be helpful in tracking down witnesses.

Personal information
Provide your attorney with a brief social history including family information, educational background and medical and prior injury history.

As you are preparing for your initial consultation, keep a running list of questions that you have.