Ready to get what’s yours after an accident that wasn’t your fault? It’s time for some legal backup! Here’s how you can get ready for your first meeting with a car accident attorney in San Antonio.
How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With a Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio
Consider Your Questions for the Lawyer
Your first meeting with a lawyer is a time for them to learn information about your case, but it’s also there for you to see if they’re a good fit for you. They should tell you how they usually handle cases like yours, how successful they’ve been in the past, what percentage of their cases go to trial, how they communicate with clients, and what fees you will owe them.
Pro tip: Look for an attorney who offers a free consultation so you can learn more about the logistics of your case and the expected costs. This way, you can raise concerns without making a financial commitment right away.
Write Down Everyone and Everything You Remember
Your first step is to write down everything you remember about the accident and the moments leading up to it. Was the car that hit you swerving into your lane? What was the time of day, and where did it happen? Road conditions, traffic, and the weather could have played a role, too.
All of this information will help your lawyer build your case. The more details you can provide, the better. If you were able to get the phone numbers, names, and email addresses of any eyewitnesses, bring these for your meeting. Bring pictures you took of the accident, too.
Gather Proper Documentation
The key to collecting compensation from your car accident is by having documents that prove the situation is as you describe it. These documents include the police reports, insurance coverage, proof of injury, and your pay stubs.
Police who respond to the scene of a car accident will conduct a report that records the details of the accident, the time and day, statements from both drivers (if available), descriptions of how the accident happened, any laws that were broken, and their own opinions about who caused the accident. Having a police offer corroborate your story can seriously build up your case.
In the state of Texas, you can access crash reports on the TxDOT website. Texas law requires police officers who respond to the scene of a car accident to upload the report within ten days of the accident occurring.
Proof of Injury
You’ll also need proof of all your injuries, whether they’re minor or they’re one of Texas’s 19,000 serious car accident injuries each year. Bring all documents of your medical visits and bills, from the initial phone call for the ambulance to your ongoing treatment. In your claim, you can ask for your compensation to cover the total costs of your recovery, including future prescriptions, surgeries, or therapy that you may need.
Once you agree on a settlement, you can’t get any further compensation, even if your injuries worsen. That’s why it’s crucial to err on the side of taking more proof-of-injury documents to your first meeting than less. Your lawyer will want a full picture of your recovery process so they can determine whether it’s better to file your case promptly or wait.
Your lawyer will want to see all of the relevant insurance details, including your health insurance, your car insurance, and the insurance of the other party. Don’t worry if you were partially at fault for the accident. In Texas, insurance can’t refuse to give you compensation if you are less than 50% responsible.
If you haven’t been able to work because of your injury, your claim will include the lost wages you could have been earning if the accident hadn’t occurred. Bring paychecks or proof of your annual earnings to your meeting so your lawyer can calculate how much you are entitled to. You may lose the ability to keep your current job because of permanent physical or mental limitations from the accident. You can get compensation for this, too.
Car Repair Estimates
Your injuries aren’t the only damages you should receive compensation for. The liable party should be responsible for anything that happened to your vehicle. If you’re able to, take your car in as soon after the accident as possible to get an estimate for repairs. It’s better to do this sooner rather than later so the insurance company won’t try to get out of paying you by claiming that you caused further damage by driving the car after the accident.
Let a lawyer handle the hard parts of your case. By being prepared in the first meeting, you’re one step closer to getting back what’s rightfully yours.