Although you are legally allowed to represent yourself in court in a personal injury claim, hiring an experienced attorney can increase your odds of winning your case. What's more, getting expert legal help is likely to get you more money as you heal and recover from the incident without having to handle reams of legal paperwork.
Do I Need An Attorney?
If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, then you probably need a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer will know what questions to ask to lead you through the legal process and get you the compensation you deserve.
As examples, you may be eligible to claim compensation if you've been injured or harmed due to one of the following situations:
- Dog bite at a park, friend's home, or even on your own property if a stray dog or neighbor's/friend's dog bites you
- Vehicle accident, including semi-truck accidents and bicycle accidents
- Being hit by a vehicle while walking
- Slipping and falling at another person's home or place of business or while walking on the sidewalk or crossing the road
- On-the-job injury
Meeting with your attorney for the first time can seem overwhelming but being prepared with the right documents can make the process easier for you as well as your personal injury lawyer.
What Should I Bring to a Meeting with an Attorney?
Seeing the evidence first-hand can help an attorney determine the strength of your case and give you an opportunity to get answers about your claim.
Some things you'll want to bring to your first meeting include:
- Traffic or police report (either the entire report or just the first page knows as the “face sheet”)
- Statements from those who witnessed your injury (or a list of possible witnesses so your attorney can ask for a written statement)
- Insurance information (including the type of coverage and amount of coverage)
- Medical information showing the injuries you sustained as a result of the incident in question, as well as doctor’s notes including your diagnosis
- Any photographs or videos that may support your claim
- Recording of your 911 call (if you made one)
Keep in mind that there is statute of limitations in California for filing a personal injury claim, so taking action as early as possible is important. If you've been injured due to the careless action or inaction of a third party, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A good attorney can offer the advice you need to make well-informed decisions and claim the compensation that is your due.