What to Expect When Meeting your Lawyer for the First Time
Usually when a person comes to see a Personal Injury Lawyer they are experiencing a time of stress and worry. Here at Peninsula Personal Injury Lawyers we want you to feel confident in our expertise but also as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We pride ourselves on our relatively informal, welcoming office environment and our professional, yet personable approach. Our aim is to discuss your case so that you understand your rights and entitlement and the process which leaves you informed, assured and confident in our services.
We offer a complimentary initial consultation. So, what should you expect from this first meeting? Let’s talk through some of the aspects:
What is the purpose of the initial consultation?
Our goal is for you to learn about what we offer as lawyers in the personal injury field and decide whether we would effectively represent your interests. To do this we need to evaluate your unique situation so we can advise you of your rights and entitlements with regards to your claim, and what you can expect the process to look like.
It is important that you feel comfortable with your chosen lawyer so that you can communicate well and be as open and honest as possible. This initial meeting helps us both gauge this.
What you should get out of the first meeting?
What you should get out of the first meeting is an understanding of what your rights and entitlements are and the process going forward. You should walk away from this meeting knowing what outcomes we are working towards and what steps we will take to get there.
Many clients want to know the amount of compensation they are entitled to, but it is very unlikely a lawyer will be able to provide that figure at the initial consultation, as the value of your claim is going to be largely dictated by medical evidence yet to be obtained, and by the passage of time, particularly if we are initially meeting fairly close to the time of injury.
What you need to bring:
In short, bring to the initial consultation every document you have related to your claim, it is always better to bring too much than not enough. Sometimes documents may not seem crucial to you but they may contain valuable information you may not be aware of.
For example, in relation to workers’ compensation claims, we like to view the initial workers compensation claim form as well as any other correspondence issued by the insurer, medical reports and certificates. It is important we understand how the accident occurred and what forms have been submitted to the insurance company.
If it is coming up to a year since your accident it is also very important to bring along your Form 36 – Notification of Termination Date issued by the insurer, so that we can provide advice with regards to a potential common law claim.
If you are unsure of the specific documents you may need, you can always give us a call prior to your meeting.
Other than documents it is a good idea to bring any questions you have. It is advisable not to rely on your memory but rather to write them down beforehand. Every person has individual questions that are important to them so make sure to bring them with you. It is also a good idea to bring a notebook with you so you can jot down any notes on the day.
The most important thing to bring with you is honesty and transparency. Remember we are on your side but we have to know all the facts in order to effectively represent you.
Questions your lawyer may ask:
- How the injury occurred
- What is the injury you suffered, and what symptoms do you currently experience and what is the impact of the injury on your life?
- Have you made a claim yet?
- Your employment details
- Have you been in any other accidents or made any other claims? Do you have any pre-existing conditions that may affect the claim?
Taking the first step to booking your meeting may seem daunting but this is the start of the journey to obtaining clarity within a complex legal system. If you haven’t booked yours yet, you can do so here.