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What Happens When You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Most people in Utah only call a personal injury lawyer when they need help getting started with an accident claim. That’s only to be expected, of course – attorneys are like plumbers, electricians and other service professionals in that clients contact us only when necessary.

But, this does lead many to wonder what to expect when contacting a personal injury lawyer for the first time. For an explanation, take a look at the following.

personal injury lawyer Utah

Gathering Information

When you call a Utah law firm about an accident claim, you’ll want to have some info handy – a personal injury lawyer will need to get at least some of the facts to determine if and how they can help. You can generally expect to be asked 4 out of the 5 W’s:

  • Who? -- Who was involved? Who is at fault for the accident?
  • What? – What happened? What types of injuries did you sustain?
  • When? – When was the accident? When did you first pursue medical attention?
  • Where? – Where did the accident happen? Where did you get medical care?

As for the last of the 5 W’s, the why, that’s pretty obvious – the need for legal advice is why you’re calling a personal injury lawyer. And at this point, after you answer the questions above, the law firm representative you speak with should have a good idea as to whether they can assist with your accident claim. If so, you’ll be invited to the office for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Case Assessment

During the initial phone call to a personal injury lawyer, you’ll only be providing basic information. For the full picture of what your accident claim may entail, the attorney will need to learn all about the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. They’ll get that info when you come into the law firm office for an in-person consultation.

You’ll sit down to chat one-on-one with the personal injury lawyer, and your first step will be to explain what happened and what damages you’ve sustained as a result of the accident. After sharing your story, the attorney may ask a few follow-up questions:

  • Were there any witnesses to the accident? If so, did you get their contact information?
  • Did you take any photos or gather any other evidence at the accident scene?
  • Have you talked to any insurance company representatives? If so, what did you tell them?
  • Have you spoken with friends, family members or anyone else about the accident?

Personal injury cases hinge on the evidence. An attorney will need to be able to prove that someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions were the cause of your injuries and that you have suffered financial losses as a result. So, you’ll need to provide the personal injury lawyer with any documents you may have that pertain to these matters – if you have any of the following documents, you should bring them along to the consultation:

  • Medical records, including bills for treatment, discharge instructions and prescription information
  • Income verification, like pay stubs or W-2s, to show the amount of wages you’ve missed
  • Records of property loss, such as a vehicle repair estimate or invoice for work completed
  • Insurance communications, as in emails and letters you’ve received from insurance companies

Depending on the number and nature of documents you provide, the personal injury lawyer may not thoroughly review everything right away. However, after taking a look at all of the paperwork, they’ll have a good idea as to the strengths and weaknesses of your accident claim.

Question Time

While the primary purpose of a personal injury lawyer consultation is to find out if you have a case and how the attorney can help with your accident claim, you can and should ask your own questions. That way, you’ll be able to figure out if the lawyer you’re meeting with is the right one to hire.

What should you ask? Any question that can help you get a sense of whether or not you want to work with the lawyer is a smart one to ask – use these questions as a starting point for your list:

  • How long have you been in practice as a personal injury attorney?
  • Have you handled any similar accident claims? If so, how did they turn out?
  • Do you take cases to trial if necessary? What is your success rate in court?
  • How many cases do you usually handle? Do you have time to work on this case?
  • What are your legal fees and fee structure? Do you require any upfront payment?
  • Do you foresee any challenges in pursuing compensation from the at-fault party?
  • What is your best guess as to how much this accident claim is worth?

Keep in mind, any questions that are specific to your personal injury case may not be fully answered during the consultation. That being said, you should get enough information to decide if the attorney is a good fit for you – and if you don’t feel that happened, look for a different Utah law firm.

Contact William R. Rawlings & Associates Today

The legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associate has been protecting the rights and interests of accident victims for decades, and we’d love to have a chat about your case. We work with a limited number of clients so that we can provide each one with ample time and attention – and we’ll do whatever we can to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

For a free consultation to discuss your accident claim with an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer, contact our law firm office in Draper or West Valley, Utah, today.

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