5 Questions a Lawyer Will Ask You in the Initial Consultation

5 Questions a Lawyer Will Ask You in the Initial Consultation

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Law, Updated On
November 28th, 2023
, 179 Views

Accidents are traumatic events. Victims often suffer from physical and emotional losses, in addition to financial stress. The combination of the three can have a massive impact on the victim’s life. However, victims do have a way out of this bad situation. Victims must consult an experienced injury lawyer immediately after an accident. A lawyer will be beneficial to the victim in the following ways:

  • Determine liability
  • Assistance in gathering evidence
  • Calculating compensation
  • Dealing with insurance adjusters
  • Compensation negotiation
  • Representation in court

But here’s the catch: lawyers cannot do all this on their own. They’ll need the assistance of the victim. Assistance here refers to the information the victim shares with the lawyer.

5 Questions a Lawyer Will Ask You in the Initial Consultation

Given below are five questions that you, as a victim of an accident, will be expected to answer. You’d have to answer truthfully, as your lawyer cannot help if they’re kept in the dark about certain aspects of the case.

When and how did the incident/accident occur?

A lawyer MUST know about the details of the incident/accident. Emphasis on the word “must,” as it is important to share all details of the accident with your lawyer.

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Your lawyer cannot help you if you’re not going to tell them what happened at the time of the accident. The information you share helps them decide whether you have a valid case in your hands.

There’s another benefit to this. Some states follow rules like comparative and contributive negligence. The former will lower your final settlement based on your level of involvement, while the latter will prevent you from seeking compensation if you had a role to play in the accident. Sharing details like this will help the lawyer devise a strategy with a higher success rate.

Have you reported the incident/accident to the police?

Reporting the accident to the authorities is important. Some states, like California, for instance, require that you report the accident to the police, regardless of who caused it. A failure to report can have consequences, like having your license suspended.

Another benefit of reporting the accident is that it legitimizes the accident. The officer who investigates your accident will draft a police report. It contains information, like

  • Date and location of the accident
  • Names and contact information of all the parties involved
  • Witness statements
  • A description of what happened
  • Information about the evidence found
  • The officer’s assessment of the situation

Insurance companies consider police reports to be strong evidence. Not reporting your accident to the police only hurts your chances.

5 Questions a Lawyer Will Ask You in the Initial Consultation
credit – freepik.com

Did you collect any evidence?

As bad as it sounds, you have some responsibility when it comes to collecting evidence. The main reason why lawyers ask this is because some evidence may disappear after the accident. The disappearance of evidence will work against you as it becomes difficult to determine who was responsible for the accident.

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This is why everyone is advised to snap photographs of everything in the vicinity of the accident scene. These photographs come in handy at all stages of a compensation claim.

Do you have insurance?

This is another important question. Only 2 out of 50 states in the US allow drivers to operate a vehicle without valid insurance. If you’re caught without insurance, you may end up with fines, license suspension, registration suspension, and sometimes even jail time.

Another reason why your lawyer will ask this question is because of concepts like underinsured or uninsured coverage. Make sure you’re prepared to answer questions related to insurance when you first visit your lawyer.

What are your expectations? Are you willing to settle outside court, or do you want to pursue the case in court?

Your lawyer needs to know about your expectations before taking your case. Each of the two options, an out-of-court settlement, and a lawsuit, has its share of pros and cons.

Out-of-court settlements are quick, while lawsuits are not. Your chances of a better settlement are higher with a lawsuit. Make sure you consider all these options before choosing.

Conclusion

The services of a lawyer are invaluable in an accident case. Their expertise and experience in the field of law are second to none. This is why hiring a lawyer for your case is always the right choice. With the assistance of a lawyer, your compensation claim will go much smoother.

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