Hi, this is Roger Ghai and I want to talk a little bit about what you should bring to your first meeting with your lawyer in case you’ve been involved in some type of injury case. First of all, you should if you can, get a copy of your police report. You should also bring any correspondence that you have received from the insurance company. You should also bring if you can, any photographs of the damage to your car. As to what you might expect, normally, what will happen is this. You should also bring if you’ve been to the emergency room or any other type of medical doctor, that information so that your lawyer can go ahead and order those records. You’ll want to bring all of that information because it really expedites the processing of your case.
Speaking of that, the process of the case, what I would say, there’s three stages to your case. The first stage a lot of time if you’ve been involved in a car accident or if it’s just some type of other injury case, you’re going to want to go ahead and notify the other person who caused the injury, whether it’s a hospital and medical doctor or whether it’s actually in this case, an insurance company a lot of times, or trucking accident insurance company. That’s the first stage of the case. If you’ve been involved in the motor vehicle accident, you’re trying to get your property damage fixed and that type of a thing.
Now, the second stage of the case really is where you are treating with the doctor’s office or the chiropractor’s office. A lot of times, I’ll get clients to try to call me and say,”Hey, how is the case going?” and they’ve been treating with the doctor for a week or two. It’s not really an appropriate time to try to settle the case. Legally, we can’t really settle the case because you have to be completely, 100% released from care. You might not have gotten to your maximum medical improvement as far as being able to get to physically how you were before the accident happened, but at least we have some reports saying, “Okay, well, this is as best as it can be and this is what the impairment rating is by the attending physicians.”
If you’re treating with the doctor’s office for two months or a month or six weeks or eight weeks or sometimes even longer, then, it’s at that point that the lawyer can actually go ahead and order all of your medical records and then go ahead. The third stage of the case is really where during that time you might not have a lot of communication with your lawyer as far as a treatment, except to say that maybe you’re not getting better, maybe need to see another doctor. Other than that, there’s not a lot really going on on your case at that point, other than the fact that that lawyer is already gone ahead and ordered whatever medical records he or she can order at that point.
Now, the third stage of the case is really worth the lawyer kicks in and rolls up the sleeves and begins doing the work on the case. By that time, you’ve been released from the doctor’s office and then we are evaluating the case whether it’s going to be for a case for a lawsuit or whether it’s a case where we think we it would be making some sense to be able to try to sell this with the insurance company.
That’s the overall process of what happens once you’ve been involved in some type of injury claim. If you have been involved in an injury claim, I handle these cases on what’s known as a contingency fee basis, which means I don’t charge you a penny out, I don’t charge you a nickel, I don’t charge you a quarter or a dollar, unless we actually recover on the case. If you want to know more about how that process works, feel free to call me at seven 770-792-1000.