What To Expect: Personal Injury Intake Checklist
Let's imagine that you've recently sustained an injury at no fault of your own. Whether it was a car wreck or a slip and fall, the accident and the injuries you sustained can have a lasting impact on your body and your wallet. Have you considered hiring an attorney to help you recover time and money lost?
Destiny Kindred, Legal Assistant at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren, walks us through the personal injury intake process, step-by-step. (If your accident involves an automobile wreck, you can also review our previous blog post What to Do (and What to Avoid) During & After a Car Wreck.)
Your Initial Consultation
Your first meeting with the WBW team can be in person or over the phone, if that is more convenient for you. This meeting can last from 30 minutes to an hour. The initial consultation helps address several matters: determining whether Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren is the right firm to advocate for you, gathering the details of the incident, and determining a plan of action to move forward.
During your initial meeting, you will likely speak to more than one member of the WBW team. One person will be an experienced personal injury attorney. The other will be a legal assistant who will help collect the information related to the accident.
Keep in mind that if your consultation takes place over the phone, you will need to come into the office at some point to sign a consent form which allows WBW to request and access your related medical records.
Included below is a list of documents you should provide at your initial consultation.
Accident Report: No matter the type of accident, you should request an accident report. With car wrecks, an accident report from the police will suffice. If you are involved in a slip and fall type incident, WBW experts recommend you speak with the manager at the establishment and ask for a written report of the events that occurred.
Medical Bills: If you have received medical bills for any treatment related to your injuries, please bring those to the meeting.
Insurance Card: WBW will also ask for a copy of your medical insurance.
Social Security Number: The legal team will need your social security number to request your medical records.
Personal Identification or Driver’s License: WBW will use your driver's license number to access your motor vehicle report and your driving history.
Supporting Documents: If you have any photos of your injuries, the accident, or your vehicle immediately post-wreck, please supply those to your legal team, as well.
What can you expect after your initial consultation?
The next steps involve your attorney sending a spoliation letter to the other party(ies) involved in the accident. The purpose of the letter is to preserve video evidence or other documents concerning the event in question.
After reviewing evidence, medical records, and treatment plan, your legal team will meet with you to discuss a plan for resolution. Resolution can include: sending a demand letter to the opposing insurance company, waiting 30 days for a response to the demand letter with an offer, going back and forth with negotiations, and settling the case without litigation. The case can also be settled through mediation after filing a lawsuit on your behalf, or your case can be taken to trial before a judge or jury for a decision.
Please be prepared to answer questions. The Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren team will act as your legal advocate. To do that, we'll need to know many details about you.
“Sometimes the questions can seem a little invasive,” says legal assistant Destiny Kindred, “We will ask you 40 – 50 questions, but they are the same questions the opposing attorneys will ask. Having the answers to these questions will help us build your case.”
It is important to note that the personal injury recovery process can also be lengthy, both in a physical and financial recovery sense.
“It can take six months up to two years, but we want to ensure you get the best outcome,” encourages Kindred.
“For many personal injury cases in Georgia, including car wrecks, the statute of limitations is two years after the accident occurred, in most cases,” says Kindred, “Many times people don’t realize the full extent of their injuries or expenses until weeks after the accident. But the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the better.”
The legal team at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren strive to be attentive and empathetic to our client’s needs. Let us assist you with navigating your personal injury case. Call us today at 229-226-2161 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.