Many potential clients are not able to get the most out of the free initial consultation with a Houston personal injury lawyer. The reason for this is that they do not bring all the necessary documents that allow the attorney to evaluate the merits of the case. As we will explain in this article, knowing whether you have a case as soon as possible is critical both for you and for the personal injury lawyer who is likely to represent you.
Time runs fast after a car crash, workplace accident or any type of personal injury case. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 16.003, you have only 2 (two) years from the date of your accident to file your claim. For this reason, you should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston as soon as possible after your accident. And you should help the lawyer understand how the crash happened in any way you can.
The Personal Injury Lawyer Must Be Able to Evaluate Your Proportion of Fault
There is one basic prerequisite for having a valid personal injury case in Texas. According to the comparative negligence principle, you must not be greater than 50 percent. Therefore, the personal injury lawyer must be able to find out whether you are eligible to file an accident claim.
You must be certain that the other party’s insurance company is actively investigating the case. There is nothing that will remain hidden and undiscovered. Thus, you must be 100% honest when you come for the initial consultation with a personal injury attorney and disclose every pertinent aspect concerning your accident.
These Are the Documents You Must Bring to the Initial Meeting with a Lawyer
A Houston personal injury attorney will want to see the following documents supporting your claim:
1. The Accident Report Prepared by Houston Law Enforcement Officers
After a car accident, you have to report it by calling 9-1-1. A law enforcement team will investigate the accident scene and prepare a report. You can obtain this report from the Houston Police Department’s Public Affairs Division in three ways:
- By mail
- In person
- From the Texas DOT website.
As your personal injury lawyer in Houston will explain to you, this report is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence in any car accident case. It is an unbiased and professional description of the potential circumstances of the accident. The other party will definitely get this report and try to interpret its findings to their own benefit.
2. Medical Records
One of the most important things a personal injury lawyer must prove is that you suffered your injuries and economic losses as a result of the respective accident. And the best way of proving it is by showing medical records prepared by the emergency medical team or the admitting ER unit within a short time after the crash.
Such records include:
- The initial report issued by the ambulance doctor
- The admission to hospital record
- X-rays, MRI scans and other test results
- Hospital discharge file including the recommendations for ongoing treatment
- Prescriptions for medication and physical therapy.
With the help of these documents, the attorney will be also able to evaluate the extent of your injuries and the level of your pain and suffering.
3. Pay Slips Indicating Your Weekly Wages
Economic damages include the amount of wages you lost as a result of the accident. For some people, this loss is significant. They have to spend months in hospital and rehabilitation centers. If they are the main breadwinner in the family, this results in severe financial difficulties and going into debt just to make ends meet.
Proving the amount of the wages you usually get with several pay slips will allow the personal injury lawyer to calculate your total lost wages.
4. Photos and Videos Taken at the Accident Scene
You should not rely only on the police report to prove your case. Photos and videos taken at the accident scene are the most reliable piece of evidence for a lawyer. Based on these images the personal injury lawyer in Houston can reconstruct the circumstances of the accident or find a critical element proving the other party’s negligence.
Moreover, if it comes to a serious dispute, these images will allow accident reconstruction experts to re-create the circumstances of the event with great accuracy.
5. Eyewitnesses’ Contact Details
Eyewitnesses are crucial both in settlement negotiations and in a personal injury lawsuit. They are 100% unbiased and have no interest to favor one party over the other. Their testimony and the photos and videos they may have taken can be the key piece of evidence that wins your case.
Thus, you should always ask eyewitnesses for their name and contact details. Your lawyer will approach them as soon as possible in order to obtain their written testimony.
5. Any Bills and Receipts Related to the Accident
Economic damages represent the largest proportion of compensatory damages in a personal injury case. You are eligible to recover any costs and losses you incurred as a result of the accident. For this reason, you should keep all the bills, receipts and other payment documents, such as:
- Bill for the ambulance ride
- Hospital bills
- Receipts for prescription medication
- Bills from physical therapy centers
- Car repair shop estimate
- Receipt for leasing a replacement car.
Our Personal Injury Law Firm Will Fight for the Maximum Compensation You Deserve
Houston Lawyers 360 is the right place to bring your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will analyze all the documents you bring with you carefully and give you an honest evaluation. If you have a solid case, we will represent you and fight to win the maximum compensatory amount you deserve.
We offer you a free case review, so you do not have anything to risk if you seek professional legal advice. Bring all the important documents listed above and get the answers you need. Schedule your free initial consultation now: 346-22-1821!