Have you been injured in a New York City accident? Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

Perhaps you were injured in a slip and fall accident at the grocery store. You could justify seeking compensation by showing your accident resulted from another party’s negligence.

Or, you may have been injured in an NYC car accident. Because New York is a no-fault car accident state, you could file a claim to recover compensation from your own insurance — regardless of whether someone else’s negligence caused your accident.

Those are merely two examples. The main point to understand is that scheduling a free consultation with an NYC personal injury lawyer to determine if you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit. The following points can help you prepare for your meeting.

Schedule a Consultation Quickly

Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you’re considering taking legal action after an accident. The statute of limitations establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit after an accident. Even if your injuries resulted from someone else’s negligence, a lawyer will have little ability to help you once the deadline passes.

Do Your Research

Not all lawyers are equally qualified to provide the representation you deserve. Conduct some basic online research to learn about the reputations and track records of lawyers you’re planning to discuss your case with.

Bring Documentation

Bringing certain forms of documentation and evidence to a free consultation can help a lawyer determine if you have a case.

Items you might bring to your consultation may include:

  • Doctor’s notes
  • Medical bills
  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Names and contact information of witnesses

Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation simply because you failed to gather this evidence. Just be aware that your consultation will be more productive if you bring all the evidence you may have access to.

Bring Notes

It is smart to take detailed and honest notes about your accident after it happens. An attorney needs to thoroughly understand the facts of your case to offer useful advice. Thus, it helps to provide them with a written narrative of the incident when the details are still fresh in your mind.

Be Honest

Attorneys will often use free consultations to assess whether a new client comes across as believable. If they seem dishonest, it may give an attorney reason to believe a jury would not side with them.

Luckily, convincing an attorney you’re an honest person is easy. All you have to do is tell the truth about your accident.

Ask Questions

Your main goal when consulting with an attorney may be to learn if you have grounds to seek compensation. However, you might also have questions on other relevant topics. 

Examples could include questions about:

  • How you might receive payment for your medical bills
  • Whether an attorney has handled cases like yours in the past
  • How you will stay in touch with an attorney if you agree to hire them
  • What you should and should not do as your case proceeds

Answering your questions is part of a lawyer’s job when you consult with them. Do not be afraid to ask about any topics you need clarification on.

Learn the Laws

It is not your responsibility to fully understand all aspects of the laws and legal principles that may apply to your case. This is one of the reasons you should enlist the help of an attorney when seeking compensation after an accident. You need assistance from someone who knows more about the law than you.

That said, during a consultation, it’s not uncommon for an attorney to provide some general information about the applicable laws a case may involve. Pay attention when a lawyer does so in order to avoid any confusion moving forward.

Read Your Documents

Towards the end of a consultation, an attorney may let you know they believe you have a case and are prepared to represent you if you would like to hire them. You will often have the option of hiring them on the spot.

This will involve signing documents containing information about an attorney’s fees and other such details. Read these documents thoroughly before signing. Otherwise, disputes may arise in the future.

Follow the Directions

There are many benefits to hiring an NYC personal injury lawyer when seeking compensation after an accident. One is the fact that your lawyer and their team will usually handle all correspondence with the insurance companies on your behalf.

Thus, they will likely advise you not to speak with insurance adjusters or take other steps that could jeopardize your chances of recovering compensation. Follow their advice closely after hiring an attorney.

Remember, your consultation will be free. If you have even the slightest reason to believe you may have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit, there is no reason not to meet with a lawyer.