What should I bring with me to my appointment with an attorney for a car accident consultation?
I had a science teacher in junior high school who would use the same answer in response to pretty much any question asked of him. "Mr. Wessel, do we need to do this assignment on graph paper?" or "Mr. Wessel, do we need to show our work?" Every time he was asked a question like this his response was, "Could it hurt?" followed by a brief silence and then, "Could it help?"
The practice of law is an information and document heavy industry. My response to, "Should I bring _____?" is just like Mr. Wessel's canned response, "Could it hurt? Could it help?" The bottom line is, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Here is a list of things I want my clients to bring with them to their first appointment or consultation regarding a car accident:
The "Illinois Traffic Crash Report" also sometimes referred to as the "police report."
The Driver Information Exchange.
The "Illinois Motorist Report."
Any traffic tickets issued to you.
If you were the driver of one of the cars involved, bring your driver's license.
Your car insurance card (or even better, a declarations page of your car insurance that shows all of the coverages and limits of coverages for your car).
Your health insurance card.
Medical records, discharge instructions, prescriptions - any paper given to you by any medical professional related to your car accident injuries.
Receipts for medical treatment, prescriptions, or other out of pocket expenses relating to your injuries.
Photographs of your injuries and any photographs of the scene of the collision, the other driver, and the vehicles involved.
Correspondence to or from any insurance company regarding the collision.
Property damage estimates or repair invoices/receipts.
You do not need to go get any of the things listed above if you do not already have it, especially if it would be difficult for you to do. We can get most of that stuff for you - if you have any of those items, bring them with to the appointment. You can email or text photographs ahead of the appointment as well.
There is no charge for our consultations - our consultations are always free. Our attorneys only charge a fee if we represent you and we win.