Monday, May 19, 2014

What Does A Lawyer Need to Properly Investigate a Potential Case

   I am always surprised at potential clients who call my office and, after a short 10 minute phone conversation, want to know whether they have a case.  Here is a list of things I review before making the big decision whether I am in a position to help someone by being their lawyer.

Police or Accident Report:  More than anything else, this will describe how the accident happened.  It will also tell when (important for statutes of limitation) the accident happened,  and what persons saw or witnessed the accident,

Medical Chart Notes:  These are the dictated records of the doctors and other health care professionals that explain the nature of the client's injuries.  These same records may also explain the history of how the accident caused the injury as well as whether the injury is "new" or an "old injury made worse."

Medical Billings:  No one will take a client's word as to what his medical bills are. All damages have to be documented.

Tax Returns, Pay Stubs, Social Security Earnings History;  If an injury affects work, it will be important to know the history of work.  These documents show a history of work.

Insurance Correspondence:  This provides a claim number and allows work to begin on a case immediately.

   While this list is not exhaustive, it allows me to begin a thorough case assessment.  You have to play your hand smartly.  See