Initial meeting with my solicitor after an accident – what should I bring and what should I ask?
Posted in [Resources] on Monday, March 15th, 2021
At Cantillons Solicitors we are breaking down the perceived archaic view of Solicitors and their offices. Heretofore your family solicitor was almost like a God and the possibility of a meeting with him or her could have been very daunting. Now, more than anything, it appears that one needs a lawyer at every twist and turn and your relationship with your solicitor is paramount. With this in mind, we are providing the following information with a view to empowering, you the client, at the first consultation.
Firstly there are a number of documents that you can bring with you to the consultation as follows:-
- RELEVANT DETAILS
- Full Names and addresses of the other parties to the accident
- The registration numbers of all cars involved
- Insurance details of all cars (name of the insurance company and policy number)
- Your own accident report form if you have completed one for the insurance company
- The names and addresses of all witnesses to the accident
- Diary – You may have maintained a diary or a note of what has been happening all along, and if so this is of immense benefit to us at an initial meeting – you should bring that with you and indeed it may well be even wise to send that in ahead of the consultation so that we are already well versed in the situation to begin with.
- Photographs – If you have taken photos either of the scene of the accident or indeed of your injury, bring those with you also because they may ultimately be very important and we can help you determine how relevant, admissible or helpful they are to your case.
- Similarly names and contact numbers of anybody who would have witnessed the accident.
- MEDICAL RECORDS/REPORTSAgain if you have been proactive enough to obtain medical records or to get a report from your doctor in relation to your injuries, you should bring that with you also.
- RECEIPTSIf you have been put to expense as a result of an accident, then you should retain all your receipts and we will help you determine which are relevant or otherwise. Examples of such expenses might include items such as the cost of medical treatment, physiotherapy, medication, travelling expenses to and from doctors, repair of car damage.
If as a result of your accident, if you missed work or missed out on a promotion or pension contributions, then bring evidence of that from your employer. It may be as simple as bringing a pay slip or, if possible, obtaining a certificate from your employers confirming the loss of earnings.
- CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE OTHER PARTYIf you have had any correspondence, emails, voice mails, text messages or Facebook messages, bring those to your first meeting. Included within this of course are any formal documents that you may have been “served” with or indeed any documentation you may have received from the other parties insurance company.
- IDENTIFICATIONYou should also bring your driver’s licence or a passport together with a recent utility bill in your name and current address. This will be necessary in the first instance as your Solicitor will be obliged to ensure appropriate identification of you as a client.
The above list isn’t cast in stone obviously – you may or may not be able to bring some or all of the documents – all we want to do here is give you a sense of what you may need to bring rather than coming in empty handed to our first meeting. If you don’t have some or any of the items, there is no difficulty; we can assist you in obtaining same, as necessary.
Then in terms of the questions which you might want to ask us at Cantillons Solicitors, some people can be nervous of putting questions to solicitors but it is important to us that at your initial consultation with us, that you develop a good rapport with us and that you also feel confident with us. Here are some examples of questions which you should feel free to raise:-
- HAVE YOU REPRESENTED CLIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN SIMILAR SITUATIONS? The more familiar your solicitor is with previous similar situations, the more confidence you are likely to have in him or her. Similarly the more likely we will be able to efficiently able to represent you.
- WHAT WILL THIS COST ME? It seems to be very much an ‘Irish thing’ that we can’t discuss money but it is better to have it out in the open to begin with and we will outline approximately what costs may or may not be involved in the litigation.
- HOW OFTEN ARE YOU GOING TO COMMUNICATE WITH ME? At Cantillons Solicitors we try to communicate with our clients at least every two to three months if not sooner depending on developments within the case. We believe it is reassuring for a client to know that their solicitor is going to be in contact with them regularly even if there aren’t developments on the case. We encourage clients to contact us (either in person or on telephone) as frequently and often as they wish.
- WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF SUCCESS? Although a solicitor cannot give a guarantee of the outcome of your case, we should be able to point out both the strengths and the weaknesses of your case.
The above list is not exhaustive – you, of course, are going to have your own specific questions related to your individual query.
The important point here is to empower you, the client, to make you feel comfortable when you come in to meet with us. You, as the client, and our relationship with you is going to be one of the most fundamental aspects to your litigation going forward and we want to make sure it gets off to the right start. We hope this has been helpful in starting that process. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are sure that we can make you feel at ease whilst at the same time providing you with a professional service and thus ensuring, hopefully, a very positive experience with us!
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or email@example.com if you would like more information.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.
Sarah joined Cantillons in 2015, having graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Civil Law Degree from University College Cork. She successfully completed her Law Society FE-1 Examinations and thereafter, completed the Law Society of Ireland Professional Practice Courses at Blackhall Place, Dublin.
Sarah gained invaluable experience in medical negligence litigation, having spent three years in the Medical Negligence Department and has been involved in a diverse range of cases including birth injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, surgical errors, fatal claims and defective medical device claims. Sarah also has experience with Inquests and the Coroner’s Court.
Now working in General Litigation Department, Sarah places a particular importance on client care and advises clients in relation to all aspects of civil litigation; to include personal injury claims, accidents at work, road traffic accidents, public liability claims, defamation, data protection breaches and assault claims.
Sarah is a valued contributor to our weekly column published in a local newspaper and in addition, has had numerous legal blogs published on our website.
- Honours Bachelor of Civil Law Degree
Completed Law Society Professional Practice Courses at Blackhall Place, Dublin