The Initial Meeting
In your first meeting with your personal injury lawyer and law firm, you should expect to walk away knowing that there is a plan in place to prove and demonstrate the liability, injuries and damages – and overcome defenses – all in an effort to add value to the case, maximize recovery and address unsafe conditions. You should expect to have your questions answered in that meeting with regard to liability, injuries and damages, and whether or not you have a case in which the personal injury lawyer and law firm feel they can add value. As the client, you should bring any documents and information that you have relating to the accident, injury and damages. Additionally, you should be advised regarding the best course of action for you to take and things to avoid. Each case is different, so you may not always walk away from that meeting with all of your questions answered completely. The personal injury lawyer and law firm need more time to investigate, obtain records, locate and interview witnesses and begin the process of trial preparation to completely answer the questions, but there should at least be- a plan in place at the initial meeting. In this meeting with your personal injury lawyer and law firm, you need to be given an overview of how the civil justice system works and all of the procedure and processes and preparatory work and plan of attack to make your personal injury, wrongful death or accident case more nimble and flexible and shore it up against whatever Goliath has in store for you.
Above all else, you need to have a plan for your personal injury, wrongful death or accident case. You need to gear up for the encounter with Goliath. You plan for the sake of planning itself. Of course, corrections will happen. The plan will change depending on what Goliath does during negotiations, mediation, or inside the court room, but by preparing, rehearsing, anticipating questions that you might face at deposition (and getting clear on what you should expect), you will be in a much better position to handle any uncertainties. Planning helps you improvise the right away. It helps you avoid costly errors or omissions in your personal injury, wrongful death or accident case. It grounds you.
Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.