Construction is a dangerous vocation that involves the risk of injury from falls, defective machinery, chemical exposure, and other hazards. The vast majority of accidents that happen on construction sites are preventable, and you have the right to collect compensation when your employer or another party is to blame. Meeting with a construction accident lawyer can help you identify how much money you are entitled to claim and what steps you need to get a settlement.
How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With a Construction Accident Lawyer
Your first meeting with any kind of personal injury lawyer, including those who specialize in construction, is a good time to discuss your case and decide if you want to work together. The consultation will most likely be free of charge since personal injury attorneys usually try to structure their fees in a way that does not put additional strain on people who are dealing with the financial challenges of an accident.
You can make the most out of your first meeting by preparing some questions and knowing what kinds of things the lawyer might ask you. Bringing key documents pertaining to your accident and your injury will help him or her understand your case. By the end of the meeting, the lawyer should be able to give you a case evaluation and you should have a sense of whether or not you want to work with the law firm.
Questions to Ask
When you meet with a construction accident lawyer in Houston, TX, you can feel free to ask questions about his or her track record. It is best to work with a lawyer who has successfully won compensation for clients who have suffered similar construction accidents. By asking what kind of strategy he or she intends to use, you can get a sense of his or her professionalism.
You can also ask questions about how to best pursue your claim. In Texas, a construction accident will often necessitate a workers’ compensation claim. However, your lawyer might recommend that you pursue a personal injury claim or a third-party claim. A third-party claim is often appropriate when the accident was caused by a client, equipment manufacturer, or subcontractor.
Answers to Prepare
Being able to answer the lawyer’s questions will help him or her make more accurate predictions for your case and begin to develop a winning strategy. He or she will likely ask you how the accident occurred, where it happened, and who employed you for the job. You should also plan to discuss how much work you have had to miss since the accident and how your injury has affected other aspects of your life.
The lawyer may want to know about certain aspects of your case that could make it more challenging. He or she might ask if you have any preexisting conditions, if you feel you were partly responsible, or if you posted any negative statements about your employer on social media. You can feel comfortable being completely honest with your answers. Your lawyer is bound to represent your interests exclusively and will use your answers to address weak spots in your case.
Things to Bring
Before meeting with the lawyer, you should gather any evidence you already have. This evidence could include your medical records and the contact information of any witnesses who observed the accident.
If you were able to take any pictures or photos of the site immediately after the accident occurred, bringing them to the lawyer can help him or her determine if your employer failed to provide safety equipment or violated protocols in another obvious way. If possible, provide images of your injury and other damage, such as ripped apparel or a cracked helmet.
Discussing the Legal Fees and the Payout
If you have questions or concerns about the legal fee structure, the first meeting with a lawyer is a good time to bring them up. Most personal injury lawyers will work for a contingency fee, meaning that they will take a percentage of whatever money they win for you. This model allows clients to get quality representation without paying out of pocket.
When you and the lawyer review the paperwork needed to make the relationship official, you can ask what percentage you will be charged and whether there is a separate fee for litigation. Many construction accident claims resolve in a few months, but you can ask the lawyer for a more specific prediction on when you might get a payout based on the unique aspects of your situation.
For many people, meeting a qualified attorney for the first time brings a sense of clarity to an otherwise complex situation. By getting a trained legal perspective on your work accident, you can begin to get a sense of which laws can protect you and what kind of strategy can help you exercise your right to compensation. Having the right lawyer on your side means you can be confident that your case is in good hands.