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How to Prepare for a Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney

Seth Harris

Last modified on August 29, 2023

Preparing for your first consultation with a personal injury lawyer is crucial for a focused and productive meeting. Organizing documents, outlining your case, and preparing the right questions can ensure you make the most of your first meeting.

Communication your goals clearly, sharing pertinent details, and addressing concerns upfront sets the stage for tailored legal advice and a well-informed strategy. If you were injured in a New York accident caused by someone else, the compassionate and experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb can help. Here are some things to consider before meeting with us for the first time.

Collect and Organize Important Documents

When you meet your New York personal injury attorney for the first time, bringing the proper documents is essential to provide a comprehensive overview of your case. Here’s a list of documents to bring with you:

  • Accident Reports or Other Legal Documents – Bring copies of any official accident reports or incident documentation. Also, bring any other legal documents related to the accident, such as citations or court summonses.
  • Medical Records and Bills – Bring medical records detailing your injuries, treatments, progress, and all medical bills related to treatment, prescriptions, therapy, and other healthcare costs.
  • Photographs – Your attorney will want any pictures of the accident scene, injuries, and property damage.
  • Insurance Information – If applicable, an attorney will need your insurance policy and communication with any insurance companies related to the incident.
  • Witness Information – If you have it, provide the names, addresses, and contact information of witnesses or others involved in the accident. If you obtained witness statements, bring those too.
  • Employment Records – If you lost wages, bring documentation such as pay stubs showing your lost wages or income due to the injury.
  • Communication Records – Your attorney will want to read correspondence with other parties, insurance companies, or medical providers.
  • Your Notes – If you’ve taken notes detailing the accident, injuries, and subsequent developments, your attorney will need those.

Prepare a List of Questions for Your Attorney

Preparing a list of questions for your first meeting with your New York personal injury attorney is a proactive step that helps you get the most from your consultation. Here are some examples of effective questions:

  • Case-Specific Queries – Ask questions about your accident, injuries, and potential legal claim. Ask your attorney to assess liability, possible compensation, and the strength of your case. Ask about your case’s potential challenges and how the attorney plans to address them.
  • Settlement vs. Litigation – Seek the attorney’s opinion on whether your case is more suited for a settlement or if litigation might be necessary for a fair outcome.
  • Experience – Learn about the attorney’s background in personal injury law. Ask about their experience with cases similar to yours, their success rate, and any experience that could benefit your situation. Harris Keenan & Goldfarb has represented personal injury clients since 1996.
  • Communication and Client Involvement – Inquire about how frequently the attorney will update you on your case’s progress and the firm’s preferred methods of communication. Ask about your role in the case, including any information or tasks they might need you to perform.
  • Fees and Costs – Clarify the attorney’s fee structure. Discuss whether they work on a contingency basis (only getting paid if you win), hourly rates, or flat fees. Inquire about any potential additional costs.

Crafting a comprehensive list of questions ensures you leave the consultation with a clear understanding of the attorney’s capabilities, your case’s potential, and the overall legal process.

Outline Your Story to Discuss Your Accident and Injuries

Outlining your story before you meet your personal injury attorney is crucial. By organizing the details of your accident and injuries, you provide the attorney with a comprehensive understanding of your case, enabling them to offer tailored advice and formulate an appropriate legal strategy.

A well-structured account of the accident, including dates, times, locations, and circumstances, helps the attorney evaluate liability and potential legal strategies. Describing the nature and extent of your injuries, along with medical treatments and progress, assists in assessing what compensation you may be entitled to.

By outlining your story, you can streamline the consultation process and maximize the value of your initial meeting, making it more productive and informative.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Want to Help You with Your Case

Preparing for your initial meeting with a personal injury attorney makes that first meeting as effective as possible. Your preparation streamlines the process and increases the likelihood of receiving accurate advice. So, before you step into that meeting, gather your materials and concerns – it’s the first step towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

First, call Harris Keenan & Goldfarb for your first meeting. Call us at [phone-number linked=true] or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Then, come prepared, and let’s fight for your compensation together.

Over $500 Million in Verdicts and Settlements

Our track record showcases over $500 million won for our clients. Each victory underlines our commitment to justice and client care. Explore our impact, case by case.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.



Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).



A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.



A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.



The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.



The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.



Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.



The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.



The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.



The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.



A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

What Our Clients Say About Us

00:47 22 Jun 24
I contacted Burns and Harris, this company which is renamed now, about two years ago about my injury. I even had an in person meeting with Stephen LaRocca.I had to chase him for a year just to sign something, in the end I just gave up. Pretty appalling company and even worse than people have written. I can only imagine the people who haven’t taken the time to write your review. Don’t bother with them.
Cole ColdwaterCole Coldwater
19:36 20 Jun 24
My experience with Harris Keenan and Goldfarb was wonderful. My legal representative, Steven LaRocca with Samantha Walton always made me feel well defended and cared for, in a way that went beyond professional representation and into the realm of caring about me on a personal level. Steven, Samantha and Seth Harris got me a great outcome and I can’t thank them enough!
Elizabeth SantosElizabeth Santos
00:32 20 Jun 24
If I could give them a zero Star I would 0
Jennifer RosarioJennifer Rosario
14:16 05 Jun 24
The best law firm I have ever went with thank you so much
Angelo Del GuercioAngelo Del Guercio
20:03 11 May 24
Horrible people. I lost complete confidence in this firm. Attorneys dragged their feet for 4 years and my mom died before a settlement could be reached. I advised them several times that my mom was sick to put fire under their feet but the effort was to no avail.
david Santiagodavid Santiago
18:05 21 Mar 24
Maria RoqueMaria Roque
20:49 15 Mar 24
Excellent person, very Professional, they assist you in any language, your call is always answered. I recommend you for any case of support you have, your refund is satisfactory. and fast
14:09 02 Mar 24
I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
Robert LennonRobert Lennon
15:26 21 Feb 24
Patient and diligence is how I describe the effort of HKG the work was thorough, honest and fair, I have no complaints. Special thanks to attorney Blake and his paralegal Thierry.
Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
18:48 15 Jan 24
I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions that prospective clients have about personal injury claims include:

  • Do I need an attorney?

    When you have suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do next. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum possible compensation.

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