The First Meeting with Your New Client

There is a lot that needs to be accomplished during your first meeting with a new client. I am not going to cover it all, but here are a few things I make sure to cover:

Client homework – give your client some homework. You need to see how dedicated they are to their own case.

Prior injuries – list of all previous injuries or treatment to ANY body part. If you just ask someone to list their old injuries they will leave some, or all, of them out. Jog their memory with the following questions:

  • Have you ever been in an ambulance?
  • Have you ever seen a chiropractor for any reason? Had your spine or neck “popped?”
  • Ever been to a physical therapist?
  • Ever have a surgery of any kind?
  • Ever been put to sleep for any reason?
  • Ever been admitted to a hospital? (Women with children will often so “no” to this question. It is a good time to teach them how careful and literal they must be when answering questions in a lawsuit).
  • Ever been to an emergency room?
  • Ever had a cast?
  • Ever been in a wreck?
  • What body shop do you use for your car? (the question assumes they use one).
  • Have you ever been prescribed pain medication or muscle relaxers?

More times than I can remember, the questions above revealed a forgotten injury and those medical records often uncover more forgotten injuries.

Photos – Immediately get all photos from your client and save them to your file. Otherwise, your client will drop their phone in the toilet and you will lose them forever. Tell your client to collect “before” photos and take periodic photos of visible injuries, then send them in (Homework list).

No such thing as too much information – Clients often hold information back because they do not know what to bring in. Tell your clients you cannot have too much information. You want it all!

Keep your medical appointments – Never ever “no show” and never say “cancel.” Always “reschedule.” Do not let a medical provider schedule appointments that do not work with your schedule.

Pharmacy – use only ONE pharmacy.

Calendar – record injuries, progress, pain, sleep issues, things you are able to do, things you missed out on. Record anything related to your case. Notice I do not say journal or diary, which tend to get out of hand. Calendars- that I provide- have small spaces to write in. (Homework list).

Describing injuries – Tell doctors everything that hurts every time, at every visit. Do not exaggerate, but do not leave anything out.

Pain scale – Never rate pain over 8 unless you are in the emergency room or on the way.

Social media – It is useless to tell some people to turn it off. But they must be careful.

Trial speech – Let your clients know you are preparing for trial from day one and get them used to the possibility of a trial.

Surveillance – Instead of making clients paranoid, tell them they have nothing to worry about if they always tell the truth. We should teach our clients (yes people need teaching) how to tell the truth from day one. There is nothing to worry about if you never tell anyone you cannot do something you can do or have done.

By Aaron Broussard – Louisiana Advocates, May 2017

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