What Happens When I First Meet with My Lawyer?

Getting to Know You and Your Case

When a client first meets with one of our accident attorneys in person, in our Encino office, a client’s home, or wherever is most convenient, we outline what they can expect in this first meeting, often referred to as the “sign up”. The potential client is told that first, the attorney will look at and review any documentation or photographs they may have brought to the meeting; second, the attorney will help the client fill out an intake questionnaire designed to collect all the information the attorneys will need to proceed with the personal injury case; third, the contingency fee retainer agreement will be explained, presented for review, and signed by the client; fourth, various authorizations will be signed by the client so that the attorneys can obtain necessary documents from insurance companies, medical providers and employers to help substantiate their personal injury claims; fifth, the attorney will expand upon the explanation of the personal injury process first given in the initial phone consultation; and lastly, the lawyer will answer any questions the client may have.

The attorneys at The Rudman Law Firm, APC have been helping injured victims with their personal injury cases for the entirety of their over 75 years of combined experience. We have designed our initial meeting to be efficient in gathering necessary information, while putting the client at ease with the process. The meetings generally last between one and two hours and our clients leave feeling confident that they are in the best of hands.

What You Should Bring to the Initial Meeting

Clients should bring to their first meeting with the attorney, any and all documents, photographs, video or other evidence which may pertain to their case in anyway. Such items include:

  • In All Cases:
    • Information pertaining to the date and location of the accident
    • Client’s Driver’s License
    • Health Insurance Card and Policy
    • Contact Information of Medical Providers seen for Injuries Sustained in the Accident
    • Any Medical Records and Billing Statements relating to Treatment of Injuries
    • Photographs of Visible Injuries
    • Paystubs or other Records which show Earnings History (for loss of earnings claims)
    • Contact Information for any Witnesses to the Accident
    • Letters received from Representatives of Involved Parties or Insurance Companies


  • In Vehicle Accident Cases:
    • Client’s Auto Insurance Card, Declarations Page, Policy
    • Contact and Insurance Information of Other Drivers and Vehicle Owners
    • Any Photographs of the Vehicles Involved, and/or the Accident Scene
    • Vehicle Repair Estimates
    • Police Reports (or Traffic Collision Report Information Cards)


  • In Premises Liability/ Dangerous Condition of Public Property Cases:
    • Contact Information for the Owners/Controllers of the Property
    • Photographs of the Dangerous Condition
    • Copies of any Incident Reports


  • In Product Liability Cases:
    • Contact Information for the Product Owner (if not the client)
    • Product’s Manufacturer name, model and serial number
    • Documents relating to the Purchase, Maintenance or Repair of the Product, such as invoices or receipts
    • Literature that was distributed with the Product, such as an Operator’s Manual, Warnings, or Warranties
    • The Product itself, when possible

It is better to err on the side of caution and bring anything you think could be related or relevant to your claim.

The Intake Questionnaire

After reviewing the items you have brought to the meeting, the attorney will ask you the questions on our Intake Questionnaire, which include:

  • Contact Information
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Accident Information
  • Involved Parties’ Information
  • Description of Injuries
  • Medical Provider and Treatment Information
  • Employment and Earnings History
  • Insurance Information
  • Vehicle, Premises or Product Information, as applicable
  • Witness Information
  • Information Regarding Prior Similar Injuries, if applicable
  • Information Regarding Prior Personal Injury or Workers Compensation Claims, if applicable
  • Criminal History, if applicable

What You Will Be Asked to Sign

We will present you with a Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement for your review, and answer any questions you may have. The Agreement sets forth that we advance all costs on your case, and that we only collect attorneys’ fees if and when we recover compensation for you. You will also be asked to sign authorizations that allow us to obtain private records necessary to pursuing your claim such as insurance records, medical records, employment records, and claims history records.

Parting Words

Throughout, and at the end of the initial meeting, our attorneys will answer your every question and give you advice moving forward to best preserve your personal injury case. Lastly, you will be reminded that we are here for you, and that you may call either our Encino office (818) 769-6969, or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at any time with any questions you may have.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

The Rudman Law Firm is definitely the perfect version of the legal dream team. They are a professional law group with the necessary knowledge, talent and skills. Jeffrey has been a champion helping us win a case that to others seemed impossible. He was honest, compassionate and caring through the entire process which made things much easier for us. I absolutely recommend The Rudman Law Firm.

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15760 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1010
Encino, California 91436
Toll Free: (844) 4RUDMAN; (844) 478-3626
Phone: (818) 769-6969
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