Lawyers do not have a natural affinity for checklists. Lawyers have egos that compare with any profession and checklists are a reminder of your mind’s limitations. “I’m not making mistakes in working up cases so why would I need a checklist?” But, sometimes, a new wave of studies are showing, you do not know that you are omitting important things that you have to do to work up an accident case unless you are reminded to do them by a checklist. When do lawyers figure this out? Trial. Most accident cases are settled before trial. So you don’t even have the constant reminders of your errors from not having a checklist.
With that introduction, I put on-line today copy of our checklist for the initial workup of a car accident claim. Certainly, the checklist is not exhaustive for every case, because every case has some unique facts that require specialized attention. This is often what separates average and best accident lawyers. But there is a long list of great lawyers who get hit with legal malpractice claims that did a lot of amazing things in handling the case but missed a fly ball that was hit right to them that a utilized checklist easily would have caught.
We also put up yesterday an A to Z intake to trial guide specificly handling car and truck accident cases. I say guide. It is not really a guide, but more of a list of chronological examples of documents that you may need that are specific to vehicle accident cases from the first time the client calls up through jury instructions. The majority of these resources were already available on our website, but we culled together all of the car accident specific sample documents to make it more user friendly.