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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Filling Out a Personal Injury Intake Form

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Filling Out a Personal Injury Intake Form

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Filling Out a Personal Injury Intake Form

When you practice personal injury law, you know how critical the client intake process can be while also being a pain to manage. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up with inaccurate information that will waste everyone’s time. That’s why you want to avoid these key mistakes when setting up your firm’s personal injury intake form. 

Having a solid personal injury intake process can help your firm streamline its workflows, avoid unnecessary tasks, and deliver a better client experience. After all, the intake process is your client’s first interaction with your firm, so you want it to be a positive one. To ensure that, here are ten mistakes to avoid when filling out your personal injury intake form to get new clients onboard efficiently. 

What is the purpose of an intake form?

Has your law firm ever taken a case it later wished it hadn’t? Maybe if more quality information were available in the beginning, you could have avoided some costly challenges. The purpose of a personal injury client intake form is to qualify leads so you set your case up for success from the start. But you can only do this if you are collecting the right information when a prospective client contacts you for possible representation. 

Understand key sections in personal injury intake forms

The sections you will have a potential client complete will depend upon the type of injury or case they have, like auto accident, product liability, workers’ compensation, wrongful death, etc. However, some of the main sections you should include are:

  • Personal information: Details required should include name, address, and contact info.
  • Accident details: Ask for a description, including the date, time, and location of the accident.
  • Injury details: Document all injury details and describe symptoms and severity.
  • Medical treatment history: List all past and current treatments.
  • Witness information: Include the names, contact details, and any witness statements.
  • Insurance information: Ask for the insurance company’s name, policy number, and coverage details. This is critical to investigating all coverages and acting as a liaison with the insurance company.
  • Prior claims and lawsuits: Include information about current or prior claims or lawsuits.

10 mistakes to avoid with personal injury intake forms

By becoming knowledgeable about these common mistakes with the intake process, your personal injury firm can avoid these issues and keep the process more streamlined. 

1. Gathering incomplete information

Problem: When prospects leave sections blank or provide vague answers, this can lead to delays in qualifying leads, the possible misinterpretation of information, or even mistakes in the case down the road. 

Solution: Double-check all sections to ensure they are fully completed with specific and detailed information

2. Allowing incorrect or inconsistent information

Problem: The information collected on an intake form needs to make sense and be consistent. Otherwise, incorrect data could undermine the credibility of your law firm and harm the case.

Solution: Cross-verify details with official documents and ensure consistency throughout the form.

3. Omitting medical details

Problem: A client intake form that fails to list all the client’s injuries and medical treatments could undervalue a case.

Solution: Ask prospective clients to include comprehensive details of all injuries, symptoms, treatments, and medical visits.

4. Neglecting witness information

Problem: A personal injury accident with witnesses tends to be a strong case, so this is information you want to reveal in your intake forms. 

Solution: Collect and document full contact details and statements from all witnesses at the scene.

5. Misrepresenting accident details

Problem: If a prospective client inaccurately describes how the accident occurred, this could lead to legal complications or dismissal of the claim.

Solution: Ask the person completing the intake form to provide a clear, factual, and detailed account of the accident, using chronological order.

6. Overlooking previous injuries

Problem: When a person doesn’t disclose prior injuries or medical conditions, this can be perceived as misleading and affect claim credibility.

Solution: Emphasize transparency in the intake process by asking the client to disclose all past injuries and conditions, differentiating them from the current injury.

7. Failing to update contact information

Problem: Prospective clients’ lives might be in turmoil after an accident, and there is a chance they could provide inaccurate or outdated contact information to your law firm. This may result in missed communications and delays in processing the claim.

Solution: Ensure all contact information is current and accurate, and update if changes occur.

8. Ignoring prior lawsuits and personal injury claims

Problem: Overlooking any current or prior lawsuits or claims could complicate legal proceedings and strategy formulation.

Solution: To align the case strategy, your intake form must have a mandatory space for listing other claims and clearly state any legal representation involved.

9. Underestimating the importance of privacy and confidentiality

Problem: Your firm has a legal obligation to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of a client’s data. Failing to adhere to this could place you in legal jeopardy. 

Solution: Understand the privacy policies in place and ensure all sensitive data is handled confidentially. Use HIPAA-compliant software to collect, organize, and store client information.

10. Rushing through the form

Problem: As your firm grows, processing intake forms can be time-consuming, which can lead to costly errors and omissions. 

Solution: By standardizing your legal intake forms, your entire process becomes scalable. This makes it more manageable and less subject to errors. 

Practical tips to avoid mistakes with your intake forms

If you’re still using paper, spreadsheets, or Word docs to process your intakes, you aren’t getting the job done efficiently. Online customizable forms are best. Specifically, use an intuitive personal injury intake form template that is tied to your practice management system. 

The forms should be populated based on injury type, which helps you create consistent, error-free intake processes. When you create your first form, review and revise it multiple times, possibly collaborating with another person to catch errors or omissions.

As new information becomes available or your firm experiences material changes, make sure you update your intake form promptly, so you continue to deliver a stellar client experience. 

CloudLex offers intuitive client intake for personal injury law firms

Qualifying leads quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently is imperative. But it can be challenging without the right system in place. CloudLex offers personal injury law firms everything they need to ditch web forms and other flawed client intake systems in favor of something that works. 

With our intake management system, you can seamlessly gather all the data you need about a new client and their claim using customizable and detailed intake forms. The system’s intuitive features can efficiently collect records and legal documents for evaluation. Your attorneys can quickly determine the viability of a case and accurately evaluate whether to accept, reject, or refer it to another firm. 

From within the Intake Manager, you can also track leads and accepted cases and access the firm’s analytics. With a single click, you can convert accepted cases to ongoing matters and transfer all relevant data into the matter management system. 

CloudLex is a unique personal injury practice management software because it was only designed for PI attorneys. Contact our team today to find out how our unique solutions can support your practice. 

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