Being involved in a car accident can be an upsetting event and a real hassle. Even a minor fender bender involves police reports, garage estimates, and dealing with insurance companies. If you’ve been injured in the accident, this opens up other things you’ll need to deal with; doctor’s appointments, the healing process, pain management, and wondering if you need to hire an attorney.
Seattle residents who’ve been injured and believe they have a case can get help from a car accident lawyer at Herschensohn Law. It’s best to speak with a personal injury attorney with the knowledge and experience to help you proceed with a lawsuit.
When Should I Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Your first concern after being in a car accident that caused injuries is getting the professional medical care that you need. Once your medical needs are being addressed, the next thing you need to do is consult with a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and determine if you should pursue a lawsuit.
In the Evergreen State, by law, you must file a personal injury claim within three years from the accident date. However, this may seem like a rather large window of time since the wheels of justice can move slowly, filing a claim as soon as possible is of utmost importance. The evidence gathering that a lawyer must do and the dispute resolution phase can sometimes take several months to a year.
What Should I Look For When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Not all lawyers are created equal. Knowing who to hire can be a daunting process. However, asking the right questions and doing some research will help ensure that you’ve hired the best firm for the job. Here are some of the things you should consider when looking for a personal injury attorney in Seattle.
You’ll want to hire an attorney with experience with personal injury cases. Many law firms advertise themselves as a jack-of-all-trades business, but it’s best to work with one focusing on personal injury lawsuits. Washington State personal injury law can be difficult to navigate, so working with a firm with years of experience assures you they know what they’re doing. Ask them what percentage of personal injury cases they handle are successful.
You’ll want to hire an attorney who not only has personal injury lawsuit experience but also acts ethically. Check with the Washington State Bar Association and inquire if they’ve been written up for any ethics violations or have been disciplined in any way. A quick and easy Google search of the lawyer or law firm can also provide valuable information.
A fair question of any personal injury lawyer you’re considering working with is if they have any upfront fees required for them to take your case. Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they’ll only get paid if you win a settlement. Ask them what percentage they take, and if there are any additional fees for hiring medical experts or other professionals they’ll need expert testimony from.
Another important question is that if you aren’t offered or awarded a settlement, you’ll be responsible for any fees incurred, such as court filing or obtaining medical records.
Ask them how often you’ll be updated on the progression of your lawsuit. Will you receive monthly updates, or is it your responsibility to inquire? Also, ask who your main point of contact will be and if you’ll be charged for any phone calls or email inquiries. You’ll most likely want to remain in the loop, so asking how you’ll receive updates to your case is completely appropriate.
When to Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer Explained
Once you’ve sought out medical attention and are on the path to recovery, you should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The Washington State personal injury lawsuit statute of limitations states you must file within three years of your injury. Postponing your case could result in it being rejected by the courts.
Hiring an experienced and ethical personal injury lawyer with proven success can help to ease your mind and allow you to heal or adjust to your injuries if they’re permanent. Your main job is to get better. Let the professionals handle the legal stuff to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your damages, losses, and suffering.