How Long do Personal Injury Cases Typically Take to be Resolved?
It’s not unusual to see personal injury cases last two years or more to be resolved. This is because any case involving serious injury usually also involves lengthy treatment extending over several months and perhaps years.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Washington?
In Washington State, the Statute of Limitations for a personal injury case is three years from the date of the incident giving rise to the claim.
How do Clients Unintentionally Harm Their Personal injury Claim?
The thing we see most often when it comes to a client unintentionally harming their personal injury claim, is an injured person’s failure to follow his or her doctor’s advice; especially with follow up care. When that happens the adjuster or the defense attorney always tries to paint the injured person as being a non-compliant patient. Jurors hate non-compliant patients. Some clients discuss their legal claim for damages with their physician. This shows up in the client’s medical file. Once that file becomes part of the claim the patient will appear overly concerned with money damages. Others make unreasonable demands for compensation and thereby come off as greedy or not believable. A stubbed toe is never going to be worth a million dollars no matter how many times you say it differently. Sometimes people accidentally forget incidents or injuries that predate the claims. That can be used to suggest the claimant is trying to hide something. Jurors don’t like liars.
People sometimes forget to document their injuries. If you have a cast on, take a picture. If you have a surgery requiring stitches or sutures, take a picture. If your child is bitten by a dog, take pictures of their wounds. If your car is wrecked, take pictures. If the incident involved a particular place, such as a broken railing or step, photograph it. If the incident involved a defective product or piece of machinery, save the product and photograph it. Some people are active on social media and they are comfortable discussing their injuries and legal claims and so forth. This is probably not a good idea since that information is in the public domain and will most certainly end up in an insurance adjuster’s claim file.
How do You Respond to Someone That Is Not Sure Whether They Can Afford a Personal injury Attorney?
Many people are concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney. Most working people can’t afford to hire attorneys by the hour. That concern is even expressed by jurors who asked how we charged and what we charge. I explain it this way. There are two doors to the courthouse. One door opens for people with a lot of money who can afford to hire an attorney by the hour. Those hourly rates can range from $250 an hour to upwards of $1,000 an hour. That door is used by insurance companies, banks, hospitals and other large businesses. The other door opens for regular people who cannot afford a huge hourly representation but still need quality legal representation. Those people gain access by paying a contingent fee for legal help. The courts have recognized that without contingent fees, most people would be denied equal access to justice.
What Sets Your Firm Apart in Handling Personal Injury Cases in Washington State?
We pride ourselves on quality legal representation. We limit the types of cases we take on. We don’t try to be all things to all people. We limit the number of cases we take on so cases don’t fall through the cracks. We spend the money necessary to properly prepare a case for settlement or trial when that becomes necessary. Finally, we believe that the opinions of our clients and our results over the past many years speak for themselves.
Is there any additional Information on Personal Injury Claims in Washington State you’d like to offer?
In general terms, when it comes to additional information on personal injury claims in Washington State, my best advice is don’t try to negotiate the claim by yourself. It will never work out well and in the process you will probably damage your claim. Whether you come to our firm or another, always remember the old adage: “A person who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
For more information on Resolution of Personal Injury Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 451-8333 today.
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