Why Do I Even Need An Attorney If I Have Had An Accident?
People need to understand that insurance companies are in the business to make money, nothing more. They do that in two ways. The first way is when the company collects your premium dollars. But pays out less than the amount of those premium dollars when faced with a claim. The second way companies profit is by either denies the claim entirely or trying to settle it cheaply. The average claimant has no idea about what fair compensation is or how to go about proving it. They are on the mercy of adjusters who are trained to play on people’s lack of knowledge and experience. Always keep in mind that adjusters earn job promotions based upon the amount of money they can save their company. They don’t get those promotions by paying out fair value on claims.
When adjusters deal with unrepresented people, they know they can simply wait those people out because eventually the unrepresented claimant will give up. Remember, they’ve got your money and the claims adjuster knows that there is nothing an unrepresented person can do about it except be frustrated. Contrast that with the situation where an attorney appears on file, the insurance company will immediately adjust its cash reserve, which is the amount of money it has set aside for this claim, and it will adjust that reserve upward because the company will know that they are going to have to pay more money to resolve the claim. In my experience, people who try to represent themselves virtually always end up with less money in their pocket than had they hired experienced legal counsel. There is a reason for the old adage, “a person who represents themselves has a fool for a client.”
So yes, a person can represent him or herself; however, in all likelihood that person won’t like the end result.
How Long Does It Take The Injured Person To Actually Receive Funds After A Settlement Is Reached?
The process in Washington typically involves the execution of a form known as a Release of All Claims. This is a contractual document between an injured person and the at-fault party’s insurance company. It will be mailed to your attorney from the adjuster. You will need to sign it as part of the settlement process. Typically it is a notarized document which is then returned to the insurance company. Once that document is received by the company, a check will be cut and mailed to your attorney. That check will need to be deposited for collection through the attorney’s Trust Account. This is a requirement of the Washington State Bar Association and will be done in every case. Once that check clears the payer bank, you will receive your funds.
This typically involves 2 or 3 weeks of time and is also influenced by whether subrogation negotiations have to occur, which involves whether your healthcare providers need to be repaid for bills paid on your behalf, and if so, how much? Those are all things that your attorney will handle, but they can add time to the final conclusion of your case.
What Are Some Tips That You Would Give To Potential Clients That Could Help Their Case?
One thing that has become quite prominent these days is social media. You can help your case by staying off social media, especially as to any discussion of your case, your damages, what may have happened and so forth. You can help your case by being honest and truthful at all times. Don’t exaggerate your injuries or losses. Don’t malinger; if you are well, go back to work. See quality doctors and therapists. In other words, don’t go outside the mainstream. Treat with quality physicians and therapists and your case will have far greater credibility. Another thing that is important is that you should give a detailed medical history at each and every visit to every healthcare provider and see that it is written into your medical chart.
By recording your condition, your medical provider documents your claim, your course of treatment, your course of recovery and so forth. I think it’s very important to make all your medical appointments and be on time, and be courteous. You don’t need to make enemies of your healthcare providers because it will only hurt you in the end. Finally I would say, help your attorney out by providing regular updates as to health issues, medical issues, employment issues and anything else that may have a bearing on your case.
What Sets You And Your Firm Apart In How You Handle Auto Accident Claims?
We pride ourselves on quality legal representation. We limit the types of cases we take on and we don’t try to be all things to all people. We limit the number of cases we take so that cases don’t fall through the cracks. We spend the money to properly prepare a case for settlement or trial when that becomes necessary. Finally, we believe that the opinions of our clients and the results we’ve achieved over these past many years speak for themselves.
For more information on Need For A Personal Injury Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 451-8333 today.