So here’s the scenario: in the wake of being hurt in a vehicle collision that wasn’t your fault, you realize you need to hire a Washington State accident attorney because it’s your best option to obtain deserved compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. But now that you’ve come to this conclusion, the next question is: who’s the right fit for you?
It can be absolutely overwhelming to decide, especially in populous areas like Bellevue and Kirkland, where you feel pummeled by television ads, radio spots, and billboards for personal injury attorneys. Here are some ways to find legal representation that not only understands your type of case, but also has the skills and reputation to get the job done right.
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
An experienced Washington car accident lawyer could be the difference between winning or losing your car accident claim—or the difference between simply receiving a small settlement or getting the compensation that you deserve under the law. The right attorney can also make you feel heard, informed, comforted, and confident in the outcome every step of the way.
When you have legal counsel you can trust, it means:
- Having guidance through every phase of the case.
- Always getting clear answers to your questions.
- Ensuring your case moves quickly and smoothly.
- Leveling the playing field between you and the insurance company.
- Knowing that you aren’t overlooking important factors in the case.
- Taking the burden of the case off of your shoulders.
- Receiving a fair payment for your accident and injuries.
What To Look For in a Washington Car Accident Attorney
Don’t be fooled by fancy marketing or tag lines. You want to find a knowledgeable car accident lawyer who’s available, reasonable, and good fit for you and your case.
Definitely evaluate how many years the attorney has been in the field and also make sure they have experience specifically related to the type of accident and injuries you’ve suffered. You might also need to know if they have courtroom experience or—once a firm accepts your case—if the actual work will be handled by an attorney in the office with less experience.
Pay close attention to an attorney’s list of recent cases, their circumstances, and their payouts. You’re examining the types of cases and whether they’re similar to your own.
There might not be a better way to get a glimpse into what it’s like working with a law firm than by reading client testimonials and watching video testimonials. These firsthand reviews might be on an attorney’s website or on sites like Yelp or Google.
A great lawyer isn’t so great if they’re overworked and inattentive. Ask a prospective attorney about what their caseload is and how much attention they’ll be able to give your case.
Whether you feel comfortable around your attorney matters. Sometimes, you just know. So does how they make you feel, whether they listen, and whether they give you the time and attention you need. You’ll be working closely with them throughout the case, so while experience is crucial, so is a solid foundation of trust, respect, and communication.
Having a lawyer within proximity is a great idea, as is having a lawyer who’s licensed to practice in your state and familiar with your state’s laws.
Always ask an attorney for their fee structure. Many car accident and personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis: this means they don’t get paid unless you receive a settlement. Some have access to loan agencies that help cover the cost of injury expenses until your compensation claim is secure. You have every right to ask for a detailed itemization of a law firm’s fee policy, deadlines, upfront costs, and administrative costs incurred during the case process.
Schedule Consultations With Your Short List
After you’ve researched a number of attorneys and law firms in your area, pick two–to–four attorneys to meet with in person or over Zoom. An in-person consultation, which should be free, can help you get a feel for the attorney and allow you to ask detailed questions about their firm and your case.
You should also bring the paperwork related to your case to the consultation so your potential legal team can review the facts of the matter and better understand the breadth and scope of the claim.
At Max Meyers Law, we encourage prospective clients to ask the following questions during their initial consultation:
- Do you have experience with my type of case?
- Would you handle my case, or would it be passed off to another attorney?
- What’s your personal philosophy or strategy for handling these cases?
- How do you negotiate?
- Are you comfortable taking cases to trial?
- How do you communicate with clients? How often?
- What are the strengths or drawbacks of my case?
- What is your fee structure?
With 25 years of legal experience and a track record of success, we understand what goes into every car accident and injury claim. To learn more about what to consider when you hire a Washington car accident lawyer, please request our free book, Not Another Bad Lawyer.