There were 471 serious injury crashes in King County, WA in 2013 according to preliminary data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC). Serious injuries that create burdensome financial damages usually warrant seeking legal counsel to file a car accident claim or lawsuit against a negligent driver.
What to Expect if Filing a Car Accident Claim
After a car accident, an injured driver can file a claim with his or her own:
- personal injury protection (PIP) insurance;
- uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; or
- health insurance; but generally the primary means of collecting compensation will be from the driver's liability insurance.
The insurance adjuster will investigate liability in the claim, including:
- taking statements from the driver;
- pulling the driver's accident record; and
- contesting medical expenses.
Claimants don't have to submit to interview requests or give the insurer access to their Social Security number during the investigation. Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be frustrating and difficult for some accident victims, especially when also dealing with serious injuries. Your attorney can relieve some of this burden and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
How You Know You Need an Attorney
Deciding whether to hire an attorney is a complicated, and cost is often a factor. Almost all car accident attorneys work on the contingency fee model. The attorney will take an agreed-upon percentage of any settlement or judgment as his or her fee.
One of the biggest factors when determining if you need an attorney is the value of your damages. This requires calculating economic damages for medical bills, lost wages, etc. (both past, current, and future), as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Unless your damages are a few thousand dollars, you likely need an attorney to help you file your claim and pursue fair compensation.
Serious car accident cases generally require legal representation. There are long-term costs that these accidents usually create, and many accident victims may fail to account for these damages. Insurers may offer a fair settlement for current damages, but if it fails to account for long-term damages you will be unable to reopen the claim for more compensation.
Further, serious injuries generally require medical expert testimony regarding the prognosis of the injury and the types of effects it will have on the patient. Economists or other professionals may provide testimony in serious cases regarding the long-term costs the accident victim may face.
Max Meyers Law in Kirkland Can Help
Attorneys can make sure you meet relevant statute of limitations requirements (three years in Washington) and provide assistance with other aspects of your case. Your attorney can also negotiate a fair settlement that adequately represents your short- and long-term needs.
Max Meyers Law PLLC can help Kirkland accident victims pursue fair compensation after a car accident. Contact our office at 425-399-7000 or use our online contact form to set up a consultation to discuss the value of your case.