Sleight & Boyd Law Offices
902 Esther Street,
Vancouver, WA 98660.
FAX: (360) 690-0068
If you are represented by legal counsel, it will immediately fall to your attorney to make arrangements for any necessary medical care and oversee the restoration of damaged property. Your attorney will maintain contact with all involved parties and keep you apprised of the progress of your case. Your job will then be to recover from your accident, and lend whatever informational assistance your attorney may request of you as he investigates and prepares your case. It is recommended that even before you make a formal statement to the other side's insurance company, for instance, that you check with your attorney. Statements you make after an accident are often misinterpreted by the opposing side for their benefit and this is yet another area where legal counsel can be of benefit. Lawyers specializing in personal injury are experienced with auto accidents and injury investigations and know how to deal with aggressive insurance companies. You'll soon notice, unfortunately, that most insurance companies will pay more attention, respond more quickly, and be more attentive to a lawyer than they will the average citizen. Their offers of settlement are typically much higher when the party is represented by an attorney, resulting in more funds available to the injured person even after the lawyer's fee is paid.
Most lawyers handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that their fees are paid contingent to a settlement or resolution in the case. Once the accident or incident has been adequately investigated, fault will usually be determined either by agreement of the parties, by an award at arbitration, or by a court verdict pursuant to litigation. If a recovery is to be made, the award or verdict will set a monetary damage amount. The attorney will collect his fees out of that monetary award, usually at a previously agreed upon percentage rate, once the award has been determined at the close of the case. The attorney's percentage rate will most likely vary depending on whether the case had to be litigated or not. Much like the medical PIP coverage offered by insurance companies, most lawyers are able to postpone their fees till the end of the case when an award is determined and the victim's recovery is received.
Sustaining an injury as the result of an accident is a traumatic life experience that takes time and effort to deal with on a daily basis. Suffering a loss to property as well literally adds insult to injury. It's a difficult time to take on the management of critical decisions and processes in an area that is unfamiliar at best, a fact of which insurance companies and opposing counsel are well aware. The process is most expediently handled and favorably resolved through the representation of experienced legal counsel who can advocate on your behalf while you see to the daily business of your life.