How can you know the difference? In this article, we will help you distinguish between situations that don’t call for an attorney and those that might. We’ll also help you decide whether it’s “worth it” to hire a personal injury lawyer.
At the outset, we must emphasize that what follows is merely general guidance. Every single legal situation is unique. Whether you could benefit from an attorney’s services will depend on the particulars of your accident and life circumstances. The best way to reach that decision in the state of Washington is, we believe, to call our office and simply ask. We will give you a straight answer as to whether we think we can help. We’re standing by and ready to have a friendly, helpful, and confidential conversation.
Top Signs You Don’t Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Auto accidents are a fact of life. Fortunately, some of them really are quite minor in nature. When all parties walk away with no injuries, no pain, and no property damage, they can usually feel pretty confident in their ability to resolve the situation without a lawyer’s help.
Signs that you might be able to negotiate a fair settlement or resolution by yourself, without a lawyer’s help, include the following common scenarios:
- No one was injured, or the injuries were minor and require no follow-up care after an initial check-up with your doctor.
You should always call the police to report an accident before leaving the scene and always notify your insurance carrier soon after the fact — no matter how minor the accident may be.
If your situation matches the descriptions above, but you still feel you should call a lawyer’s office, perhaps because of some other fact or factor that could change the analysis, please never hesitate to do so. Every situation is different; no one-size-fits-all answer applies.
In Some Situations, Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Could Be One of the Best Decisions You Ever Make
If your claim involves more significant injuries (ranging from moderate to severe in nature), a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover substantially more financial compensation than you would get on your own.
Insurance companies work hard to protect themselves. They want your claim to cost them as little money as possible.
By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can send a clear signal to the insurer as to just how serious you are.
Your lawyer, in turn, can use negotiation, evidence, and legal strategy to build a compelling case on your behalf, aiming to persuade the insurance company that it’s in their best interest to make a fair settlement offer rather than going through the hassle and expense of a trial. And if your claim does ultimately go to a trial, your lawyer can zealously represent your interests in a court of law, always with an eye toward your financial interests.
Studies have shown that accident victims tend to recover more money when they hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them.
Is Hiring a Lawyer Worth It?
There’s an inherent assumption in this question, which is that personal injury lawyers are hard to afford. It’s a common misconception.
While some other kinds of lawyers tend to charge by the hour or require large retainers up front, personal injury lawyers tend to work on a contingency fee basis instead.
In other words, when you hire a personal injury lawyer, you don’t have to pay anything up front. Instead, the law firm agrees to give your case the time and attention it deserves, and in exchange, you only have to pay the attorney for their services if they succeed in getting you money (either a settlement or a verdict). The attorney’s entire fee is only a percentage of your total recovery, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket. And if the attorney is unsuccessful, you don’t have to pay any attorney fees.*
Now that you have a clearer understanding of the typical fee arrangement for personal injury lawyers, we can return to the question of “are they worth it?”
We encourage prospective clients to call our office, set up a consultation, and ask us that question directly. We’ll listen to your story, consider it carefully, and give you an honest answer: do we think we can be of value to you? If so, we can offer to take on your case, and you can make the call. The decision of whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer is best made in context, informed by the specific facts and circumstances of your claim — so give us a call or stop by our office and talk it over.
We have helped many of our clients recover substantial financial compensation after an accident or injury in the state of Washington. We’d like to fight toward that same goal for you.
Schedule a Free Case Review with an Olympia Personal Injury Attorney
Fuller & Fuller Attorneys at Law is a family-operated law firm with more than 46 years of experience in representing personal injury victims in Washington State, including: Olympia, Tacoma, Port Orchard, Puyallup, and beyond.
To schedule a free, no-obligation case review please call 800-570-4878 or contact us online right away.
*The Bar Association does require that clients are ultimately responsible for costs of suit, but we make that easy by fronting the costs and getting paid back from the final settlement or judgment.