Personal Injury is an area of law concerning the rights of injured people — the damages they suffer to their mind, body, and finances. When a victim is injured because of someone else’s careless or unreasonable behavior (i.e. negligence), it is called a tort.
Personal injury lawyers advocate for the rights of injured people who have suffered a tort. Among other things, they help the victim pursue financial compensation from the negligent parties and their insurance companies.
How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Work?: The Process of Hiring One (and How They Get Paid)
Think you’re ready to talk to a personal injury lawyer in Olympia, Tacoma, or the surrounding counties but aren’t sure how to get started? Many people find the very idea of contacting a law firm to be intimidating. But it’s really much more simple than it seems.
For many people, the first step is to schedule a free consultation (sometimes called a “case review”). This is your chance to talk directly with a lawyer or their staff before hiring one.
During a free consultation, you can talk about your accident, your injuries, and any other losses you’ve suffered. The attorney will ask questions to help them understand how the relevant laws might apply to your situation. They’ll tell you what your legal options might look like. They’ll also tell you whether they believe they can help you.
The point of the consultation is to let you decide if you’re comfortable with the lawyer and their way of doing things (and to let you get some preliminary answers to your questions), and to let the personal injury lawyer assess whether they might be able to add value to any claim you might have.
At Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys at Law, we offer free consultations to all personal injury and auto accident victims. There is absolutely no cost, no pressure, and no obligation. We’re here to offer honest feedback and put the ball in your court. And the consultation is entirely confidential.
If you do decide to hire us, we will not charge you anything upfront. You only have to pay us a fee for our services if we are successful in getting you money for your claim. Our total fee will be only a percentage of your total recovery. If we aren’t successful, you won’t have to pay any attorney fees, so there’s really nothing to lose.
This type of fee is called contingency fee representation. We believe contingency fees make justice accessible to all accident victims, regardless of their financial standing. It also gives us a strong incentive to work passionately toward your goals, because we only get paid if you succeed.*
That, in a nutshell, is how personal injury lawyers work. But what does the lawyer actually do once they’re on the case? Let’s walk through some of the basics below.
What Personal Injury Lawyers Do
Every accident is different; every client is unique. The steps we take are tailored to the client’s best interests under the circumstances. However, as a general matter, here are some of the essential steps we may take during the claims process:
1. We Shoulder the Hassle (So You Don’t Have to Deal with It)
It’s not unusual for an accident victim to contact us because they’re getting phone calls, emails or letters in the mail related to their accident. Some of these calls and letters might be invasive, aggressive, or intimidating, and it seems like they’ll never stop. But as soon as you hire us, they do stop. We contact the other parties as soon as possible and instruct them to contact us instead.
Alternatively, you might feel like you are the one having to make all the calls and send all the letters, wasting precious hours of your life in a seemingly futile attempt to get the justice you deserve. But when you hire us, we take on the task of pursuing justice for you.
So while you will be in the loop (we provide our clients frequent updates on the status of their claims process), you won’t have to deal with the hassle, frustration, or fear of endless communication relating to your claim. Part of what we try to offer our clients from day one is peace of mind.
2. We Research and Investigate Your Claim as Needed
Evidence and preparation are key parts of any personal injury claim. Different accidents call for different methods of research and investigation.
For some legal matters, we might work with expert witnesses, doctors, or accident reconstruction experts.
For others, we might procure police reports, local surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, or employment records (for example, the driving records of a truck driver in a commercial trucking accident).
In each claim, we work closely with our clients to determine the most effective strategy for preparing their claim.
3. We Negotiate
In many instances, we have been able to resolve our clients’ claims without going to trial. Through our years of experience, we believe we have developed effective strategies for negotiating with insurance companies toward favorable outcomes for our clients. Skillful negotiation is an important of how personal injury lawyers work and what we do. Our goal is to negotiate a better settlement than you would be able to get on your own.
4. We Tend to Deadlines and Legal Procedure
Throughout the process of pursuing a personal injury claim, there are different timelines and deadlines that one must be mindful of.
Additionally, there may be certain procedural requirements along the way. Keeping up and complying with these requirements can be a real challenge for those who attempt to pursue a claim without an attorney’s help.
As Olympia and Tacoma personal injury lawyers, we work hard to make sure our clients’ claims are handled diligently, carefully avoiding common pitfalls and doing everything we can to strengthen the claim.
5. We Assess Your Damages and Provide Guidance
We have sometimes found that our clients are not aware of all the damages available to them under Washington personal injury law.
Part of our job is to explore every possible avenue for compensation and then provide honest, practical guidance as to the right strategies for pursuing it.
We also counsel our clients throughout the process to help them avoid errors and take the proper steps. It’s important that, if you hire us, you fully understand your rights and the steps we are taking to protect them.
6. We Can Represent Clients in Court as Needed
While we have been able to resolve cases outside of court in many instances, we are ready and willing to take a claim to court if that’s what it takes. Our Olympia and Tacoma personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in every aspect of trial litigation, from case preparation to courtroom advocacy. We are proud of our track record in court.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a 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 Olympia, Tacoma, and beyond.
We do not charge our personal injury clients a fee unless we get them money first. Even then, our fee is only a portion of the overall recovery.
Let our family help your family!
*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.