If you ever get injured in an unfortunate car accident in Seattle, you need to follow the basic dos and don’ts. Firstly, pull over and call 911. Check if other drivers and passengers need help. Call the local police and wait for the law enforcement officer to arrive. If there was no police officer at the scene, you need to file a Motor Vehicle Collision Report. This is important and mandatory for all accidents in Washington that result in injury or property damage worth $1,000 or more. The next step is to seek legal advice. Hiring a Seattle car accident lawyer may seem overwhelming, but before you pick someone, here are some questions to ask –
1. What do you think of my case?
Personal injury lawyers usually offer a free initial consultation for prospective clients, and you can use this for understanding your case better. A skilled attorney will give you a fair overview of what to expect from your car accident claim. For instance, Washington follows the pure comparative negligence rule. Even if you had a minor role in causing the accident, this can impact your compensation. Let an attorney explain all your options and the expected settlement from the case.
2. How often do you deal with car accident cases?
The scope of personal injury law is huge. Not all attorneys and law firms deal with car accident lawsuits, so ask in advance. You need a lawyer who works on auto accident claims on a regular basis. You can ask for references, some of their landmark cases, to know the lawyer better. If a car accident lawyer claims to be among the best in Seattle, they will have positive reviews online, which is an indicator of their success.
3. Will you work on a contingency basis? Will you handle the case personally?
A bunch of lawyers may work for the same law firm. The lawyer you meet to discuss your car accident claim may not work directly on the case. Ask about this in advance and ensure that you have easy access to the lawyer. As for the fee, most attorneys in Seattle take car accident cases on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer wouldn’t charge a fee until they win. The contingency fee is typically 40% or lower, but it largely depends on the facts of the case and the experience of the attorney.
Finally, ensure that the lawyer has some experience of trial. While most car accident cases are settled outside of court, you never know how things may eventually shape up.