Do I Need an Attorney?

Maybe. If your injury is relatively minor and your symptoms abate within 30 days of the date of the accident, then you probably do not need legal representation. You can submit your medical bills and records on your own and verify any wage loss with your employer's records. Armed with that information you should be able to negotiate to a settlement yourself that will pay all of your out-of-pocket costs and compensate you for inconvenience and general damages.

Lawyers usually cannot offer contingence fee arrangements to persons who have suffered only minor injuries. A contingency fee is a fee arrangement where the attorney is compensated a percentage of the gross recovery. If the gross recovery is small, the contingency fee may not be large enough to pay the lawyer for his overhead in prosecuting the claim. Some lawyers may agree to handle smaller cases on an hourly basis, but that requires the payment of a retainer at the beginning of the case and a guaranteed hourly amount thereafter, which could exceed the gross recovery.

On the other hand, if your injuries are serious and you require ongoing treatment, then your best interests probably will be served if you have a lawyer in your corner.

If you are uncertain as to whether or not your injuries are serious enough to seek legal representation, and you are waiting to see how you progress, there are some things you should do to protect yourself. Before the vehicles are salvaged or otherwise destroyed, good quality photographs of the property damage in the accident can be invaluable. Even where there is no dispute as to liability and/or where the cars impacted one another, the amount of crush that is sustained by the vehicles or other damage patterns may be persuasive in arguing the forces at impact and their correlation to the severity of your injury.

Also, if you are bruised or cut badly in the accident, photographs of hematomas and/or swollen scars can likewise be used to document your injuries and the resulting pain and suffering. Many people are embarrassed to take these photographs as this is something they normally do not wish to document; however, photographs of injuries often are helpful years later when the case goes to trial and you are describing your injuries to a jury.

With the help of The Farber Law Group, a Washington law firm experienced and knowledgeable in handling auto accident cases, you may be able to recover the full amount of your damages. Please contact us for more information and to schedule a free consultation.