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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Give the Insurance Adjuster a Recorded Statement?

Do not give the insurance adjuster a recorded statement, not if you’re going to be my client. We will assist you in preparing a thoughtful, detailed, and truthful statement designed to improve the value of your case. We will deal with the insurance company for you.

If you are not going to be my client, you should still be careful in your dealings with the insurance company. They have been through this hundreds of times. They know what they are doing. They will try to get you to say things to hurt your case. Be sure any statement you give them is accurate, truthful, and can’t be used against you later.  Never tell the insurance company anything that is inconsistent what you tell your doctor or with your social media posts.

If you have already given the insurance company a statement, we’ll get a copy of it and work with it.

How Much Do Lawyers Charge?

Attorney Fees – Each law firm has its own fee agreement. Read and understand that fee agreement. Ask questions. Get answers from the lawyer you believe in and you can trust.

Lawyers charge either an hourly and/or a contingent fee. Most personal injury fee agreements are contingent fee agreements. Contingent means you only pay an attorney fee if the lawyer recovers money for you.  Your fee is a percentage of the money recovery. Percentages vary among attorneys, and the percentage may even change in the same agreement, depending on whether a lawsuit is filed. Contingency fees generally range from 33 1/3% to 40%.

Case Costs – Costs are extra. A case cost is not an attorney fee. A case cost is money the attorney spends on your case.

Let’s talk about the difference between attorney fees and case costs. We will use medical records as an example. It is the lawyer’s job to get, read, organize, and use your medical records. This is legal work and it is part of the attorney fee. It is not a case cost. Case costs come from the doctor’s office when they charge your lawyer for a copy of the medical records. That charge is a case cost. Most lawyers will pay that cost on your behalf and bill you for it later.

The Insurance Company Says I Don’t Need a Lawyer. Is that Smart?

That is smart for the insurance company to tell you that. They know they will pay less if there is no attorney helping you.

I Don’t Want to Sue Anyone and I Don’t Want to Go to Court

Those are genuine concerns.

Here is something important to think about. Most legal cases will settle before getting into the courtroom. You may or may not have to file suit to get the insurance company’s attention. You may not wish to sue anyone; however, you didn’t want to get into the accident either. Now that it is too late to avoid the accident you now need to do what is necessary to get a fair result.

What Needs to be Done if I Have a Vehicle Accident?

First – at the scene of the car crash

  • Stop and render assistance to injured victims
  • Remove vehicles from dangerous situations. Call a tow truck if necessary. If it is going to be towed get your valuables out of the car.
  • Exchange information with other drivers, to include ID and license plate number.
  • Get pictures of both cars and the accident scene now, not later.
  • Get name, phone and email of witnesses, especially if you were not at fault.
  • Call the police if necessary, especially if you were hit by an uncooperative or a drunk driver.

Second – settle your property damage claim

  • Get a rental car until you can get your car back on the road. Repair or replace your car.
  • Read your insurance policies to find the type and amount of insurance coverage you have.
  • Settle your auto property damage claim with the insurance company.

Third – handle your personal injury claim

  • Get medical care, pay the doctor bills and settle your personal injury If it won’t settle – consult with a lawyer.

Should I See a Doctor After an Auto Accident?

You should see a doctor for any medical concerns. This is very important. Injuries from accidents often show up at a later date. Your health and the value of your case will suffer if you don’t see a doctor.

Also, if you don’t see a doctor the insurance company will argue either you are not hurt, or that you made yourself worse by not seeing a doctor.

How Do I Get a Free Consultation?

Free consultations in personal injury cases are easy to get: just ask.

We give free consultations by phone, e-mail, or in a question and answer online session. Just contact us to get started.

If you case looks like one the attorney wishes to go forward with, then the attorney will invite you to the office for an in-person consultation and strategy session.

Any way we do this, the consultation is free.

Want to talk with us?

Telephone — call now 206-456-2700

e-mailinfo@sharpelawfirm.org

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