Personal Injury Lawyer in Everett, WA
Personal Injury Representation
The legal system is confusing to navigate and it’s hard to know what to do. If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, I can help. I’ve spent my entire career, since 1997, representing people injured by the negligence of others. Over that time I’ve worked on cases from straight-forward auto accidents to complex cases involving premises liability, medical malpractice, and product liability.
Put my experience to work for you. You’ll obtain a realistic evaluation of your case, legal guidance you understand, and regular communication so you stay fully informed on your case.
Table of Contents: for your convenience, below are quick links that will take you to the corresponding sections lower on this page.
- Types of Personal Injury Cases I Work On
- Personal Injury Attorneys
- When To Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
- How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
- Personal Injury Compensation
- Personal Injury Claim Process
- Mediation in Personal Injury Cases
- Personal Injury Myths
- Personal Injury Wrongful Death
- Workers Comp vs Personal Injury
- Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions
- What to Expect
Personal Injury Lawyer - Free Consultation
If you have questions and are looking for answers regarding an injury or accident give me a call. I provide free consultations to assess the merits of cases. Contact me for answers and to find out whether I’m the right fit for you and your situation.
Personal Injury Claim Process
A personal injury settlement process does not begin until a full recovery is made or the condition has plateaued or reached maximum medical improvement. Once that point has been reached the settlement process is as follows:
- A demand letter is sent to the insurer or risk management office of the negligent party.
- Negotiation begins
- Agreement is reached
- A release is signed by the injured party
- A check is issued
Settling a Personal Injury Claim With an Insurance Company
A personal injury claim can settle with an insurance company, without filing a lawsuit. Once the treatment has concluded and the medical condition has stabilized, settlement discussions can begin. Evidence supporting your claim is provided to the insurance company, and negotiations can start. If a settlement is reached, a release is signed in exchange for an insurance check.
Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
An example of the steps in a personal injury lawsuit are as follows:
- Document the incident
- If injured seek medical attention and follow any medical advice
- Consult with an attorney
- Attorney provides notice of representation to the adverse insurer and/or party
- Treatment is completed
- Case is evaluated.
- Demand letter is sent out
- Negotiation occurs
- If the case is not settled, it’s filed in Court
- The lawsuit is served on the defendant
- The parties exchange Interrogatories (written questions, answered under oath)
- Depositions of the parties, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses are conducted
- Focus Group Meetings regarding the case
- Mediation or settlement conference occurs
- Trial preparation and Motions
Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
If a settlement agreement is not reached, the case is filed in court and served on the defendant. Some courts have a case management schedule that sets the trial date and additional deadlines immediately. Other courts expect the parties to let them know when they’re ready to set a trial date. Federal courts require the parties to confer and recommend trial dates and then the judge will issue a scheduling order with a trial date along with other deadlines.
Once the trial date is set you’ll know what your timeline will be to accomplish the following:
- Written discovery
- Expert disclosures
- Dispositive motions / Motion practice
- Pretrial conference
- Trial preparation
The time from filing date to trial date varies based on the court where the case is filed, docket congestion, and any public health protocols that may or may not be in place. The average time from filing to trial is 1 to 3 years.
Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown
The value of a case is not typically arrived at until a client has made a full recovery, or has reached a point where further treatment will be of no benefit. At that time, an assessment can be done and a settlement demand, including all of the client’s harms and losses, can be prepared. The demand will then be forwarded to the other side for consideration.
If a settlement is reached, the adverse party will send one check to cover all damages. This check includes attorney fees, costs, reimbursement of medical expenses, and damages. An example breakdown of a $100,000.00 recovery would be as follows:
- $33,333.33 attorney fees (1/3 contingency fee)
- $5,000.00 costs advanced by attorney for case expenses
- $10,000.00 in outstanding medical expenses
- $6,666.67 reimbursement to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurer
- $45,000.00 net to client
Personal Injury Structured Settlement
A structured settlement is where the claimant receives future payments funded by the purchase of an annuity at the time of settlement. A structured settlement is not appropriate in all cases.
Mediation in Personal Injury Cases
A Mediator is a neutral party that works with the parties to resolve a case. A mediator does not provide legal advice, take testimony, or order any party to do anything. At mediation lawyers for each party present their client’s case to the mediator in a private setting.
In a typical mediation, the parties meet with the mediator separately and assess the pros and cons of each party’s position. Eventually, the mediator communicates settlement offers between the parties until a resolution is reached, or the mediation is terminated.
Mediation is required before trial in King County Superior Court, as well as in Federal Court in the Western and Eastern District of Washington.
Workers Comp vs Personal Injury
A workers compensation claim is an injury that occurs during work regardless of where you’re at and regardless of fault. Personal injury is when a person is injured by the negligence of another. A Workers Compensation claim can also include a parallel personal injury claim, known as a third-party liability claim.
If you were injured by a third party, in the course of employment, you may collect worker’s compensation benefits (medical expenses, time loss, etc.), and pursue a claim against the third party.
Examples of third party claims include
- auto collision,
- forklift collision,
- defective machinery — such as the lack of a guard to protect hands
- a general contractor’s failure to enforce WISHA or OSHA safety guidelines — such as lack of fall protection or unguarded edges or openings — leading to an injury.
Contact me for a free consultation to see if you can make a third-party claim against the at fault party, in addition to a worker’s compensation claim.