Frequently Asked Questions & Answers About Personal Injuries

Being hurt in a collision or incident caused by another’s carelessness creates a whole series of problems to solve and questions to answer.   Call us at 360-213-0013, we are here for you.

We help people whose lives have been derailed, whose bodies have been hurt, and who have suffered from collisions and other types of personal injuries.  We have aided many clients in finding resources and we want to help answer some of the questions you may have about the process.

Can I afford to hire an attorney to help with my personal injury?

At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC, we offer free consultations for people who are injured by the negligence or bad behavior of others.  For most personal injury matters, we provide our services without any charge up front.  We recover our fees by taking a standard percentage of the recovery.  Helping your physical and monetary recovery is our top priority.  At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC, you aren’t just a number.  You are a person who needs help and we are here to fight for you and get you the help you need and deserve.

What kind of compensation is available in Washington State for injuries caused by others?

In Washington State, people injured by the negligence or intentional acts of others are able to seek compensation for their injuries.  Depending on who caused the injury, different sources of compensation may be available.  With automobile accidents, most drivers have insurance coverage, though it may not always be enough.  Most people also have additional coverage for themselves in the case of under-insured motorists.  Sometimes, the responsible party is self-insured or has assets available to cover injuries caused through negligence.  At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC, we work hard to find all available resources to help you recover and go back to living your best life.

Should I talk directly to my insurance company or the other party’s insurance?

First of all, you may well have an obligation to provide certain information to your insurance company.  However, you should not and are not required to make any statement to people affiliated with the person who caused your injuries, and certainly not with their insurance company.  It often makes sense to talk with them directly about getting your vehicle replaced.  We are happy to guide you in knowing what information to provide and when you it might be a good idea to talk with them and when it won’t.

What if I just negotiate directly with insurance to settle my claim?

We understand that many people want to put their painful car accident or other injury behind them as fast as possible.  Nonetheless, it is usually not in the injured person’s best interest to try to negotiate quickly or directly with an insurance company.  For one thing, insurance companies most often try to get people to settle very quickly, before they know the full extent of their injuries.  This can lead to seriously undervaluing your pain and suffering.

Also, by talking directly to an insurance company, you might inadvertently say something or agree with something the insurance agent says that can make it seem like you weren’t really hurt or that could contradict something else you have said or might say.  This could be problematic, even if you later get help from a lawyer.  People’s memories aren’t perfect and trained investigators can trick people into saying things they don’t really mean.  If the insurance company pressures you to take a small amount for your injuries, calling a lawyer first is a great idea.  Protect yourself.  We are happy to help – 360-213-0013.

How can I get the medical care I need while my case is still pending?

Most drivers have personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their insurance policy.  This coverage should kick in immediately and pay for medical attention and, depending on the policy, lost wages and certain other benefits.  Depending on the amount of coverage, and the seriousness of the injury, your PIP policy may cover most of the medical costs or your health insurance may need to kick in.  Under certain circumstances, the third party, the one who caused the injury, may have insurance that would provide compensation early on.  When your own medical insurance pays for your care, they will typically ask to be reimbursed for some part of that cost out of the proceeds of any settlement.  At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC, our lawyers can talk with you more about how that works, and how the insurance company may have to accept less than full reimbursement and how they will have to bear their fair share of attorney’s fees if they seek compensation.

How long will it take to resolve my personal injury claim?

A variety of factors will determine how long it takes for a case to be resolved.  Seriousness of injury, time needed to heal, policy limits and a number of other factors will dictate how long the process can or should take.  Good lawyers usually do not want to hurry clients into settling early when injuries are not resolved and we don’t have the full picture of the long-term impact.  In some instances, injuries are very serious and there are good reasons to try to get all the money available and settle right away.

For many injuries, the healing process may plateau sometime around a year after it happens.  Once that plateau is reached, we will typically work to try to resolve the matter.  If negotiations fail, we file lawsuits.  In Washington, a lawsuit for personal injury caused by negligence must be filed within three years of the incident.  However, other limitations, like insurance company contracts, might complicate the timing.

Will I have to pay for a consultation?

Your consultation with the Dalton Law Office, PLLC is free of charge.  We are always willing to take the time to talk with you about your injuries and what happened to see if we would be a good fit.  We want you to be able to talk with us, with no pressure, so you can get to know us and understand what we do.

It is important to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer to understand your rights and get an opinion about the issues you may face and the possible outcomes.  Although fast cash may be tempting to some, many injured drivers have to live with the impacts of the crash on their health for many years.  We do our best to make sure our clients get the best results possible and are not left in pain, with little or nothing to compensate.

Can I receive compensation for the impact of my injuries on my mental health?

Yes, mental pain and anguish, including but not limited to diagnosable conditions like PTSD, are eligible for compensation.  Mental pain and suffering are real and in Washington State, the law very specifically allows compensation for these effects on your life.  You can be compensated for feeling frustrated, sad, inconvenienced, isolated, depressed and all of the other difficult and negative feelings caused by being injured by someone else’s carelessness.

We work with our clients to name and understand your pain and your experiences.  This allows us to communicate the full value of your loss to those who will compensate you.  We strive to understand and put your suffering into words that will move people to understand.  Understanding is the beginning of healing and we want to help you get there.

Why would I want a lawyer? Won’t my insurance company handle everything for me?

Most insurance companies have one big priority: making money for themselves.  This means that their insured customers often feel pressured and don’t get the support they would hope to get from their own insurance company.  In Washington State, strong laws protecting insurance customers allow us to go after insurance companies who behave badly.  We would be happy to speak with you more about your company’s obligations and your rights as an insured.  Having a lawyer on your side can help you get what you need an deserve and not be bullied by insurance companies who don’t want to pay.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in an automobile collision, getting caring and compassionate help right away can make all the difference.  Don’t let insurance companies bully you into settling for less than your fair share.  We are here to help.  Call us anytime at 360-213-0013. For after hours or weekends, our cell phone number is on our answering machine and we do our best to respond right away to urgent calls.

We are Here to Help

At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC,  we cumulatively have decades of experience helping people who have been hurt and fighting for great results

Call us to find out more about your rights and your options.  We are here to help.

To speak with Ms. Dalton or one of our attorneys by phone or schedule an appointment, call 360-213-0013.