Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

I have been in a car accident, do I really need to hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Posted Monday, July 2, 2012 by Chris Thayer

I think this is a real world question that people face every day. The “stock” answer that you frequently hear is that insurance companies have attorneys so therefore you should as well. I think this is an incomplete answer. Does every person involved in a motor vehicle accident need to hire a lawyer? Absolutely not.

Certainly if there are no injuries and the only real issue is dealing with the property damage, in most instances it will not be necessary to retain an attorney. If your injuries are quite minor and resolve quickly, then it is often not economical to retain a personal injury attorney. This is because, in most instances, personal injury matters are handled on a contingent fee basis - meaning that the attorneys’ fees are paid out of the gross recovery (vs. paying by the hour). If you have a case that is only worth a couple of thousand dollars (or less), you will need to consider carefully whether or not the ecomics make sense for you. In many (if not most) cases, an experienced personal injury attorney can increase and maximize the value of your claim. However, the attorney also needs to get paid and it may be in some very modest cases, that the gain in the increased settlement value is offset by the fees that have to be paid (as well as some costs).

But, and this is an important point, just because it may not make sense to hire a personal injury attorney, doesnt’ mean you should not at least talk with one early on. I will talk with prosepective clients and provide an initial free consultation. You can learn some basic insights into your claim, what to expect and some tips on dealign with the insurance companies. This information can help you decide whether or not, in your particular instance, it makes sense to hire an attorney.

If you have suffered significant injuries in a car accident, you owe it to yourself (to ensure you make informed decisions) to get more information about the process and your rights. Do keep in mind that insurance adjusters deal with thousands of claims, and their goal, whether stated or not, is to pay you the least amount possible. Insurance companies are for profit entities, and the less that is paid out on claims, the more profit they can make. Before you decide whether or not to try to handle your personal injury claim on your own, I would highly recommend you contact an experienced personal injury attorney for an initial free consultation so that you can make a properly informed decision.