Have you ever experienced that bait and switch that sometimes happens when you hire the services of an expert plumber or electrician only to have the apprentice or second fiddle show up on the day? That kind of flimflammery is not unique to the blue collar trades and is not at all unheard of within the legal profession. That's why it's important to ask your attorney firm, who will actually be handling your case, both in the lead up to the trial and on your day in court.
Not only that, but what do you know about the firm itself. Do they specialize in personal injury law or is that just one branch of their services? And if they specialize in personal injury law, have they handled a case like yours before? How many attorneys do they have in the firm that specialize in this area and do they compare notes?
Experience Counts in Court and Out
You may think that the law is the law; that because what defines a civil injustice or act of negligence is written into state constitutions that there is little to be done that will affect a ruling. That however, is very far from the truth.
Further, you may believe that the insurance company of the negligent party will automatically pay up once you present the facts. Or for that matter, you may think that an insurance settlement can only be based on injuries that presented themselves at the time of the accident.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that, on the contrary, personal injury or tort law is seldom black and white and neither are the circumstances leading to most injurious incidents. If nothing else is concrete, an experienced personal injury lawyer knows that the defending insurance company lawyer will do everything in his power to reduce your claim by painting you out to be at least partly at fault. For that reason, no matter how clearly the facts are presented, you will stand a better chance of receiving compensation with some form of supporting backup.
It may take a great deal of legwork and preparation to counter the statements of an aggressive insurance company attorney as he seeks to shift the blame for the accident on to you. That is why you want to be sure that the attorney firm you choose to handle your tort case is comfortable with seeking expert testimony, gathering witness statements and analyzing any evidence gathered at the scene. You also want to know that this crucial preparation will be undertaken by a knowledgeable members of the law firm.
Another strength at our firm is that we have a collaborative working style where we can consult with the different lawyers on our team for tactics and strategies:
Two minds are better than one, and three minds are better than two, and we find in our office of five now it is a great benefit to the primary attorneys on a case to ask for a fresh pair of eyes to take a look and make sure we're not missing something — a fresh angle.” — Scott Staples, firm partner.
State Law Differences – Oregon & Washington
Rules and regulations governing what constitutes a personal injury differ from state to state including the statute of limitations and limit of compensation awarded per type of injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer will ensure that the case being prepared on your behalf meets all the requirements of that state's statutes. Our firm fields a number of Attorney's licensed to practice in both states and so brings the advantage of understanding cases involving persons and insurance companies from both states which sometimes occurs during traffic accident incidents.
The Wisdom to Wait
Lawyers on both sides who have been in practice for a while know that it is not uncommon for an accident – especially a car accident – to cause late presenting injuries whether to muscle, bone or even the brain. That's why the insurance company attorney may try to get you to settle as soon as possible after the incident while a good personal injury lawyer will advise you to take your time to gather all the facts and allow your doctors to thoroughly assess your condition both now and projected into the future.
Washington law clearly sets forth what juries are required to determine when figuring out what a given plaintiff is entitled to recover: “You must determine the amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for such damages as you find were proximately caused by the negligence of the defendant. The burden of proving damages rests upon the plaintiff. It is for you to determine, based upon the evidence, whether any particular element has been proved by a preponderance of the evidence. Your award must be based upon evidence and not upon speculation, guess, or conjecture. The law has not furnished us with any fixed standards by which to measure non-economic damages. With reference to these matters you must be governed by your own judgment, by the evidence in the case, and by these instructions.”
Experienced Washington Oregon Personal Injury Law Firm
With over 100 years of combined experience under our belts it is fair to say that the attorneys of Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS have had a thorough grounding in all aspects of personal injury law as practiced in Oregon and Washington. There is, after all this time, not many cases for which we do not have similar experience on which to draw.
We can also assure you that the partner with whom you discuss your case, will be the one who takes full responsibility for it from the earliest stages of preparation until the judge's final ruling. Our team includes both paralegals and legal secretaries, who are tasked with document compilation or general secretarial duties but it is the partner who will guide each action undertaken on your behalf.
Learn more about Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS and our respected experience in personal injury and insurance action cases in SW Washington and Oregon: