Looking for a personal injury attorneyspis like finding a needle in a haystack: the field is saturated.
That makes finding an experienced personal injury attorney difficult -- and you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in Washington State if you want to make sure you receive a fair and just compensation settlement or award.
Insurance companies will fight, and they have their own highly-paid experienced lawyers and adjusters working on their behalf. With the word "experienced" being thrown around so much, what exactly does this word mean? What experience makes a personal injury lawyer "experienced" to the extent should you look for in a personal injury attorney?
Three Forms of Experience to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney
Experience can manifest in different ways. Here are three of the top manifestations of experience you should look for in a personal injury attorney.
Length of Experience
Length of experience matters and that includes the combined experience of the attorneys. Through the years, you get to know the system, the judges, the insurance companies. Through the years, you get a full and thorough understanding of how personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits work.
You get to know the ins and outs. You do not get to start on day one as a personal injury lawyer and get to know it all. It takes time.
So, you need your personal injury attorney to demonstrate to you he or she is experienced because -- in part -- he or she has been practicing this area of law for several years -- long enough to possess an excellent working understanding of the process, including the who, what, where, when, and why.
Breadth of Experience
Length of experience means nothing if the quality of experience isn't there. Your attorney must solely practice personal injury and wrongful death matters or at least dedicate two-thirds of his or her practice to it.
You do not want an attorney who dilly-dallies in various types of law, from criminal law to estate planning to family law to personal injury, among other practice areas. There is a breadth of diversity in personal injury law, so maintaining a focus on it matters.
It means your attorney has likely taken on the easy cases as well as the more complex cases. It means your attorney can identify key issues and approach a claim from all relevant angles. It means nothing goes unnoticed and nothing goes unaddressed.
So, you need your personal injury attorney to demonstrate to you that you have dealt with personal injury claims like your own. That said, all cases are different, but you need to know the attorney can handle it.
As you may or may not know, most personal injury claims are settled before trial -- if they even reach the lawsuit stage. And that's a result of one of two possibilities:
- You as the claimant simply didn't know better and took the first or second offer without legal consultation or proper legal representation; or
- The lawyer you hired negotiated well with the understanding that he or she was willing and will go to trial if the insurance company or whoever is the subject of the claim or lawsuit does not provide a fair and just settlement.
But attorneys will not threaten trial and indeed go through with it unless they mean it. So, knowing that your personal injury attorney has trial experience may indicate that he or she is ready to go the distance to make sure you get what you deserve.
Where to Find an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Near Vancouver, Washington & Portland, Oregon
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one due to the fault of another person or entity, you need legal representation with the experience to help you get what you deserve in terms of compensation.
Personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS have the combined experience you expect and need. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to learn more about our experience and how we may be able to help you.