Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a personal injury attorney?
Laws regarding personal injury and insurance are extremely complex; to ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled by law, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is generally the most reliable option. Small claims court can sometimes handle matters involving minor sums of money; however, an injured party should always consult with an attorney in cases that involve larger claims.
Do I have to pay taxes on my recovery?
Awards to make a person whole as a result of personal injury are NOT taxable as “income.”
Will my premiums increase as a result of litigating?
No. An insurance company may not retaliate against you for enforcing your statutory or contractual rights. If you were not at fault for the accident, your rates should not increase. If your rates have gone up, and you were not at fault, you should contact an attorney immediately for assistance.
How much can I recover as damages?
In Washington, pain and suffering damages are general damages awarded to compensate individuals for their injuries. These damages are received in addition to compensation for lost wages, property damage and medical bills. Most insurance companies will not offer you damages for pain and suffering unless you hire an attorney.
What should I do if I've been injured?
Seek IMMEDIATE medical attention. Many people wait following a car accident to see a doctor. Do not put this off. Insurance companies argue that a delay in seeking treatment means the injury wasn’t severe or that you did not suffer.
Do not sign anything unrelated to your medical care. To receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney before settling with an insurance company.
Next, hire an attorney to represent you. Make sure to keep a journal of everything that transpires. We also recommend that you keep an electronic version of your journal to forward on to your attorney, if necessary.