If you ever get injured in a car accident, you’re likely aware that it’s a good idea to at least speak with a lawyer about your situation and see if they would be interested in taking your case. After all, you’ve got hospital bills and follow-up medical visits to attend, and spending the next several weeks getting the run-around from insurance adjusters really doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun.
But how do you know which lawyer to call, or if they’re the right one to hire for your case? According to the American Bar Association, there were nearly 25,000 licensed attorneys in Washington state as of 2015. Decision fatigue aside, most people don’t think about how to find a good lawyer until they actually need one, which can make the process feel even more overwhelming.
Recent data shows that proximity is one of the most important factors in a person’s decision to hire an attorney. But as attorney Chris Davis of the Davis Law Group in Seattle explains, accident victims who choose convenience over actual expertise and trial experience may be working against their own legal interests and ultimately could end up leaving money on the table.
“Attorneys who handle cases in a wide variety of practice area may lack any real expertise or trial experience with more specific types of cases,” Davis says. “On the contrary, a lawyer who only accepts and handles cases of a particular area of the legal field is likely to have a demonstrated level of expertise with those case types. That’s the mantra at my firm, and it’s why I only handle serious personal injury cases.”
A Real-World Example
One anecdote Davis likes to use to illustrate the true benefit of hiring the right attorney for a car accident or other personal injury case involves a previous client who approached him with questions about a serious dog attack which resulted in permanent injuries. After hiring a general practice attorney due to recommendations from family and friends, the victim was starting to wonder if that attorney might be in over his head.
“This person called my office out of concern because the settlement amount that attorney had demanded from the insurance company would just barely cover the cost of her bills,” Davis explains. “I remember how disappointed she was because she thought she had reached the end of the road, when in reality the other attorney may not have even realized that there was more insurance coverage available for the client to recover.”
Davis says it’s fortunate that the client came to him before the other attorney formally submitted the demand to the insurance company, as his firm was able to correct some of the mistakes that were made. The case was eventually resolved after the insurance company tendered the full available insurance coverage limit, which was several times the amount the other attorney initially demanded from the insurance company.
In addition to practicing law and running his firm in downtown Seattle, Davis is also the author of the Washington Accident Books series on civil law in Washington state. The most popular book in the series, The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Washington Accident Case, is designed to educate drivers about their legal rights and options if they are ever involved in an accident. There are dozens of additional books and reports in the series, all free as a public service from Davis Law Group. Visit www.WashingtonAccidentBooks.com for more information.
— Sponsored by Davis Law Group