A: Give Stacie a call as soon as you can. Do not talk to an insurance company (even your own) until after you have consulted with a lawyer. You don't want to give the insurance company any reason to blame you or deny your claim completely. If you decide to hire a lawyer, your lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company and can figure out what insurance coverage is in place to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and damaged bike.
A: All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is no recovery, there is no fee. While Stacie is working on your case, she will write checks for things like filing fees, expert witness fees, process service fees, medical record copying charges, etc. Costs can get expensive, especially if your case requires litigation, but Stacie will advance these costs and then deduct them from the amount she is able to recover for you at the end of your case. There are no additional or hidden fees for consultations, opening your file, long distance phone calls, etc. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you find out what they will be charging you, as these hidden costs can add up.
A: The time it takes to resolve your case depends on many factors, but the primary factors include how quickly you recover from your injuries and whether you are able to make a complete recovery or are left with lifelong residual pain and limitations in strength or range of motion. If you are still actively treating, it may be too soon to talk about settlement because it is impossible to know the full nature and extent of your injuries. Once you are done treating or your recovery has hit a plateau, the full extent of your damages can be incorporated into the settlement value. Once you accept a settlement offer, your case is over forever, so it is important to make sure that all of your damages are captured before settling your case.
A: No. In fact, most don't. Although most cases don't end up seeing the light of a courtroom, Stacie prepares every case as if it will be litigated. This includes hiring the necessary experts and preparing a case strategy early on. These techniques provide an excellent foundation for negotiating with insurance companies and streamline litigation if you are not happy with the insurance company's offer.
A: The main reason to hire a lawyer is so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Stacie's goal is to make sure you have the time and energy to make the best recovery possible, so she manages all of the legal aspects of your case. Stacie likes to meet every new client in person at the start of the case, but after that, most communication about the case can be through phone or email. If your case requires litigation, Stacie does the lion's share of the work and strives to minimize the impact of litigation on your life.
A: Yes! Stacie does not charge for initial legal consultations, so give her a call and get some information for free! Stacie can discuss the specific facts of your case and will give you some self-help if you want to pursue your case on your own. If you want help with your case, Stacie will investigate the collision, open your insurance claims, find all available insurance coverages, prepare settlement packages and litigate your case if the insurance company isn't being fair to you. Either way, Stacie can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about the best way for you to pursue your case.
A: It depends. Most of the time, insurance companies will initially offer you a settlement that is far below the true value of your case. If you have already received an offer for your injuries, call Stacie and she can help you figure out if the insurance company’s offer is fair or not. Often times, Stacie can get insurance companies to substantially increase the amount of their settlement offers if you decide you want her to help you resolve your case.
A: Most cyclists have no idea that their own auto insurance will pay if they are hit by an uninsured or under-insured driver. If you purchased "uninsured motorist" (UIM) coverage on your auto policy, it will pay for your damages if you are hit by an uninsured driver while riding your bike or if the driver did not have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries. If you are unsure how much UIM coverage you have on your auto policy, you should ask your insurance agent and consider increasing your UIM limits.
A: Yes. In many cases, actual physical contact is not required for a driver to be held legally responsible for causing a crash. Often, riders have a split-second to take evasive action and sometimes end up going over their handlebars or hitting curbs or other vehicles in order to avoid a collision with a negligent driver. You don't have to actually get physically hit by a car to recover from an at-fault party. If the driver's negligent actions caused you to crash, Stacie can help establish fault for your injuries and recover for your damages.
A: Yes. As a cyclist who has been hit by an inattentive driver, Stacie understands how overwhelming the situation can be. There are many traps waiting to ensnare those who are not used to dealing with the insurance companies on a regular basis. Stacie is available to advise you, at no charge, on how to evaluate your claim for personal injuries.
A: No. However, in these instances, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may provide liability coverage for your negligence and will appoint an attorney to defend you if you believe the claim against you is not your fault. Your insurance company should also pay for
A: Yes. Stacie has offices in Seattle and Spokane, but she handles cases in most counties in Washington.
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