a) We start with a free consultation. Depending on the circumstances, this may take place in our office (in Mount Vernon, WA), telephonically, in the hospital, or at your house. During this consultation, I will answer all of your questions, evaluate your case and you will decide if you want our office to represent you.
b) If you decide you want us to represent you, we sign a contingency contract which means we receive a portion of what we recover for you. If we do not succeed for you, we do not get paid.
c) At no charge to you (the contingency fee does not apply to property damage), we assist you in dealing with your property damage. This includes auto repairs, valuations if your car is totaled, dealing with rental car companies on your behalf, and negotiating loss of use payments for you if your car was not driveable after the accident.
e) Once you reach maximum medical improvement (mmi) or your pre-accident condition, we draft a demand for the insurance company. A demand is a letter to the insurance company requesting a specific amount to settle your case. Of course, this amount is approved by you before the demand is sent. The damand is supported with documentation including all medical bills, medical reports, police reports, property damage estimates, proof of wage loss, photographs, witness statements etc.
f) One we send in the demand, we usually receive a response and begin negotiating within about three weeks.
g) You are included every step of the way during negotiations. There are generally numerous back and forth discussions during negotiations where each side is pointing out the weaknesses in the other side's case and championing the strengths of their own case. All offers will be brought to you for your consideration. We will make recommendations regarding offers and counter offers but the ultimate decision to accept or reject an offer is yours.
h) If the final negotiated offer is not acceptable to you, then a decision is made to move the case into either mediation, arbitration, or set the case for trial.