At this time, we are directing everyone with information on the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie to the FBI tip line, 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?

Launching a startup? Injured in an auto accident? Considering a divorce? Need help fighting a lawsuit? Writing a will? In situations like these, you probably should hire a lawyer who can represent your best interests and give you sound legal advice. When researching lawyers in your area, you’re probably wondering about their fees. But what you need to understand is that lawyers may use different fee structures, and the same lawyer may also offer different options or use different fee structures for different kinds of legal work.

Flat Fee

Lawyers typically charge clients a flat fee for relatively simple legal matters. This fee is a set amount that clients must pay, regardless of the time a lawyer spends on the task. Lawyers might use flat fees in legal matters that require completing forms and documents. For example, estate planning attorneys usually charge flat fees for creating simple wills and trusts.

Hourly Fee

With an hourly fee, the rate will depend on how much time the lawyer works on the case. Most lawyers break hourly fees into 10- to 15-minute increments. The number of hours a lawyer will spend on a case will significantly vary based on the case’s specific nature. Because of this, you should ask the lawyer to estimate the hours (if possible) required to complete your case to avoid any surprises later on. It’s also important to note that, in certain situations, lawyers might charge lower hourly rates for very simple tasks, such as researching and interpreting laws, compared to litigation.

Retainer Fee

A retainer fee is an advanced or down payment based on the lawyer’s hourly fee. With this fee, you put money in an account where your lawyer deducts fees for completed services. It’s your responsibility to review the account regularly. You should also know that any unused retainer fees may or may not be refundable, depending on your agreement with your attorney.

Contingency Fee

A contingency fee agreement is the most common payment structure that personal injury attorneys use. With a contingency fee, you don’t need to pay anything other than expenses related to your case unless your lawyer wins your case and you receive your settlement. Your lawyer will receive a set percentage of the judgment or settlement award. But, again, your lawyer will only receive a payment if you do.

Some states don’t permit lawyers to charge clients on a contingency basis in particular case types, like criminal cases or divorce cases. Besides personal injury cases, lawyers often charge contingency fees in employment, in business, probate, and real estate litigation matters.

Referral Fee

When an attorney refers a client to another attorney, the referring attorney typically takes a percentage of the case’s value. The two attorneys determine an objectively reasonable referral fee, and the client should agree to it. Certain states have stringent rules governing referral fees, and some prohibit them entirely.

Why Lawyer Costs Vary

It’s common for veteran, widely-known attorneys in big cities to charge more for their services than attorneys with less experience in rural areas.

But aside from the attorney’s experience and location, these common factors can result in varying lawyer fees:

  • Type of representation – Essentially, more complex legal cases are likely to cost more. This also applies to otherwise simple, routine legal matters that became more complex due to aggravating circumstances or factors.
  • Fee structure – Whether your lawyer works on a contingency fee arrangement, requires an hourly rate, works on a flat fee, requires a retainer, or works when needed will ultimately have a huge impact on the overall cost.
  • Services rendered – If a lawyer performs multiple services, this may likely increase the overall cost. But lawyers sometimes bundle services and charge a fixed cost to help keep the overall price fairly low.

The Importance of Understanding Lawyer Costs

Understanding exactly how much a lawyer will cost before you hire one can prevent surprising costs that you can’t afford. You wouldn’t want to burden yourself and/or your family with undue financial strain or incur debts just to afford lawyer fees. Expenses, which can also differ vastly from one case to another, could add up fairly quickly, so you should speak to any potential attorney in detail about cost and fee estimates. Obtain a written estimate of the costs, which can include court costs, delivery charges, filing fees, etc. If these are not clear in the written estimate, don’t hesitate to ask.

Most important of all, make certain that the lawyer costs are worth the cost of your case and what you could potentially recover should you win your case. For instance, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy due to a $20,000 debt, it won’t make sense to hire an attorney that costs $15,000.

Tatiana Boohoff Managing Partner at Boohoff Law
Tatiana Boohoff, Personal Injury Lawyer

This is why many reputable lawyers offer free case consultations. With a free initial consultation, the lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine if it’s even worth filing a claim or going to court. The lawyer can also suggest other steps that you may take on your own, and you get sound legal advice without paying anything at all.

Although hiring a lawyer might not cost as much as you initially thought, you can see from above that you must consider many variables when determining legal fees. The majority of the fee structures you’ll probably come across may be easy enough to understand but might still feel intimidating.

So before hiring a personal injury lawyer or signing an agreement, you should understand exactly how much you might need to pay for your lawyer’s services. Asking questions, clarifying things you don’t fully understand, obtaining a written fee agreement, and understanding everything your lawyer says should be your priority.

Still confused about lawyer fees or worried about the cost after suffering an accidental injury? Take advantage of free lawyer consultations to learn more about how personal injury lawyer fees work.

How to Pay for a Lawyer When You Have No Money

People who get hurt in accidents and incidents beyond their control often face severe financial strain. Medical treatment for an injury can rack up huge bills. Plus, many victims of preventable accidents miss time at work while recuperating, which limits their income.

The last thing anyone struggling through the aftermath of an unexpected injury thinks they can afford is an expensive attorney. However, here is some good news: even if you have no money at all, you can afford a top-notch lawyer to help you seek compensation after an accident that leaves you in dire financial straits. Let’s take a look at how that’s possible.

Free Consultations

A personal injury attorney represents people who have suffered unexpected, preventable injuries through no fault of their own. The attorney’s job is to recover money for those injured people from the individuals or entities whose bad decisions or actions caused the harm.

Virtually all personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. Why? Because personal injury attorneys want to make it easy for injured people to reach out to find out about their legal rights. By offering free consultations, a personal injury attorney ensures that injured people have nothing to lose in connecting with a lawyer who might be able to help them.

A free consultation serves as a “get to know you,” of sorts. During such consultations, injured individuals tell the personal injury lawyer about how they got hurt and who they think may bear the blame. The lawyer asks questions that help him or her figure out if the injured person has a potential legal claim for money damages. Both of them get to size each other up and decide whether they would make for a good fit as attorney and client.

After a free consultation, the lawyer will usually give the injured person a preliminary assessment of whether he or she has a potential legal claim for damages. The lawyer cannot make promises or guarantees, of course. This is just a first meeting, after all. However, the lawyer will usually try to give the injured individual enough information to allow him or her to decide whether to hire the lawyer to handle the case. And again, all of this happens with no up-front payment required.

Contingency Fees

If an injured person decides to hire a personal injury lawyer after the free consultation, the lawyer will virtually always represent the client on contingency. This means that the personal injury lawyer does not ask the client to pay any money up-front for the lawyer’s services. Instead, the client agrees to pay the lawyer a percentage of any money that the lawyer winds up recovering for the client. The lawyer’s fee is contingent on the lawyer getting the client paid.

In other words, even if you have no money to your name, you can still hire an experienced, skilled personal injury lawyer to represent you, and the lawyer will get to work advocating for your interests without you paying a dime upfront. If the lawyer cannot recover compensation, then the lawyer does not get paid, either. On the flip side, the more money the lawyer obtains for you, the more money the lawyer earns.

These days, lawyers and clients will often agree on a sliding scale of percentages based on the amount of money at stake and/or the amount of time or work it takes for the lawyer to recover money on the client’s behalf.

Whatever the arrangement, the lawyer and client always agree on the percentage upfront, in clear and simple terms, so that the client has a clear understanding of how the lawyer will receive a fee.

Why do personal injury lawyers work on contingency? There are two basic reasons. First, working for a contingent fee gives the injured client access to high-quality legal services. Without contingent fee arrangements, many people who desperately need legal help to recover compensation for an injury would never get justice for the harm done to them.

Second, working on contingency lines up the lawyer’s interests with the client’s. Both want the same thing: for the lawyer to obtain the most money possible to pay for the client’s injuries and losses, and for the lawyer to accomplish that goal as quickly and efficiently as possible. By working on contingency, in other words, a personal injury lawyer “invests” in a client receiving fair compensation for an injury.

Many personal injury lawyers will even pay for the running expenses of a lawsuit out of their own pockets, so clients do not have to spend a single penny in seeking justice and compensation for injuries and losses.

Never Let Money Troubles Stop You From Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

The fact is that anyone who suffers an injury because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions should still seek out a personal injury attorney, because the cost is effectively zero unless and until the lawyer recovers money, and even then, the lawyer only gets paid out of the money recovered.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s poor decisions or dangerous actions, then no matter how little money you have, you can retain a lawyer to represent you in seeking compensation for your injuries. Personal injury attorneys commit their careers to the basic principle that no one should ever go without legal representation in a personal injury case because of financial strain. A personal injury lawyer will not turn you away just because you have no money.

To learn about your legal rights after suffering an injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your eligibility to file a claim.

Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

Falling Cargo Accidents: What You Need to Know and How an Attorney Can Help

Everybody knows that trucking accidents are serious crashes that often leave a path of debilitating injuries and devastating damage in their wake. However, when we picture these trucking accidents, we often tend to imagine them involving collisions between trucks and some other vehicles—not realizing that trucking accidents that involve falling cargo are just as catastrophic.

When a truck’s cargo is not secured correctly, it often leads to fatal outcomes involving motorists, pedestrians, and truck drivers. In fact, according to a AAA study, falling cargo contributed to more than 200,000 crashes over four years, resulting in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths. That is why if you have been in a falling cargo accident, you need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer fighting for you.

How Do Falling Cargo Accidents Happen?

Even though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides strict regulations regarding how drivers secure their cargo, fatal accidents unfortunately still happen. Sadly, these falling cargo accidents transpire all across the country—from killing a driver in Georgia to crushing a bicyclist in California. Ultimately, the bottom line is these accidents can happen everywhere and result from a variety of reasons; however, the more common causes include the following:

Cargo Shifting

Just because a truck contains its cargo does not mean that the load is safe. Truck drivers still need to make sure to secure their shipments and take specific measures to prevent the cargo from shifting. In addition, drivers also need to check on their cargo periodically during the transport, ensuring that the load is in place at all times. Failing to do so may result in the cargo spilling out of the truck or in the truck tipping over.

Broken Tie-Downs

Anchors, tie-downs, and other safety devices that secure cargo are crucial in making sure that accidents do not happen. However, what happens when these safety measures fail? To prevent this problem from occurring, drivers need to do regular checks and ensure the condition of these safety mechanisms before securing any cargo.

Uncovered Trucks or Hauling Over the Limit

Materials such as rock, gravel, and sand are not an unusual sight on a truck. However, these loose objects may pose a significant risk to the other drivers and pedestrians if the objects fly off from an uncovered or an overfilled truck. It only takes one rock crashing into a windshield or a motorcyclist to cause a severe and fatal accident.

Serious Injuries Resulting From Cargo Accidents

What makes these specific accidents so deadly is that cargo may fall at any time and without warning—leaving motorists, pedestrians, and the truck driver with little time to react.

As these loads come undone and cause severe accidents, the specific injuries that may result include:

  • Neck and back injuries: As many victims of falling cargo are either slammed into hard objects or crushed by the weight of the cargo, neck and back injuries are common. These injuries range from moderate to severe and may significantly impact a person’s ability to perform daily activities.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: These injuries usually result from an external force to the head, such as a blow or a penetrating wound, and are often associated with several severe symptoms, such as headaches, mood changes, vomiting, dizziness, and concentration problems.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Severe trauma to the spinal cord, which falling cargo can cause, may result in chronic damage to the spinal cord and, consequently, permanent paralysis.
  • Severe lacerations: Broken glass or sharp metal from the crash may penetrate a victim’s skin and cause severe lacerations or cuts.
  • Broken bones: Usually, falling cargo accidents involve more broken bones than a regular car crash. Mainly due to the sheer force and weight of the cargo.

Who Is Liable for Falling Cargo Accidents?

Victims injured in these types of accidents not only have to deal with their significant injuries, but frequently have numerous questions, a list of concerns, and needs that they want to be met. Specifically, who may injured individuals hold accountable for their injuries and damages? Proving fault in these falling cargo accidents is quite complicated and requires the injured party to prove negligence on the part of the trucking company and/or the truck driver. Stated simply, to collect compensation for your injuries, you need to show that the at-fault parties failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care in securing the truck’s cargo.

Trucking Company

If the trucking company failed to secure its cargo correctly or did not maintain its truck in good shape—resulting in doors opening, safety mechanisms failing, or debris falling—then the trucking company is liable. In this case, injured individuals may hold the company liable for resulting injuries.


Even though truck drivers may not necessarily be responsible for the maintenance of their trucks, drivers are accountable for their actions while driving, such as checking on the load during transport and maintaining good driving behaviors, both of which can help prevent cargo-related accidents.


Sometimes a trucking company will hire a third party to help with particular tasks, such as loading or unloading cargo. If these subcontractors are in charge of securing or loading the shipment, and they did not properly secure the materials, then the subcontractors may share in the liability for your injuries.

How an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

Nobody can replace a loved one or remove the pain of a falling cargo accident. However, by obtaining an experienced truck accident lawyer to handle your case, you are ensuring that you’re doing everything you can to maximize your ultimate compensation. These attorneys can not only investigate the accident, obtaining all of the crucial evidence needed for your case, but they can also ensure that you name all potential defendants in your case and pursue all possible avenues of compensation.

If you suffered injuries due to falling cargo, do not wait any longer; contact a knowledgeable and experienced truck accident lawyer today.

Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car Accident

How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car AccidentFor those who have experienced a car accident, the event may just be one of the most stressful and terrifying moments of their lives. The seconds that seem to last forever while bracing for impact are as surreal as they are unforgettable. The physical, emotional, and financial stress following an accident can also have a long-lasting impact on injured victims.

Experienced car accident attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries with lasting pain. The time required for an injured accident victim to fully recover will depend. How the accident happened and the severity of the injuries suffered will undoubtedly affect an individual’s recovery process.

The Physics of a Car Accident

The laws of physics apply to anyone traveling in a motor vehicle. At a basic level, the applicable laws of physics include:

  • An object at rest (or in motion) will remain at rest (or remain in motion)until an unbalanced force acts upon it.
  • Force equals mass times acceleration.
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In a car accident, all of these factors come into play. The human body is not designed to withstand the sheer amount of force caused by a collision between vehicles traveling at high speeds. When traveling at excessive speeds in a motor vehicle, passengers are subject to the same laws of physics that keep the vehicle driving forward.

In a collision, a vehicle hits another vehicle, roadside object, or person. The speed and mass of the vehicle at the time of the collision will determine the force of the impact. During a collision, the forces of the impact will be exerted onto the passengers inside the vehicle.

As mentioned above, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, the action associated with the impact of a collision will produce an equal and opposite reaction. Passengers in a car accident will experience reactive forces with equal and opposite force of the initial impact of the collision.

To protect the human body during impact, cars are equipped with safety devices such as selt belts and airbags. Safety equipment is intended to absorb the force of the impact, protecting passengers from suffering extensive injuries. However, in the most severe accidents, safety equipment may fail to protect passengers from the external and reactive forces of a collision. The forces at play in a head-on collision, rollover, or high-speed crash may be unavoidable, leaving individuals extremely vulnerable. Serious accidents typically cause severe injuries, which may include cuts, bruising, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries.

What Happens to the Body

In the event of a car accident, in most cases, the body will tense up to respond to the impending impact. The body’s muscles contract as a result of a natural reflex caused by the body’s increased production of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Signaled by adrenaline, the body tenses up to increase the strength of the muscles in preparation for a physical force. Increased adrenaline also diminishes the sensations of pain and reduces fine motor skills. Blood pressure increases, cortisol is pumped into your brain by your endocrine system, and your body is basically on lockdown, bracing for the impact.

Self-preservation, created through hundreds and thousands of years of evolution, refers to the development of bodily functions designed to ensure human survival. Self-preservation includes our body’s flight or fight response that dangerous situations trigger. However, despite the activation of the body’s flight response in a car accident, the body can’t fully protect itself against the impacts of a high-speed collision.

While the body does receive some protection from the activation of its flight response system, the increased production of hormones can also produce adverse consequences. High cortisol levels in the brain can cause stress and anxiety. Increased adrenaline can result in sore muscles—the hormone causes the muscles to instantly contract, exerting excessive physical strain on the body. While the adrenaline remains in the body, we do not feel the pain associated with the injuries and physical strain our body endured. However, as the hormone levels begin to normalize, we become acutely aware of the pain caused by an accident.

Severity of an Accident

As mentioned, even minor accidents can cause severe injuries. For example, even a fender bender may trigger our body’s self-preservation function exerting major physical strain on the body. In some car accident cases, individual’s self-preservation reactions are so forceful they can snap their brake pedals. The muscles tighten to protect themselves from the impending impact—increasing individual strength. The skeletal system also reacts to prepare for the force, for example, your jaw may become clinched and your neck rigid. The muscular and skeletal systems work together to withstand the impending impact, even if that impact is only a minor fender bender.

In more serious accidents resulting in broken bones, lacerations, contusions, or brain injury, the body undergoes a significant number of changes. Brain bruising, pressure from sheared blood vessels or arterial bleeding, and organ and tissue damage will eventually result in pain. Pain is our body signaling that we should remove ourselves from danger. Additionally, pain indicates the body requires healing and recovery. The duration of the healing process will vary depending on the individual and their specific injuries.

Your Nervous System

Nerve damage may have an impact on an individual’s level of pain. In spinal injuries, nerves may be severed resulting in a loss of the body’s ability to feel pain. In other cases, nerve damage may increase an individual’s ability to sense pain, enhancing it. When your body feels soreness, that feeling comes from your nerves. Your nervous system allows your brain to interpret external information and translate it into an appropriate way to respond.

When you are in a minor accident and experience a lot of soreness, it is your nervous system still working with the brain to heal those damaged areas. Once the damaged areas are healed, the nerves stop signaling the brain to feel pain. Nerves are highly specialized cells, and when they become damaged, the recovery process can be extensive. And in some cases, nerve damage may be permanent, causing injured victims pain for the rest of their lives.

Other Factors

An individual’s physical condition and health before an accident play a significant role in their ability to recover from pain and soreness. Physically fit individuals can typically respond to injury and heal more quickly than individuals who are not in shape. Recovery times may be shorter as a result. Simply having a higher pain tolerance might improve the chances of recovery from soreness after an accident. Health conditions such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases might extend the length of soreness after an accident.

Of course, the severity of the accident will impact an individual’s recovery process. In addition, the area of the body that is impacted may be more difficult to heal than other areas.

Talk to a Professional

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

If you continue to feel sore for an extended period of time following an accident, talk to your doctor. Treatment for long-term soreness may include pain management medication, stretching, or physical therapy. However, lasting soreness might indicate a more serious health condition. From a fender bender to a head-on collision, almost every accident can cause those involved to experience varying levels of soreness. Soreness typically goes away after a few weeks, but the severity of your injury can extend that much further, if not make it a permanent condition.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact us to see what an attorney can do for you.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

A Timeline of a Car Accident Settlement

A car accident can leave lasting consequences, especially when victims suffer injuries with widespread impacts. In a matter of moments, a life can change forever. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact an experienced Tampa car accident attorney from Boohoff law.

Traveling and transporting products and materials by motor vehicles has become an integral aspect of American life. Increased use of trucks and cars necessarily increases traffic congestion and accidents. However, gridlock isn’t just found on the freeway. Our court systems are often overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of cases specifically related to car accidents.

So the short answer to how long does a car accident settlement take? It all depends on the accident.

The Process

Car Accident Settlement Boohoff LawThe court process and the settlement process run parallel to one another. Claims begin with negotiations, but if an agreeable settlement cannot be reached, the parties may choose to proceed to trial. Status hearings are scheduled to keep the courts updated as to the progress of the settlement process. During the court process, phases may include discovery, negotiation and mediation, and ultimately a trial date which all have individual timelines.

In addition, several factors, unique to each case, may influence the duration of the settlement process. An experienced attorney can use evidence from police reports, medical expenses, and repair costs to determine the best options for moving the case towards resolution.

The settlement process itself will involve negotiations among the attorneys representing both sides with settlement offers and counteroffers being exchanged throughout. The process requires skilled negotiation and an experienced attorney will know, given the circumstances, whether an individual offer is reasonable. An attorney may advise their clients of their choices as well as potential outcomes for each option.

A seemingly simple settlement may require months of negotiation, and in some cases, unsuccessful negotiation may require proceeding to court.

What Is a Settlement?

A settlement is when two parties involved in an accident reach an agreement as to financial compensation for accident related damages. A settlement agreement may include recovery for medical bills and/or pain and suffering. Settlements typically occur between the parties, outside of court. Once a case is “settled” the claim is dismissed and the parties agree to abide by the terms of the negotiated settlement agreement.

A typical car accident settlement requires the responsible parties to compensate the injured victim for the amount of damages agreed upon. An adequate amount is meant to make the injured party whole again, in other words, as they were before the accident. Accident settlement offers usually require the injured victim to agree to waive their right to seek additional compensation for losses resulting from the accident.

During negotiations, be prepared to make a decision and ask yourself, is this amount going to be enough to cover the full extent of accident-related damages? A settlement is a permanent decision, but you can accept or deny any settlement offer that the at-fault party presents you.

Factors Influencing the Settlement Timeline

To begin, the statute of limitations provides that a car accident claim must be filed within four years of the date of the accident. At the expiration of the statute of limitations, injured parties will be barred from bringing a claim.

However, after filing, the time required to settle a car accident claim depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Complexity of the accident: If there are no injuries and the only items open for discussion are damages and loss, the process is fairly simple. However, the majority of car accidents are not straightforward and any complications can increase the time required to reach a settlement. The following questions may help determine whether the claims process will be simple or complex.
    • Are there serious damages, injuries, and possibly fatalities involved?
    • Was there a crime committed, such as drunk driving?
    • Was it a hit-and-run accident?
    • Was the accident caused by a government vehicle, such as a city bus, maintenance truck, or the city’s failure to warn about road construction?
    • Is someone disputing who was at fault for the accident?
  • Damages: Repair or replacement of property is a big part of any settlement. How much is your vehicle, home, or property worth? How much is it worth to you? Some losses may be difficult to assign a value to. An adequate settlement should be as close to covering all the losses as possible.
  • Repairs: From a banged up fender, paint job, or a complete rebuild of your vehicle, repairs are expensive and you may be entitled to seek compensation for those expenses.
  • Injuries: Injuries can be much more expensive than repairing or replacing a vehicle. Beyond the costs of medical treatment, injured victims may miss time from work, require extensive rehabilitation services, or endure significant pain and suffering. Injury related costs should be compensated by parties responsible for causing the injury.
  • Number of parties involved: Settlements get more complicated as the number of parties involved increases. Passengers, bystanders, and pedestrians may be a part of the claim. In addition, multiple parties may potentially share liability for accident-related injuries. As the number of people involved grows, the length of the settlement process also increases.
  • The amount you are willing to settle for: Accidents that cause severe injuries can have devastating consequences, not only for injured victims but also for their families. When another’s negligence causes injuries, victims are entitled to compensation for the injuries and damage to their property. Don’t settle for less than your claim is worth. You should not bear the financial burden of injuries and losses you are not responsible for. However, you should expect a lengthier settlement process if you are not willing to settle for less.
  • The court process itself: The timelines for status hearings and other procedures of the claims process are established according to state statutes. Each of these steps provides the parties with additional information that may provide more leverage during settlement negotiations. Progressing through the timeline set by the court also drives the timeline of the settlement process.
      1. Discovery: During the discovery phase, information is shared between the insurance company attorneys and injured victims or their attorneys. Exchanged information may include police reports, medical reports, and bills for damages. An attorney can work with injured victims to gather the information required for discovery. Discovery is comprehensive and if you are currently undergoing treatment for recovery, this may cause delays in the process. In a car accident case, discovery adheres to deadlines, just as the rest of the process.
      2. Negotiation and mediation: Most settlements can be worked out in negotiation and mediation, saving time and reducing court costs and legal fees. Negotiations and mediations are confidential meetings between the parties to facilitate an agreement and resolution outside of court. Under these circumstances, the parties have more control over the outcome of the case than court proceedings, which allow a judge or jury to resolve the claim. Negotiations typically occur within the first several weeks of the claims process. Remember, however, the timeline for each case will vary depending on the unique facts of the case and the availability of a mediator.
      3. Hearings and trials: In a hearing or jury trial, a judge or a jury weighs the evidence presented to determine an appropriate outcome. Determinations made by judges and juries can be unpredictable. Injured victims may consult with an attorney to decide whether proceeding to trial is in their best interests. In many cases, backlogged court dockets may delay court proceedings for several months.

Hiring an Attorney

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

The claims process may feel as if it is taking forever because time can seemingly stand still when you are recovering from an injury, missing time from work, and bills are adding up. Hiring an attorney to handle the legal aspects of the case can relieve significant stress. Experienced car accident attorneys can develop strategies for maximizing injured victims’ recovery while moving the case through the claims process as efficiently as possible.

Skilled attorneys can guide injured victims’ approaches to resolving their claim and position them to successfully fight the claim in court if settlement negotiations prove to be unsuccessful. Contact an experienced car accident attorney for a free consultation to discuss the options for moving forward.