About MW Injury Resolution, P.S.
What kind of litigation services does MW Injury Resolutions provide?
We represent only plaintiffs. Our services include comprehensive and experienced personal injury representation related to auto accidents (including whiplash), pedestrian accidents, vehicle accidents on the job, light aircraft incidents, major personal injury, elder law (specifically nursing home litigation) and brain and spinal cord injuries.
How does MW Injury Resolutions get paid for its services?
We do not charge hourly fees. We are compensated exclusively on a contingent fee basis – that is, by a percentage of the settlement we obtain on your behalf. Therefore, we are compensated only by achieving a successful outcome for your claim. Office policy requires that your attorney discuss the fee arrangement with you during your first office conference with us.
If I work with your firm, who will handle my claim?
One of our fully licensed attorneys will be responsible for handing your case. You will have an opportunity to get acquainted with him or her at the time of the initial consultation. S/he will be supported by paralegals and staff members as necessary, which helps expedite the case.
How are you different from attorneys that have been deemed “ambulance chasers?”
The term “ambulance chaser” is a derogatory phrase used to describe a trial lawyer who specializes in representing accident victims. It typically refers to attorneys who solicit business from accident victims or their families at the scene of an accident or disaster (or immediately thereafter). In the United States, such conduct violates Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. MW Injury Resolutions never partcipates in such behavior. Almost all of our business is by referral from prior clients and professsional counselors or health care providers.
What can I expect from the attorney handling my case?
You can expect thoroughness and aggressiveness in pursuing in winning your case, clear explanations regarding the process, and prompt answers to your questions. At our cost, expert witnesses and specialized legal services will be obtained where needed (their services will be compensated out of our percentage of the award).
What can having an attorney mean to my case?
Our experience is that the so-called “little guy” doesn’t stand much of a chance against the large resources of an insurance company or other corporation that is taking advantage of them. The complexity of the law, jurisdictional challenges and procedural maneuverings can quickly bewilder plaintiffs and exhaust their resources. Having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side can more than level the playing field, as evidenced by our 99% successful settlement history.
About Personal Injury Claims
What should I expect during the claim process?
- During an initial consultation with your attorney, we request general information regarding the accident and ask you to complete a Personal Injury Questionnaire. You are asked to sign various releases and an engagement/contingent fee agreement.
- We notify any adverse insurance company of your claims and our representation.
- We contact and interview persons who may possess information about your claim. Letters are sent to all physicians and hospitals involved in the case, notifying them of our representation of you. Any police officers who may have been involved will be interviewed. Witnesses will be contacted, photos taken. Any records pertaining to the case will be obtained.
- Typically, settlement does not occur until the exact nature of the client’s medical condition has been determined and all investigation has been completed. This generally means that the client must attain recovery from accident related injuries or at least reach a maximum level of improvement. Then your doctors are in the best position to respond to our questions concerning prognosis and the full extend of reasonable and necessary treatment.
- During your recuperation, some provision will have to be made for payment of the property damage and health care expenses. Normally, the adverse insurance carrier will pay for the repair or replacement of your automobile. They are less likely to advance costs for health care expenses and wage loss.
- If the adverse carrier does not pay your health care billings first, and if Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is later exhausted or unavailable, we recommend you submit your bills to any available health insurance carrier. Unpaid bills and wage loss are the two largest sources of irritation and anxiety among personal injury victims. Many adverse insurance companies deliberately refuse to pay such losses until final settlement to place additional financial pressure on claimants to settle early and settle low. You should be prepared for this eventuality and take steps to reduce these pressures through your own PIP coverage, governmental assistance, light duty work or friends or relatives.
- As soon as the investigation has been completed and all necessary medical information is obtained, we will evaluate your case with you. At that time we will attempt to arrive at a proper settlement figure with you. No settlement figure is every submitted without the client’s consent. If settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, we will consider the advisability of filing a lawsuit. In some cases, however, it is important to start a lawsuit immediately, either as a tactical maneuver or to start the “clock” running in those counties where there is a substantial delay between instituting the lawsuit and trial. However, no lawsuit will be started without your permission.
- Keep in mind that even though a lawsuit may be started, settlement is always possible and is very often made just before trial.
What guidelines should I follow to help ensure a winnable injury claim?
- Do not speak to anyone or give statements without your attorney’s permission. If a person purports to represent your attorney’s office, make certain they identify themselves fully. Call our office if you have any doubts.
- If anyone approaches you about the case without your attorney’s permission, make complete notes regarding the incident. Under no circumstances should you answer any questions. Refer all questions to your attorney.
- Retain all bills that relate to your case. Pay bills by check or money order so that a complete record is kept.
- If you receive any notification of a trial or hearing date – civil or criminal – relating to any matter involving your case, advise your attorney immediately.
- Do not fill out or sign any papers or documents concerning your case without first consulting your attorney.
- Keep anything that comes into your possession which may be used as evidence. Let your attorney know you have these items in your possession.
- Take photographs of all accident scenes, motor vehicles, machinery, appliances, etc. that may be connected with your case. Let your attorney know you have such photographs.
- Keep your attorney advised at all times about changes in address, changes in medical treatment, termination of employment, resumption of employment, change in employment or any other change in your life.
- Before making any report to your own insurance company, consult with your attorney.
- 10. Keep a complete record of lost wages, sick leave, vacation and other benefits. Where possible, you should also obtain other types of evidence such as ledger sheets, copies of time cards, canceled checks, check stubs, vouchers, pay slips, etc.
- Report any new information regarding your case to your attorney immediately.
- Remember that you may be under surveillance at all times and there subject to being photographed or filmed by the adverse party. If you have been seriously injured, do not do anything that will jeopardize your case during the course of your daily life. Always follow your doctor’s advice. If you have to do things which may cause you pain, this can usually be explained to the full satisfaction of any court or jury.
- If you are going out of town for more than two or three days, please alert your attorney and inform her of that fact.
- If you have any medical coverage about which you have not previously alerted your attorney, please notify your attorney as soon as possible.
- Avoid stress. Many clients place artificial stress upon themselves by obligating themselves financially in anticipation of settlement, becoming preoccupied with the case, or placing deadlines or expectations on the case which are neither realistic nor reasonable. Relax and talk to your attorney before adding stress to your list of injuries.
What is “discovery”?
Once a lawsuit has started, both sides have the right to obtain information by discovery deposition, interrogatories, requests for production of documents or medical examination.
A discovery deposition is the testimony of some party or witness given under oath before a court reporter who takes down the testimony verbatim. This testimony can be used later to refresh recollections, stop a witness from changing his or her story or used at trial in place of an absent or deceased witness or party.
What guidelines should be followed for giving a discovery deposition?
- Tell the truth.
- Dress appropriately.
- Discuss matters in advance with counsel.
- Do not be influenced by the examiner’s friendliness.
- No need for the “whole story.” Do not be concerned that all relevant facts have not been elicited by the examiner or that s/he has created only a partial picture. You will have an opportunity at trial to present additional testimony.
- If you wish, confer with your attorney before answering a question or during breaks.
- “Off-the-record” comments: If you have a conversation with someone in the deposition room when the examiner is present, be prepared for questions on that conversation when you are “on the record.”
- Be courteous and civil.
- Avoid any attempt at levity or sarcasm.
- Avoid derogatory language.
- Do not make promises (including looking up information, obtaining materials, making calculations, etc.) unless cleared first with your attorney.
- Do not become involved in the arguments of counsel.
- Answer only the question that is asked.
- Speak slowly, clearly and audibly.
- Listen carefully to each question.
- Pause before beginning each answer. It allows you to collect your thoughts and your counsel to formulate and interject objections.
- Listen carefully to objections.
- Where appropriate, qualify your answers with words such as “To the best of my recollection,” “As best I can recall,” “My best recollection is,” “I believe.” Be as specific or vague as your memory allows. Where you are not sure, do not hedge or unnecessarily weaken the force of a strong answer. If you are not sure, then you should indicate that you are not sure.
- Pay close attention to the question. It may contain facts that you do not know to be true. Do not let the examiner put you in a position of adopting half-truths or unknown facts on which further questions may be based. Listen to the whole question; the examiner may tag something objectionable on the end.
- Try not to answer two questions at once. Ask which one you should answer.
- Indicate where you are paraphrasing vs. quoting.
- Avoid absolutes unless you are positive that they are accurate.
- Do not guess or offer an opinion unless specifically requested to do so.
- Stay with what you know.
- As long as you are satisfied with your answer, do not be concerned whether the examiner understands or seems to understand what you are saying.
- If you are interrupted, say so.
- Do not feel compelled to speak simply because there is a moment of silence.
- If advised not to answer by your counsel, do not answer even if you believe the answer would be helpful.
- If you realize that your earlier answer was in error or incomplete, you may correct or supplement it.
- If asked about a document, read it carefully before you begin to answer.
- Expect to be asked what you have done and what files you have examined in preparation for your deposition.
- Do not worry about whether your answer helps or hurts your case.
What are “interrogatories?”
Interrogatories are written questions which either attorney may submit, and which have to be answered in writing, under oath, within 30 days of receipt.
What is a “defense medical examination?”
The defendant has the right to have you examined by a physician of their choice. Many times a defense medical exam is scheduled before litigation in the hope of expediting settlement. The insurance company will pay for this examination. Depending on the case, we may send a registered nurse to attend the exam with you. The nurse will observe the exam for thoroughness, but court rules prohibit the nurse from interfering with the exam.
What happens if the case goes to trial?
The great majority of cases are never tried, even though lawsuits are started. Sometimes they are settled within just a few days before trial date. If your case cannot be settled for a fair amount of money, we will proceed to trial. Before we go to trial, the few weeks before the trial date are spent in detailed preparation for your case. What is expected of you at trial will be explained to you well in advance of your going to the courthouse. It is absolutely essential that we have your cooperation in helping us gather facts about your case.
Is mandatory arbitration an option?
Arbitration is a more informal procedure to resolve disputes than trial. It involves a licensed attorney acting as arbitrator and the parties putting their evidence before the arbitrator in a less formal evidentiary proceeding. Arbitration still requires witnesses to attend and give testimony, but many times the testimony of doctors can be provided through reports, thus saving considerable sums of money in expert witness fees. In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and some outlying rural counties, arbitration is mandatory for claims which are $35,000 or less.Generally arbitration proceedings can be heard within six months of filing a lawsuit. Accordingly, arbitration is used to resolve claims much more quickly than litigation and jury trials. We will evaluate whether your claim is worth in excess of $35,000 and, if not, recommend forwarding the claim to mandatory arbitration.
Can I appeal a court decision?
Both you and the defendant have an absolute right to appeal to a higher court if you do not like the decision of the lower court. You have the right to appeal to the Washington State Court of Appeals. Your right to appeal further to the Washington State Supreme Court is discretionary with the court and they may deny your petition for review.
Is it okay to withhold certain information that I consider too personal or confidential?
Insurance companies have an index system on a nationwide basis which shows all of the people who have made claims in the past for other injuries, If you have made a claim for another injury, your name will be there and they will have this information.In essence, what we expect of you is “lifeboat honesty.” When you and the other fellow are bobbing around out there on the ocean, the time has passed for white lies, facades, pretense or saving face.We expect complete and total honesty from you. We are here to assist you, not judge your life. You are urged to be absolutely honest with us and with all of your answers throughout the handling of the case. Conduct which falls short of this requirement may jeopardize your case and will jeopardize your relationship with our law firm. Please rest assured that any information you provide to us is held in the strictest of confidence under the attorney/client privilege.
|11512 NE 19th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
|This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Copyright 2008 – MW Injury Resolution P.S. All rights reserved