Car Accident And Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal, professional, and proven results for serious injury and car accident claims
Ritchie Reiersen Law – Personal Injury Attorneys in Tacoma
Car accident claims can be complicated and frustrating. Between injuries and transportation expenses, the costs can add up quickly. With our experienced auto accident attorney, however, the claims process is easier. In fact, studies show clients receive a better outcome with an attorney on their side. While we do the work, you focus on healing.
Call Ritchie Reiersen Law today at (253) 204-2245 to talk with a local car accident lawyer in Tacoma.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Tacoma, Washington
The personal injury attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law in Tacoma are here for you. We help clients after they have received injuries due to the negligent or otherwise poor choices of another. At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we want you to know you don’t have to move forward alone!
Injuries can be life-altering. When you’ve been injured and have many challenges to endure, you deserve to be appropriately compensated. At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we believe in holding individuals and companies responsible for proper compensation. This means that, above all, we will fight to protect your rights and secure compensation for all your injuries and needs.
With offices in Yakima, Kennewick, Tacoma, Portland, and Auburn, we have local help wherever you need it. Call Ritchie Reiersen Law at (253) 204-2245 for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Tacoma.
Call Ritchie Reiersen Law – Personal Injury Attorney in Tacoma at (253) 204-2245 for a free consultation with an experienced Car Accident Lawyer. The road ahead can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone!
What To Do After An Auto Accident In Tacoma, Washington
Take Care of Yourself
Car accidents can cause a lot of problems – even minor accidents can cause major injuries. It is important that you receive the medical care you need after a car accident. If you need to be seen at the hospital, go. If you need to visit a chiropractor, physical therapist, or your primary care physician, do not wait to make those appointments and go. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that insurance will question the validity of your injury claim. Ultimately this can decrease the amount they are willing to pay you.
Call the Police
Even if you feel the accident is minor, call the police to the scene. Police reports carry a lot of weight when it comes time to determine fault and liability. Not only will the police talk with the drivers and file an accident report, but if the other driver changes their story over time, you will have evidence of what happened in the police report.
Pictures of all the vehicles that are involved in the accident can help prove the severity of the damage and can discredit the claim that it is a low-impact crash. Not only should you take pictures of your car and the at-fault driver’s vehicle, take photos of the scene around the accident. Additionally, it is always a good idea to get statements from witnesses that can help corroborate your experience.
Get as Much Information As You Can
It is always helpful to get as much information as possible from the other driver, as well as any witnesses of the accident. This information will be necessary to open and process your claim, and your life will be easier if this is all gathered at the scene of the accident.
- Driver’s Information: Name, address, phone number, driver’s license info
- Driver’s Insurance: Take a picture of insurance card with policy number
- Driver’s Car: Get the license plate number and take pictures of the car
- Accident Details: Write down the facts surrounding the accident
- Witnesses: Get contact info for all witnesses and have them talk to police
- Police Reports: Get all police reports and accident records
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do After a Car Accident?
The job of a personal injury attorney – sometimes called an auto accident attorney – is to help successfully guide you through the claims process, protect your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve. We help you evaluate the full extent of the damages caused by the auto accident. Your attorney will make sure the medical bills get paid, while helping to ensure that you are seeing the right doctors and recovering from your injuries. Attorneys also deal with the insurance companies and handle the paperwork on your behalf. Ultimately your personal injury attorney will help reach a fair resolution for the claim once your medical needs have been met and treatment has been completed. Having a local personal injury attorney in Tacoma, Washington can substantially increase your likelihood of being properly compensated after your auto accident.
Why Would I Want an Attorney After My Auto Accident?
Having a personal injury attorney after your car accident will not only ensure you get the compensation you deserve, but it is also much less stressful than trying to do it on your own. Most people have an extremely busy life, and it is difficult to find the time to spend countless weeks and months dealing with car insurances and fretting over medical bills. Your time should be spent focusing on healing and getting life back to normal; it is the attorney’s job to handle the insurance battle for you. Having a personal injury attorney after your car accident will not only ensure you get the compensation you deserve, but it is also much less stressful than trying to do it on your own. Most people have an extremely busy life, and it is difficult to find the time to spend countless weeks and months dealing with car insurances and fretting over medical bills. Your time should be spent focusing on healing and getting life back to normal; it is the attorney’s job to handle the insurance battle for you.
Experienced auto accident attorneys deal with car accidents every day. Not only can they evaluate what is a fair offer from insurance, but an experienced auto accident attorney knows of and anticipates the tactics that the insurance system will use to try to decrease your settlement. Having an attorney on your side after a car accident certainly isn’t a necessity – it can, however, make your life much easier. In addition to having less stress, most of the time you will receive a significantly better outcome with an attorney on your side than you would if you are fighting the battle on your own. If you have been in a car accident in Tacoma, Washington and you want to receive fair compensation from insurance, consider getting a personal injury attorney on your side.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Personal Injury Attorney?
Almost all personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee. Put simply, this means your attorney will not get paid unless they win the case for you, and you agree to accept the terms of the settlement. Additionally, most personal injury attorneys offer a free, no-pressure consultation to answer your questions. Rather than requiring a large amount of money up front and charging an hourly rate for their services, most personal injury attorneys have found the contingency fee system serves their clients better. When an individual is injured and suffering, the last thing an attorney wants to do is add extra financial stress on a client. Almost all personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee. Put simply, this means your attorney will not get paid unless they win the case for you, and you agree to accept the terms of the settlement. Additionally, most personal injury attorneys offer a free, no-pressure consultation to answer your questions. Rather than requiring a large amount of money up front and charging an hourly rate for their services, most personal injury attorneys have found the contingency fee system serves their clients better. When an individual is injured and suffering, the last thing an attorney wants to do is add extra financial stress on a client.
Contingent fees are somewhat risk-free in the sense that you pay nothing up front and the attorney only gets paid if you agree to accept a settlement offer. The attorney’s fee is typically thirty-three percent of the settlement. If you have questions regarding specific costs of personal injury attorneys in Tacoma, Washington set up a free consultation and get those questions answered.
What to do After an Auto Accident?
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
Life after an accident is stressful and overwhelming; the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself and your health. If you need to go to the hospital, go. If you need to see the chiropractor, physical therapist, or primary care physician, make an appointment and see them. Do not wait. Not only will you hurt more the longer you wait to take care of your injuries, but you also risk having the insurance company question the validity of your injury claim and possibly decrease your settlement amount if you don’t receive health care right away.
CALL THE POLICE:
Always call the police. Police officers have a lot of weight in deciding liability. Additionally, people seem nice and cooperative initially and often even admit fault to you; however, their stories often change. This creates the “he said, she said” scenario that could result in you having to pay your own expenses and medical bills – even when the accident was no fault of your own.
The number one comment I hear from every insurance adjuster as I try to settle claims is “this is a low impact accident.” One of the easiest ways to challenge that claim is to show pictures of the damaged vehicle. It is also very helpful to take pictures of the other person’s vehicle as well as pictures of the scene of the accident in case the person who hit you tries to deny liability later. Also, get statements from all witnesses as this will validate the facts of the accident.
How Do I Get My Car Fixed After a Car Accident?
If you decide to handle the claim on your own, the first step to take is to call your insurance company and open a claim with them. You will most likely also need to open a claim with the other person’s insurance company. You will need to take your car to a professional auto body shop in order to have them assess the damage and put together an estimate. There are many very good auto body shops in Tacoma, Washington that are experienced at handling insurance claims. Unfortunately, there are also a few that are not quite as good – so it is important to ask friends and family members for recommendations.
Choosing an Auto Body Shop After Your Car Accident
After your car accident, the insurance company will try to direct you to one of their “preferred” shops – but do not be fooled into thinking that is where you have to take your car. There are a lot of auto body shops in the Tacoma area who are very experienced handling vehicles after a car accident. After your car accident, the insurance company will try to direct you to one of their “preferred” shops – but do not be fooled into thinking that is where you have to take your car. There are a lot of auto body shops in the Tacoma area who are very experienced handling vehicles after a car accident.
You have the right to choose any auto repair shop you want. There are many reasons why it may be wise to choose a shop that is not “preferred” by your insurance company. This is a decision that you can discuss with your attorney and then weigh the pros and cons together.
How to Get a Rental Car after a Car Accident
If you are unable to use of your vehicle due to an accident, the negligent driver is required to either pay for a rental car or pay you for the loss of use of your vehicle. However, they do not have to rent you a car equivalent to your vehicle. This is usually something that you or your attorney can negotiate on, however. An experienced car accident attorney in Tacoma, Washington can help direct you in not only getting a temporary rental car, but also getting your car fixed or replaced.
How Do I Open a Claim with an Insurance Company After an Auto Accident?
The initial step in getting the insurance companies to take action is to open a claim with them. This can be as simple as a phone call to let them know what happened. Be warned, however, that it often requires a lot more information including multiple phone calls, emails, faxes, etc. It is likely that you will have to open a claim with both your insurance company as well as with the other insurance companies involved, even if you’re not at fault.
Initially all insurance companies will want to ask you detailed questions about the accident and your injuries in order to open the claim and figure out liability. It can be very beneficial to do these recorded statements in the presence of your attorney. Most personal injury attorneys in Tacoma, Washington will actually open the claim for you and walk you through the entire process
Should I Accept the Settlement Offer from the Insurance After My Car Accident?
Communication from the insurance company can cover several topics – but they may be trying to get you to settle your claim. Oftentimes this occurs very early in the claim and well before you may know the full extent of your injuries. We strongly advise you not accept any settlement offers until you know for certain that the offer is fair and will cover your expenses. An experienced car accident attorney deals with settlements daily and will be your best source in figuring out if the settlement is fair or not. There are many personal injury attorneys in the Tacoma, Washington area who are experienced in negotiating settlement offers and who will sit down with you for free to answer your questions.
How Do I Get Medical Treatment If I Am Injured in a Car Accident?
After a car accident, especially if you are injured, your physical recovery is your top priority. While it is nice to get a little bit of money from a settlement after a car accident, no amount of money is worth it if you do not have your health. It is imperative to seek the care that you need to feel better.
If you are hurting, even if you think the injury will resolve on its own, seek medical treatment. Do NOT wait to receive medical treatment. It is crucial to seek medical treatment because the only way to prove that you are in fact injured is by providing medical records documenting your injuries and that they are a result of the car accident.
Get the Right Team of Doctors: Having the right doctors on your team will make a huge difference in your case. Although most doctors are more than competent to treat you for your injuries, there is a huge difference in how various doctors document their notes – and those notes are what prove the severity of your injuries.
This highlights another reason why getting an attorney can prove to be very beneficial to the success of your claim. Attorneys are not doctors, but they work with them every day. Experienced personal injury attorneys know which doctors in the Tacoma area are not only going to help you get better, but also which ones work better with car insurance.
How Do I Pay for Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?
There are many ways to pay for medical treatment after an auto accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is generally $10,000.00, $35,000.00 or $50,000 in medical coverage and PIP pays the medical bills up front. Secondly, Health insurance can also pay for your medical bills, even if they are related to an accident. Thirdly, if you do not have PIP or health insurance, there are also some medical providers who will provide medical treatment on condition that the client, and most likely the client’s attorney, sign a lien. If you have questions about how to pay for medical bills after your car accident consult with a local personal injury attorney in Kennewick, WA as they can explain all of your options and ensure that your medical bills get paid.
How Do I Get Paid If I Can’t Work After A Car Accident?
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, even menial daily tasks can become hard to accomplish. Working your regular job can easily become impossible. To ensure you will be reimbursed for lost wages after a car accident, there are a few things you should do. First, get a doctor’s note excusing you from work due to the injury sustained in the car accident. Second, it is your responsibility to prove wage loss. The best way to do this is with employment and paycheck records showing you are employed. Finally, some auto insurance policies have coverage that can pay you a portion of wage loss prior to settlement, so read through your policy documents carefully. If you do not have wage loss coverage, you most likely will not be compensated until the claim is resolved. When you’ve been injured in a car accident, even menial daily tasks can become hard to accomplish. Working your regular job can easily become impossible. To ensure you will be reimbursed for lost wages after a car accident, there are a few things you should do. First, get a doctor’s note excusing you from work due to the injury sustained in the car accident. Second, it is your responsibility to prove wage loss. The best way to do this is with employment and paycheck records showing you are employed. Finally, some auto insurance policies have coverage that can pay you a portion of wage loss prior to settlement, so read through your policy documents carefully. If you do not have wage loss coverage, you most likely will not be compensated until the claim is resolved.
We strongly encourage anyone who has a wage loss claim due to injuries caused by a car accident to consult with a personal injury attorney in Tacoma, Washington. Your attorney will know how to ensure that you will be compensated for all of your losses, including lost wages.
When Should I Settle My Case After My Car Accident?
It is very important to know that this is your claim, and it is your right to close your claim at any time that you see fit. However, there are some things to consider before closing your claim. These factors include the status of your injuries, statute of limitations, settlement offers, and your overall well-being.
Still Injured? Do not Close too Early:
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is accepting a settlement offer when they are still suffering from their injury. Once the claim is closed, the insurance company is no longer responsible for any additional medical bills – even if the injuries are a direct result of the accident. Therefore, before closing your claim it is important to finish all medical treatment and ensure you are being compensated for all your injuries and the expenses related to them.
Statute of Limitations:
Car accident cases have a limited time that the claim remains open. If the claim is not accepted, or a lawsuit is not filed on or before that date, the claim becomes null and you lose out on any settlement the insurance may owe you. Each state has its own statute period, so it is important to understand and close your case or file a lawsuit prior to that date. In Washington state, most car accidents have a three year time period; Oregon and many other states only have a two year window for settling your claim. It is recommended to consult a personal injury attorney in your local Tacoma, Washington area who is experienced handling car accident claims to ensure you don’t lose out on the opportunity to receive proper compensation for your injuries.
Process of Closing Your Claim:
Once you have decided that you want to close your claim there are a couple of things that happen. The car insurance company will need to acquire a copy of your medical bills and records in order to evaluate your claim. If you have a car accident attorney, however, the attorney will usually acquire these records on your behalf and put together what is called a demand packet outlining all medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and wage loss this accident has caused.
The next step usually involves having the insurance company give you a settlement offer as to how much they are willing to pay to settle your claim. Unfortunately, it is the insurance company’s job as a for-profit business to pay as little as they can when settling a claim. This is one of the primary reasons why having a personal injury attorney who is experienced settling car accidents in your local Tacoma, Washington area is vital – they have the tools and experience necessary to assess your needs then fight for your right to receive that.
If you are unable to get an acceptable offer from the insurance company, your options are quite limited; litigation is often your best option. This includes arbitrations, mediations and also the traditional “take them to the court house.” It is important to note that just because a lawsuit is filed, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to have to sit in front of a judge. The insurance company can make new settlement offers at any point.
How Do I Choose an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Choosing the right attorney after your car accident is crucial. Like any profession, there are a lot of really good personal injury attorneys in Tacoma, Washington and then, unfortunately, there are some that are not quite as experienced. You are going to be in better hands with an attorney who focuses primarily on auto accident cases to resolve your car accident claim, rather than someone who spends ninety percent of their time helping people get divorced.
It is important to remember your attorney and her office staff are all on your team. You are going to be dealing with the attorney’s paralegals a lot, probably even more than you do with the attorney. It is important that you not only trust your attorney but also their staff. One of the best things to do is ask your doctor, friends, family members, and coworkers for a referral to a good personal injury attorney. Read online reviews and study their website. Ultimately, there really is no better way to find out how well you will work together than to talk to them, either by phone or in person.
Experience matters, but do not be fooled into thinking that the number of years a person has been an attorney means they have a lot of experience that will help you with your claim. Find out how many auto accidents they have represented and dig into their successes. Look at your attorney’s biography and be sure that he is as passionate about your case as you are. Find an attorney who loves their job, and someone who finds joy in helping individuals who are in a tough situation. Being in a car accident can bring a lot of pain and stress into your life – but with an attorney who you can trust to be a strong advocate for your rights, you can rest assured that the future has great potential once again.
Car Accident Question Videos
Ritchie Reiersen Auto Accident Attorneys are Experienced in Many Types of Car Crash Cases, Including:
How We Can Help You!
When you’ve been in a car accident, you need the help of someone who has experience on your side. At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we provide the best auto accident attorney services in Lakewood and Tacoma. As your car accident lawyer, we handle the medical bills, the insurance company, and all the legal paperwork. Most of all, we work hard to ensure you get a fair settlement. Ritchie Reiersen Law has personal injury lawyers at locations in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco), Yakima, Tacoma (Lakewood), Portland, and Auburn. Call us today for your free consultation at (253) 204-2245.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Tacoma understand Car Accident Cases.
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We have helped thousands of victims get the compensation they deserve. Our track record of successful outcomes totals more than $25 million in injury cases. We don’t charge you until you win. Experience Success with Ritchie Reiersen Law -Tacoma Car Accident Lawyer. (253) 204-2245
Our Car Accident Lawyers Work Hard for You By:
- Finding the right doctors and specialists for medical treatment
- Getting your medical bills paid and reduced
- Getting your car fixed or replaced
- Evaluating the financial value of your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Pursuing a lawsuit if warranted
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Lakewood, WA 98499
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Figuring out the best course of action after a car accident can be intimidating. Without taking the correct steps to protect your rights, you could miss out on a significant sum of money. Our attorneys will go the extra mile to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Get our free e-book on car accidents. You’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the right auto injury attorney, dealing with insurance issues, getting medical coverage and more. To discuss the specifics of your case during a free consultation, get in touch with our office.