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Ritchie Reiersen Law – Premier Car Accident Lawyer in Yakima, Washington
If you have been involved an auto accident, you need a car accident and personal injury attorney you can trust. Ritchie Reiersen Law in Yakima is here to help you. Our team of personal injury attorneys have won thousands of car accident cases, and as a result have helped clients secure over $25 million in damages. Without a doubt, our record proves we have the expertise to help you. Experienced car accident lawyers serve in and around the Yakima, Washington area – including Sunnyside, Prosser, Union Gap, Ellensburg, and Toppenish.
Our goal, first and foremost, is to stand up for our the rights of our clients and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Additionally, we can assist our clients in pursuing their personal injury claim to the fullest extent of the law.
Car accident claims can be complicated and very frustrating. However, they don’t have to take over your life. Having an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side can take away much of the stress. Most importantly, while we do the work, you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We pursue justice with a passion – yet we will be calm, competent, and compassionate throughout the process.
Call Ritchie Reiersen Law today at (509) 658-7000.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney in Yakima Help Me?
If you have been injured in a car accident, life can seem overwhelming. In addition to dealing with transportation and medical challenges, insurance companies can be a real pain to work with. It can be especially challenging to be offered the compensation you deserve. However, a car accident attorney has the knowledge to get you the results you need – without the stress on you!
Ritchie Reiersen Law understands the laws in Washington. Not only will we treat you with compassion and respect, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Through the entire process, you will receive the help you need. Best of all, you don’t owe us anything until we win your case!
Call and talk to a Yakima car accident attorney at Ritchie Reiersen Law today. (509) 658-7000
Call Ritchie Reiersen Immigration and Personal Injury law firm at (509) 658-7000 for a free consultation with an experienced Immigration or Auto Accident Attorney. We have dedicated Personal Injury and Immigration Lawyers serving in Yakima, WA.
What To Do After An Auto Accident In Yakima, Washington
Take Care of Yourself
After an accident, it is important to receive medical attention right away. Even if you aren’t sure you are injured, get checked out. This is especially important if you do feel you have an injury – the insurance company can question the validity of your injury claim and decrease your compensation if you don’t have medical records proving your injury is a result of the accident.
Call the Police
Don’t hesitate to call the police and have them come to the scene of the accident. An official police report can carry a lot of weight when it comes down to assigning liability. While the other driver might claim responsibility at the time of the accident, stories often change over time and without a police report of the accident it can become a “he said, she said” situation, which ultimately could result in a lower compensation for you.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, take photos of your vehicle, the other vehicle(s) involved, and the general scene. Often insurance adjusters claim the accident is low-impact. The best way to prove the actual damage is through pictures taken at the time of the accident. Additionally, gather witness statements and information, as this can help corroborate your statement of what happened.
Get as Much Information As You Can
Gathering the following information at the scene of the accident will make your life much easier as you go through the process of opening a claim and attempting to get proper compensation for the damages that you sustained.
- 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?
A personal injury attorney – sometimes called an auto accident attorney – is there to successfully guide you through the claims process, protect your rights, and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Personal injury attorneys have the tools to help you fully evaluate the damages you have incurred, and fight for full compensation for injuries caused by auto accidents. 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. 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 Yakima, 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 compensated and taken care of, but it also much more convenient than trying to do it on your own. Most people have a life. That is a very candid way of saying that just because some idiot ran into you, doesn’t mean you now have to spend countless weeks and months dealing with car insurances and fretting with medical bills, that’s the attorney’s job. Having a personal injury attorney after your car accident will not only ensure you get compensated and taken care of, but it also much more convenient than trying to do it on your own. Most people have a life. That is a very candid way of saying that just because some idiot ran into you, doesn’t mean you now have to spend countless weeks and months dealing with car insurances and fretting with medical bills, that’s the attorney’s job.
Experienced auto accident attorneys deal with car accidents every day and that is all they live and breathe. They know what is a fair offer and how to get the medical bills paid. You certainly do not have to have an attorney, just like you do not have to have a mechanic to fix your car. It just makes your life easier and in a lot of cases you get a lot better outcome. If you have been in a car accident in Kennewick, WA you should at least 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 the attorney does 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 Yakima, Washington set up a free consultation and get those questions answered.
What to do After an Auto Accident?
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
Life after a car accident can be overwhelming; the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself right away. If you need to go to the hospital or need an ambulance, don’t hesitate to do those things. If you need to see the chiropractor, physical therapist, or primary care provider – make those appointments and be seen. Do not wait. The longer you wait, the longer it will be before you move forward on the road to healing. Also, the longer you wait, the more “ammunition” the insurance company has to try to discredit your injuries and therefore decrease your claim.
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 pay for your own 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?
The first step to take after a car accident 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. 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 Yakima, Washington that are experienced in 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 likely try to direct you to one of their “preferred” shops, but keep in mind that you are not required to take your car to one of these shops. There are a lot of auto body shops in the Yakima 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 – that is something you can discuss with an attorney and receive their experienced input before you make your decision.
How to Get a Rental Car after a Car Accident
If you can’t use 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. Unfortunately, they do not have to rent you a car equivalent to your vehicle; however, that is usually something that you or your attorney can negotiate. An experienced car accident attorney in Yakima, 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 Insurance Company After an Auto Accident?
The initial step in getting the insurance companies to take action is to open a claim. This can be as simple as calling them and letting them know what happened – but often requires a lot more information including multiple phone calls, emails, faxes, etc. Even if it is not your fault, it is almost always beneficial to open a claim with your insurance as well as the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Initially all insurance companies will want to ask you questions about the accident in order to open the claim and figure out liability. During these initial conversations, the insurance companies will ask you many questions about the car accident and your injuries. Often it is very beneficial to do these recorded statements in the presence of your attorney. Most personal injury attorneys in Yakima, 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?
The insurance company may try to communicate with you after your car accident in an effort to get you to settle your claim. Oftentimes this occurs very early in the claim process and well before you know the full extent of your injuries. We strongly advise you not accept any offers until you know for certain that the offer is fair and your medical treatment is completed. An experienced car accident attorney deals with settlements daily and is likely your best source in figuring out if the settlement is fair or not. There are many personal injury attorneys in the Yakima, 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 Have Been Injured in a Car Accident?
After a car accident, especially if you are injured, your physical recovery is your top priority. Although 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 are dealing with an injury. If you are hurting – even if you think the injury will go away – seek medical treatment. Do NOT wait to receive medical treatment. It is crucial to seek medical treatment right away, as this the only way to prove that your injuries are a result of the 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 different doctors document their notes – and those notes are what prove the severity of your injuries.
This is another reason why getting an attorney can prove to be very beneficial. Attorneys are not doctors, but they work with them every day. Experienced personal injury attorneys know which doctors in the Yakima area are not only going to help you get better, but also which ones work well 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, $35,000, or $50,000 in medical coverage and PIP pays the medical bills up front. Second, health insurance can also pay for your medical bills, even if they are related to an accident. Third, if you do not have PIP or health insurance, there are 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 Yakima, Washington 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?
Being injured in a car accident often causes menial tasks to become hard – which means working your regular job can quickly become an impossibility. 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. Second, it is your responsibility to prove actual wage loss, usually with recent check stubs that can show you did, indeed, have a job. Finally, carefully read through your auto insurance policy. Some policies have coverage that can pay you a portion of wage loss prior to settlement. If you do not have wage loss coverage, however, you likely will not be compensated until the case resolves.
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 Yakima, Washington in order to ensure your settlement from the insurance company will cover these lost wages in full.
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. However, there are certainly a few things to consider before closing your case. These factors include the status of your injuries, statute of limitations, settlement offers, and your overall well-being.
Still Injured? Don’t be tempted to close too early:
One of the biggest regrets I see people make is accepting a settlement offer when they are still suffering. Once the claim is closed, the insurance company is no longer responsible for any additional medical bills. We recommend that you don’t even consider a settlement offer until your medical treatment is completely done. This will help ensure you are being compensated for all your injuries and the medical expenses related to them.
Statute of Limitations:
Car accident cases have a limited amount of time that the claim remains open. If the settlement is not accepted or a lawsuit has not been 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 wise to consult a personal injury attorney in your local Yakima, Washington area who is experienced handling car accident claims to make sure you don’t miss out on your opportunity to get the compensation you deserve.
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 at-fault driver’s car insurance company will need to acquire a copy of the medical bills and records in order to evaluate your claim and come up with an initial settlement figure. If you have a car accident attorney, they will usually acquire these records 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 is typically having the insurance company giving you an 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. It is difficult to put a value on the non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, etc. that are outcomes from an injury. This is one of the primary reasons why having a personal injury attorney who is experienced settling car accidents in your local Yakima, Washington area is vital – attorneys have the tools and knowledge that is necessary and accepted in the field to fully assess your injuries and other damages, and can help ensure the settlement offer will be fair to you.
If you are unable to get an acceptable offer from the insurance company, your options become very limited – and 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 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 Yakima, Washington – and 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 help you resolve your car accident, instead of someone who spends ninety percent of their time helping people get divorced.
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 – so you need to make sure that you not only trust your attorney but also their staff. One of the best things to do is ask your doctor, family, coworkers, and your friends for a referral. Read online reviews and study the attorney’s website. The best way to get a feel for how you will work together is to talk to them either by phone or in person through a complimentary consultation.
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 in the way that would benefit you. 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 will be as passionate about your case as you are. Find an attorney you can trust, and who will be your advocate with the insurance company. Life after an auto accident can be overwhelming – but you don’t have to do it alone. With the right auto accident attorney by your side, you can recover from your injuries and receive the compensation you deserve.
Car Accident Question Videos
Ritchie Reiersen Auto Accident Lawyers Are Experienced in Many Types of Car Crash Cases, Including:
What Can We Do For You?
Ritchie Reiersen Law has personal injury attorneys in Yakima with extensive experience in handling car accidents claims. As your auto accident lawyer, Ritchie Reiersen Law handles the medical bills, insurance companies, and the legal paperwork. Most importantly, however, we ensure you get a fair settlement. We will approach all negotiations with your rights and needs as the center of focus. Ritchie Reiersen Law has personal injury attorneys at locations in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco), Yakima, Tacoma, Portland, and Auburn. Call today for your free consultation – (509) 658-7000.
Our Car Accident Injury Attorneys Work Hard 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
— Jordan from Yakima.
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Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Yakima are Experts In Handling Car Accident Cases. We can help you today!
We have helped protect the rights of thousands of victims and, most importantly, helped them 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. Call us today for a free consultation – (509) 658-7000.
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