Call A Vancouver, WA Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
Attorney Colin Scott helps victims get justice
Have you been injured in an auto accident or suffered the loss of a loved one? If so, the weeks and months ahead can be one of the most difficult times in your life. Dealing with finances and the insurance companies are only half the battle. Your life has changed. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can help you recover compensation so you can get your life back on track.
A car crash can happen anywhere in Clark County – on a city street, a rural road or a busy highway. But no matter where it happens, it can leave you seriously injured. It can leave you with medical expenses that quickly become overwhelming. That’s why you need an experienced Vancouver, WA car accident attorney who understands what you’re going through.
Insurance companies are supposed to help but are mainly interested in protecting their bottom line. Our firm focuses on holding negligent parties accountable so you can recover the financial compensation you need and deserve. We give each case the individual attention it needs with the goal of building a strong case the insurance company will take seriously.
Common questions car accident victims ask
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, you probably have a lot of questions. You might feel overwhelmed and not know what to do or where to start. Somebody might be telling you to do one thing while somebody else may be advising you to do something different. Attorney Colin Scott has put together this short list to help you get a sense of what to do next.
Do I need to hire a car accident attorney?
Research shows that people who hire a lawyer receive more money on average from insurance companies -- even after your attorney's fees and costs are paid. With your health and finances at stake, it’s important to seek professional advice. That is why you should schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case.
How do I find a qualified attorney?
If you were injured in a collision, it is important that you find a qualified attorney. Many people do this today by searching online. Search for a lawyer whose firm is dedicated to representing injured clients. Make sure they are licensed to practice law where the accident happened. For example, if you were injured in a car crash in Vancouver, Washington, search for a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Washington. Online reviews and testimonials are helpful, but make sure the lawyer mentioned in the reviews is the same lawyer you are hiring.
Click here to download a printable PDF of the "What steps should I take following an auto accident?" infographic.
How much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?
Most law firms offer free consultations, where you can discuss your case with an attorney to see if you have a case. If you decide to hire an attorney, the standard agreement is to represent you on a contingency basis. This means there is no fee for legal services unless money is recovered. At the lawyer’s discretion, costs will be advanced as needed. After the case is resolved, attorneys take a percentage of the total recovery, as well as reimbursement for any costs that they advanced.
How do I know if I have a case?
The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced lawyer. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC offers free consultations, where attorney Colin Scott can review the details of your accident and ask you questions about what happened to you. He’ll give you an honest assessment about whether or not he is willing to accept your case. There's no risk or obligation. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning there are no legal fees for you to pay up front.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
There is no simple answer, because every case is different. Circumstances that may impact timing include the severity of your injuries, the number of people involved, and whether the insurance company is disputing your claim. Some cases are more straightforward and can be resolved within only a few months, while more complex cases can take years.
How long do I have to take legal action?
There is a time limit within which you must either resolve your claim or file a lawsuit to preserve your ability to make a claim. This time limit is referred to as the "statute of limitations" and can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the facts in your situation. For example, if you were injured in a collision that occurred in the State of Washington, the statute of limitations is generally going to be three years from the date of the accident. In Oregon, the statute of limitations is usually two years. This is only a general rule, however, and does not apply in every situation. To determine the applicable statute of limitations in your case, it is important for you to contact an experienced attorney right away.
What kind of damages can I seek for my accident?
In general, you can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the monetary losses you suffered. Non-economic damages are intangible losses such as pain and suffering. Vancouver attorney Colin Scott can help determine the total amount of damages you have suffered as a result of your accident.
What does the other driver’s insurance have to cover?
The at-fault driver’s insurance company should cover all your losses resulting from the car accident, up to the applicable policy limits. This includes payment for related past and future medical treatment, past lost income and loss of future earning capacity, and other financial losses associated with your injuries. It also includes intangible losses such as pain and suffering or loss of quality and enjoyment of life. And it can include vehicle-related losses such as towing, rental car, the diminished resale value of your repaired vehicle, or replacement if it is a total loss. The only way to know how much your claim may be worth is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.
How long does it take the insurance company to complete its investigation?
Normally the insurance company must investigate the crash and determine who is at fault within 30 days unless the investigation cannot reasonably be completed within that timeframe.
Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
Once the insurance adjuster handling your car accident claim has completed their investigation, they may offer you a check to settle. This offer can be tempting, especially if you are facing bills for surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy and medication. But the insurance company’s offer likely suits their own best interests, not yours. And if you do not have an attorney, it may fall far short of the compensation you deserve.
Before accepting this check and/or signing a release, make sure you are satisfied with the amount being offered. It’s best not to accept a settlement without speaking with a car accident attorney.
Insurance companies are mostly concerned with keeping their profits high. They will try to pay out as little as possible. Frequently, their settlement offer won't even come close to covering the full amount of damages you have suffered, and remember, once you accept their money, you most likely can’t go back for more. That is why you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC offers a free consultation.
Can I still recover compensation if the accident was partly my fault?
The State of Washington uses "pure" comparative negligence when resolving these types of claims. That means even if you were partially at fault you may still be able to recover damages, but your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share. The applicable comparative or contributory negligence standard varies from state to state.
What should I do if I was in an accident that wasn’t my fault?
First, you must avoid saying anything that could cause the insurance company to claim you were at fault when you weren’t. That means you need to keep your statements at the scene brief, avoid talking about the accident with anyone other than your attorney, and refuse to give the insurance company a recorded statement (which they could alter or take out of context). Moreover, even if there’s no question you weren’t at fault for the accident, the insurance company may still dispute the extent of your damages (financial losses due to the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages) in order to reduce your claim. An attorney can help to protect your legal rights and advocate for the full amount of compensation you need.
Will my insurance rates go up if I report a crash?
No, your insurance company cannot increase your rates for reporting a crash, if you were not in any way at fault for causing or contributing to the accident.
How can I obtain a copy of the Police Traffic Collision Report?
Focused on getting results
Attorney Colin Scott uses his knowledge to estimate the total amount of damages you have suffered. This includes all current and future medical expenses related to your injuries. It includes any lost wages while you are unable to work as well as any future wages you may no longer be able to earn. It also includes noneconomic damages you suffered, including pain and suffering.
We work hard to build a strong case and fight for your rights. This often includes reviewing relevant documentation such as damage estimates, photographs, and police reports. It also sometimes includes interviewing witnesses, visiting the crash scene, and consulting with experts to determine who was responsible for your crash. Having done this for years, attorney Colin Scott knows where to look for evidence that the other driver was negligent – for example, if the driver was driving recklessly, driving distracted or drunk.
Using this information, Colin works hard to build a strong case that can prove you were the victim of another driver’s negligence. Then he demands that the insurance company provide compensation for the damages you suffered. When they see that we are ready to fight for you in court, insurance companies oftentimes will offer a fair settlement.
But we are not interested in a quick settlement agreement that helps the insurance company save money. We are determined to help clients reach a resolution of their case that meets their needs and allows them to improve their current situation. Our client’s expectations in the case must of course be realistic. But if the insurance company won’t agree to a settlement that works for you, then you are the person who will ultimately make this decision. If we advise you not to accept a settlement and you agree, our firm is prepared to fight for your rights in court.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, you have legal rights that must be protected. To learn more about how our Vancouver, WA car accident law firm can assist you, contact The Scott Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation. You can contact us online or call 360-718-3640.
“The Scott Law Firm did an excellent job handling my car accident. The personal attention I received made me feel at ease and confident that I would receive the highest priority.” - Tasha