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Personal Injury Lawyer
Vancouver & Southwest Washington

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law

If you've been injured, you can count on Colin

Trying to sort things out after you've been hurt in an accident can be confusing and frustrating.  Your medical bills are adding up fast, and you're not sure how you're going to pay them. The accident was not your fault. But you're not sure how to proceed with a claim. You have a lot of questions. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can help you find the answers.

Personal injury attorney Colin Scott founded The Scott Law Firm, PLLC to help people who have been injured get the compensation they need so they can recover as much as possible and move on with their lives. Colin knows how to build strong cases that insurance companies take seriously. He is always focused on getting the best possible result in each case, depending on each client's needs and desired outcome.

What is your question?

Don't see your question listed above? Or maybe you want more information? No problem. Simply contact us online or call 360-718-3640 to schedule a free consultation in Vancouver, WA. Colin can answer your questions, review the details of your case and go over your legal options. There's no cost and no obligation. We only want you to have the facts you need to decide what to do next.

Do I need an attorney to represent me?

When your health and finances are at stake, most people understand the importance of seeking professional advice. That is why, at a minimum, you should schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction to discuss your case. Numerous studies conducted by insurance companies show that people who have legal representation tend to receive more money than individuals who represent themselves. This remains true even after all fees and costs are paid.

Remember, insurance companies aren't interested in what's best for you. They are mostly concerned about their bottom line and keeping profits high. And they have their own attorneys to help them find ways to do that. That's why you need a legal professional who is only concerned about what's best for you. Colin Scott is focused on helping you recover the financial compensation you deserve.

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How much will it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?

Following an accident in which you were injured, medical expenses can add up quickly. Then there are your usual expenses, which can be harder to pay if your injuries left you unable to work. At The Scott Law Firm, PLLC, we believe accident victims should have legal representation, no matter what their financial situation. We also know that the last thing you need right now is another bill.

That's why we offer free consultations to everyone who calls about a meritorious claim involving personal injury or wrongful death. Once you make the decision to hire us, we provide legal services on a contingency basis. This means there is no fee for our legal services unless money is recovered. At our discretion, we will advance costs as needed. After the case resolves, we take a percentage of the total recovery, as well as reimbursement for any costs that are advanced.

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How do I know if I have a case?

Trying to sort things out after an accident can be very confusing. You may feel that the other driver caused your accident, but the other driver may try to blame you. Whether or not you have a case that is likely to result in any financial recovery depends on many factors. The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who is licensed to practice law in the proper jurisdiction.

The Scott Law Firm, PLLC offers free consultations. Colin Scott can review the details of your accident and ask you questions about what happened. He will then give you an honest assessment about whether or not our firm is willing to accept your case. There's no risk or obligation. All cases at our firm are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning there are no legal fees for you to pay up front.

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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. Examples include current and future medical expenses related to your injury, lost wages if you were unable to work, and the cost of repairing or replacing any property that was damaged (for example, your car, as well as any property that was damaged inside your vehicle).

Non-economic damages are defined by statute in Washington. They include "subjective, nonmonetary losses, including, but not limited to pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, disability or disfigurement incurred by the injured party, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation and humiliation, and destruction of the parent-child relationship." RCW 4.56.250(1)(b). Obviously, there is no exact pre-determined value, and by law in the State of Washington, general damages lie wholly within the province of the trier of fact." Sofie v. Fibreboard, Inc., 112 Wn.2d 636, at 647-650 (1989). Additionally, not all non-economic damages are available in every case.

Attorney Colin Scott can help determine the total amount of damages you have suffered as a result of your accident. He can then build a strong case to help you recover financial compensation. Call today for a free consultation.

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How long will it take to resolve my case?

There is no simple answer to this question, as it depends on many different factors. These include the severity of your injuries, how many parties are involved in the accident and whether the insurance company is disputing your claim. Some cases are more straightforward and can be resolved within only a few months. More complex cases can take years to resolve.

Colin Scott is focused on getting the best possible outcome in your case. Many times, this can be done through a negotiated settlement with the insurance company. But if the insurance company refuses to do what's right, Colin will be ready to fight for you in court. You can learn more by calling The Scott Law Firm, PLLC in Vancouver, WA for a free consultation.

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How long do I have to take legal action?

There is a time limit in which you must either resolve your claim or file a lawsuit to preserve your ability to make such a claim. This time limit is referred to as the "statute of limitations" and can vary depending on the facts in your situation. Determining the appropriate statute of limitations can be tricky. Therefore, if you wish to pursue a claim for injuries suffered in an accident, you should immediately consult with an attorney who can properly identify the applicable statute of limitations in your case.

For example, in the State of Washington, if you were injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations is generally 3 years from the date of the accident. This is only a general rule and may vary depending on the facts in your situation.

The laws in Oregon are different. In Oregon, if you were injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations is generally 2 years from the date of the accident. Again, this is only a general rule and does not apply to all situations.

Determining the applicable statute of limitations is a fact-specific inquiry. In other words, the time limit for taking legal action can vary depending on the specific circumstances on your case. An attorney can analyze your situation and determine which statute of limitations applies to your claim.

Warning: Don't wait to pursue your claim. If you wait too long and the statute of limitations expires, your claim will be lost forever and you will no longer be able to seek compensation for your injuries. That's why you should contact an experienced accident attorney right away. Learn more about your legal options by calling The Scott Law Firm, PLLC in Vancouver, WA for a free consultation.

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Can I still recover compensation if the accident was partly my fault?

It depends. The state of Washington uses "pure" comparative negligence when resolving accident claims. What this means is that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages. But your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share. (For example, if a judge or jury determines you were 20% at fault for the accident, any recovery you are awarded will be reduced by 20%.)

The system in Oregon is different. In Oregon, if you are determined to be more than 50% at fault for causing the accident, you are generally barred from recovery.

Insurance companies know this, which is why they will typically try to pin much of the blame for the accident on you. That's why it's so important to have a car accident lawyer on your side who knows how to fight back.

Each case is fact-specific. To find out whether you are entitled to receive compensation under the facts in your situation, contact attorney Colin Scott for a free consultation.

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Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?

In many cases, the insurance company will contact you, sometimes within days after your accident occurred, and offer a cash settlement. Due to the physical, emotional, and financial stress caused by your injuries, you may be tempted to accept their offer. There are many good reasons you should resist this temptation.

Insurance companies are mostly concerned with keeping their profits high. So 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. That is why you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

At the very least, you should consult a  lawyer before agreeing to any settlement. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC offers a free consultation.

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