Seattle Law Offices Of Michael E. Mazon

Frequently Asked Questions                Please phone or email us with your questions or to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Do I Need An Attorney?

After suffering an injury from the fault of another, most people need to at least speak with an attorney well versed in personal injury law. The attorney can inform the client as to his/her rights and duties.  For example, the attorney can assist the client by making the injury claim on behalf of the client and capably deal with the insurance company.

Additionally, the attorney can also address the issues of property damage, medical bills and wage loss.  Ideally, the attorney should communicate with the insurance company while the client's sole concern should be in obtaining medical treatment for injuries.

Conclusion: The Attorney should not attempt to resolve the claim until the client has completed treatment.

How Much Will It Cost Me To Hire An Attorney?

Nothing.  Personal injury attorneys charge what is known as a "contingent fee."  Typically, the attorney will charge the client one-third (1/3) of whatever he/she recovers on the client's behalf.  Therefore, if the attorney recovers nothing, there is no fee.  Attorneys also charge for "costs." Costs can include, but are not limited to: copies, postage, medical reports, police reports, filing and process service charges.  However, the attorney should advance all costs out of his/her general account.  After the client's claim settles or goes to verdict, the attorney will reimburse himself/herself fees and costs out of the proceeds.  In most personal injury fee agreements, the client should pay nothing up front.

How Much Is My Case Worth?


This is an extremely difficult, if not impossible, question to answer soon after the client has incurred an injury.  Claim value is determined by numerous factors, such as:  

1. Fault of the parties involved
2. Type of injuries
3. Type of treatment
4. Length of treatment
5. Cost of treatment
6. Permanency of injury
7. Income loss
8. The injury's affect on the client's activities of daily living

People want to know how much their injury is worth.  If the attorney is conscientious, he/she will determine the value of the injury after the client has completed treatment.  Be wary of the attorney that attempts to set a value on your claim before treatment has been concluded.  At the earliest stages of a claim, it is unknown whether the client will treat for two weeks, two months, or two years.  Refrain from hazarding guesses as to the value of your claim before you have completed treatment.  Moreover, you may suffer income loss as a direct result of your injury. This is an integral part of your claim and commonly cannot be determined until the completion of medical treatment.


Conclusion: The Attorney should not attempt to resolve the claim until the client has completed treatment.



How Long Will My Claim Take To Resolve?

As above, this is also a question that is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to answer.  In most circumstances, after the client completes treatment, the attorney will obtain all relevant medical records, income loss information and any other necessary reports.  Then the attorney will prepare a written settlement proposal for the insurance company and attempt to resolve the claim without filing a lawsuit.  If the claim fails to settle, the client will discuss with his/her attorney other alternatives, such as: filing a lawsuit, mediation, or simply accepting the insurance company's final offer of settlement.

Conclusion:  The Attorney should not attempt to resolve the claim until the client has completed treatment.