Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need an attorney?
If you or a family member has been seriously injured due to an accident; the negligence of a doctor, hospital or nursing home; or a dangerous vaccine, you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Insurance companies will not treat you fairly if you try to resolve a serious injury claim on your own. At Menzer Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully representing seriously injured persons in a wide variety of cases and are licensed to practice in Washington, California and Hawaii. At Menzer Law, we provide a free, no-risk case review to injured persons and their families.
What damages am I entitled to recover in an injury case?
You are entitled to recover all the past and future monetary damages that result from the defendant’s wrongdoing. Each case is different, and the damages are dependent on the types of injuries that have occurred. The types of damages generally available in personal injury and medical malpractice cases include past and future medical bills reasonably related to the injuries, past and future wage losses, past and future damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life due to any permanent impairments or disabilities.
What if I have already taken steps on my own to handle my injury claim?
We often have new clients come to us with their claims already started. They are usually overwhelmed by the complexity of the insurance paperwork and the need to communicate with multiple adjusters and representatives of the insurance companies that are involved. Or they are being pressured by an insurance company to accept a low settlement. We represent injured persons who have started the claims process on their own. Once we are retained by a client, we will immediately contact the other parties and insurance companies and direct them to send all future communications to our office. We want to alleviate the stresses of the claim process for our clients and allow them to focus on recovering from their injuries.
Do I have to pay for my initial meeting or consultation with Menzer Law?
We do not charge for initial client meetings or consultations. If you think you have a serious personal injury or wrongful death case, please contact our office online or call our Maui office at 808.427.5752 or our Seattle office at 206.970.2685 to arrange for a review of your case.
How much will I pay Menzer Law at the conclusion of my case?
At Menzer Law, we handle most personal injury, medical malpractice and insurance cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that, if we do not win the case, we do not get paid. If we are successful in obtaining you compensation for your injuries in a settlement or after a trial, our fee is set by a percentage of the recovery. For most accident and simpler personal injury matters, our fee is 1/3 of the gross recovery. In medical malpractice cases and other complex matters, our usual fee is 40% of the gross recovery. In every case that we accept, we enter into a written fee agreement with the client that explains in detail how the contingency fees are earned and calculated.
What should I bring with me for my initial meeting with a lawyer?
You should bring to the meeting all the documents you have relating to your case, your injuries and your damages. This would include any police or accident reports, medical and billing records, copies of your insurance policy and declaration page, correspondence you have received from anyone about the case, photographs of the accident and your injuries, and any receipts and wage loss information. If you have a timeline of the important events in your case, please also bring that to the meeting.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
The deadline to file a lawsuit after you have been injured as a result of someone’s negligence or fault is known as the statute of limitations. Your case will be forever barred if you do not file your lawsuit before this deadline. For most personal injury actions in Washington, such as auto accidents, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court against the responsible parties. In Hawaii, the statute of limitations for most personal injury and medical malpractice cases is two years. However, in both states, the statute of limitations can be shorter with respect to other types of injury claims, such as intentional acts (including assault) and claims against state, local or federal government entities. In addition, determining the statute of limitations deadlines for filing medical malpractice and nursing home negligence cases can be complicated by multiple acts of negligence and injuries that are not immediately apparent. Even if the statute of limitations deadline is clearly years away, you should not wait to speak to a lawyer or pursue your claim because witnesses can move away, memories can fade and evidence can be lost. Because successful personal injury claims are often time-sensitive, you should contact an attorney immediately following your injury to determine if you have a case and what steps need to be taken to preserve the evidence.
Will the information I share with you be confidential?
Yes, any information shared with our office for the purposes of seeking legal advice will be protected by the attorney-client privilege.