By Brett Purtzer, Attorney – The Hester Law Group
The vast majority of our clients never expected needing to hire an attorney. Who really spends time envisioning themselves becoming injured by another’s negligence while biking, driving, running, or swimming? And on the other side of this dilemma, we’ve found most people don’t think they could ever be accused of something like causing a collision, recklessly driving, or perhaps, having one too many drinks before getting behind the wheel. While we don’t wish any RTB members circumstances that lead them to needing an injury or criminal defense attorney, here’s a short source for helping you shop should you need one.
If you have been injured, the road ahead is complicated and you most likely need an attorney to navigate timing your claim, negotiating the claim, potentially filing suit, and figuring out who is owed what from the ultimate settlement (repaying medical expenses, etc.). If a person faces a criminal charge, that needs to be taken seriously too. Not only should you hire an attorney, but you should hire the right attorney for you and for your case. There’s more to hiring the right attorney than simply googling personal injury attorneys or criminal defense lawyers. In fact, that’s why most good attorneys offer free consultations – we want to make sure we are the right fit for you. When you meet with your potential attorney, at a minimum, make sure you ask these four questions.
1. Have you handled cases similar to mine? Injury cases can vary. Most injury attorneys handle auto accidents. Very few have actually handed pedestrian, runner, cycling, and swimming/boating injuries. Criminal charges can vary significantly as well – from misdemeanors, to felonies, to sex crimes to federal charges. Each type of charge is handled very differently. You want an attorney who has experience handling similar charges to the one you are facing. If the attorney is experienced in handling murder charges, but rarely handled DUI cases, you probably should look elsewhere for a DUI attorney and vice versa.
2. Have you practiced in this jurisdiction before? While the criminal charge is the same throughout the state (or country, if it’s a federal charge), each court system handles things a little bit differently. The procedure may be different because each court may have local rules that are specific just to that court. If your attorney is unfamiliar with local procedure, it’s possible that deadlines could be missed or documents could be incorrectly filed that could seriously hurt your case. Injury attorneys don’t seem to limit the counties in which they practice – if the case involves a significant enough potential financial outcome. Our firm has handled cases throughout the state, and elsewhere. But if, for example, there is a collision in a faraway county, and the treatment involved in recovering is minimal, and the client is back to “normal” in short time, the client might be better off with an experienced local attorney who will not have to imagine travelling while prepping the case for court for things like interviewing local doctors and treatment providers, and first responders.
3. How often and how will we communicate? You know yourself best. If you need an attorney who will communicate with you weekly – find that. On the other hand, you may be content going through some quiet times and not need as frequent communication. Similarly, if you process things better through writing, you’ll want an attorney who communicates through written forms of communication more frequently than phone calls. Same idea if you need to speak in person to fully understand what is going on. Whatever your communication style is, find an attorney who mirrors that. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a long road of miscommunication and anxiety.
4. How often do your cases go to trial? It is fair to say most injury cases do not even get filed in court, much less go to trial. Many criminal cases don’t make it all the way to trial and instead result in a plea bargain. A good attorney evaluates each case individually and guides their client towards the best result. That being said, if you feel strongly about going to trial rather than accepting a settlement offer in an injury case, you’ll want to be sure that your mindset does not clash with the experience and philosophy of your attorney. The same can be said for criminal case negotiations. There is no one right answer to this question but it will help you better understand how this attorney handles cases and whether he/she is the right fit for you.
While our firm practices in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense, every attorney in our firm knows dozens of attorneys who practice in all sorts of other disciplines – family law, wills and estates, business planning, commercial litigation, school law, and appeals, to name a handful. If your needs are in an area outside of our normal practice area, we would love to take your call and recommend others who might be of assistance.
There may be other questions you want to ask an attorney at your initial consultation but these 4 will help you get an idea of whether you want to hire that attorney. While hiring an attorney quickly is important, it may be more important to hire the right attorney.
Credit Kathy Morrisson & Alissa Anderson of Raise the Bar
It looks like we have hit the hot part of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few tips that Alissa and Kathy have gathered over the years while racing and working with local triathletes.
Hot Weather Ideas
KIDS RACING IN ADULT RACES
Every event season we get multiple requests to have kids racing at our events. We've set a minimum age of 15 at all RTB events and make few exceptions. But exceptions are made on occasion and here are the circumstances and information to consider before contacting us if you are <15, or are the parent of one.
Swim Races: We'll consider exceptions if the athlete has swam competitively for a year or more and has completed the chosen race distance successfully. AND we prefer them to be in a wetsuit.
Triathlons: The swim standard is the same as above and running/walking is typically not an issue. Cycling is the toughest hurdle for <15's in an adult triathlon and permission to race rests heavily on our assumption that all the athletes who've entered come prepared and experienced by cycling in the conditions that happen on race day: (In fact, this is what athletes agree to when they register).
You triathletes are a tough bunch, and a when things get tough, you want to push through to the finish line. Circumstances like asthma or SIPE on the swim, or falls on the bike can jeopardize a finish line for an athlete. Here's what you need to know if you get injured or have a medically-related challenge.
If you clicked on the link above you might have seen that "Continuous Improvement" is one of our other core values. I have no doubt that for as long as RTB produces races, we will have many many opportunities to improve! Thanks to those of you who keep coming back to RTB Events - for your excitement and sportsmanship and awesome racing. You are the best part of RTB Events!
Summer is the time for being outside and enjoying your favorite activities. But for those of you suffering from a sports injury, it can be a frustrating time as you search for answers and a solution to your pain.
In a popular sport like rowing, athletes put a unique kind of strain on their bodies. If you watch from the shore it looks as though they are gliding across the water, but get in the boat and you’ll see exactly the kind of precise, one-sided, repetitive movement that can lead to full-blown injury. Dr. Erik Brand, a sports medicine specialist, treats a lot of athletes with rowing injuries. From the shoulder to the knee, the rib or the low back, his goal is to diagnose the pain, treat it, and get his patients back to the sport they love. Here’s how he says rowers can get the answers they need to get back out on the water:
Have a nagging sports injury? Click here to find out what our experts have to say about when you should ignore the pain and when it’s time to ask for help.
At Center for Diagnostic Imaging we offer evening and weekend appointments so you can get in quickly, receive the right diagnosis and work with your doctor to plan a road map to recovery. Learn more at myCDI.com/WA.
Raise the Bar
Race reports, upcoming events, news, and more, from RTB.