FAQ2018-09-19T18:25:42+00:00

“The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” – Pearl S. Buck

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

If you’ve been hurt, or a family member has died, because of someone else’ negligent or bad actions, you should talk to a lawyer.

Sometimes, personal injury claims can be quickly and fairly resolved with insurance adjusters … but remember, they are working for the insurance company—not for you.

Attorney Kevin Coluccio has been licensed to practice law in Washington State since 1986. He has always limited his practice to helping injured parties and families involved with wrongful death claims.

About Kevin Coluccio

We just ask that you get the recommended medical care, and return our calls and emails promptly. We will do our best to resolve your case as successfully and as soon as possible.

Insurance Companies

Questions about making an insurance claim for injuries and damages, dealing with insurance adjusters, and protecting your legal rights

In your own insurance policy, the Policy Declarations page is the quickest way to understand your benefits after a collision.

Look for sections on Personal Injury ProtectionCollision CoverageLiability Coverage and Underinsured/Uninsured Coverage.

 A Guide to Understanding your Insurance Policy

If you were in a crash caused by someone else, then you will need to file a claim with that driver’s insurance company.

Liability coverage is the bare minimum of auto insurance, and is required by law if you own and operate a car in Washington.

If you were in a car crash caused by someone else, that person’s liability insurance is supposed to pay for your medical bills and other damages.

Your own liability insurance does not cover your injuries, or damage to your vehicle, unless the other driver’s coverage is not sufficient.

Yes, but only after your Personal Injury Protection has been exhausted.

If your health insurance does pay for medical care related to your injury claim, you may need to reimburse them out of proceeds of any settlement or verdict.

The same is true for your Personal Injury Protection: the carrier will be entitled to reimbursement. There are some exceptions to reimbursement.

We will work with you and any lien holders to maximize your part of any settlement or verdict.

If your own car insurance company pays your bills and expenses after a crash, they can try to recover their costs from the insurance company of the person who caused the crash.

This complicated process is called subrogation. It is a process to reimburse your insurance company and medical insurance carrier for your success in obtaining a verdict or settlement.

If you plan to agree to a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you need to let your own insurance company know first.

If you have an attorney, they will deal with the insurance adjusters on your behalf.

If you are a Coluccio Law client, you don’t have to say anything. We will talk to the insurance companies on your behalf.

Initially, we will want the name and contact information for any insurance adjusters who have contacted you.

We will also need a copy of your insurance cards, and any policies you have.

Finances and Costs

Questions about lawsuit expenses, lawyer fee agreements, and other financial questions about personal injury claims

No. Paying the advanced case costs is part of the risk that an attorney takes with a contingency fee agreement.

A contingency fee means a lawyer only earns a fee by successfully resolving your case. 

Personal injury lawyers usually take a percentage of the total amount of money you get at the end of the case. This means that lawyers have financial incentive to help you get the case done as successfully as possible.

It also means that we incur the risks of litigation: if we aren’t successful in your claim, we don’t get paid an attorney fee.

Most personal injury lawyers receive a fee around 33 1/3 %, and up to 40%, when a case goes to trial. 

Our contingency fee depends on the facts of your case.

After we negotiate a settlement on your behalf or are successful at trial, the insurance companies send final documents to our office.

We will review and sign the final documents with you, and then the insurance company sends a final check to Coluccio Law in trust for you.

We deposit it into a trust escrow account, and then pay your outstanding bills, our fee, and your net settlement payment. The disbursements are only made after your approval.

We advance all court fees and all of the cost of the litigation.

While we can advance court and litigation costs, an injured person will need to continue to pay any medical bills not covered by their insurance, even when the injuries were not their fault.

When it is difficult or not possible to pay medical bills not covered, we work with the providers to assist our clients.

You can get a full itemization of your case costs any time you ask for it; otherwise, we will review it at the conclusion of your case.

We need to review the facts of your case before assessing the value. If you have been seriously injured, we will need opinions from your doctors and we may need expert witnesses to review the claim before we know the full value. If we are handling a wrongful death case, we will need to work with expert witnesses to assess the damages.

It is important to carefully assess all the details associated with a claim. A client cannot come back in the future and seek additional monies.

Please, be wary of any lawyer who would tell you what your case is worth before they know the facts.

Most medical providers will need to be paid before your case has concluded. You should tell your doctors that you have a lawyer, and sign any releases they need to be able to talk with us.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, you will likely have coverage through your automobile insurance policy.

If you have health insurance, once your automobile insurance coverage is exhausted, you should be covered as usual. Your automobile insurance carrier and health insurance company may need to be reimbursed out of any other insurance payments at the end of your case. Unfortunately, no personal injury lawyer can protect you from the enormous costs of doctors and hospital care.

Working with us

Questions about what you need to do to work with a lawyer

First and foremost, take care of yourself, your health and your family, and follow the recommendations of medical providers.

Please return our calls and emails promptly; we will do the same for you.

We will gather a lot of information from you initially; later, you may need to answer additional questions (interrogatories) or provide additional documents. Eventually, you may need to give a recorded statement under oath (deposition) or participate in mediation.

It depends on what is happening in your case. We check in with clients often, and notify you of developments, but we encourage you to get in touch if you have questions.

Yes. Call or email Kevin Coluccio, and he will respond as soon as possible.

Be aware that if he is in court, or taking a deposition, he may not return your call promptly, and it may be better to get in touch with his paralegal, Wanda.

It depends on a lot of factors: severity of injuries and future medical treatment, access to insurance policies, and other complications. Some cases can be concluded quickly, but others take several years.

To work with Coluccio Law, clients will need to sign a few basic documents.

  • A Contingency Fee Agreement that goes over when and how we will be reimbursed for our expenses and paid for our work.
  • A Release of Information that allows us to collect records on your behalf.
  • A HIPAA release so that we can collect medical records.

If we don’t have the time to fully work up your case the way it deserves, then we won’t take your case.

We are committed to providing each of our clients with the time and resources to successfully handle their case.

Filing a lawsuit

Questions about filing personal injury claims and lawsuits in Washington and Oregon

It depends on where you could file a lawsuit if your injury claim can’t be resolved.

All personal injury lawsuits have a “statute of limitations”, which varies by the state and the cause of the lawsuit.

A statute of limitations is a law (statute) limiting the time an injured person has to file a lawsuit.

In Washington State, most personal injury claims must be filed within 3 years after the date of the incident. However, there are exceptions depending on the type of claim, or the age of the victim, or other factors.

And in some cases, an injured person has to give notice of their intent to file a lawsuit in a very limited amount of time.

That’s why most attorneys recommend that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

That depends on the facts of your case. Sometimes, we file a lawsuit very quickly to protect a statute of limitations, or to push negotiations.

Not necessarily. We will discuss it with you first.

It is possible, but most lawsuits filed are resolved before going to a full trial.

Talk to a Lawyer

Attorney Kevin Coluccio has been helping injured citizens get justice since 1985.

He has helped hundreds of people get through a difficult process – find out if Coluccio Law can help you.