Where can I find a good inexpensive lawyer in washington state?

I was in a hit and run a few months back, it was in a drive thru. I bumped the car in front of me, there was little to no damage. The owners of the car both got out and were coming to my window threating me. I felt in fear for my life so I left the scene, I know that is the worst thing to do but I really felt I had no choice and I was so scared. These people are now trying to sue me for 20,700. I lost my job a few months back due to medical issues and I have nothing for them. Basically I’m just looking for advice as to what I can/ should do in my situation.

Asked on July 10, 2017 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An inexpensive lawyer will still typically cost you $3,000 or more for a case like this (that is based on $150/hour, which is a low rate for an attorney, and 20 hours of work, which is a low estimate of hours; $150 x 20 = $3,000) and will typically ask for a retainer (money in advance) of at least that much. And depending on how strong the case is against you, you could pay that money and still lose, and therefore have to pay the other side, too.
If you have little or now money, and if you also have few valuable assets (e.g. you don't own a home, but rather rent), bankruptcy might be a good option for you if they get a judgment against you. You could initially defend yourself "pro se" as your own attorney--not recommended, but if you can't afford an attorney, you can't afford one. They will have to prove that you were at fault in causing the accident (which, unfortunately, you most likely were, if you bumped the car in front of you) and that you caused the $20,700 of injuries, costs, or damage (which may be more difficult for them, since that sounds like an excessive amount for a light hit--they may be claiming for damage or injuries caused some other time; if they can't prove all those "damages," they can only get the ones which they can prove you caused) to get a judgment against you; since the burden of proof, or obligation to prove their case, is on them, it is possible they will fail and you will win even if you don't have a lawyer helping you. And if you do lose and they get a judgment, bankruptcy works against judgments in cases like this. 
So you may wish to have an initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, to see if bankruptcy would be a viable option for you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.