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Recent Injury Law Blog Posts

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Posted on 3 February 2016

Today, King County Superior Court Judge Samuel Chung granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification against Defe... Read more

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Brain Injury Attorneys

Brain Injuries

Client Marissa sustained traumatic brain injury.

Our award-winning lawyers have successfully represented numerous brain injury clients in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett region and throughout Washington State.

Traumatic brain injury, also known as intracranial injury, occurs when an outside force severely injures the brain. TBI can result from numerous factors, including sudden, violent impact, or an object piercing the brain tissue. Brain injuries are classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the location and extent of the injury. Even in the absence of an impact, significant acceleration or deceleration of the head can cause TBI; however in most cases a combination of impact and acceleration or deceleration is to blame. Forces involving cranial impact, also known as contact or impact loading, are the cause of most focal injuries, which send shock waves through the skull and brain, resulting in tissue damage. Movement of the brain within the skull, termed non-contact or inertial loading, is most often the cause of diffuse head injuries.

Mild TBI is accompanied by a wide variety of symptoms, including headache, confusion, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, dizziness, adversely affected vision, amnesia, ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, cognitive deficits, fatigue, change in sleeping patterns, concussions, and behavioral modifications.

Moderate to severe TBI may have more drastic symptoms, such as seizures, slurred speech, numbness or loss of control of extremities, intense headaches and nausea, dilated pupils, loss of coordination, or extreme agitation, mood swings, and confusion.

Unfortunately, little can be done to reverse the damage done by severe impact and trauma to the brain. However, individuals with signs of TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible in order to undergo imaging tests.

Severe trauma to the brain is not always avoidable. However, there are steps that can help reduce the chances of you or a loved one suffering from a traumatic brain injury. These include always wearing a seatbelt while in a vehicle, properly securing children in the appropriate safety seats and in the correct location in the car depending on age, refraining from driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, safely storing handguns away from children and separately from bullets, wearing a helmet while riding a bike or motorcycle, while skiing or engaging in contact sports, and while on the job, exercising to improve coordination and balance, and maintaining adequate guardrails and safety features in homes.

The most common causes of TBI include falls, motor vehicle collisions, job related injuries, and recreational activities. In the U.S., falls account for 28% of TBI, motor vehicle (MV) collisions for 20%, being struck by an object for 19%, violence for 11%, and non-MV bicycle accidents for 3%. Recent estimates attribute between 1.6 and 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries each year to sports and recreation activities within the United States. In children aged two to four, falls are the most common cause of TBI. Falls continue to be a major cause of TBI in older children as well, accompanied by bicycle and automobile accidents.  

Traumatic brain injuries present unique challenges to families and injured victims. At SKW, we have successfully litigated numerous TBI cases, and have developed professional contacts within the medical community that are essential elements of lawsuits involving brain injuries. We understand the exceptional emotional toll brain injuries can have on victims, and are prepared to use our resources to bring justice to those suffering from brain damage as a result of the negligence of another.

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Representative Cases of SKW's Brain Injury Cases

The below list is a small sample of the many successes that our lawyers have had in Seattle, King County, and throughout Washington State.

  • A $2.65 million confidential settlement in March 2008 for a traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle collision for the defective design and manufacture of a vehicle. 
  • A $2.9 million settlement in December 2007 for injuries suffered when a vehicle ran into a motorcycle.
  • A $4.9 million settlement in December 2006 for woman struck in face with a leaf spring that fell off a truck suspension system.  Closed head injury and facial disfigurement. 
  • A $6.05 million settlement in November 2006 for a French foreign exchange student who was a pedestrian hit by a vehicle while crossing Fort Vancouver Way on her way to school.  The City failed to provide proper lighting for the crossing.  She suffered a traumatic brain injury.
  • A $1.525 million settlement in November 2006 for a child injured in a motor vehicle crash when a truck barreled into another motor vehicle, resulting in a closed head injury.
  • A $3.5 million jury verdict in October 2006 for a traumatic brain injury victim who rear-ended a truck lacking proper warning/flashing lights.
  • A $3.2 million settlement in June 2006 for client who suffered a brain injury in a fall from a window.
  • A $4.3 million settlement in May 2005 for skull fractures, TBI and partial blindness following car crash.
  • A $1.575 million settlement in September 2004 for client who suffered a brain injury in a fall from a window.
  • A $1.5 million (policy limits) settlement in August 2003 for a college student who suffered a closed head injury in an auto crash.
  • A $1.75 million settlement in May 2003 for a carpenter struck by a counterweight on a crane while sitting in a sanican, resulting in a closed head injury with resulting seizures.
  • A $2.9 million settlement in 2007 for a moderate brain injury caused by a motorcycle crash.
  • A $1 million settlement in April 2003 for a moderate brain injury caused in a collision resulting from a lack of a highway median barrier.
  • A $1.6 million (policy limits) settlement in 2003 for a college student who suffered a closed head injury in an auto crash.
  • A $1.6 million settlement in 2003 for a woman, her husband and two children who suffered partial loss of kidney function and closed head injury consequences from an auto crash.
  • An $8.5 million settlement in December 2002 for a brain injury anesthesia case.
  • A $1.25 million settlement in January 2002 for a woman pedestrian with a closed head injury from being hit by a cab.
  • A $6.35 million settlement in June 2001 for negligence and failure to provide traffic signals at a busy intersection causing a traumatic brain injury.
  • A $2.16 million (policy limits) settlement in April 2001 for a closed-head and other injuries to a pedestrian hit by a van and then a car.
  • A $500,000 settlement (policy limits) in 2001 for a woman with a closed head injury from hitting the windshield in an auto crash.
  • A $2 million settlement in 1999 against soccer goal manufacturer and school district for defects in goal which fell on Plaintiff while doing chinups, resulting in significant traumatic brain injury.
  • A $2.5 million settlement in 1998 for failure to properly design a crosswalk at a school crossing, resulting in traumatic brain injury.
  • A $3.25 million settlement in 1996 against a major national manufacturer for failure to have a safety device on a piece of industrial equipment for the benefit of a worker who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
  • A jury verdict in federal court in 1996 for $2.9 million against a railroad for a woman who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and orthopedic injuries when the vehicle she was riding in was struck by a train.  (Bartel)
  • A jury verdict for $5,466,878.23 in Pierce County Superior Court, 1994.  Second largest personal injury jury verdict in the history of the County at the time.  Highway design case for failure to have a stop sign at a railroad crossing.  Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury and was blinded in the crash. 
  • A $2.825 million settlement in 1992 for bad faith of an insurance company arising out of an auto collision resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury. 
  • A verdict for $6,149,641.34 in Kittitas County Superior Court, 1987.  The largest personal injury jury award in the history of the County.  Alcohol over-serving and negligent entrustment of a vehicle.  Young mother suffered a severe brain injury. 
  • A $1,702,641 settlement from two of four defendants for a young woman hit by a drunk driver who had been over-served in a cocktail lounge and a liquor store.
  • A$1.15 million settlement in 1986.  Defect in roadway design and maintenance.  Resulted in traumatic brain injury.
  • A jury verdict for $10 million in Grays Harbor County Superior Court, 1983.  For 11 years it stood as the largest personal injury verdict in the state and still stands as one of the largest personal injury jury awards in Washington State court history.  Product liability case for failure to provide a kill switch.  Fifteen-year-old plaintiff rendered a spastic quadriplegic from a traumatic brain injury.