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Automobile Accidents

SKW's lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients who were injured in car accidents. Throughout the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett, Central Washington, and Eastern Washington regions, our clients have been awarded significant verdicts/settlements.*

America’s love of the automobile comes with a human price tag. Those in WA State are no different.

Our award winning attorneys have represented thousands of people seriously injured or killed in car crashes.

The tragedy of dealing with the aftermath of a crash does not end with the physical and emotional harm suffered.  The red tape of dealing with insurance companies and the person who caused the wreck, can be overwhelming.  One story we hear all the time is that the other person "admits fault."  But once their insurance company gets involved, they change their story.

Experienced car accident lawyers know how to watch for hidden traps that can jeopardize the case.  An example arises when there are more than two people who cause a crash.  One might admit fault and try to settle the claim.  But if settlement is accepted, then that destroys "joint and several liability".  This can have huge financial consequences.

Another trap involves figuring out which insurance policies apply and what limits are related.  In the Ethel Adams case, Farmers Insurance Company initially refused to pay benefits when Ms. Adams was almost killed in a road rage accident.  They said it wasn’t an "accident."  We filed suit and the public outrage was so great that the insurance company changed its mind.  Our firm lobbied for a new law dubbed "The Ethel Adams law" that now prevents insurance companies from denying innocent victims uninsured motorist benefits.

Police departments may have major automobile incident teams (MAIT). These investigations occur at all fatality and most catastrophic injury scenes.  Interpreting this data, or determining whether it is accurate requires sophisticated and expert analysis.  We have substantial resources that help us determine exactly what happened to cause a crash and why.  The causes can range from driver negligence, to driving under the influence or while impaired, to automobile defect or highway defect.  We consult with accident reconstructionists and safety engineers to make sure all the causes are properly identified.

At the same time, we assist our clients with navigating the healthcare system.  Our law firm is at the forefront of the legal community in understanding and dealing with complex medical subrogation (repayment) issues.  Car accident injury victims are often shocked to learn that the government and health insurers will make a claim on any financial recovery.  We pay close attention to this issue to protect our clients.  We have even sued the government to prevent it from taking too much of our client’s recovery.

*Each case is different. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes.

Caffery v. Brunner, et al.

(July 2009) $1,025,000 policy limits settlement with a trucking company and others for the wrongful death of a 47 year old husband and father who was killed when a semi-truck and trailer driver disregarded the dangers of a “brown-out” dust storm and ran into the deceased on I-90 while he was helping others in a… Read More

Samples v. Rockeries, Inc.

(January 2009) $2,940,000 judgment and settlement for wrongful death case by husband of 46 year old woman hit by runaway dump truck trailer.  Case included recovery of interest, attorney fees, and bad faith damages.

Stanton v. LeMay

(April 2008) $2,700,000 settlement for the deaths of two minor children who were passengers in a vehicle that rear-ended a recycling truck without proper under-ride protection guard that had stopped in the roadway.

Jane Doe v. XYZ Corporation

(March 2008) $2,650,000 confidential settlement for a traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle collision for the defective design and manufacture of a vehicle.

Sholtz v. Kuhn

(June 2007) $1,150,000 settlement for 61-year-old woman who suffered a comminuted and compound fracture of her leg when hit by a vehicle while traveling on a motorcycle.  Infections of the leg required extensive medical treatment.

Plaintiff v. Defendant

(April 2007) $3,700,000 settlement for death of a 46-year-old airline pilot husband father of two. Truck turned in front of his motorcycle.  Substantial comparative negligence issues.

Wade v. Pierce County

(December 2006) $1,250,000 settlement for death of a 12-year-old on a bicycle struck by a police vehicle.

Watson v. XYZ Corp.

(December 2006) $4,900,000 settlement for woman struck in face with a leaf spring that fell off a truck suspension system.  Closed head injury and facial disfigurement.

Forestier v. City of Vancouver

(November 2006) $6,050,000 settlement 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.

Meza v. United Tempering Systems/Meza

(November 2006) $1,525,000 settlement for a child injured in a motor vehicle crash when a truck barreled into another motor vehicle, resulting in a closed head injury.

Qamar v. Leonard Trucking, Inc.

(May 2006) $1,850,000 settlement for death of a 62-year-old UW professor when struck by a load of logs that fell off logging truck.

Wright v. Harris Trucking

(May 2006) $3,150,000 settlement for four members of the Wright family injured when a gasoline truck and double trailer crossed the center line and hit them head-on.

Messenger v. Electric Company

(May 2006) $2,100,000 policy limits partial settlement for a 12-year-old brain damaged boy who was a pedestrian hit by a van while crossing the street in an unmarked crosswalk.

Adams v. Testa

(November 2005) $2,000,000 settlement for UIM policy limits on behalf of a woman who suffered significant orthopedic injuries in an automobile crash. Additional sums were recovered for Farmers’ bad faith claims handling.

Stromberg v. Wiles

(August 2005)  $1,000,000 policy limits settlement for the death of a 57-year-old woman pedestrian hit by a pickup exiting a Bellevue garage.  She is survived by her spouse and three adult children.

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