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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.

Wilbur/Johnson v. Lutton Trucking, Inc.

(April 2005) $1,700,000 settlement for badly fractured hip that required a hip replacement for a 23-year-old young man who also suffered from PTSD and depression as a result of the crash.

Virnig v. a Safeco insured

(August 2003) $1,500,000 policy limits settlement for a college student who suffered a closed head injury in an auto crash.

Doe v. Doe

(July 2003).  A $1,500,000 settlement for a woman who lost 75% of the function of one kidney and 25% of the other in an auto crash.

Morales v. “Yellow Cab”

(January 2002) $1,250,000 settlement for a woman pedestrian with a closed head injury from being hit by a cab.

Peck v. King County

(May 2001) $1,000,000 settlement for contracting CIDP from a tetanus shot given in the ordinary course of necessary medical treatment as a result of a motorcycle/deputy sheriff vehicle collision.

Molitor v. Heaverlo

(May 2001) $1,660,000 (policy limits) settlement plus additional contingent payments for a 23-year-old T-4 paraplegic injured in a vehicle rollover.

Lau v. Crew Shuttle, Inc.

(April 2001) $2,160,000 (policy limits) settlement for a closed-head and other injuries to a pedestrian hit by a van and then a car.

Legier v. Mason County

(1999) $1,750,000 settlement for failure to properly maintain roads.  Resulted in deaths of two children.

Yielding v. Klingler

(1998) $1,150,000 (policy limits) settlement for significant lower leg circulation problem from auto collision.

Gould v. Westgate

(1998) $1,200,000 settlement for partial loss of colon and back fractures in auto collision.

Gray v. City of Shelton

(1998) $2,500,000 settlement for failure to properly design crosswalk at school crossing.  Resulted in traumatic brain injury.

Bartel v. Burlington Northern RR

(1997) $2,933,631.92 verdict for railroad crossing case for 47-year-old female cosmetologist who suffered multiple fractures and mild traumatic brain injury.

Jackson v. WSU

(1997) $2,525,000 settlement for loss of arm and temporary paralysis of legs in an auto rollover.

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