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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.

Homewood v. Aaby, et al.

(1995) $2,550,000 settlement for paralysis of a young woman from an auto collision plus an additional undisclosed amount from Toyota for a seat belt design failure.

Greene v. Pierce County

(1994) $5,466,878.23 verdict for 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. Second largest personal injury jury verdict in the history of the County at the time.

Fraser v. Beutel

(1987) $6,149,641.34 verdict for alcohol over-serving and negligent entrustment of a vehicle.  Young mother suffered a severe head injury.  The largest personal injury jury award in the history of Kittitas County. Also, $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… Read More

Ethel Adams v. Farmers Insurance Co.

This car accident injury case is just one of many that demonstrates the need to have an excellent attorney represent an injured party when dealing with an insurance company. Not only did Ethel Adams have to deal with life threatening injuries, she had to negotiate with a double-talking insurance company. Ethel Adams was happily delivering… Read More

Van Lear v. State of Washington, et al.

Keith and Lisa Van Lear were severely and permanently injured at the intersection of State Route 2 and Flint Road near the Spokane Airport, the site of several crashes over the years. The State’s overarching duty is to provide the travelling public with a reasonably safe road.  The State of Washington also has a duty… Read More

Owen v. State of Washington

Seattle, Wash – The family members who survived the December 21, 2012 tree fall incident on U.S. 2 have settled their claims against the State of Washington for $10 million. NOTE: The following is the Owen family press release (September 5, 2014, 11 AM): In the days leading up to the tragedy, a combination of… Read More

Glantz v. City of Lynnwood

“You may trod me in the dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” ~ Maya Angelou. Sharla Glantz was a senior citizen, living in senior housing in Lynwood Washington. When the housing facility was built, a lighted crosswalk warning system was required to be installed by the City.  The crosswalk system warned motorist that the… Read More

Schneider v. Major Car Manufacturer

Following her typical evening routine, Marissa Schneider left home for work, driving her 1991 vehicle southbound on road in Snohomish County. At about 7 pm, a van was driving northbound on the same road. The driver of that van was looking for a specific address, intending to turn left. That driver changed lanes into the… Read More

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