Washington State Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers
A head injury can result in permanent disability, seizures, memory loss, headaches, loss of taste or smell, double vision, speech impairments, anxiety, depression, personality changes, coma, and even death. The leading causes of head injuries include traffic accidents, slip and fall accidents, sports injuries, and construction accidents, among others. In other words, this type of injury is no laughing matter.
If you experience a brain injury, for example, you might not even notice obvious symptoms for some time after the accident. This means that you might not even find it easy to trace your symptoms to the accident that caused it. It might also be difficult to identify the culprit – was it caused by a traffic accident, by medical treatment after the accident, or by both?
Head and Brain Injury Cases Are Complex, but Winnable
At Brett McCandlis Brown, our lawyers have handled many such cases before; we have won six-figure – and even seven-figure – verdicts and settlements for our clients. We will take special steps to identify the extent of your injury, identify its real cause, and determine the extent of its effect on your life – both now and in the future.
It is critical in such cases that you accurately calculate your total long-term losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages, even decades into the future. This can be a complex process, but it is necessary – you need to demand as much compensation as you really need, because you won’t be able to ask for more later. In no aspect is quality legal representation more critically important.
We settle the vast majority of our cases out of court. If the other side insists on being stubborn, however, we are ready to win a courtroom battle, as we have done on many occasions. Insurance companies know this, and most of them don’t want to mess with us in court. This, in turn, renders them quite a bit more reasonable at the settlement table once they find out we are involved in your case.
We Get Results
- We obtained a $1.75 million settlement for a victim of a head injury that occurred in a rollover accident. More than two-thirds of this amount was for lost earnings, even though the victim was 56 years old at the time of the crash.
- We settled a case for $3.5 million against a railroad company on behalf of a railroad worker who was hit by a train, even though the victim was partly at fault for the accident.
These are only two of a multitude of favorable outcomes that we have achieved for our clients. Check out the rest of our website for further examples.
Types of Cases We Handle
Car accidents: Car accidents trigger more personal injury lawsuits than any other cause of injury, with the possible exception of slip and fall accidents. A car accident can be caused by an incompetent or intoxicated driver, a malfunctioning auto part, or even a broken traffic light.
Drunken driving accidents: A criminal conviction will punish an intoxicated driver who causes an accident, but it is unlikely to result in full compensation for you. Fortunately, it is just as possible to sue a drunk driver as it is to prosecute one – and it is easier to win.
Wrongful death: A wrongful death occurs when a personal injury victim dies as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct. Damages are usually divided among close relatives, and they are usually comparable to the damages awarded in catastrophic personal injury cases. Car accidents, defective drugs, and medical malpractice can trigger a wrongful death lawsuit.
Bicycle accidents: A bicyclist is invisible to many motorists who are not anticipating the presence of a bicycle on the road. For this reason, a great many traffic accidents involving bicycles are the fault of a motorist, not the bicyclist. We know how to trace the true cause of an accident.
Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists are just as vulnerable as bicyclists, but typically travel at much higher speeds. Even when the rider is wearing a helmet, death and serious personal injury are common. Serious injury can occur when you make no actual physical contact with the motorist (when a motorist runs you off the road, for example).
Trucking accidents: An 18-wheeler truck is like a rolling missile that is difficult to control, especially on twisting two-lane highways. Truckers, however, are heavily regulated, and a regulatory violation can form the basis for a personal injury or wrongful death claim if it causes an accident.
Defective drugs: Three types of drug defects can trigger a product liability lawsuit: A design defect, a manufacturing defect, and a failure to warn of significant dangers (that it should not be taken by people with heart problems, for example). Product liability lawsuits can be easier to win than other personal injury lawsuits.
Other types of accidents. Theoretically, any type of injury can trigger a personal injury lawsuit as long as it was caused by someone else’s misconduct. You might be able to sue a bar, for example, if their bouncer unjustly attacked you, or sue a grocery store for failure to clean a slippery floor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the common symptoms of a brain injury?
Some of the most common symptoms of brain injury include:
- Depression and mood changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Sleeping difficulties
What is “Maximum Medical Improvement” (MMI)?
You reach Maximum Medical Improvement when your doctor confirms that you have improved about as much as you are ever going to. This doesn’t mean that you don’t still suffer from long-term disability. You may need to reach MMI in order to properly calculate the amount of your damages claim.
What kind of damages might I be eligible for?
Following is a list of the most common categories of damages in serious injury cases:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Past, present, and future lost earnings
- Incidental expenses, such as travel and child care
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish (the intangible suffering you may experience due to, for example, being unable to walk or bathe yourself without assistance)
Must a claim be abandoned if the victim dies?
No. The death of the victim simply converts a personal injury claim into a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim can be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate, or by certain eligible close relatives. The recovery is likely to be substantial, and most or all of it usually goes to close relatives.
What is the statute of limitations for a brain injury lawsuit?
In Washington, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, or three years from the date that you knew or should have known of the injury – whichever date is later. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you have three years from the date of the victim’s death.
Can the IRS tax my verdict or settlement?
The general answer is no, not even compensation for lost earnings. As long as you suffered a tangible physical injury, the IRS also cannot tax you for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering (isn’t it nice to know that the IRS cannot tax your suffering?). There are exceptions in certain situations, however, so check with your lawyer.
Is my claim worthless if my injury was caused by an accident that was partly my fault?
Not necessarily. Under Washington state’s comparative fault rules, when an accident is partly your fault, your compensation is reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. If the accident was 35 percent your fault, for example, you would lose 35 percent of your damages (but you might have to pay 35 percent of the other party’s damages).
Should I make a recorded statement to the insurance company?
Not without consulting with your lawyer first. The insurance company – whether it is your own or another party’s – makes money by denying or minimizing your claim, and they are very good at manipulating accident victims into making statements that can be used against them later. We know all their tricks.
The Decision is Yours to Make
A catastrophic injury is no occasion to settle for amateur or even mediocre legal representation. We have recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements over the years, and we win 97 percent of our cases. We are so confident in our ability to do the same for you that, if we take your case, you will not owe us a penny until and unless we win your case. That’s right – if we don’t win, you don’t pay.
At Brett McCandlis Brown, fighting for people like you is why we exist – it’s what we do all day, every day. Personal injury is not a “division” of our firm – it is what we do and it is all we do. Let us handle the compensation issues while you concentrate on putting your life back together.
Make it Happen Today
If you have suffered a head or brain injury that you believe was someone else’s fault, or even if you suspect that you have suffered this type of injury, contact us today at 1-800-925-1875, or fill out our online contact form so that we can contact you to schedule a free consultation and evaluate your options.