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$1.5+M Wrongful Death Settlement

Overview of Case

Our two clients were traveling down SR 522 from Bothell with plans to visit their grandkids in Monroe. In certain sections, the road had only one lane in each direction. A car coming from the opposite direction entered our clients’ lane and struck their car head-on. One client died on impact, the other died shortly after.


Proving Roadway Design Negligence

We were able to pursue a negligent roadway design case because, in this particular section of SR 522, there were repeated similar collisions at the same curve.  Further,  the state approved the funds to install dividers between the two lanes, yet they were never installed. Had the dividers been installed, the accident never would have happened, and two lives would have been saved. The wrongful death claims settled for $1.5M, in addition to other compensation received from several car insurance policies.


How to Secure Compensation

Each case against the government turns on specific facts because of the requirement to show that the government knew or should have known that the collision would occur.  Meeting this burden of proof and seeking compensation requires diligent and persistent effort to gather as much information as possible about similar collisions in that same location, etc.

Once that hurdle is overcome, various experts need to be brought on board to help establish the liability aspect of the case, such as accident reconstructionists, road design experts, and more. After liability experts are retained, and evidence about the claimant’s damages is secured, the Notice of Claim can be sent to the government.

In this particular case, the driver who caused the collision had a $25,000 per person state minimum policy. Our client’s car also had an underinsured motorist (UIM) policy of $100,000 per person.  Together with the government’s settlement of $1.5M and UIM compensation of $200,000, we reached a total settlement of $1.7+M.


Dealing with a Car Accident and No Insurance

Getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming experience, but the situation can be more stressful if you don’t have insurance. I have successfully settled compensation claims for car accident victims with no insurance.

However, it is crucial that you remain calm and always these essential steps to take to ensure that you are protected.

Here are five critical steps to follow in this situation:

Remain Calm and Don’t Admit Fault

Remember to remain calm and avoid arguing with the other driver. Exchange information, but don’t admit fault.


Call the Police Immediately

Remember to call the police, even if you don’t have insurance. The police report can be helpful in future legal proceedings or insurance claims.


Document the Accident in Detail

When involved in a car accident, be sure to document the following:

  • Take pictures of the damage caused to both vehicles
  • Capture images of the license plates involved
  • Capture the surrounding area to provide context
  • Take down the other driver’s information for future reference


Why You Should Always Seek Medical Assitance?

I strongly advise all my car accident clients to seek medical attention regardless of the seriousness of the injuries.

In fact, seeking medical attention after an accident is crucial, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and only a medical professional can assess your physical condition accurately.


Case-Specific Challenges Faced

In this particular case, both clients were in their mid to late 70s.  That created a potential argument as to how long they would have lived if the collision did not occur, which would diminish the value of their claims.  Additionally, there was the potential argument that our driver-client could have done more to avoid the collision, thereby significantly reducing the level of compensation his estate would receive thru the claim.

Through support from our client’s adult children and medical records, both were shown to be in good prior health with the expectation that both would have met or exceeded the average age as stated on the mortality tables.

The accident reconstruction expert was able to demonstrate that our driver-client acted reasonably in his actions and that he, therefore, had no fault in the cause of the collision.


Compensation for Damages Sustained

In a wrongful death claim, the beneficiaries of the estate can maintain the claim on behalf of the decedent for some or all of the following, depending on specific facts:  the decedent’s collision-related medical expenses, loss of financial support, loss of emotional support, pre-death pain and suffering, loss of consortium and more.


Family Members Can Be Compensated

Human life matters.  And time on Earth is already short, let alone when it is made shorter thru the negligent actions of someone else.  Family members of accident victims who died in a collision should be compensated for the loss of their loved one, which acknowledges the value of the decedent to his / her family and can bring some form of closure to all.


Free Consultation

Contact me directly today to discuss how we can support your family thru a wrongful death claim and work to provide your family member the recognition he or she deserves thru the legal process.   Know your rights and have your questions answered today.  My focus for the past 20+ years is to secure high-level compensation for car accident victims. I am here to support you and your family.


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