Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

Passion for justice. Compassion for people.

Sometimes life reminds us just how much we take for granted. The simple things we enjoy doing. Quality time with the people we care about. When these things are taken away we realize how precious they are. That is what your personal injury case is "worth." We never forget this and channel these thoughts into a zealous pursuit of justice for you.

A personal injury case is ultimately not about law. It is about people. It is about needless suffering. Personal injury law is as much about genuine empathy as it is about lawyering. A big part of our philosophy is to treat clients as people, not mere cases.

As part of that commitment, an experienced personal injury attorney will personally handle your case from start to finish. You will never be handed off to a newbie or unlicensed "negotiator."

Safety and Convenience.

In response to the pandemic we prefer meeting by phone and/or online. Home or hospital visits are available if your injury prevents other methods.

No settlement, no attorney fee.

We do not get paid until you do. We handle personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you never pay an attorney fee unless and until the case is resolved in your favor and you receive monetary compensation for your injuries.

Statute of limitations.

Any claim, no matter how meritorious, must be initiated in court by filing and proper legal service of process before the applicable statute of limitations runs. Also, it is important to start gathering and preserving evidence early. Contact a personal injury attorney for a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation today.

 

Free personal injury case evaluation.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation personal injury case evaluation.

No attorney fee until you receive compensation for your injuries.

206-801-1188

$775,000 result in multi-car collision.

$775,000 result in multi-car collision after about two years of litigation.

Advocate Designation

National Institute for Trial Advocacy

“Do yourself a favor and use [Travis] Scott Eller as your attorney.”

Comment from former client posted on 01/18/2008.

$475,000 at mediation. Original offer of $150,000.

$475,000 settlement in mediation for client who lost her spleen and suffered other injuries in a motor vehicle accident. Original offer of $150,000.

"Travis works hard for his clients and is a bright lawyer."

Colleague endorsement, May 2012.

$82,500 settlement after client offered only $8,000 before hiring our attorney.

The insurance company offered only $8,000, an amount well less than his medical expenses.

He hired us. We settled the case for $82,500 without having to go to court.

"The attendees rated your presentation as Excellent."

- Feedback from a continuing legal education seminar company.

May 03, 2013.

$52,500 slip and fall in supermarket.

The supermarket offered only about $4,000, less than the medical bills inured after surgery.

We filed a lawsuit and the store ultimately settled for $52,500--more than ten times their offer before we sued.

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Personal Injury Law Pocket Briefs

Short Outlines on Personal Injury Law

While the roots of personal injury law trace all the way back to England, personal injury law in the United States varies a great deal by state and sometimes even at the local level. These summaries of Washington personal injury law are meant to be informative, and hopefully even entertaining (or at least not boring) but by no means exhaustive or comprehensive.

It is of course no substitute for legal advice. This disclaimer is ubiquitous on personal injury websites for a reason. While it is helpful to educate yourself, always consult with an attorney before acting (or failing to act).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a personal injury attorney can do for you.

A personal injury attorney will

  • Gather and preserve evidence including vehicle black boxes, witness statements, surveillance videos, store and preserve the vehicle, and issue subpoenas.
  • Retain medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and other experts.
  • Negotiate a settlement with strategies to maximize your personal injury compensation, gleaned from years of experience and training.
  • If settlement negotiations fail, file the personal injury case in court with appropriate motions and other litigation strategies to put you in the best position to continue negotiations or if need be successfully litigate the personal injury claim.
    • Most cases settle even if filed in court. Hiring an attorney does not mean you will have to go to court.
    • Being treating unfairly by insurance companies causes you to have to go to court. If you have an attorney, they fear you.
  • Review all insurance coverage (including your own) to ensure you are treated fairly and are fully compensated. Even though you do not pay the attorney until you are financially compensated, as part of the settlement you may be entitled to partial reimbursement from your own insurance company for the attorney contingency fee.

Personal injury attorneys do not charge fees upfront, but how is the money split when there is a settlement?

Almost all personal injury attorneys (including our office) charge a contingency fee, meaning you pay no attorney fee unless and until the attorney successfully recovers money damages for the injury claim. There are other factors in personal injury attorney fees to consider.

In most personal injury cases there are liens for medical bills, even if your insurance paid the medical bills. This is called "subrogation" in legal speak, and will often by law and/or your insurance contract come out of the settlement. Some attorneys charge an additional fee on these liens. How the personal injury attorney handles liens varies from one attorney to the next, and can make a big difference in how much ends up in your pocket. It can quite literally pay to ask.

Each side usually pays their own attorney but in some litigation scenarios, the at-fault party or their insurance company may owe part of your attorney fees-even if the fee is a contingency fee. The fee agreement with your attorney should spell out how this money is allocated, and this varies from one personal injury attorney to another.

Even though an attorney charges no upfront fees, how the details are handled vary from one law firm to the next and can make a big difference in how much of the personal injury settlement goes to you. When choosing a personal injury attorney, before signing the fee agreement read it carefully and ask questions about how liens and fee-shifting are handled in the fee agreement.

Personal Injury Practice Areas

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Auto Accidents

We have been honored and privileged to represent people injured in auto accidents for more than twenty years. Our cases include past and current clients who suffered catastrophic injuries requiring emergency surgery.

The photos below are not stock photos. Our clients were seriously injured in these collisions. Call 206-801-1188 for a free case evaluation. We are working remotely. No office visit is required.

Pedestrian Accidents

For obvious reasons, pedestrian accidents are especially dangerous and often result in serious injury. We have represented pedestrian accident victims whose lives were forever altered.

Our clients have included people walking home to or from work in their normal work attire, but the insurance companies tried to blame them (as they are fond of doing) for wearing clothes that were "too dark."

We obtained a six-figure settlement for a client who was "jay-walking" in an unmarked crosswalk at night and as a result of concussion could not remember the accident.

Call us at 206-801-1188 for a free case evaluation. No office visit is necessary.

Airplane Accident Injury

In addition to tragic air travel catastrophes that make the news, air travelers are injured by luggage falling from overhead, beverage carts, and scalding liquids.

Air travel is governed by a complex web of US and international laws. Speak to an attorney to help untangle that web. Call 206-801-1888 for a no-obligation no-cost case evaluation. No office visit is necessary.

 

Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance companies are not on your side.

Insurance companies are on their shareholders’ side, not yours–but do not just take our word for it:

“I ripped off a lot of people and I feel bad about that….My goal at the time was to save [the insurance company] money, not settle claims for what the case was worth.”

–An adjuster for a major insurance company as quoted in the Wall Street Journal. 

Insurance companies hire legions of lawyers and investigators to resists personal injury claims. You need someone on your side.  If you are an injury victim, you need a personal injury attorney to review your case and advise you. We offer a free, no-obligation personal injury case evaluation.

Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Slip and fall, or premises liability, are among the most challenging personal injury cases for an injured person to bring. The retail businesses and their insurance companies fight even the most meritorious slip and fall claims. Some colleagues do not accept these types of cases.

We have successfully pursued slip and fall claims, including for clients who underwent surgeries as a result of their injuries. We are happy to go over your claim in a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. No office visit is necessary.

Call 206-801-1188.

Bicycle Accidents

As cycling has become more popular in recent decades bicycle injury accident have become more common. Cars frequently hit bicyclists. Road or trail designs often present avoidable hazards that cause injury.

 

Tenant Personal Injury

Travis Eller has taught numerous landlord-tenant legal education seminars attended by other attorneys and has litigated landlord-tenant and personal injury cases for decades. Our firm is deeply experienced in both landlord-tenant and personal injury law.

If you are a tenant who has suffered an avoidable personal injury, we can help.

Personal Injury FAQs

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Even though there are no fees unless and until there is a settlement, how personal injury attorneys handle subrogation and other liens differ and can have a big impact on how much compensation you receive from the personal injury settlement.

You have a right to understand the fee agreement before signing it, and attorneys have legal and ethical obligations to treat you fairly and answer your questions about how the settlement fees work.

The seriousness of an injury and legal responsibility for the injury are two different questions.

Liability for injury is sometimes a hotly contested issue, even though it may seem obvious to you who was at fault.

Hiring an attorney shows you are serious. Showing you are serious is the only way you will be treated fairly.

Most cases do not go to trial, even if filed in court. Having said that, you must be prepared to go to trial if necessary, and you must show it.

The stark reality is that the insurance industry looks at your claim as a cost item in their business ledger. Only if they fear your personal injury claim will they make a fair and reasonable offer. They only fear your personal injury claim if you show you are ready to go to court if you must.

The surest and fastest path to a full and fair out of court settlement is to show you are ready to go all the way if you have to. Showing you are willing to litigate the case is the best way, sometimes the only way, to assure a fair and just result without having to go to trial. And that is the reason you hire a lawyer.

Contact us for a free personal injury case evaluation.

Not necessarily.

The right of way is important, and if there is no genuine dispute about who had the right of way that is a big deal. But, it may not be the whole deal.

Washington courts hold that the right of way is “relative rather than absolute.” Both the favored driver (the one with the right of way) and the disfavored driver (the one lacking the right of way) must exercise ordinary care.

The favored driver may by law assume other drivers will yield unless and until a point a driver exercising reasonable care would realize that the disfavored driver is not going to yield.

Fault is comparative, meaning both drivers could be found partly at fault under the facts of a particular case.

Sometimes fault is cut-and-dried. Sometimes it’s not, even if you have the right of way.

Just because you signed a release or waiver might not mean you do not have a personal injury case. As is often true of legal questions, the short answer is: it depends.

The legalese explanation is that a waiver is not enforceable if it violates public policy, or it is inconspicuous (it is in the “fine print.”).

Parents cannot waive the claims of minors in consent agreements.

Landlords cannot use hold harmless provisions to avoid liability for failure to maintain the property.

There are many other situations in Washington in which courts will not enforce hold harmless agreements. Read our pocket brief on hold harmless agreements, or for advice about your circumstances contact our office for a free personal injury case evaluation.

The short answer is, it depends. If you are injured at someone else’s fault you have a legal right to fair and just compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are subjective and will depend on how the injury has impacted your life. Can you enjoy the same hobbies and activities? Has your day-to-day life changed? How so? Do you require assistance?

Only after an attorney takes times to get to know your case, and more importantly gets to know you, can a meaningful number be put on the case value.

No face-to-face meeting is required. While we can come to you if your injury prevents travel, you can also choose to speak to us via phone and/or online, and complete all paperwork electronically.

Insurance companies frequently challenge injury claims, including the medical bills. The at-fault party’s insurance company or even your own insurance company might challenge the amounts your doctor charged, or hire a doctor to challenge whether all the treatment was medically necessary. This can be rather frustrating to someone just following doctor’s orders and trying to get better.

If the insurance companies fight even the medical bills, it should be no surprise that they often resist full, fair, and reasonable compensation for all legitimate damages.

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Updates

Claims Against Family Members

There is no family tort immunity in Washington.[1] Also, insurance policies that exclude coverage for injury caused by family members are unenforceable under Washington law.[2] The same is true for insurance policy exclusions of family members for UIM coverage.[3]

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Liability for Injuries for Serving Alcohol

Prior to 1955 Washington had a “Dramshop Act” which provided a civil cause of action to injury victims who were injured by an intoxicated person against any person who, by providing intoxicating liquors, caused the intoxication. [1] In 1955, the Legislature repealed that act. [2] Under current law [3] liability may not apply for serving […]

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Comparative Fault in Washington

Until 1973 Washington followed a rule of contributory negligence under which is an injury victim was partially at fault, even partially, this was a complete defense to the injury claim. This lead to many harsh results and exceptions to the rule.[1] A comparative negligence statute went into effect in 1974 that eliminated the contributory negligence […]

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Drunk Drivers and Personal Injury Claims

Generally under Washington personal injury law there is no per se (i.e. “automatic”) negligence.[1] Personal injury as a result of driving under the influence is an exception.[2]

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Liability of Minors for Personal Injury Claims

Many assume that parents are “automatically” liable for damages caused by their children. Washington personal injury law is not so simple.

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Traffic Citations and Fault

Many assume that a driver involved in an automobile accident who is cited by police is automatically liable. Under Washington tort law this is not true.

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Subrogation and the Made Whole Rule

Insurance carriers typically have the right to be reimbursed under the insurance company’s right of subrogation when their insured recovers from an at fault party. In Washington the injury victim must first be made whole before the injured person’s insurance company is entitled to be reimbursed. [1] This means that if an injury victim recovers […]

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The Family Car Doctrine

A parent is liable for injury caused by a family member driver (typically a minor) if The vehicle is owned, provided, or maintained by a parent for the general use, pleasure, and convenience of family members a family member for whom the vehicle is maintained was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, […]

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Negligence

Negligence With some narrow exceptions, to recover for an injury an inured person in Washington must established that another party was at fault, or negligent. Negligence has four elements. [1] 1. A duty 2. Breach of the duty 3. Proximate cause 4. Injury/damages The injured person bears the burden of alleging and proving all four […]

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