Countryman Law took over a case to represent a fault-free passenger. She had been involved in a side-swipe collision involving two drivers who each pointed a finger at the other for causing the wreck. One driver carried a $25,000 liability policy, while the other held a $1 million policy. The initial attorney for the injured woman was representing the fault-free passenger and her driver. Doing so created a conflict of interest banning that attorney from using laws in Washington to help the victim fully recover.
Washington State’s Joint Tortfeasor Rule:
Washington State follows the principle of “joint and several liability” for personal injury cases. Joint and several liability means that if multiple parties are found to be at fault for an injury or accident, each party can be held individually responsible for the full amount of damages, regardless of their respective degrees of fault. In the case at hand, we needed to who 1% fault on the $1M policy-holder in order to access funds from that policy. The catch, however, is that to obtain the use of joint and several liability, all potential negligent drivers must be in the lawsuit.
Heading Down the Wrong Legal Path:
In this case, before Countryman Law took over, only one negligent driver was involved in the lawsuit. The prior attorney faced a conflict of interest because they represented both the blameless passenger and the driver of her car. An attorney cannot represent and sue the same person. If the case had proceeded to trial against only one of the two potentially at-fault drivers, the victim might have received only a fraction of her deserved compensation or none at all.
However, there’s no justification for a fault-free victim not receiving full compensation for her injuries. This victim required the understanding of an experienced attorney to 1) explain the law and 2) secure access to the $1 million insurance policy. At Countryman Law, we accomplished both, resulting in a just settlement to aid this injured woman.
In what became one of the most talked-about cases in recent times (Dennis v. The State of Washington), a life-long mountaineer and retired Boeing engineer in her 60s found herself at the center of a serious multi-car collision. The accident, caused by a state driver and subsequently investigated by the State of Washington, saw her involved in a legal battle filled with disputes over liability. Already having a history of neck pain, this traumatic incident exacerbated her symptoms, necessitating multiple nerve ablations in the cervical spine. The real result was that her previously adventurous, outdoorsy lifestyle had been curtailed dramatically.
Where other law firms might have solely banked on medical reports and prior health records, Countryman Injury Law delved deep into the very essence of what made our client’s life extraordinary before the accident. By meticulously collating hiking diaries, photographs, and even gathering compelling testimonies from friends and family, our legal team painted a vivid picture of her life pre-collision.
While MRI scans might not have shown a significant difference, the tangible evidence of a once-vibrant mountaineer now restricted due to the collision was irrefutable. Our firm’s ability to transcend conventional evidentiary techniques and highlight the emotional and lifestyle impact was the linchpin that ensured justice was served. As a result of the strategic intervention of Countryman Injury Law, the case provided our client with $778,000.00 in compensation, and the justice she deserved.
The Marriott Hotel built and maintained a defective entry ramp that tripped our elderly client leading to severe injury. Our client was 97 years old at the time of her fall and suffered a broken nose, shoulder, and a traumatic brain injury. Of course, the hotel argued that her age was the primary reason for her fall.
The Countryman Injury Law team identified the hotel’s questionable action of destroying surveillance footage that could have been pivotal in determining the true cause of the fall.
The strength of this case lay not just in the evident physical and emotional trauma our client faced, but in the pursuit of justice for this elderly woman by the compassionate team at Countryman Injury Law.
Prior to hiring Countryman Injury Law, several other law firms turned this lovely woman away due to her age. Countryman Injury Law stood by her side. Our discovery of intentionally deleted footage significantly strengthened our client’s case and shifted the narrative away from age bias. The timing of the trial, coinciding with our client’s 100th birthday, was a testament to her resilience and the dedication of the Countryman Injury Law team to ensure justice for all, regardless of age.
Construction companies have a responsibility and duty to ensure that the conditions for workers are safe and free from hazards. During a demolition project, a construction company failed to protect workers and spectators from horrific and catastrophic dangers.
Autumn Countryman’s investigation disclosed that the general contractor had full knowledge and notice that the work was being completed completely unsupervised and without comprehensive safety protocols. As a result, building demolition was performed in astronomically unsafe conditions, resulting in the roof collapse of a major structure.
Our client suffered debilitating injuries resulting in permanent and life-changing damage. As a paraplegic, our client’s entire life has been changed irrevocably. Our client’s dreams, aspirations, and everyday functionality were compromised as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Through unwavering dedication and the true pursuit of justice by Autumn Countryman, our client wasn’t left to face this daunting journey alone. While the devastation that event brought upon our client seemed overwhelming, Autumn Countryman’s team stood by his side, ensuring that he received a settlement to help with the financial burden he faces.
Our commitment went beyond just legal representation; we provided our client with hope, compassion, and a renewed sense of purpose. While his physical challenges will persist, knowing that the responsible parties were held accountable brings our client immense relief and closure.
When a car collided with our client’s motorcycle, it led to multiple fractures and a loss of vision in one eye. The immediacy of the pain and trauma was matched only by the subsequent legal complications. With insufficient policy limits to cover the mounting medical expenses and associated damages, it became clear that traditional avenues of attempting to obtain fair and just compensation from the insurance company would fall short.
However, Countryman Injury Law secured a settlement of $725,000.00 in the case of Dunbar v. Pemco. This sum included not only the policy limits but also a portion of the at-fault driver’s personal assets.
In the area of personal injury law, reaching non-insurance assets to fulfill compensation demands is a rarity. Countryman Injury Law collaborated with bankruptcy lawyers and turned potential legal hurdles into stepping stones, bringing much-needed financial relief and justice.
The aftermath for our client after a careless U-turn resulted in a T-bone accident, was not just the immediate shock, but the eventual discovery of fractures in her neck and back. Despite the clear evidence of collision, the negligent driver claimed contributory negligence on our client’s part. Additionally, due to the doctor’s delay in finding and diagnosing fractures, skepticism arose from the insurer about the true origin of her fractures.
Due to the shock of the event and the victim’s adrenaline levels, she left the scene with minimal immediate complaints. It was this state of shock and leaving the scene of the accident that would later cast shadows of doubt over the authenticity of her claims.
Countryman Injury Law recognized the challenge ahead. Not only did our legal team have to establish the negligent driver’s fault in the collision, but we also had to tackle the contention of delayed symptom onset. After obtaining medical expertise and detailed analysis of adrenaline’s impact on the human body during traumatic events, we presented a comprehensive timeline of events post-collision, elucidating how the adrenaline spike masked the immediate pain, only for the devastating fractures to become evident days later.
In an arena where timelines and immediate reactions often dictate outcomes, our commitment to piecing together the entire narrative — from the collision’s immediate aftermath to the medical revelations — ensured this deserving client received every penny of insurance limits available. Countryman Injury Law achieved a settlement of $411,000.00 ensuring that justice was delivered.