“Thank you for helping with my lawsuit for the car wreck. You did a wonderful, professional job and I would recommend you to anyone. Once again, thank you very much.”
– Rodeo Post
“Without the help of Kevan Montoya I know that I would not have had the successful outcome that was achieved. He took a very difficult situation and made sure that the truth was told, presently and perfectly. He was a calm and confident presence during this difficult time for our family. I very much appreciate the knowledge and support I received from Mr. Montoya. I highly recommend this firm.
– April Adkison
“Kevan Montoya and his staff are incredible! I was able to concentrate on healing and my family instead of insurance companies and paperwork. Not only are the staff empathetic and efficient, Mr. Montoya was tenacious in making sure that my interests were considered. They’ve got your back!
– Lisa Allen (Yakima, WA)

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses in a brain injury lawsuit. While no amount of money can make up for a catastrophic injury, a settlement can help ease your financial burdens and pay for care at a time you or your injured loved one may not be able to work.

Our Yakima Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get Compensation for Your Losses

Hiring Montoya Hinckley means you’ll get aggressive, skilled representation in seeking the compensation you deserve.

The human brain controls our thought and bodily functions, so when it is injured, the results can be devastating. Severe brain injuries can lead to paralysis, inability to communicate, changes in personality, coma, or death. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that over 1.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, and at least 50,000 individuals will die from their injury. After a brain injury, people frequently need trauma care, specialized rehabilitation, disease management, and individualized services and support. This care is extremely expensive and life-altering to victims and their families.

We Take on Insurers So You Can Focus on Healing

Washington personal injury laws are complicated, and making mistakes in the process of a brain injury case can be costly. Insurance companies have adjusters and lawyers who will try to avoid paying large sums of money as compensation for your brain injury. They may pressure you to accept a settlement that does not fairly compensate you for all of your damages.

Fortunately, you do not have to fight alone for the compensation you deserve when someone else’s negligence has caused you to suffer a potentially life-changing brain injury.  The personal injury lawyers at Montoya Hinckley understand the difficulties resulting from a brain injury. We are fully prepared to take the burden off you by dealing with insurers and handling all legal procedures involved with your case so you can concentrate on your recovery.

Our brain injury lawyers have over four decades of combined experience in Yakima and Central Washington, so we have the necessary knowledge of the law, the courts, and the legal system to aggressively and effectively fight for the settlement award you deserve. We offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and determine the best way to help.

There are no fees to you unless and until we get a settlement or win an award, so call our brain injury attorneys today at 509-895-7373 to get started.

What Our Brain Injury Lawyers Can Do to Help You

Our Brain Injury Attorneys in Yakima Know How to Fight for Compensation for Your Losses

The outcome of your brain injury case is determined by what happened, the extent of your injuries, the causes and effects of your brain injury, and who is responsible for causing your injuries. Our attorneys will investigate your case to determine what happened and ensure that we can show that another party or entity was negligent. If anyone was at fault for causing your injuries they may be liable to pay you the damages caused by their actions or failure to act.

Our brain injury attorneys may take the following steps as we develop a strategy in your case. We will:

  • Listen to your version of what happened and who you think the liable parties might be.
  • Conduct investigations to gather evidence about how your brain injury occurred.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Examine photographs and videos, and review police, ambulance, and medical records and reports.
  • Locate all potential defendants who may have been at fault.
  • Get expert opinions from accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, therapists, and life-care specialists regarding how your injuries occurred, and how they affect you, both now and into the future.
  • Get expert opinions about the future medical care that will be necessary for you.

Determining the Causes of Brain Injuries

The brain is made up of delicate, soft tissue floating in fluid within the skull. While the brain is protected by three layers of membrane, an accident that involves a sudden blow to the head can cause the brain to move around violently inside the skull and result in a traumatic brain injury. When an accident creates trauma to the brain, the brain fills with fluid and swells. Because it is encased in a hard skull, the brain has nowhere to expand. Pressure inside the head increases, which can prevent blood circulation and cause further injury to the brain tissue.

A severe brain injury may be caused by:

  • Forces that make the brain collide with the inside of the skull
  • Forces that penetrate or fracture the skull
  • Destructive shock waves that cause tissue damage
  • Bone fragments that enter the brain tissue
  • Bruising and bleeding in the brain

Common situations leading to brain injuries include car and other vehicle accidents, work accidents, slips and falls, chemical accidents, and medical and surgical errors. Once we know the cause and who is at fault, our brain injury attorneys can pursue a settlement with the negligent parties. If negotiations do not give you the results you deserve as compensation for your injuries, we will litigate your case in court to try to get you the best possible outcome.

Our Brain Injury Law Firm in Yakima Must Prove Negligence

To win your TBI lawsuit, our attorneys must prove that the defendant in the case was negligent and legally responsible for causing your brain injury.

To prove negligence, we must show the following elements exist:

  • Duty: The defendant had a duty of care not to cause harm.
  • Breach: The defendant breached this duty by acting or failing to act.
  • Cause: The defendant’s wrongful act or failure proximately caused the accident that led to your injuries.
  • Damages: You suffered damages as a result.

Examples of negligence in a brain injury case include:

  • A drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into your vehicle. The driver owed you a duty to drive carefully and follow the law but failed to do so. The resulting accident caused your brain injury, which resulted in damages such as medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
  • A business owner, who knew or should have known about a broken handrail on a staircase, failed to fix the broken handrail and you fell down the staircase and hit hour head when the broken handrail came loose from the wall. That fall resulted in a brain injury and costs for your medical care, loss in earnings, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

In some cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for your injury who could be found liable. For example, if a truck crash caused your head injury, there are several potential liable parties:

  • the truck driver
  • the truck owner
  • the owner of the trucking company
  • the company responsible for truck maintenance and repair
  • the company that loaded the cargo
  • the manufacturer of a defective part that failed

These parties may all have insurance and assets that could be used to pay toward a settlement a judgment in your favor.

Damage Awards Our Yakima Brain Injury Attorneys Can Win for You

Damage Awards You May Receive in a Brain Injury Case

If your case does not settle, our brain injury lawyers will fight for an award that covers your economic and noneconomic damages.

If you cannot obtain a fair settlement for your brain injury claim, you may have to file a lawsuit. In your brain injury lawsuit, our lawyers will fight aggressively to win an award for the losses you sustained from your injury. These are known as “damages.”

In a successful case, you may win an award that covers your economic damages, which are the calculable costs you have incurred as a result of the accident, such as:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Costs of continuing care
  • Property damages
  • Costs to allow your home and vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair
  • Wage losses if you are unable to work
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries

You may also be compensated for noneconomic damages. These are types of losses you suffer for which there is no clear dollar value attached. Noneconomic damages relate to how your injuries negatively affect your life, and include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The state of Washington does not place caps on noneconomic damages, so there is no limit to the amount you may be awarded for these losses.

Amounts of Awards in a Brain Injury Case

There are a wide range of award amounts possible in a brain injury case. The amount of the award depends on the individual factors involved in each case. Awards vary greatly according to circumstances of the case and factors that may include:

  • The extent, severity, and permanence of your brain injury
  • Whether, and for how long, you will need continuing care
  • Your age, earning capacity, and family situation
  • The availability of evidence to prove fault
  • Whether you will be able to work in the future
  • Whether a death occurred
  • The amount of insurance and personal assets of the defendants
  • The individual judge and jury in the case
  • The ability to prove noneconomic damages
  • The skill of your attorneys in investigating, building, negotiating and arguing your case

Because brain injuries can be serious, with long-term costs, there is potential for large awards from sympathetic juries. Our brain injury attorneys are aggressive litigators who will work tirelessly to prove your case to try to obtain the best possible outcome.

Our Yakima TBI Injury Lawyers Know How Devastating Brain Injuries Are

Brain injuries are categorized as “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe” based on the effect of the injury on brain function. The level of severity plays a major role in the potential settlement amount or jury award.

Mild traumatic brain injury may affect brain cells temporarily, but still can be serious. If damage is more severe, it can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or even death. An individual with a severe brain injury may behave nothing like the person who existed before the injury. The individual may be unable to:

  • Speak, move, walk, feed, or dress themselves
  • Recognize family members or their surroundings
  • Have a social life, interact with people, understand language, or work

In some situations, a person affected by a traumatic brain injury may develop new emotional and behavioral issues. In addition, the person who suffered a TBI may need continuing care and costly therapy and equipment. The person may no longer be able to live at home and may have to be institutionalized or placed on life support.

If the injury is severe enough, individuals with a TBI may be in an unconscious state, or coma; a vegetative state, where they are unaware of surroundings; a minimally conscious state; or brain dead, an irreversible condition with no measurable activity in the brain and the brainstem.

Our brain injury attorneys in Yakima will consider all the potential costs associated with your TBI. We will examine how your brain injury has affected your life to determine fair compensation for you. We will negotiate aggressively with insurers for a reasonable settlement, but are fully prepared to take your case to trial when necessary.

Our Brain Injury Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Common Questions a Brain Injury Lawyer Often Hears

  • Should I accept an offer for my brain injury from the insurance company?

    Insurance companies want to protect their profits and will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible in your brain injury case. To accomplish this goal, they hire high-powered lawyers to challenge liability and the amount of damages. They may try to trap you into saying or doing something to prove you were at fault for the accident that caused your brain injury, so it’s best to let your attorney handle all communications with insurance representatives. Once you sign a release and accept payment from the insurance company, you may not be able to recover any additional compensation from the insurance company or the at-fault party. Never accept or sign anything from an insurance company without first consulting with a brain injury attorney at Montoya Hinckley.

  • What happens if a death occurs from the brain injury?

    According to Washington statute RCW 4.20.010, if a death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may bring an action against the parties responsible for causing the death. The purpose of the wrongful death case is to obtain an award of economic and noneconomic damages sustained by the deceased person’s beneficiaries. A wrongful death claim is like a personal injury case where the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate seeks compensation, because the deceased can no longer do so.

  • What if I am partially at fault for what happened?

    Washington’s contributory fault rule allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if they are partially responsible for the accident. If you did anything to contribute to the accident that caused your brain injury, your damage award will be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributed to you.    However, as long as you can prove the defendant is at least 50% at fault, our brain injury attorneys can still help you collect an award. The amount of your award would correspond to the proportion that any other parties are at fault. For example, if you were 15% at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, and the damage award is $100,000, you could still collect 85% of the damage award, or $85,000.

  • What do expert witnesses do in a traumatic brain injury case?

    Expert witnesses can investigate the accident and provide expert testimony as to how it occurred and who was at fault. They can explain how your brain injury affects your life and the lives of your family members, as well as the care you will need both now and into the future. They can calculate the expenses, or economic damages, you may have as a result of your injury, including medical bills and lost future earnings, among other costs. Experts can also calculate the costs that you will incur for future care necessitated by your brain injury.

Contact Our TBI Attorneys in Yakima

At Montoya Hinckley, our TBI lawyers understand how difficult it is for you and your family to deal with a brain injury. We will advocate for the justice and the settlement you deserve. We are well-known for our client-focused-service philosophy and will work closely with you to provide support, answer your questions and concerns, and manage all aspects of your claim process through settlement and, if necessary, a lawsuit.

Don’t delay, as there are deadlines for filing a claim. According to RCW 4.16.080, you generally have three years from the date when the brain injury-causing event occurred to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you will likely lose your opportunity to bring a personal injury claim.

If you have suffered a brain injury due to the fault of another person or entity, call our brain injury lawyers at Montoya Hinckley at 509-895-7373 today. Let’s get started on your case.

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