Examples of Our Successful Injury Claims
Bill Coats and his team are proud of their track record of building successful claims for their personal injury clients
Bill Coats has spent his entire 20+ year career helping people who were injured in accidents across the greater Puget Sound region. Bill's broad experience enables him to efficiently and effectively drive personal injury and wrongful death claims to their successful conclusions. Read here about how he has helped people injured in a variety of ways, including:
Injured Minor Children
$2,500,000 - Wrongful Death of Teenager Killed in Whatcom County Jet-Ski Collision
Zac's mother contacted Bill Coats to seek a second opinion after her initial lawyer advised that a wrongful death claim was not worth pursuing. Since her son Zac had died in a jet-ski accident when he and his friend collided, the other lawyer concluded that the claim had no value. Bill determined that homeowners insurance provided coverage for failure to supervise the use of a jet-ski while the family was on vacation. The Estate of Zachary Springer recovered $2.5 million for his tragic death in the jet-ski accident.
$1,400,000 - Whatcom County Girl Blinded in One Eye from Bottle Rocket
Bill Coats’ client Beth was only 13 years old when she was a guest at a holiday party. During the party, the unsupervised teenage son of the hosts lit a bottle rocket which struck Beth in the right eye. Beth consequently was blinded in that eye. Bill Coats filed a claim with the hosts’ homeowner’s insurance company, and also with their business insurance company. The homeowner’s insurance company was willing to pay the limits of the policy, but unfortunately this amount was not enough to fully compensate Beth for her permanent injury. Bill filed a lawsuit in Whatcom County Superior Court and through his comprehensive investigation, he determined that the holiday party was actually a business function, and the court would most likely rule that the incident was covered by the business insurance policy. After a mediation session, Beth’s parents and the insurance company agreed to the highest settlement in Washington for a single-eye injury.
$1,300,000 - Bellingham Girls Injured in House Fire
On the morning of one New Year's Day, an electrical fire broke out in the walls of the rented home of a Bellingham family with two young daughters. The fire completely destroyed the house. Receiving the most severe injuries of all the family members, the young girls sustained burns and injuries that will have lifelong impact. Bill negotiated a settlement for the girls, and created a trust that will help sustain them for decades.
$677,000 - Head-on Car Crash Injures Mother and Five Children
A driver was not paying attention to the road as she barrelled down State Route 2 near Monroe, Washington. The car in front of her slowed to stop, but the driver didn't realize until the last moment. To try to avoid a rear-end crash, she swerved into oncoming traffic. Angella, a mother of four, was driving her children and a young family friend to swim lessons. The distracted driver still struck the rear of the car in front of her, and then smashed head-on into Angella's minivan. The mother and all kids sustained severe injuries. Angella and the children who were each represented by Guardians ad Litem needed legal help dividing the settlement funds between all parties. Bill took on the case and figured out how to split the insurance policy's limit of $500,000 between Angella and all the injured children. He also was successful in adding nearly $200,000 to that policy limit.
$500,000 - Negligent Supervision of Whatcom County Probationer Leads to Death of a Child
Eight year old Michael “Mikey” Busby Jr. was murdered April 18, 2002 by his sixteen year old neighbor, Ryan Alexander. At the time of the murder, Alexander was supposed to be serving a 20-day sentence from Juvenile Court on home arrest, and was being supervised by the Whatcom County Probation Department. The lawsuit claimed that the Probation Department was negligent in supervising Alexander. With Bill Coats' help, the family of Michael Busby Jr. and Whatcom County settled a wrongful death lawsuit. Whatcom County agreed to pay the Busby family $500,000.
Bicycle Accident Claims
$1,115,000 - Neck Surgery After Whatcom County Bicycle Accident for Lynden Veterinarian
When a teenage prank goes wrong, Bill's client sustained serious neck injuries requiring surgery. Six high school kids are out on a Saturday night in Lynden, Washington, take a roll of industrial strength Saran Wrap and stretch the wrap across the road and see what happens when a car drives through it. Dr. Berry, a local veterinarian, is peddling downhill and nearly has his head taken off as he hits the wrap at about 20 mph. Bill Coats took the position that since Dr. Berry was without fault, the boys were all jointly responsible. Because the boys lived at home, their parents’ homeowner’s insurance would have to pay any jury verdict up to the limit of the homeowner’s insurance policy. After multiple mediation sessions, the claim was settled for $1,115,000.
Car Accident Claims
$1,000,000 - Head-on Collision Near Bellingham
Jenna was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend on a visit from British Columbia, Canada. Her friend lost control, overcorrected, crossed the median, and hit a car going the opposite direction. Jenna was critically injured and transported by helicopter to the hospital, where she underwent extensive medical treatment. While the driver had only minimal insurance coverage, Bill Coats realized that because Jenna was from BC, she had insurance coverage through ICBC, the provincial insurance company. Bill worked with a highly qualified lawyer in BC to recover over 1 million dollars total compensation for Jenna.
$525,000 - Underinsured Motorist Settlement for Bellingham Driver
Don suffered disc injuries to his low back in a car accident where the at-fault driver pulled into traffic struck the side of Don’s classic 1955 Ford T-Bird. Don’s injuries were severe enough that he could not return to his physically demanding work as a paramedic. The auto insurance company of the at-fault driver agreed to pay its limits of $50,000. However, Don’s own car insurance company was unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement of his underinsured motorist claim. ABill Coats filed a law suit in Whatcom County Superior Court on Don’s behalf. After months of discovery including interrogatories, medical exams and depositions, the insurance company gave in and paid a total of $525,000.
$250,000 - Rear-end Collision at Freeway On-ramp
Paul was stopped at the traffic signal waiting to get onto the I-5 freeway. The at-fault driver wasn't paying attention and did not see that Paul was stopped, and rear-ended Paul at near highway speed. The impact led to injuries to Paul's neck and back, as well as wage loss as he recovered. The at-fault driver only carried minimal coverage, but Bill Coats knew that because Paul carried Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, he should be fully compensated for his injuries. Bill reached a settlement with Paul's own insurance company that covered the remaining damages that Paul suffered.
$234,466 - Bellingham Driver's Neck Injury caused by Reckless Driver
On an icy January night, the at-fault driver was going too fast down an onramp to I-5 and lost control of his Ford Explorer. The driver of the car Nicolette was riding in was unable to avoid a collision. Nicolette injured her neck and eventually was required to undergo surgery. Unfortunately, Nicolette's health insurance company refused to approve the surgery. After calling and writing virtually every day for a few weeks, Bill Coats was able to get the health insurance company to approve the surgery. Bill recovered the limits of all of the insurance money available, a total of $203,360 plus a waiver of the $31,106 health insurance reimbursement claim, for a net recovery to Nicolette of $234,466.
Claims involving Drunk and Distracted Drivers
$825,000 - Drunk Driving Car Accident Near Bellingham
Steven was the front seat passenger in his friend’s VW Jetta traveling down a two-lane Whatcom County road. It’s a foggy evening, and up ahead a raspberry picker was traveling very slowly in the same direction, partially on the road and partially on the shoulder. The Jetta driver crashes into the farm equipment, tearing the roof off of the Jetta and ejecting Steven from the car. Steven suffered life threatening injuries that required weeks in the hospital and weeks more in a rehabilitation facility. The teenage driver of the Jetta had only minimal auto insurance to pay for Steven’s injuries. Bill Coats used his experience in auto accident cases to discover that safety regulations required the berry picker to have a reflector, and that photos taken by the State Patrol proved that it did not. Bill negotiated a settlement of $825,000 with the insurance companies for both the driver of the Jetta and the Whatcom County farm that owned and operated the berry picker.
$745,000 - Neck Surgery After Collision with Drunk Driver in Whatcom County
Michelle was in two car accidents, exactly 13 months apart, making her case more complicated. The first collision was on November 13, 2007 when Michelle was sideswiped, resulting in a back strain, for which her doctors recommended surgery. Two weeks before the surgery, on December 13, 2008, she was hit by a drunk driver, which caused a closed head injury and significantly slowed her recovery and rehabilitation from the surgery. Since the drunk driver didn’t carry much in insurance coverage, Bill undertook complicated negotiations with Michelle’s own insurance company to get coverage from her Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy. Bill was able to secure a total settlement of $745,000.
$545,000 - Bellingham Distracted Driving Case
Bill's client Derek was driving home when he was struck by another driver who was distracted by his young children. Derek was extricated from his vehicle and was airlifted in critical condition to the hospital, where he was treated for a fractured forearm, fractured fibula, hip dislocation and broken ribs. His treatments included surgeries, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Derek’s resulting medical bills were more than $200,000. Since Derek had no health insurance, the only coverage he had was his Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage through his auto insurance policy, which was quickly exhausted. Bill Coats worked closely with the car insurance adjuster to quickly settle the claim. He was also able to convince all of Derek’s medical providers to accept a greatly reduced amount so that Derek could pay off all his bills while keeping more of the settlement proceeds.
$295,000 - Neck Injury after Distracted Driving Accident in Bellingham
Bill's client Kim was driving to her Bellingham home after work when her VW Beetle was rear-ended by a large pickup truck. The impact forced Kim’s car into the car in front of her, broke her seat, and injured her back, which eventually required spinal surgery. Bill Coats negotiated a settlement of $295,000.
$180,000 - Drugged Driver caused T-bone Car Accident in Whatcom County
Travis was driving to work in his employer’s truck when a driver with marijuana in his system ran a stop sign and crashed into Travis. He suffered a fractured arm that required surgery. The at-fault driver had no insurance, but Bill Coats was able to make a claim with the employer’s insurance company. After filing a lawsuit, the insurance company agreed to pay $180,000 to compensate Travis for his injury.
Commercial Trucking Accidents
$550,000 - Whatcom County Truck Driver Suffers Fracture Injury from Commercial Trucking Negligence
Robert was a long-haul truck driver for over 20 years. He was driving near Bellingham when part of a tire came crashing through his windshield. The tire had come off a semi-truck that was traveling in the other direction. Bill Coats hired a leading tire expert to investigate the cause of the tire failure. The expert found that the tire failure was due to over-deflection caused by too much load, too little inflation pressure, or a combination of the two. After negotiations failed to produce a reasonable settlement offer, Bill launched a lawsuit that eventually secured a $550,000 settlement for Robert.
$355,000 - Whatcom County Pedestrian Collision resulting in Fracture Injury
A large pickup truck struck Lolita as she and her husband walked across a Bellingham-area casino parking lot. Lolita was badly hurt with fractures in both ankles. The at-fault driver's insurance company eventually paid a policy limits settlement. Bill Coats made an additional claim against Lolita’s own insurance company for underinsured motorist protection. Bill successfully argued that Lolita’s husband should also be compensated for the trauma of witnessing his wife’s injury. Bill recovered $355,000 for the Bellingham couple.
$195,000 - Shoulder Injury from Pedestrian Collision in Bellingham
Diana was walking with her grandchild through a Bellingham parking lot when a van began backing into them. Diana pushed her grandchild to safety, but was knocked to the ground and injured her shoulder. Bill Coats successfully argued to the insurance company that Diana’s damages must include money to finish a remodeling project, and the cost of future household services like cleaning and yard work during Diana's recovery.
$240,000 - Pedestrian Hit by Car at Bellingham Intersection
Bill's client Kevin was attempting to cross the street when he was struck by a vehicle, resulting in a broken leg. Though the at-fault driver was covered by a $100,000 policy limit, that amount fell short of what Kevin had to pay in medical bills. Bill Coats undertook a successful settlement negotiation that fully compensated his client for his current and future damages.
$260,000 - Bicycle Accident Caused by Truck Negligence
Bill's client Lynn rode her bike to work every day to her job at Joint Base Lewis McChord. One day she was in the bike lane, and as she approached an intersection a commercial vehicle to her left turned suddenly and hit her, crushing her bike and breaking her leg. The driver and insurance company claimed that the collision was Lynn’s fault because he had his blinker on and was already turning and that she had driven into him. Lynn said that there was no blinker and that she was already well into the intersection when he turned. Bill Coats filed a lawsuit and took the drivers deposition, in which Bill was able to demonstrate inconsistencies in the driver's story and raise doubts about his credibility. Before trial, the insurance company agreed to settle the case for $260,000.
$200,000 - Motorcycle Accident in Bellingham
David was driving home from work on his motorcycle when he collided with a van, resulting in a broken leg. The police determined that David was the at-fault driver and gave him a citation because he had rear-ended the van in front of him. But Bill Coats discovered that was only one side of the story. David explained that he was on a one way street with three lanes. The van was in the middle lane, and then quickly slowed down and moved into the left lane to turn left into a parking lot. David collided with the van when he was trying to go around it. Based on this, Bill Coats persuaded the insurance company that the van driver was at fault, and was able to recover $200,000 to compensate David for his injuries and financial losses.
Workplace Injury Claims
$3,250,000 - Work Site Injury
This was a confidential settlement involving an industrial accident in Snohomish County. Bill's client suffered severe pelvic injuries as well as foot and ankle fractures that required several surgeries and a lengthy hospital stay. After extensive negotiations, Bill was able to secure more than $3 million for his badly injured client.
Bill Coats and his staff possess vast experience helping injured clients like you
We understand the stress and worry that injured people go through as they go through the recovery process, and we know that most people have many questions and concerns about the legal aspects of their injury. Our goal is the same as yours – we want to make the recovery process as quick and painless as possible, so that our clients can move forward with their lives.
Contact us today to learn more about your rights and options, and our experienced legal team will review the details of your case, free of charge, with no obligation. If we can help you, we will.