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William Coats
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William Coats’s Legal Cases

10 total

  • Thorough investigation leads to insurance coverage

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Jul 01, 2009
    Outcome:
    Largest single-eye injury settlement in state
    Description:
    Beth was just 13 years old when she was invited to a 4th of July party hosted by the owners of a gravel pit. At the party, the teenage son of the hosts carelessly fired a bottle rocket that struck Beth's right eye, blinding her in that eye. The host had purchased the bottle rockets at an Indian reservation and had let the kids fire them without any supervision. We filed a claim with both the hosts' homeowner's insurance company and their business insurance company. The homeowner's insurance company offered to pay the limits of the policy, but this was not enough to fairly compensate Beth. The business insurance denied coverage for the loss, claiming that the incident was not covered under the policy. We filed a lawsuit and through our relentless investigation, we determined that the party was a business function and the court would likely rule that the incident was covered by the business insurance policy. We informed the out-of-state business insurance company of our investigation and advised them of Washington's Insurance Fair Conduct Act, which could subject them to additional penalties if they unreasonably denied coverage. After a day-long mediation, Beth's parents and the insurance company agreed to the highest settlement in Washington for an injury to a single eye. The settlement was structured so that Beth will recover more than $1,400,000.00 during the course of her lifetime. B.P. v. Arestads (2009)
  • Helping with medical bills

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Outcome:
    $545K settlement
    Description:
    Derek was driving home to Tonasket on State Route 20 when Mr. Johnson’s Ford F-250 crossed the centerline and crashed into him. Derek was transported to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane where he was treated for a fractured forearm, fractured fibula, hip dislocation and broken ribs. Derek did not have health insurance and was concerned about the large, unpaid medical bills. We were able to obtain a prompt settlement for $545,000.00 and were also able to persuade the medical providers with outstanding bills to accept a reduce amount so that Derek could keep more of the settlement proceeds.
  • Finding the experts necessary to prove our case.

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Jul 07, 2009
    Outcome:
    $115K for injury from umbrella
    Description:
    Colleen, her husband and a friend were enjoying an August afternoon lunch on the outdoor patio at the Red Robin restaurant in Bellingham. Their table had an umbrella for shade. Colleen was surprised when a gust of wind caused the umbrella to fly up into the air where it spun around and then came back down toward the table. Colleen instinctively put up her arm to block the umbrella and injured the rotator cuff in her shoulder. Red Robin denied her claim, saying that there was nothing they could have done. We filed a lawsuit and hired an engineer to examine the table and umbrella. He determined that because of the kite-like design of the umbrella, even a slight gust of wind could send it flying if it was not locked in place. There was a pin to lock the umbrella in place, but it had not been used. A few weeks prior to trial, Red Robin agreed to pay our demand of $115,000.00 to compensate Colleen for her injury. Stapleton v. Red Robin (2009)
  • Finding insurance coverage

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Outcome:
    $180K from employer's insurance
    Description:
    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’ truck. Travis suffered a fractured humerus (upper arm bone) that required surgery to fix. The at-fault driver did not have any insurance, but we were able to make a claim with the employer’s insurance company. After filing a lawsuit the insurance company agreed to pay $180,000.00 to compensate Travis. Felix v. Nelson (2009)
  • Listening to our client's side of the story

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Outcome:
    Received full $200K insurance settlement
    Description:
    David was driving his motorcycle home from work when he was involved in a collision and broke his leg. The police cited David because he had read-ended the van in front of him; but that was only one side of the story. David explained to me that he was on a one-way street with three lanes. The van had been in the middle lane and then slowed down and moved to the left lane in an attempt to turn left into a parking lot. David collided with the van just as he was attempting to go around it. The case was similar to the 1978 case of Vanwagenen v. Roy, 21 Wn.App.581. In the Vanwagenen case the Court ruled that making a left turn from the right lane of a multi-lane road results in loss of the favored driver status. Based on the Vanwagenen case, we persuaded the insurance company that the van they insured was at fault. We recovered $200,000.00 to compensate David. Foote v. McCleve (2008)
  • Holding insurance companies accountable

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Outcome:
    Secured $130,000 recovery
    Description:
    Jim and his co-workers were in Seattle for a business trip. On their way to the hotel, a drunk driver crashed into their car. Jim suffered a fractured rib and a separated shoulder (acromioclavicular joint) among other injuries. The drunk driver was only insured for up to $25,000.00. However, because Jim was in a rental car, we were able to make an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim against the rental car insurance policy. At first the insurance company claimed the UIM policy was for only $25,000.00. However, we pointed out that because the rental car agreement allowed for $100,000.00 liability insurance, they had to offer $100,000.00 for UIM claims as well. After threatening to sue the insurance company for violation of Washington's Fair Insurance Conduct Act, they eventually agreed that there was $100,000.00 in coverage and also agreed to pay the full $100,000.00 to compensate Jim. On top of that, Jim's own insurance company agreed to pay $5,000.00 for a total recovery of $130,000.00. (Barry v. Rice (2009)
  • Helping our client get the medical treatment she needs

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Outcome:
    $234,466.00 recovered
    Description:
    On an icy January night, Mr. O'Brien was going too fast down the onramp to I-5 and lost control of his Ford Explorer. He ended up facing southbound in the northbound lane. At the time, his license had been suspended and he shouldn't have been driving in the first place. The car Nicolette was driving in was unable to avoid a collision. Nicolette injured her neck and tried everything her doctors recommended to get better. Unfortunately her neck did not heal and after further testing, it was determined that she would need surgery. What Nicolette didn't expect was for her health insurance company to refuse to approve the surgery. After calling and writing nearly every day for a few weeks, we were able to get the health insurance company to approve the surgery. We recovered the limits of all of the insurance money available, which was $203,360.00, plus a waiver of the $31,106.00 health insurance reimbursement claim, for a net benefit to Nicolette of $234,466.00. Harrington v. O'Brien (2009)
  • Collision with farm equipment on a foggy night

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Outcome:
    $825,000
    Description:
    Steven is in the front seat of his teenage friend’s VW Jetta as it drives down a two-lane county road. It’s a foggy evening and up ahead a raspberry picker is traveling very slowly in the same direction, partially on the road and partially on the shoulder. The Jetta driver doesn’t see the farm vehicle in time and crashes into it. The collision tears the roof off of the Jetta and ejects Steven from the car. Steven has life threatening injuries and requires weeks in the hospital and weeks more in a rehabilitation facility. The teenage driver of the Jetta had both marijuana and alcohol in her blood. She also had only minimal auto insurance to pay for Steven’s injuries. Attorney Bill Coats discovered that safety regulations required the berry picker to have a reflector and that photos taken by the state patrol showed that it did not. Attorney Bill Coats negotiated of settlement of $825,000 with the insurance companies for both the driver of the Jetta and the farm that owned and operated the berry picker.
  • Two separate accidents result in complicated negotiations

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Mar 07, 2012
    Outcome:
    $745,000
    Description:
    Michelle was in two car accidents, exactly 13 months apart, making her case a bit more complicated than normal. The first collision was on November 13, 2007. Michelle was sideswiped and felt a strain in her back. Her back continued to give her problems and eventually her doctors recommended surgery. Two weeks before the surgery, on December 13, 2008, she was hit by a drunk driver who crossed the centerline. The second accident 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, certainly not nearly enough to pay Michelle’s medical bills and address her damages, Bill undertook negotiations with Michelle’s own insurance company to get coverage from her Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy. Negotiations were complicated because there were two collision and two UIM claims. Bill was able to secure a total settlement of $745,000 to help Michelle’s financial recovery.
  • Client's injuries require retirement and large lost wages claim

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    May 16, 2012
    Outcome:
    $525,000
    Description:
    Don suffered disc injuries to his low back in an accident where the at-fault driver pulled into traffic and struck the side of Don’s classic 1955 Ford T-Bird. Don’s injured were severe enough that he could not return to his physically demanding work as a paramedic. Although Don was close to retirement, he was counting on a few more good work years. The insurance company of the at-fault driver agreed to pay its limits of $50,000. However, Don’s own insurance company was unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement of his underinsured motorist claim that adequately addressed Don’s lost wages. Bill Coats filed a law suit on Don’s behalf. After months of interrogatories, medical exams and depositions, the case eventually settled for a total of $525,000.