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Michael John Tario

Personal injury Attorney at Bellingham, WA

5.0   33 reviews
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 44 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1980
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Michael

Learn Michael’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Personal injury
    Insurance companies often don't treat injured people fairly because they want to settle cases for as little as possible. I have tried over 3,000 injury cases and have achieved very good results in almost all cases. I won't quit working hard for you.

    44 years, 3,000 cases

  2. Car accident
    I have represented hundreds and hundreds of accident victims. I have attained many excellent results at trial and I have negoiated hundreds of out-of-court settlements. In 2014 I was awarded the "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by the National Association of Trial Lawyers. I offer free case evaluation and a free initial office consultation. Having a very experienced and qualified attorney can make the difference between a great recovery and failure.

    44 years, 2,500 cases

  3. Medical malpractice
    Medical providers make mistakes. Unfortunately, in the medical field, mistakes can be deadly. A bad result does not always constitute medical malpractice. Each case must be carefully reviewed to determine if the medical care fell below the accepted standard of medical care. Often, this involves having the case reviewed by an independent medical expert. I have the knowledge and experience needed to determine if you have a valid medical negligence claim. My office will evalaute your case for free.

    41 years, 300 cases

  4. Wrongful death
    The loss of a life because of fault or negligence is the most devastating harm anyone can experience. I have helped families who have become victims of the negligence of others. Wrongful death cases arise from tragic auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, boating and fishing accidents, bicycle accidents, and on the job accidents. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is very difficult. I have helped many people deal with these difficult issues.

    44 years, 150 cases

  5. Brain injury
    A traumatic brain injury can have a debilitating, life-long impact on quality of life. If you were injured because of the negligence of another, we have the experience to help you recover damages so you can focus on recovery.

    44 years, 50 cases


I have been practicing law for over 40 years, handling over 5,000 cases for injured clients. I have negotiated thousands of favorable out-of-court settlements, but where settlement was not possible, I have taken hundreds of cases to trial; fighting hard to protect the rights and interests of my clients. My practice is focused on personal injury: auto accidents, other accident cases, wrongful death, negligence cases, and medical malpractice cases. Note that we do not take dental malpractice cases. For over 37 years I have also represented many persons harmed or killed by medical negligence.


It would be impossible for me to list every case that I have taken to trial and won since 1979 but the cases listed in my profile provide some examples. Most injury cases are settled out of court because eventually I am able to get the insurance company to agree to pay my injured client fair compensation. Note that most of my biggest personal injury and medical malpractice cases can't be listed on this website because commonly, with a very large settlement, the insurance company requires that the settlement remain "confidential." My clients get the money they deserve, but neither the law firm nor the client are allowed to discuss the terms or amount of the settlement with anyone.


Since the beginning of my career, I have always fought hard to protect my clients' rights. If you have an attorney who has not regularly fought the insurance companies in court, or an attorney who is afraid to go to trial and settles for whatever the insurance company offers,  then you will definitely not be able to acheive the best possible result on your personal injury case. If the insurance company knows that your attorney is inexperienced, has no trial experience, or has not earned a reputation of knowing how to win a case in court; you will be greatly disadvantaged.


All attorneys are not the same! One thing that has always bothered me is that the general public has no way of knowing just how competent their attorney really is. People often just don't know if their attorney has ever taken a case to trial and if the attorney can get the job done properly. It is a mistake to assume that if a person has gone to law school and has passed the bar exam that they will be able to competently represent you. Some attorneys are very competent and some are average and some are less than average. You should be very carefull in hiring an attorney. The skill, experience, and ability of your attorney matters very much.     


You can learn more about me by looking at my personal profile on my firm's website or by reading reviews left by my clients. Remember: Any attorney can spend a ton of money on advertising or say how good they are. I can show you what I have actually done in and out of court over the last four decades. No attorney can "win" every case; some cases will always end up better than others. No attorney will ever make 100% of their clients happy 100% of the time either, but I am proud of my record of success and achievements over the last 40+ years practicing law. Thanks for listening to some of my thoughts.

Photos and videos


Tario & Associates, P.S.
119 N. Commercial St.
Bellingham Towers, #1000
Bellingham, WA, 98225
Tario & Associates P.S.
414 Pine St
Mount Vernon, WA, 98273
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5.0 / 5.0
  33 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Courtney | December 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My Lawyer went above and beyond and I couldn't have asked for a better one! I appreciate all he did and his team!
Posted by Melanie | December 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Personal Injury Expert
Mr. Tario was spot on with his advice and guidance regarding a tragic accident that happened to my family. He was always available to answer questions. He handled my case with professionalism and candor. Anyone choosing Mr. Tario would be best served.
Posted by Michelle | October 21, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Best
Two and a half years ago I found myself sitting in a hotel room in Seattle in the middle of the night, researching personal injury lawyers, while my husband was in Harborview getting care after his motorcycle accident. I had never needed a lawyer before so I was at a complete loss. I just knew I needed support because the accident was caused by someone else and I was not taking on an insurance company by myself! Cruising through AVVO I found Tario and Associates and I am so glad I did! It's been a long road but I was never worried how the outcome was going to turn out. Michael and team are so experienced and knowledgeable and know exactly what is going to happen before it does. Very logical and down to earth too. That helped a lot. I didn't have false expectations and was never disappointed. Sandy, paralegal, was also amazing! Kept in close contact with me every step of the way. Answered endless questions. I highly recommend this team!
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Posted by Katie H. | September 19, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Above and beyond!
I found Tario & Associates here on Avvo, and it was one of the best decisions I have made. We just finished a car accident case that took 4 years, but would have taken 10 years if it wasn't for Mr. Tario, Sandy, and their entire hardworking team. They kept me well informed of updates on the case, and made sure I was prepared for all meetings with the opposing council. Sandy and the amazing team of paralegals poured days into preparing my case, paying attention to every necessary detail. They truly made me feel confident when my nerves were getting the best of me going into my first court case. From Mr. Tario to Sue at the front desk, absolutely everyone on their team is so friendly, professional, and accommodating. If I am ever needing legal assistance again, or if anyone I know is looking for an attorney, I will turn to Tario & Associates every time!
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Posted by Linda Butler | March 11, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Tario has been a wonderful attorney for us. I was in an awful accident and he came to my rescue. Mr. Tario took care of all my needs and settled my case to my great satisfaction! I highly recommend Mr. Tario as an honest, hard-working attorney. Right now, here I am again at his office due to another motor vehicle accident that was not my fault. In the past he has been a great attorney for us. I recommend him to anyone and actually have recommended him a number of times over the years.
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Posted by Heidi | December 26, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Superb handling of my personal injury case
I came to Mr. Tario after firing my original attorney. Mr. Tario and his legal staff managed my case superbly and kept me apprised of developments along the way. Mr. Tario listened to my concerns as well as those of my husband and family, and ensured those concerns were negotiated into my final settlement. I was and am still very pleased with the outcome. I truly felt that Mr. Tario was looking out for my my family's interests and future. I highly recommend Mr. Tario and would seek his legal services again if a situation should warrant it.
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Posted by anonymous | December 26, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
I hired Michael Tario to help me on my accident case. He is very professional with an excellent staff. I was very pleased with the results. I would recommend Mr. Tario very highly to annyone.
Posted by Darcey | December 17, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I was in a car accident. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful throughout the whole process. Explained everything step by step. I would recommend him to anyone.
Posted by Celina | November 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Straightforward and no false expectations
Mr. Tario broke things down in an easy-to-understand legal terms that went over my head. He said possible outcomes and what he was shooting for and didn't disappoint. I feel that he fought hard for me and got me the best possible outcome and the most money from the insurance company of the man who hit me with his car. Thank-you, Mr. Tario,
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Posted by Kenny Pickard | October 9, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
i was not fully in the know but didn't give him time tell him for me what I needed to know
had Mike as my attorney and had some miss Communications that made me angry which was on my side. since then made some phone calls and found out what they were but I didn't give Mike enough time to investigate what I was asking so this is my apology to Michael Tario!!!! and his team I've used him in the past for a motorcycle accident and decided to use him again and we split mutually but in the future I would for sure use him if needed he is good person and at what he does!!!! but a very busy person sometimes hard to get a hold of but when you need somebody on your side and a difficult case I would refer him any day of the week and twice on Sunday
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Posted by Cathy | April 10, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney
Michael helped me in a personal injury case when I was hit by a drunk driver he was professional and fought hard for me to get the best possible settlement. I highly recommend him. His assistants are great too always willing to answer questions
Posted by Cheryl | January 14, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
medical-legal review
After my husband's sudden and unexpected death from an illness that was not diagnosed until autopsy, Mr. Tario assisted me by arranging for medical-legal review of my husband's medical records to see if his illness should have been diagnosed and treated while he was living. As a physician myself, I had a good understanding of what needed to be done. Mr. Tario not only got the job done efficiently and professionally, but with compassion and respect. I would not hesitate to consult him again if I ever need legal assistance for any matter.
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Posted by Debbie | September 4, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Michael Tario
I highly recommend Tario & Associates to help you if you are in a car accident. I was rear ended & Michael Tario made sure the responsible parties insurance company paid.
Posted by Lyle | December 24, 2014
Excellent Attorney
Mr Tario did an excellent job handling my recent auto accident claim. He was quite easy to talk and work with. He explained the process and then kept us up to date on what was happening as it went along. He negotiated a satisfactory settlement with a minimum of stress for us. We would highly recommend him.
Posted by Terry | December 19, 2014
Medical malpractice
I went to see Michael about a medical malpractice issue that involved the death of my father, Michael was very knowledgeable and responsive to the case. He and his staff were always available and worked diligently to help resolve my case. I would highly recommend Michael to anyone needing a lawyer and advocate for your rights.
Posted by anonymous | December 17, 2014
Excellent business law advice
I am a business partner in a $100M+ General Contracting business venture and Mr. Tario has offered exceptional guidance and legal direction. Throughout our dealings I've found him to be always accessible and diligent in his clients concerns and professional.
Posted by Cheryl | April 1, 2014
Best Attorney Ever
I was very pleased with the results of Mr. Tario's expertise in personal injury law . I was in an At fault auto accident involving several vehicles. Everyone involved understood that it truly was an accident caused by my inadvertant attention to a bicyclist who had appeared out of nowhere on my passenger side &I, upon observing his next move ,missed the fact that traffic had stopped in front of me to let a pedestrian cross.I had already slowed anticipating a traffic light ,but I still managed to do some damage to the vehicles in front of me.including an injury to the driver caused by deployment of his airbag. I obtained Mr.Tario in hopes of keeping in good standing with my Insurance company & keep my good driving slate clean. i had received a ticket because of the accident & was not happy with letting this go on my driving history. I wanted my day in court.Mr. Tario helped me with all of the necessary paperwork & what to expect & he was very calming .I was quite nervous about going before a judge even though it was me who had chosen to.Thanks to him & his dedication & to his wonderful staff, I was able to get the fine reduced & save my insurance .
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Posted by anonymous | December 18, 2013
The Very Best Attorney in Bellingham!!!
Mr Tario fought very hard for me and got an excellent result. He and his staff are awesome. You could not find a better attorney in Bellingham to help you.
Posted by Scott | May 15, 2013
Excellent legal representation . Not a newbie, lots of experience
Mr. Tario works extremely hard for any and all of his clients. If you take the time to sit with him and let him review your case, you will realize with out a doubt, his experience (well over 30 years) in criminal defense, does make a difference when it comes to knowing the law as well as how to approach many different scenarios.
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Posted by Michael | September 30, 2011
Tario & Associates...A Class Act
Mr. Tario represented me in a personal injury case against Allstate Ins. Co. After the accident I tried to resolve the injury claim with Allstate ins. co. . Their response was totally unacceptable. At that time I contacted Mr. Tario and asked him to represent me. What a perfect choice! Mr. Tario and his associates worked hard in my behalf and I was awarded an amount well over the policy limit. If I ever need legal assistance again, there is only one choice.....Tario & Associates
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Contingency 33%-40%
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Tario & Associates P.S.
  • 1980 - Present
  • Judge ProTem - Part time
  • Whatcom County District Court
  • 1982 - 1983
  • Legislative & Statute Analyst
  • Washington State Counsel on Crime and Deliquency
  • 1977 - 1979


  • University of Puget Sound School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1979
  • University of Wisconsin, Superior
  • MA - Masters - Honors
  • 1976
  • University of Minnesota, Duluth
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude
  • 1975

Sample of Legal Cases

  • John Zweber vs. State Farm Insurance Co. No. 10-2-00335-8
  • Jury Verdict $1,300,000.00
  • Tidiman vs. Allstate Insurance Company No. 08-2-0153-3
  • Jury Verdict $300,375.00
  • Rogers vs The Fairhaven Pub & Martini Bar
  • Defense Verdict
View all legal cases


  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • 2013 - Present
  • The Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Founding Member
  • 1986 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Member
  • 1981 - Present
  • Washington State Association for Justice
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • Federal Bar Association Western District Washington
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • Law Advocates - Whatcom County
  • Board of Directors
  • 1994 - 1996
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French

Honors and Awards

  • BV Distinguished Attorney for 25+ Years
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2024
  • Superb Rating - Since 2017
  • AVVO
  • 2024
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Since 2017
  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • 2024
  • Client Champion Award - Since 1997
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2024
  • Distinguished Peer Rated for High Professional Acheivement
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2024
  • Clients' Choice Award
  • AVVO
  • 2018
  • Distinguished Lawyer Designation
  • Expert Network
  • 2016
  • Client Distinction Award
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Highest-Ranking Law Offices
  • Bellingham Business Journal
  • 2013
  • Very High Legal Ability Distinguished for Fifteen Years
  • Lexis Nexis
  • 2013
  • Top Lawyers in Washington
  • The Legal Network
  • 2013
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • 2013
  • Member
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • 2010
  • Best Attorney in Bellingham to Defend You
  • Bellingham Business Journal
  • 2007
View all awards


  • People Magazine - Interview
  • Alaska Fishing Boat Murders
  • 1984

Speaking Engagements

  • O'Reilly Factor - No Spin Zone - Bill O'Reilly - Fox News
  • Privacy and Eavesdropping
  • 2004
  • National Public Radio
  • The Fourth Amendment and Privacy Interests
  • 2004
  • Criminal Defense Seminar
  • Jury Selection
  • 1985

Attorney endorsements

Received (14)
Given (14)
Endorse Michael
Unknown Attorney | Aug 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Michael is a gifted trial attorney, and consistently achieves excellent results for his clients. He does not back down, and will not settle a case for less than its full value. Insurance companies and opposing attorneys know that he is a formidable adversary, and his results reflect that reputation and speak for themselves. I wholeheartedly endorse Michael Tario."
Personal injury Attorney | May 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Michael. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Unknown Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Personal injury Attorney | Jan 02
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Tario converts compassion into effective representation. Each person is important to him and he has the proven knowledge and skill to strategically handle their case. I strongly support Mr. Tario."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 31
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Tario is a lawyer's lawyer! He is head and shoulders above the majority of lawyers. In my 23 years of legal practice I have worked with many lawyers. Tario is the best lawyer I have ever worked with. He always puts his client's interest first. And he is always forthright and honest with his clients; therefore, they are empowered to make competent decisions in their own best interests. He is the kind of lawyer Abe Lincoln would endorse. He is an honest lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Litigation Attorney | Sep 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"A talented trial attorney, Michael’s clients benefit enormously from his more than three decades of successful advocacy. Over the years, Michael has built a reputation as one of Whatcom County’s best and most successful trial attorneys. Michael’s clients can expect him to fight hard for them and consistently deliver top results."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 23
Relationship: Co-worker
"Michael Tario sets the standard for litigators in Whatcom County. Not only is he one of the most experienced attorneys in the area, but also one of the most respected. Having had the opportunity to watch his commitment and advocacy for his clients, it is not hard to see why his clients have nothing but positive things to say after working with him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Simply one of the best lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I have known and worked with Mr. Tario for over 20 years on various types of cases mostly criminal defense and personal injury. In my opinion, Mr. Tario has achieved results far superior to most any other attorney practicing in Whatcom County. His long list of success and achievements speak for themselves. I highly recommend Michael Tario to represent you on a criminal case or to represent you on any personal injury matter."
Personal injury Attorney | Aug 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Michael Tario fights for his clients and protects their rights. Whether he is defending a client in a criminal matter or helping a client who has been injured he approaches each case with common sense and strong legal advocacy."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Michael Tario has been practicing criminal and personal injury law in Whatcom County for 30 years. He does an excellent job of representing his clients and takes on difficult cases. He is an experienced and skillful trial attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. After graduation from law school, I went to work for the Whatcom Co. Prosecutor's office where I handled a variety of criminal cases. I had the honor of trying cases against and Mr. Tario and also had the opportunity to observe him in trial. I can state unequivocally the Mr.Tario is an exemplary attorney and always obtains excellent results to his clients. Mr.Tario also has a large personal injury practice which he approaches with the same dedication as his criminal practice. Mr.Tario was not only an inspirational mentor, I consider him a very close friend."
Personal injury Attorney | Jul 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. He is one of the most excellent personal injury attorneys I know, and the #1 attorney I refer clients to when they need a top notch personal injury attorney. He is an excellent trial attorney, and is responsible for many of the top trial verdicts in town. He is also the person I go to with questions relating to my own practice. I trust his experience and judgment absolutely."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I'm honored to endorse Michael Tario. He has practiced law in Whatcom County for decades, and is known to be a highly effective jury trial litigator. Indeed, I sought Mr. Tario as co-counsel for a client facing Vehicular Homicide charges. Mr. Tario was my first choice because of his vast experience litigating these same charges in Whatcom County. Together, we provided excellent service to our client and secured a favorable resolution. Mr. Tario also handled the insurance matters surrounding this case. I highly recommend Mr. Tario for representation on high-level criminal defense charges. You won't regret it!"
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