Betts Patterson Mines

Personal Injury

Betts Patterson Mines has its roots in defending personal injury lawsuits.  Our attorneys are experienced and are as comfortable defending the straightforward automobile collision case with whiplash injuries as they are in defending the catastrophic injury case including traumatic brain injury.  We have litigated cases involving all types of injuries from cognitive to physical to psychological.  BPM attorneys have also litigated personal injury cases in virtually every county throughout the state as well as in federal court.  Our attorneys have participated in arbitrations (mandatory and underinsured motorist cases) both as litigants and as arbitrators themselves.  We are familiar with a myriad of medical-legal issues, whether involving causation issues or challenges to scientific testimony.  Our experience means we have worked with numerous plaintiff counsel, medical experts and mediators.  We know how to efficiently litigate the straightforward case, how to select the appropriate expert in complex cases and how to try cases in front of juries when resolution cannot otherwise be achieved.

Representative Cases

  • Defense of personal injury case where plaintiff claimed he needed a disc replacement surgery.  Plaintiff was driver of passenger vehicle; bus driver collided with plaintiff's vehicle.  Plaintiff was involved in another minor motor vehicle accident subsequently.  Plaintiff claimed serious personal injury.  Defense counsel persuaded jury that plaintiff sustained a minor soft tissue injury and commensurate damages were awarded.
  • Defense of bus company in personal injury case where plaintiff claimed that two lumbar fusions and implantation of spinal cord stimulator were due to accident involving bus, notwithstanding two subsequent motor vehicle accidents.  Case settled for less than medical bills claimed.
  • Represented the driver of a vehicle who was sued for injuries resulting from a roll over accident at an uncontrolled intersection. The jury returned a defense verdict.
  • Represented a crane owner who was sued in a severe personal injury claim filed by an injured workman on a road construction site.  Liability was disputed and by developing a case of contributory negligence, the jury trial resulted in a hung jury and ultimately, a favorable settlement.
  • Defended a crane operating company in litigation involving multiple deaths arising when the boom of a large boom crane was extended into the ceiling of the Kingdome in Seattle while the two decedents were being lifted on a platform attached to the boom.  Enabled case to be resolved to the benefit of the owner/operator of the crane by developing a defense that the accident was solely caused by the negligence of the two decedents whose failure to notify crane operator to stop extending the boom resulted in the boom and platform being extended into the structure causing a catastrophic failure.
  • Represented the owner/operator of a tractor trailer that collided with a car, killing the driver.  The negligence claim was based on the allegation the truck was exceeding the speed limit and sped up as it approached the intersection.  By arguing the decedent never looked to her left and thus, the speed of the approaching truck was immaterial and irrelevant, the court granted summary judgment dismissing the truck driver and owner.
  • Defended the owner of a forklift that was driven off of a loading dock by plaintiff, resulting in an amputation of the lower leg.  The allegation of negligence was based on a claim that the forklift was improperly maintained.  The case was favorably settled in part, based on the development of facts supporting an argument the forklift was being negligently driven by plaintiff and that the maintenance was not the cause of the accident.  Labor and Industries compromised their wage loss, medical bill and PPD lien by over 80% enabling a settlement that was consistent with the client’s goals. 
  • Represented the manufacturer of mining equipment that was involved in a multiple death mining accident in Chile.  The case involved conflict of laws issues and the application of Chilean Mining Laws and enforcement proceedings as well as disputed issues of fact regarding who was in control of the operation at the time of the accident.  By establishing a substantial risk of a defense verdict due to the development of facts and defense that the mine owner had taken custody of the mining equipment from the United States manufacturer and was in control of the operation at the time of the accident, a favorable settlement was achieved.
  • Represented an elevator maintenance company which was sued in a personal injury action.  The plaintiff alleged that negligent maintenance resulted in the elevator dropping and causing severe lower back injuries with disabling neurological symptoms.  The jury returned a defense verdict.
  • Represented an insurance company in a three member panel UIM arbitration where the claimant sought policy limits of $1 million dollars arising out of an accident which was alleged to have resulted in three low back fusion surgeries and eventually, loss of nerve function in the right leg and permanent disability that prevented employment.  Following several days of testimony, the arbitration panel awarded claimant only $23,000 based in part, on the cross examination of plaintiff’s surgeon who admitted he could not rule out a pre-existing condition “stenosis” as the cause of the symptoms and multiple surgeries.
  • Represented a counter defendant in a personal injury claim.  The plaintiff sued the owner of breeding program for personal injury damages, resulting from one of his German shepherds attacking her minor son in the head.  The owner of the breeding program/dog, filed counterclaims against the plaintiff for breach of contract and other claims.  After extensive discovery, multiple depositions of the parties and a hearing set for Summary Judgment Dismissal, the counterclaimant/defendant agreed to voluntarily dismiss our client from the suit. 
  • Defended out of state insureds involved in a motor vehicle accident in Washington State.  The plaintiff claimed she was rear ended by defendants, and defendants testified that it was the plaintiff who actually backed into their automobile.  Plaintiff filed suit for personal injuries sustained while 9 months pregnant, including wages lost.  Extensive discovery and motion practice was undertaken and at arbitration, we received favorable rulings on liability and damages. A 100% defense verdict was entered, including statutory fees and costs.  The client paid $0 to plaintiff.