Practice Areas

Miale Gix Law las launched its new practice with special focus on a select number of Personal Injury practice areas. We invite your inquiries in any of these specialties.  For a general overview, click on the subject tabs below. Then contact us using our Injury Interview Request form for a personal discussion and assessment that will help you to understand your rights, the most appropriate next steps, and the potential path to recovery.

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Every day across Washington State thousands upon thousands of cars, trucks and buses take to the streets and highways. They are operated by drivers of various experience and attention levels. In a perfect world everyone would always pay attention to their driving, drive the speed limit, have their vehicles in good working order, and never drive while impaired. If they did, we would always arrive safely at our destinations. Unfortunately, this is a far from perfect world and collisions occur all too frequently.

In 2009 for example, there were almost 103,000 reported motor vehicle collisions in Washington State alone. 34,514 vehicle occupants were injured and required medical care in those collisions. Over 2,200 of them died. Drivers aged 16 – 25 were most likely to be involved in both the serious injury and fatality collisions.

If you are injured in a collision, there will be questions regarding who was responsible for the collision as well as the nature and extent of your injuries. In Washington, the injured person has the burden of proving what happened to them and why it is the fault of the other driver.

Despite what their cute or funny commercials may promise, the first objective of the insurance company is not to help you – it is  to cut down on what they will have to pay out on your claims.  That is true whether they are your own insurance company with a responsibility to pay your medical bills under personal injury protection coverage, or the company for the other driver. They will be contacting you to nail down your story, and to try and get you to sign off on a settlement starting shortly after the collision. You may still be trying to figure out your what your injuries are and what treatment you need, how you are going to pay for it,  who is going to fix your car, and/ or how you are going to get by if you cannot work because of your injuries

These are reasons to consult with me early in the process. I can help you understand what coverage you have available to you, and how to deal with the insurance companies without hurting your claim. I can assist in making sure you obtain the treatment you need. You deserve fair compensation for your monetary losses as well as for the pain, suffering and loss of quality of life that are a consequence of your injuries.  You need a  personal injury recovery champion to obtain it.

Pedestrian Injuries

Whether you are a pedestrian in the city or a jogger on a rural road, the biggest danger you face is from vehicular traffic. Statewide there were 1,752 pedestrians injured in collisions with vehicles in 2009. 61 pedestrians were killed. Over the last three years there were an average of 1,810 people a year hit by vehicles on our roadways and deaths have hovered at the 61 a year level.

While Washington law gives pedestrians lawfully crossing in a marked or unmarked crosswalk one of the highest levels of protection under the law, drivers can and will drive their cars too fast, weave in their lanes, be inattentive, or be in too much of a hurry to notice you in the roadway. In the darkness or on a stormy day they may never see you.

None of these factors should excuse the driver of a car that hits a pedestrian from being held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause – but without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully represented pedestrians struck by vehicles, drivers might well get away with hurting you.

It may seem backwards, but the injured pedestrian has to prove the vehicle operator did something wrong beyond simply hitting them in order to hold the driver accountable for causing injury or death. You need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer like me to obtain and preserve evidence from the scene, capture and clarify witness statements, and deal with the insurance companies. I will help you resolve the proof issues so that you can obtain the care and compensation you deserve.

Premises Liability

Premises Liability is a “catch-all” designation for the types of claims that arise out of injuries that occur on someone else’s property. It includes both residential and commercial properties, inside and out. The bottom line is that the owner or occupier of the property (premises) has a duty to provide a safe environment for the people who come onto their land or structures. If they don’t and someone gets hurt as a result, the property owner or occupier may be held liable for the injuries and damages they cause.

How much the landowner or business owner has to do to protect you from being hurt is grounded in old court made law which decides what your status was when you entered the land or structure:

1.   If you on the property without permission or an invitation, then you are a Trespasser. The only duty the property owner or occupier owes a trespasser is not to willfully or wantonly injure you.

2.   If you are on the property to see friends, family or go to a party for example, you are known as Licensee. The land owner or occupier has a duty of ordinary care to repair, warn of, or otherwise make reasonably safe any dangerous conditions  on their land or structure. However, they must know or should know the condition poses an unreasonable risk of harm  to you, and  that it is one you will probably not discover or appreciate the danger it poses to you.

3.   If you are on the property to do business with the owner or occupier of the land or structure, you are an Invitee. This puts you in the best position to make a recovery as the duty to you is higher. The owner of the business must exercise ordinary care to maintain the land and/or structure in a reasonably safe condition, and seek out then correct dangerous conditions. If the dangerous condition cannot be fixed, they must warn you about it.

The most common situations in which people are injured and make a premises liability claim are trip or slip and falls inside a building or over an object leading to a building. Other examples include falling on  broken or poorly designed stairs,  tripping on broken or cracked sidewalks, or falling  because of poor lighting. Claims can also arise out of injuries from poorly maintained furniture or furnishings, fallen trees or limbs, ditches, or open holes on the property.

These are more complicated claims than they might first appear to be. There are often allegations the injured person contributed to their own injuries. These are very fact specific claims- there is no one size fits all way to win them.  It is important to seek advice soon after the incident from an experienced, successful personal injury attorney like me when you are injured in a premises liability incident.