GSJones Law Group, P.S.

Personal Injury Attorneys

 Personal injury attorneys

Injured and feeling helpless? Put our experienced personal injury attorneys to work for you.

If you or a loved one has been injured by the actions or inactions of another person, you need to concentrate on recovery. While you heal, let one of our personal injury attorneys concentrate on getting justice for you. Put our decades of experience and aggressiveness on your case. We’d love to sit down with you to talk over your situation. If you are not well enough to come to our offices, we are happy to visit you.

In the meantime, here’s some free advice, based on decades of experience.

  • Above all else, make sure you get the care you need.
  • Secondly, don’t rush into a quick insurance settlement.
  • You may be overwhelmed by some of the most crucial decisions of your life. The best thing you can do is reach out for the help you need.
  • Your pain and emotional hurt may make it more difficult to find the best options.

At GSJones Law Group, P.S. we stand ready to guide you through the process and fight like a tiger for what you need. In addition, we get paid when you get paid.

Our personal injury attorneys combine 40 years of experience and a successful record

They know the system, the opposing lawyers, and the judges. As a result, we have worked with clients injured by a wide spectrum of accidents and situations.

  • Auto accident.
  • Pedestrian accident.
  • Bicycle accident.
  • Motorcycle accident.
  • Boating accident
  • Drunk driver accident
  • Accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UI/UIM)
  • Medical malpractice
  • Excessive force by law officers
  • Wrongful death
  • Premises liability situations (slip and fall)
  • Elevator or escalator accident
  • Accidents causing serious injuries, including bone fractures, neck injury or back injury
  • Accidents causing catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or burn injury
  • Fatal accidents

Fighting like tigers for you

Personal Injury lawyers

Chalmers Johnson and John Groseclose are with you each step of the way. Our great personal injury attorneys:

  • Provide you advice
  • Evaluate your medical reports
  • Investigate your accident to determine liability
  • And, negotiate with insurance companies

We prepare every case as if for trial. That preparation puts you in a better bargaining position in settlement talks. And, if need be, we are ready to take your case to court. When necessary, we file bad faith claims against insurers who fail to offer you a fair settlement.

We understand your needs

Paying your medical bills is probably at the top of your worries. We completely understand and go into action immediately. Your medical treatment must be uninterrupted. In addition, we know that our clients need compensation for other expenses and losses. These losses may be wages, property, or pain and suffering. We have the experience to evaluate accident reports and medical files. We can advise you through the difficult decision ahead. GSJones Law Group, P.S. has a track record of successful outcomes. We are ready to advocate zealously on your behalf.

Understand your rights after a serious accident resulting in injury with a free consultation with John Groseclose or Chalmers JohnsonCall GSJones Law Group, P.S. today for an appointment with an experienced Port Orchard personal injury attorney regarding your accidental injury. From our offices in Port Orchard, WA GSJones Law Group, P.S. provides full service to communities including Bremerton, Gig Harbor, Silverdale, and the area Naval facilities.

Call or message us today for a free assessment of your case.

 

What is a typical personal injury case like?

1: Get as much information as you can as soon after the accident as possible. If you can’t do it yourself, enlist the help of family and friends. Most importantly, get names and contact information of witnesses and those involved. Take photos. Write down what happened as soon as you can so that you can capture details. If this is an on-going issue, keep a daily log.

2: Get medical treatment. If you have been injured, take care of yourself first and foremost. As you do this, you create evidence that will be used to determine the extent of your physical injuries. Don’t stint on this.

3: Find a good attorney with plenty of experience in both settling and trying personal injury cases. We have excellent lawyers with more than 40 years of experience. Nevertheless, consult with more than one attorney about your case to find a good fit.

4: The lawyer begins the investigation. The first step is getting all the information you have, as well as personal, financial, and medical background information. One of the biggest tasks is getting all your medical records and reviewing them.

5: Determination of viability. Once the attorney has reviewed all the information, she will make a determination about whether or not she believes your case is viable.

Moving forward

6: Attempting a settlement. If your attorney determines that the case is strong, she will probably make an attempt to settle it. Two factors determine when she begins settlement talks. The first is whether or not your healing is complete. Until that time, it is difficult to estimate or document the extent of your injuries and losses. Often, however, settlement or a lawsuit must go forward sooner than ideal because financial needs are great.

7: File a lawsuit. If no fair settlement results, your attorney will prepare for filing a lawsuit. He must file within the statute of limitations. In Washington state, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is three years. It will often take as long as two years before the case comes to trial. But, fear not, there are other opportunities for settlement before trial starts.

The final steps

8: Discovery begins. During discovery, your lawyer will demand that the other parties reveal their defense and the evidence they plan to use. She will also demand evidence that you need to prove your case that the other party has. The other party makes the same demands as you. Expect interrogatories, or written questions than demand written answers; demands for documents; and depositions. You will doubtless go to an attorney’s office with your attorney. There, after swearing in you will answer questions put to you by the other party’s attorneys. It will be recorded. Allow about a year for this process.

9: Mediation and Negotiation. Toward the end of discovery, the lawyers may attempt settlement. In fact, between 80% and 95% of personal injury cases are settled before trial. And, settlements can take place even after trial has begun.

10: Trial Begins. Most of these cases are tried before a jury, so the first step in the trial is seating the jury. A trial can take a day, a week or longer, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties.

More information

Litigators won $332,000 verdict

Personal Injury attorney sues Port Townsend for reporter

How to negotiate an insurance settlement

Excessive force complaints and police reform

By John Groseclose

LaPolice reform and oversight neededst week the Houston Chronicle reported the arrest of a therapist last March for resisting arrest. When she was pulled over for allegedly crossing a double white line, the young woman dialed 911 asking for another officer because she was afraid of the patrol officer who had threatened to taze her.

Was there provocation? Did the Officer use excessive force?

Ms. White’s attorney released the surveillance video video from the area dubbed with the official recording of the 911 call. For several minutes we see the officer standing by, shouting at times, while she calmly talks with the dispatcher. Then, when the dispatcher connects her with the officer’s department, he suddenly grabs his handcuffs and then grabs her. There appeared to be no provocation other than her statement to his supervisor that the officer was harassing her. She yells that he is trying to break her arm and we see parts of the struggle that ensues. The dispatch tape indicates that she rapidly goes from calm to incoherent as he manhandles her.

Conflicting Expectations

Ms. White screams, “Please get your hands off of me. What is wrong with you? … Why are you doing this?…I am a woman.” It was obvious that she expected to be treated with respect.

The officer was cleared by the department. They said that he was trained to be wary and he acted properly.  From their standpoint, she should have gotten back in the car. Her failure to do that, justifies the manhandling and charges.

If she is convicted, the newspaper reports that she could lose her livelihood.

De-escalation and solutions

This video is less violent, when compared to much more egregious examples of police action since cell phone video began wide use. Ms. White wasn’t killed or badly hurt. It seems that changes in policing systems and police actions are needed. Police are called on to deal with people on their worst days. We call the police when our neighbor flips out or when we can’t deal with one of our relatives in the midst of a mental crisis. Officers receive very little, if any training, in de-escalation.

Several recent federal reports indicate the problem is not so much bad officers as a broken system.

In addition to the long list of situations that we ask police officers to handle that they are not trained to do, reports on individual police departments indicate that the system is broken.

This week the Justice Department issued its report on Baltimore PD.  Key findings were that the PD’s system targeted African-Americans and failed to supervise and train officers. It called out “zero tolerance” policing and said it often resulted in violations of the Constitution. Under that program officers reported about 300,000 stop and frisk incidents in a five year period. Yet, an audit showed that in 2014 alone, there were more than 400,000 stops in a city of about 625,000.

Some examples are telling. The report cites one middle aged  black man who was stopped 30 times in four years and never cited for anything. In addition, investigators also found evidence that some department  leaders ordered officers to target black residents.

The attitude of the brass became crystal clear when one of the Justice Department investigators did a ride-along. The supervisor pointed to several black men standing on the sidewalk and told the patrol officer to stop and question them; then disperse them. The officer protested that he didn’t have a reason to do that. His boss’s reply was: Think something up.

Lax oversight, an us vs them mentality

The  Baltimore report echoes findings in cities and towns across the nation. The ideas for police reform are many and varied. A robust complaint system is often cited. Yet, after reviewing a statistically valid sample of about 850 use of force reports, the feds concluded that supervisors approved all but a handful of complaints that they deemed questionable.

When internal oversight fails to curb abuse, individual citizens and groups can take their complaints to our courts. Lawsuits provide outside scrutiny and high profile examples that contribute significantly to creating the impetus for change.

 

Back the Blue Act guts drive for police reform

civil liability limits

photo of 2015 protest of police brutality by Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Back the Blue Act guts incentives to improve policing

In the past two years we’ve seen example after example of excessive force by police officers. Although they too often result in serious injury and death, these assaults rarely result in convictions or even prosecutions for the officers. In some cases, however, victims or families bring successful lawsuits. These serve, as personal injury lawsuits usually do, to bring changes to business as usual. Lawsuits for police abuse and excessive force are an important part of the drive to reform training and policies in police forces.

Tamir Rice murder: No indictment, $6 million settlement

A good example of these system failures is the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, OH, just five days before Thanksgiving. The prosecutor failed to prosecute. Yet, 17 months later the City of Cleveland reached a $6 million settlement with Tamir’s family. It is too early to see what changes might result in policing in Cleveland.

The new U.S. Senate “Back the Blue” Act seeks to remove civil penalties as a tool to reform police departments.

The “Back the Blue Act” has been offered in the Senate in reaction to the recent fatal attacks on police. The Act increases penalties for harming a police officers, no matter how minor.

Robust civil penalties, a tool for change

This blog has made the point often that personal injury lawsuits help improve safety for all of us. Limits on compensation undercuts the ability to hold law enforcement accountable for horrible harm it sometimes inflicts.

Robust civil penalties for police misconduct and excessive force are particularly important. It is much more difficult to prosecute a law enforcement officer for assault or murder than to prosecute a civilian. Separate criminal laws for law enforcement personnel give them wide latitude in the use of deadly force. Although these laws, along with improved training, are currently under review, right now criminal law offers little help to end police attacks. Right now civil lawsuits remain the key tool available.

Back the Blue in its entirety is a gross overreach to address assaults on police officers. Federal law already addresses assaults on law officers. If the law passes, police officers who use excessive force  will continue to escape prison and there will be little access to the courts for victims. The best way to address the recent problems with assaults on police is to quickly move to reform.

John Groseclose, Partner, GSJones Law Group, P.S.