Employment & Injury Lawyers in Seattle & Spokane
Accidents and employment disputes can be complex and emotionally challenging. There is often a lot at stake in litigation, since the outcome can have a substantial impact on your future or the future of your business. Whether you are involved in a claim of discrimination or harassment, or you have been injured in a serious accident in Washington, it is important to consult an experienced trial attorney. Our Seattle employment lawyers provide personal attention, zealous advocacy, experience, and compassion to accident victims, employees, and employers. We handle cases efficiently, and unlike other law firms that make heavy use of assistants or paralegals, the lawsuits that we take are handled by two attorneys with nearly 40 years of combined legal experience. This sets us apart in terms of the care and attention to detail that we can provide.Employment Law
Our firm works with our business clients to try to resolve employment disputes early in the process. We help employers implement workplace procedures and policies in an effort to avoid or minimize claims by employees. Among other things, we may be able to advise on policies related to leave, wages, severance agreements, sexual harassment, and grievance procedures. If litigation proves necessary, we have the experience and background to effectively defend these claims on behalf of our clients.
Under federal and state laws, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in hiring, firing, promoting, or paying an employee based on certain protected characteristics. If you are subjected to this unlawful conduct, an employment attorney at our Seattle firm may be able to recover damages on your behalf. Generally, the federal laws apply to medium-sized or large employers. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination arising out of race, sex, religion, national origin, or color, and it applies to employers that have at least 15 employees. The Washington State Law Against Discrimination prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, marital status, physical or mental or sensory disabilities, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a disabled person. Your employer must have at least eight employees to be covered by the state law.
Washington employers must follow both federal and state minimum wage and overtime laws. Generally, if the federal and state laws have differences, the employer needs to follow the standard that is more favorable to the employee. Washington’s labor laws mandate that employers pay their employees minimum wage and overtime. Washington's current minimum wage is $11.50 per hour. Overtime is supposed to be paid at a rate of 1½ times an employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked that are more than 40 hours in a workweek. Our Seattle employment attorneys can help workers hold their employers accountable for violating their right to overtime pay or minimum wage, and we can also defend employers against litigation based on alleged wage and hour violations.Personal Injury
We are committed to advocating for the rights of accident victims throughout the state of Washington. Most personal injury lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. This means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused an accident by failing to act reasonably in a certain situation. While this standard sounds straightforward, it can vary according to the circumstances, and often your attorney will need to retain expert witnesses to explain why the defendant’s actions were careless.Car Accidents
Car accidents generally result from driver negligence, but they can also result from a defective car component, a dangerous road condition, or another circumstance. If you are trying to recover damages from a driver, you will likely need to show that they failed to use reasonable care behind the wheel. Drivers may breach the standard of care in many different ways, including by speeding, failing to yield at an intersection, texting while driving, driving aggressively, or drunk driving. If you prevail in your case, you may be able to obtain compensation for your medical bills as well as any lost income, lost earning capacity, and other costs related to the accident. Moreover, you likely can recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.Slip and Fall Accidents
As Seattle employment lawyers, we understand what it takes to hold a business accountable for wrongdoing toward its employees, and we can do the same when its wrongdoing affects its customers. If you were injured in a slip and fall on someone else's property, you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner or occupier for damages. In many cases, you will need to show that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injuries and yet failed to repair it or provide warnings. However this is not always the case. Oftentimes a business can be held liable even if it was not aware the condition existed prior to the incident. Moreover, a defendant often will deny actual knowledge of a dangerous condition. However, it is possible to hold a defendant liable if it had constructive knowledge. Usually, your attorney can establish constructive knowledge by proving that the dangerous condition existed for such a long time that a reasonable defendant would have noticed it and either fixed the problem or issued some sort of warning.Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed in civil court when someone's death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another party. This lawsuit is distinct from any criminal charges that may be brought by the State, and a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed even if the person responsible for the death was acquitted of any charges in criminal court. A lower burden of proof applies to wrongful death lawsuits. Only people with a certain relationship to the decedent may sue for wrongful death. The first in line are the decedent's estate's personal representative, the spouse or state-registered domestic partner of the decedent, and the child, children, or stepchildren of the decedent.Professional Licensing Defense
If you are a professional, you must take an allegation of negligence, misconduct, or wrongdoing in your profession seriously and retain an experienced attorney. Even when a claim seems frivolous, it may damage your reputation or derail your career plans. Sometimes professionals exacerbate a situation by assuming that they can simply defend themselves. However, an administrative proceeding in which a professional license may be taken away is an adversarial proceeding, similar to a criminal trial, and it is important to make sure that your voice is heard and your position clearly articulated.Consult an Employment Attorney or Seek Assistance with a Personal Injury Claim
It is important to secure the representation of a knowledgeable and tenacious trial attorney if your job, your health, or the well-being of your business is on the line. If you need assistance with a matter related to employment or personal injury law, you should consult the attorneys at Owen | Vanderbrug. We have offices in Seattle and Spokane, from which we also represent clients throughout Washington, including Redmond, Bellevue, Kent, Longview, Vancouver, Port Orchard, Tacoma, Everett, Olympia, and other areas of King, Clark, Cowlitz, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Thurston Counties. Call us at (800) 805-5028 or use our online form to set up an appointment with an employment lawyer at our Seattle firm and find out more about how we can help you.