Melissa D. Carter

Melissa D. Carter was born and raised in Washington and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in 1996. She then attended law school in Boston, Massachusetts and received her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1999.

Ms. Carter is an “AV rated attorney and partner at Adler ♦ Giersch ps, a law firm dedicated exclusively to representing those with traumatic injuries with a specialty in brain and spinal trauma.

Prior to joining Adler ♦ Giersch ps, Ms. Carter followed her calling for courtroom advocacy by representing insurance companies and at-fault parties for over twelve years in claims involving complex traumatic injury, insurance contracts and commercial insurance disputes. During this time, Ms. Carter conducted and completed well over 30 jury trials to verdict in state and federal courtrooms in Washington and Massachusetts. Her most recent trials involved traumatic brain injury, wrongful death and insurance bad faith.

Ms. Carter has been an invited speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars for attorneys sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association, the National Business Institute, the King County Bar Association, the Snohomish County Bar Association, the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association, the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington and the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon. Ms. Carter has also presented at numerous seminars to insurers, insurance administrators and risk management business leaders concerning trends in personal law, including insurance bad faith law in Washington following the passage of the Insurance Fair Claims Act in 2007. She is acknowledged by attorneys and judges as an aggressive and compassionate litigator who achieves successful results for her clients. She is a member of the nationwide Million Dollar Advocate Forum and selected to the Washington SuperLawyers™.

Sensing an alarming trend in the insurance industry that favors a mounting imbalance of fairness between insurance companies and injured individuals, Ms. Carter decided she could no longer represent insurers and at-fault parties. Now a partner at Adler ♦ Giersch ps, Ms. Carter has joined her two professional passions of zealous trial advocacy and ensuring that those harmed by others have a level playing field in their recovery of medical, physical and economic losses.

Ms. Carter is licensed to practice law in federal court and in every jurisdiction within the state of Washington. She is also an appointed arbitrator for the Superior Courts for King and Snohomish Counties. Ms. Carter is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Association for Justice (Eagle member), American Association of Justice, the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington and the King County Bar Association.

She resides in Seattle with her husband and their three children. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance running, live music shows and endlessly pursuing that perfect glass of cabernet and pinot noir.


1.  “AV Rated” by Martindale Hubbell: Highest rating available through confidential survey of attorney-peers (2013)

2. “10″ out of “10″ Superb Rating and Client’s Choice Awards on

3. Selected to Washington SuperLawyers™ (2014, 2015, 2016)

4. Public Interest Law Grant Fellow: JRI Health Law Institute Suffolk University Public Interest Law Grant Fellow 1998-1999

5.  Million Dollar Advocate Forum Life Member





6.  Washington State Association for Justice Eagle Member


  1. R. Adler, M. Carter, J. Gent, A. Leritz. Understanding Medical and Treatment Concepts and Terms. Word Association Press (2013)
  2. R. Adler, M. Carter, J. Gent, A. Leritz. Understanding Legal and Insurance Concepts and Terms. Word Association Press (2012)
  1. “Live Demonstration on Effectively Preparing and Presenting Chiropractic Testimony at Deposition” Whiplash, Spinal Trauma, and the Personal Injury Case 2012
  2. “Common Mistakes Plaintiff’s Attorneys Make in the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Case” Handling the Traumatic Brain Injury Case 2012
  3. “How Insurers Attack Health Care Records and Deny Patient Claims” Effectively Managing Your Personal Injury Cases, Insurers and Attorneys 2012
  4. “Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitrations” ADR 2011
  5. “Legal Implications and Electronic Data Recorders” Pacific Claims Executive Association Annual Conference 2008
  6. “Put Your Best Foot Forward in Trial” Gaining the Best Settlement in Auto Injury Cases 2007
  7. “Avoid Trial With Settlement Negotiations and Methods” Fourth Annual Gaining the Best Settlement in Auto Injury Cases 2007
  8. “Cover All the Bases in Pre-Trial Preparation” Third Annual Gaining the Best Settlement in Auto Injury Cases 2006
  9. “Avoid Trial With Settlement Negotiations and Methods” Gaining the Best Settlement in Auto Injury Cases 2006

I was victim  involved in a horrific, devastating, disfiguring fire incident directly caused by a single persons negligence. After a phone call to Adler Giersch, Melissa Carter was at my bed side that evening (9th floor Harbor View Burn ICU).  She is simply the best. Melissa never left our side after that first meeting. Without Melissa and her staff, we would have NEVER got a fair settlement. Or any settlement at all. Don’t kid yourself. Insurance company’s are not going to play nice. You have to have the someone to fight for you! We always felt like we were standing behind a giant fighting a bully. Our family is doing fine now, and we truly love Melissa Carter, her staff, and everything they have done for the us.

Jason [posted on]

I was involved in a high speed collision two years ago. When going through physical and psychological pain related to a serious accident, the last element someone wants to think about is finding a lawyer to handle the endless amount of interactions from insurance companies. Having dealt with non-responsive lawyers in the past, I was reluctant in finding someone who would take my claim seriously, or fight on my behalf. I was lucky enough that my family had dealt with Melissa and her firm in the past, and I knew that if my family thought she was excellent, I would too. No doubt, Melissa Carter and her staff at Adler Giersch handled my claim with the utmost professionalism. From the moment I started having Melissa work on my case she handled everything, and kept me in the loop throughout the entire process. She fights for her clients when needed, and has the knowledge and compassion to deal with personal injury claims. No amount of compensation could take away the pain and damage that collision has caused me, however, Melissa made the nightmare more bearable. Thank you Melissa!

Shalene [posted on]

My husband, son, and I were rear-ended in my Camry last Halloween (2014). I called 911 before I got out of our car and within a few days, all of us had been medically checked, with both adults suffering damage to our necks. It was clear to me even though I’ve never been in an accident before that it was relatively serious and I had no idea how to proceed. The other driver was a 19-year old from Oregon driving a borrowed $90,000 car… that also made me nervous that it might be hard to deal with them.

A friend recalled an accident 20 years ago (!!) and she had great things to say about Adler Giersch, so I called them. From the very first phone call (answered by a real person, with knowledge and genuine concern) through today, everyone at the firm has been great. We were assigned to Melissa Carter, who specializes in the kinds of injuries we had, and she gave me good advice from our very first conversation. She helped me immensely, even before I decided to hire her because of complications caused by an uninsured driver and the significant medical expenses I was facing for needed neck surgery.

I never felt like she was in it for the money. Melissa called and checked on me when she knew I had significant doctor appointments and I felt genuinely cared about, which mattered to me a great deal; I’ve had medical procedures before but nothing with my spine, and I was really worried about permanent disability and all the ramifications of my injuries. She also always took the time to explain all the possible options, with her experience leading her to recommend a path that was likely to lead to the best outcome. When I emailed her at night or even on the weekend to provide a detail, she responded quickly… she was always “on” and immediately responded to my questions. Awesome!

Melissa and Rachael worked hard to get my settlement quickly, which meant that I got to keep a lot more of what little money there was to get. They made sure that the medical bills were sorted out and paid bills before they got any money from the involved insurance companies, meaning that nothing went to collections. She also has helped my husband, whose case is simpler and probably doesn’t require representation.

I hope to never need Melissa’s help again 🙂 but if I do, I will call Adler Giersch without hesitation.

Julia [posted on]

I am a Licensed Medical Massage Practitioner. I contacted Adler-Giersch Law Firm after having a motor vehicle accident in 2009. Melissa Carter inherited my case and fought a great fight for me…we ultimately settled out of court in 2014. Yes this is a long time to have a case pending but Melissa kept on until she got what she thought was a fair offer. Her prompt response to each and every one of my emails was tremendous! I never felt out of the loop or that my case was unworthy. Melissa will be my go to in the future and I will refer to her as often as I get a chance.

Patricia [posted on]

Melissa is not just a great lawyer but a wonderful person.  She is a very passionate and caring person who is incredibly knowledgable on what she does.  She always kept us informed as to where the case stood and what we were going to do next.  Being this was the first time that we have gone through a law suit, we had no idea how the process worked.  Melissa took her time to answer all our questions and made sure that we were well informed on our options.  We were very happy with the outcome of the case and are grateful that she represented us. We would not hesitate to recommend her.

Eddie [posted on]

I was referred to Melissa and Richard by a friend, and I will always remember my first conversation with them. They were so friendly and comfortable to talk to, and they immediately guided me on the steps it would take to clean up the mess that had been created after my accident. I have never been in an accident before, nor have I never had to hire an attorney before so this whole process was foreign to me. I was so overwhelmed dealing with the insurance company, and I felt I was at a loss with my treatment from the accident I was in. Melissa kindly took me under her wing and supported and fought for me for 4 years. She was there through some of the toughest moments in my life, and I cannot thank her enough. If I had any concerns or questions she was easy to contact, and I felt I could be completely honest with her. I will forever be grateful for the amazing work she did for me.

Nicole [posted on]

Outstanding Legal Representation for Complicated Auto Injury Case. Bright, compassionate, rigorously knowledge seeking, and makes you feel as though your case is her only case due to the attention she provides. I had a very difficult case to represent in that my primary injury was rare and not well understood even by most physicians. Melissa found the top doctors not only for me to see, but to help educate herself and the defense about the nature of my injury and its long term impact to my life. She deserves to earn an honorary M.D.. My settlement was both financially substantial and is aiding me in my emotional healing from the pain and suffering I have endured. I would not hesitate to recommend her.

Cindy [posted on]

Melissa, from day 1, was on my case like you’d expect an attorney to do. Very thorough, energetic, and professional. I could not be happier with the outcome of my case. I think both of us were surprised that our outcome exceeded all of our expectations. That is who she is, she did not disappoint and hit em where it hurts. I would definitely use Melissa again and refer her to other friends.

Gregory [posted on]

Melissa was a great lawyer. She was encouraging, responsive and willing to fight for me and give it her all. I also felt she had a lot of integrity, professionally and personally. She was also positive and non-judgmental..very honest, and definitely a pleasure to work with. I also think her legal skills were top rate and she knows her stuff and entirely capable of doing what’s best for her client. Highly recommended.

Marci [posted on]

Melissa rocks! She and the Adler – Giersch staff are all so professional. What impressed me most about Melissa is, she takes her time – is very patient and I never felt like she’s trying to rush me out. I had been in several previous car accidents, so Melissa had to go to each of my doctors to get statements. this was very time consuming and the Insurance Companies wanted to play the blame game. She was able to settle my case in a fair and equitable way. I also appreciated her letting me know when she was out of town, in case I had questions. I would recommend Melissa to anyone I know in need of a good attorney.

Sharon [posted on]