October 30, 2009

Hit-and-Run Accident Leaves Seattle Man Seriously Injured

A 51-year-old Seattle man, who remains unidentified, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a pedestrian accident. He sustained life-threatening injuries.

The Seattle Times reported that the unidentified man was walking on the shoulder of an Interstate 5 ramp when he was hit by a car. Although the driver of the car drove away, a Bremerton man called 911, described the vehicle and followed it until Washington State Patrol troopers apprehended the driver, a 45-year-old woman, who was arrested for driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run.

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October 29, 2009

Kirk Bernard Offers 12 Answers to Common Auto Insurance Questions

A current ArticlesBase piece by Seattle personal injury attorney, Kirk Bernard, addresses twelve answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding auto insurance in Washington. The article provides answers to questions that range from what a person should do after being in a car accident, to how a motorist can save money on auto insurance.

Considering that auto collisions are incidents that no one ever plans to have befall upon them, the consequences that follow are often just as unexpected. However, learning more about your legal rights as an auto accident victim can help ensure that you know all of your options when it comes to auto insurance and compensation.

Read the full article for more information regarding common answers to auto insurance questions.

October 29, 2009

Kirk Bernard Discusses How the Value of a Claim is Determined

An article was recently published on American Chronicle by Kirk Bernard that focuses on how the value of a personal injury claim is determined. Although formulating how much a claim is worth is not an easy task, the article emphasizes specific factors such as the extent of medical treatment (physical therapy, surgery, etc.), limits of insurance coverage, extent of property damage, and many other circumstances surrounding an accident that may influence a claim’s significance.

To learn more about what issues or conditions may influence the value of your injury claim, read the full article.

October 29, 2009

Drug Deaths Rise Above Traffic Fatalities: Washington One of 16 States

A recent washingtonexaminer.com article has revealed some startling statistics regarding the increase in deaths caused by drug use and overdose in comparison to a decrease in traffic-related fatalities. Washington State is among 16 others in the United States where it would seem that motorists are becoming more cautious when driving but taking more risks when it comes to drugs. So, can this information lead us to simply conclude that the legal and illegal use of prescription painkillers is on the upswing? And, has driving really become safer?

The article stated that based on recent CDC data, the drug-related death rate has almost doubled from the late 1990s to 2006. On the other hand, a decrease in auto accident fatalities is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, revealing that throughout the U.S., traffic fatalities dropped by approximately 6.5 percent from 1999 through 2006 (a drop from 15.3 deaths per 100,000 people to 14.3 per 100,000).

Aside from Washington state, the other locations in which drug-related deaths have risen above traffic fatalities include: Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. Although it is not apparent at this time as to why these particular U.S. States have experienced such a change, experts are wondering if certain drugs in particular may be more of an issue in some states than they are in others.

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October 28, 2009

Kirk Bernard Provides 6 Pointers On What Kind of Compensation Auto Accident Victims Can Expect

The latest American Chronicle article by Kirk Bernard provides six pointers on what kind of compensation auto accident victims can expect for their particular situation. The article begins its discussion by stating that the devastation of an auto collision can impact a victim’s quality of life for many years, if not indefinitely. Furthermore, the article states that it is very common for injury victims to not know their legal rights or the types of compensation that they may be able to receive. It is for this very reason that the article goes on to discuss different kinds of compensation injury victims should be aware of.

Read the entire article to learn the specifics about the top 6 points regarding auto accident victim compensation.

October 27, 2009

Twin Sisters Suffer Critical Burn Injuries from House Fire

Burn injuries can happen in a matter of seconds, but the pain caused by such injuries can last a lifetime. Whether a person suffers first, second, or third degree burns, in many cases, a burn injury victim may have to endure years of rehabilitation and even multiple surgeries to help avoid disfigurement or scarring. Unfortunately, in a number of incidents, disfigurement can be permanent. Burn injuries are commonly seen in auto accidents, but some other causes of burn injury have been associated with explosions, faulty products, defective equipment, and a wide-range of negligent behavior and careless action. And as a recent komonews.com article demonstrates, critical burn injuries can be caused by house fires as well.

According to the report, twin 9-year-old sisters suffered critical burns from a house fire in Yelm, but are expected to recover. The fire is said to have been started in an electrical socket in a front room in the house. Others in the home during the time of the fire received treatment for smoke inhalation. The twin girls suffered severe lung burns. Apparently the fire began around 2 a.m. on October 1, 2009 and the survival of the two young girls can be attributed to their step-dad who, after escaping the burning house, returned to rescue the twins.

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October 26, 2009

Kirk Bernard of the Bernard Law Group Announces $425,500.00 Settlement in Washington Motorcycle Injury Case

PRWEB announced on October 22, 2009 that Kirk Bernard, founding partner of The Bernard Law Group, declared that partner and personal injury attorney Elizabeth Lindquist reached a settlement at mediation in September 2009 for $425,500 in a Washington motorcycle accident injury case. This news reflects a successful outcome for a motorcycle passenger who suffered a burst facture of her lower back due to a negligent motorist that drove past a stop sign, pulled into an intersection, and directly into the path of the motorcycle. Now that the female plaintiff represented by Ms. Lindquist has received compensation to help pay for her pain and suffering, as well as much needed medical surgery and treatment, she can focus on rehabilitation.

The entire press release can be accessed on PRWEB for those who wish to learn more about this specific personal injury case and the efforts of The Bernard Law Group.

October 23, 2009

Kirk Bernard's 5 Tips on Choosing the Right Lawyer for your Case

A recent American Chronicle article by Kirk Bernard discusses his top five tips on how to choose the right lawyer for your case as a personal injury victim. The article begins by acknowledging that it is never easy to select the right lawyer for a particular case, mainly due to the fact that every personal injury incident has unique underlying circumstances. In Washington State alone, there are thousands of lawyers to choose from. In cases involving your personal health, safety, or damage to your financial situation, you cannot afford to risk your case with just any lawyer.

Read the rest of this article to learn more about some important tips to help you choose the right lawyer for your particular case.

October 22, 2009

Woman Killed by Amtrak Train

A recent seattletimes.nwsource.com article serves as a reminder of how important it is to use extreme caution when in close proximity to train tracks, whether you are in an automobile, riding a bike, or, especially, a pedestrian on-foot. According to the report, a woman was killed after being hit by an Amtrak train that was on its way to Seattle from Portland. The train accident in Washington occurred one mile north of Sumner on September 29, 2009 at 9:20 p.m. at a private train crossing along Burlington Northern property. The identity of the woman has not yet been released due to the accident still being under investigation.

It is never the best idea to walk along train tracks, yet this wrongful death accident marks the 10th death this year of a person trespassing on Burlington Northern property. Even if it were the 1st death, any loss is one too many. This recent accident raises the question as to what (if anything) is being done to deter trespassers at this location so that the risk of death and injury can be curbed.

Train accidents can occur for a variety of reasons ranging from operator negligence to train or track part failure. Whatever the cause of a train accident, negligence in some form is often to blame in which those who suffer as a result have legal rights that deserve to be protected. When an innocent victim is killed in a train accident, surviving family members may be able to hold those responsible liable for their loss and any financial consequences that result from the death. In such cases, family members may want to consult with a skilled Seattle train accident attorney to find out if they qualify to receive such compensation. It may also be in the best interest of an individual injured in a train accident to seek legal counsel as well, considering that train accident injuries can lead to steep medical bills, and even years of physical therapy and rehabilitation treatment.

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October 20, 2009

15-Year-Old Killed by Pain Patch Overdose

A recent story about a 15-year-old autistic boy who died shortly after undergoing dental work at Seattle Children’s hospital has left parents feeling shocked and outraged. According to a kirotv.com article, the boy was discharged from the hospital on March 9 and was discovered dead the next day. The cause of this tragic death was linked to a drug overdose of fentanyl administered by a pain patch that is usually given to patients who suffer from chronic pain. The FDA notes that fentanyl is not meant to be given as a pain reliever for mild surgical procedures. In fact, fentanyl is actually intended for those who commonly take narcotic pain medication.

Although Seattle Children’s hospital has publically apologized for their serious medical error, many parents are wondering if their children are safe in the supposed caring hands of physicians and other medical professionals. Hospital officials have said that they are taking necessary steps to ensure that such a mistake never occurs again. The question still remains though as to why such a powerful medication like fentanyl was given to the teenager in the first place. It is also unnerving that the medical mishap is said to not have been the fault of one particular medical professional, but was instead the failure of multiple individuals.

Based on the story, the Medical Director of Seattle Children’s stated, "We can never bring back this child or fully understand to what level we have devastated their family….We are deeply sorry for the family and will everything in our power to ensure this never happens to another child at Children's."

In learning of this serious incident, it may not surprise most people that the family of the deceased teenager has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that reckless and negligent behavior on the part of the two dentists and Seattle Children’s was responsible for the teen’s death. With the assistance of a medical malpractice lawyer in Seattle, the family may receive compensation for their loss.

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October 16, 2009

Cyclists Want Tougher Driving Laws in Seattle

Last February, a 39 year old father was killed when he was hit by a car while riding his bike to work.

His widow says, "…I don't want it to happen again." Speaking at a crowded bicycle summit at Seattle City Hall on Wednesday night in support of tougher laws against dangerous drivers, she said, "The person behind the wheel was negligent; their behavior was the cause of someone's death. Why are they allowed to get behind the wheel of a car?"

A Seattle city ordinance that made it a misdemeanor to kill or injure someone in a traffic accident was overturned by the state Court of Appeals in August of this year.

As a result, drivers involved in deadly crashes can only be charged with felony vehicular homicide, and the charge only applies if they were drunk, on drugs or acting recklessly at the time of the crash.

KOMOnews.com reports that according to statistics, some 500 people are killed or badly injured in traffic accidents in Washington state every year. But many of the offenders can't be charged with any type of felony, and instead are just given traffic tickets.

One man at the summit said, "It just seems like you can break a whole lot of laws at the same time and you're still not being reckless in the legal sense."

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October 15, 2009

Wet Road Conditions Contributed to Yelm Head-On Collision

A recent king5.com article reported that two teens have suffered serious chest, leg, and head injuries from a head-on collision that took place on the morning of September 29, 2009. According the story, Washington State Patrol said that the 16-year-old driver was driving at speeds too great for the wet road conditions. As she was headed northbound on Morris Road and approached a curve, her 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass crossed over the center line and hit a GMC truck. The teen driver is reported to be in critical condition and her passenger is in serious condition. The 43-year-old driver of the truck did not suffer any injuries.

As we hear of more and more auto accidents in Washington taking place, we can only hope that those injured have a smooth recovery. As a result of receiving the proper care auto accident victims need to recuperate, unfortunate accident victims are often saddled with steep medical bills after the fact. When it is determined that another driver’s negligence caused such financial consequences in addition to serious physical and emotional calamities, an injured victim may be able to seek compensation to help pay for such expenses.

With some of these consequences in mind as to what the aftermath of a car accident can be like, please alter your driving speed during wet road conditions so that you do not lose control of your vehicle. Although we all know that it is extremely important to drive safely, it is even more vital to do so during or after inclement weather. No matter how late you are for school, work, or if you’re in a hurry for any other reason, your well-being is more important than arriving on time.

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October 13, 2009

Lakewood Residents Argue that Speed Cameras Don’t Capture their Best Side

Much debate has circulated around the use of camera vans and the effectiveness of fixed camera installation to help prevent speeding in school zones. Lakewood school zones in particular have had camera vans in position to catch such speeders. However, according to a report from thenewstribune.com, these roving vans should be removed within two to three weeks due to an amended contract with Redflex Traffic Systems. Lakewood’s city council voted 3-2 to install fixed cameras near Park Lodge Elementary and Lochburn Middle School, in addition to having uniformed officers periodically patrol the school zones.

The main argument residents seem to make in regard to speeding cameras and the tickets that result is that the cameras are error-prone and the tickets are more difficult to challenge than those issued directly by an officer. In opposition to the amendment to install fixed cameras, a councilman referred to the process as a “disproportionate reaction, or solution, to a problem we don’t have.” Undoubtedly behind the councilman’s statement is the fact that officials have noted there hasn’t been a serious pedestrian-auto accident in a school zone in Lakewood’s 13-year history. However, in argument against the councilman’s stance, perhaps the reason for this is the very existence of the cameras.

Pertaining to the complaints of residents that the cameras are inaccurate in “capturing” speeders, local Police Chief stated, “Technology has bugs, and we will try our best to work them out”.

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October 7, 2009

Johnson & Johnson's Voluntary Recall of Infants' and Children's Liquid Tylenol

A recent komonews.com article reported that the McNeil unit of Johnson & Johnson has issued a voluntary recall of 57 lots of liquid Tylenol products, intended for use on infants and children, due to a plausible bacterial contamination. Many parents are shocked to learn that the reputable company revealed that a B. cepacia bacterium was found in a portion of raw material that went unused in the finished product.

Although no bacteria were discovered in the finished product that reached consumers, Johnson & Johnson decided to recall the products as a precautionary measure after consulting with the Food and Drug Administration. As skilled Seattle product liability attorneys, we believe it is better to be safe than sorry in instances such as these, especially when the lives of infants and young children are involved.

According to the report, the recalled products were manufactured between April and June and are made-up of almost two dozen varieties that include Infants’ Tylenol Grape Suspension Drops ¼ oz., Children’s Tylenol Suspension 4 oz. Grape, and Children’s Tylenol Plus Cold/Allergy 4 oz. Bubble Gum. Despite there being a very slim chance that any medical events will take place since the bacterium was not present in the finished products, the company released the following statement: "It was decided, as a precaution, to recall all product that utilized any of the raw material manufactured at the same time as the raw material that tested positive for the bacteria.”

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October 5, 2009

Speeding Causes Car to Crash into SeaTac Building

Any kind of auto accident is tragic, especially when such an incident is caused by a preventable factor like speeding, cell phone use, or impaired driving. A recent car collision reported by seattletimes.nwsource.com is a reminder of how detrimental speeding can actually be, and should serve as a powerful deterrent next time a motorist thinks of violating the speed limit. According to the article, high speed driving influenced the accident in SeaTac, causing an SUV carrying three people to run off the road, crash into a building, and catch fire. Sadly, all three people in the vehicle did not survive the fiery collision.

Although the report did not mention how fast the vehicle was traveling, it can be assumed that speeds were quite extreme considering that the car jumped a curb after passing the center line, broke a utility pole support wire, and proceeded to crash into the building. Apparently, residents consider the particular street that this accident occurred on to be a common spot for speeding. One resident said she has contacted police many times to either increase their patrol of the area or do something about putting in speed bumps to help curtail speeding.

Negligent drivers put passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers at great risk of suffering catastrophic injury or even death. Auto accidents in Seattle can be devastating, partly because they are so unexpected, and often result in life-changing consequences.

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