Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has issued citations to two Spokane bars in connection with a DUI car crash in December, which resulted in three deaths. According to an Associated Press news report, the driver who caused the head-on collision was “over-served” at the downtown Spokane bars – The Lion’s Lair and the BLVD. Officials say they want the BLVD’s license suspended for a month and are asking for a five-day suspension or a fine against the Lion’s Lair. The drunk driver apparently drove west in the eastbound lanes of the Interstate 90 in Spokane. The drunk driver, as well as two people in the other car, were killed in the collision.

This news, interestingly enough, comes around the same time as when Men’s Health and USA Today released a study listing Spokane 51st among the “Drunkest Cities” in the United States. In fact, Spokane ranked higher than Seattle on this list. By assisting drunk driving accident victims, Seattle auto accident lawyers are working to help lower the city’s ranking as the 64th drunkest city in the United States.
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A pedestrian was critically injured in a Spokane car accident in the South Hill area, according to a KXLY news report. The injury collision occurred at the intersection of 10th and Oak where the victim was hit by a car. The driver of the car fled the scene of the crash. The victim was taken to a local hospital. The pedestrian is believed to have sustained life-threatening injuries. The suspect’s vehicle has been described as a light brown or blue sedan with a loud muffler.

As a Seattle car accident attorney, Kirk Bernard understands the serious consequences of hit-and-run accidents. Leaving the scene of an auto collision is a serious crime in Washington State and is punishable by jail time. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.52.020: “A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to, and in every event remain at, the scene of such accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (3) of this section; every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.”
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A 25-year-old man died in a Washington auto accident after he drove the wrong way on Interstate 90 and crashed into a truck. According to a news report in the Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter, the Bremerton man was driving a 2000 Jeep Cherokee east in the westbound lanes near milepost 28. The Jeep narrowly missed a Washington State Patrol trooper’s vehicle and crashed into a bakery truck. The Jeep driver died. His 25-year-old female passenger sustained serious injuries as did the driver of the truck. Both injured victims were transported to a Seattle hospital. Police believe that alcohol was a factor in this fatal car accident.

It is against the law in Washington State to drive under the influence of intoxicants such as alcohol or drugs. It is also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were a total of 521 traffic accident fatalities in 2008. Out of those, 225 or 43 percent were alcohol-related collisions. Also, 182 of these DUI collisions (about 35 percent), involved a driver with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08 percent.

In cases where someone has been struck by a drunk driver, the victim can file a claim against the driver’s insurance seeking compensation. Victims in such cases, can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization and other related damages. If the drunk driver who caused the accident dies in the crash, then a claim for compensation can be filed against the driver’s estate or his liability insurance. These can be complicated claims and are best handled by an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer who has successfully represented injured car accident victims.
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Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles over auto product defects – primarily sticky gas pedals, defective floor mats that can slip and jam the accelerator, and brake issues. Based on news reports, outside experts even speculate that electromagnetic interference may have caused several incidents of unintended acceleration in recalled Toyota models. Now, the auto maker is facing a government inquiry over whether it tried to delay or avoid a recall in the first place.

Parents of a Seattle resident are one of many who are asking questions about how and why their son died. According to a KOMO News report, like many injured victims or grieving families, the bereaved parents are wondering whether sudden acceleration caused by a sticky gas pedal in the victim’s Toyota Tundra may have caused the fatal car accident on Oct. 17, 2007. The crash occurred when the pickup truck inexplicably crashed head-on into a tree.

Recently this victim’s parents found out that his Tundra was on the recall list as well. They now rightly believe that had Toyota paid attention to the problem, recalled the vehicles and fixed the defects, their son would have been alive.

Toyota’s recall comes too late for those in situations similar to this family’s. It is too little too late for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries potentially as a result of the unintended acceleration problem. It is too late for those drivers who have been sent to prison because their car went out of control and injured or killed someone. Seattle personal injury attorneys understand that there have been several car accident cases nationwide where drivers tried convincing juries that it was not them, but their car that was to blame. But no one believed them. Some of those cases are now being reviewed by local prosecutors in different parts of the country.
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A 66-year-old man sustained fatal injuries in a Washington auto accident after his car collided head-on with a bridge support on the southbound Valley Freeway at 15th Street Northwest in Auburn. According to a news report in the Auburn Reporter, the man was driving a Toyota pickup truck, when he struck the bridge support at a high rate of speed. In fact, eyewitnesses told investigators that there were no brake lights from the Toyota before the impact. The man died at the scene. The incident is being investigated by the Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

In such cases, it is extremely important to have a skilled Seattle car accident lawyer help you determine whether the accident was caused by a defective auto. The vehicle involved in this incident was a Toyota pickup truck. Witnesses state that the driver made no attempt to stop and went speeding right into the bridge support. It might be useful in this case to find out whether the vehicle malfunctioned and whether it is one of the models included in Toyota’s recall of more than 8 million vehicles for defective gas pedals or floor mats said to cause sudden or unintended acceleration.
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers about defective cribs, which have been responsible for three infant deaths. According to an Associated Press news report, the federal safety agency is recalling 500,000 drop-side cribs, manufactured by Generation 2 Worldwide and ChildESIGNS. The plastic hardware on these cribs can break and allow the drop side to detach, creating a space where the child can become entrapped and suffocated. Also, the mattress supports in these cribs can break away from the crib frames creating a gap where children can suffocate.

CPSC has received three reports of children who died after getting trapped and being suffocated in these defective cribs. The victims were an 8-month-old boy from Ohio who died in June 2007; a 6-month-old boy from Indiana who suffocated in a crib and died in October 2003; and another 6-month-old boy from Virginia who died in September 2002 after two missing screws allowed the lower drop-side track of his crib to pull away from the headboard post. These cribs were sold at retailers nationwide including Buy Buy Baby, Kmart and Wal-Mart.

Several consumers and Seattle products liability attorneys are aware of the fact that more than 5 million cribs have been recalled over the last few years because of similar defects and hazards. Almost all of these recalled cribs were drop-side cribs. These cribs were recalled because when the drop-sides detached, an entrapment and suffocation hazard was created. Inferior parts and poor quality control have also contributed to these product defects.
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Men’s Health and USA Today released a recent study, which lists Spokane 51st among the “Drunkest Cities” in the United States. According to a KREM news report, these rankings are based on 100 major cities in the country that have high numbers of DUI car accidents, high death rates from liver disease, DUI arrests and severe binge drinking. In fact, Spokane ranked higher than Seattle on this list. Seattle is ranked the 64th drunkest city in the United States.

According to Washington State Patrol officials, there were 100 DUI auto accidents in Spokane County in 2009. Last year there were three high-profile DUI crashes in Spokane, which may have drawn attention to the Lilac City. In December, there was a triple fatal crash on the Interstate 90 where the driver was drunk.

Driving drunk is illegal in all 50 states. In Washington State, as in most other states, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI car accident caused by another driver, please remember that you have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and loss. Seattle car accident attorneys may be able to help an injured individual hold a driver who was under the influence financially responsible for causing the accident and resulting injuries.
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So far, Toyota has recalled more than 7 million vehicles over faulty gas pedals and floor mats. The auto maker has also stopped production and sales of eight models, including its top-selling Camry and Corolla models. The first Toyota recall was issued last year after an auto accident in California killed a highway patrol officer and three members of his family. The officer was in a loaner Lexus and the defective floor mat in the car allegedly caused the accelerator pedal to become jammed. The car accelerated out of control at 120 mph, crashed, and caused four fatalities.

Toyota officials say they have come up with a fix for the gas pedals, which has been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The problem with the gas pedals was that the pedal mechanism could become worn and harder to depress or it could get stuck in a partially depressed position, thus causing sudden or unintended acceleration.

Toyota engineers have been working to insert a spacer in the pedal mechanism in order to increase the tension in a spring and reduce the risk of the gas pedal sticking or staying down. The auto maker has also come under quite a bit of criticism for failing to act quickly on unexpected acceleration issues related to the faulty floor mats. Federal officials say Toyota has known about the problem with the mats since 2007 and has still done nothing to fix it.
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Whatcom County Sheriff’s officials are investigating the death of a worker at a local dairy farm north of Lynden, Washington, according to the Bellingham Herald. Officials say a large, overhead door fell on the 30-year-old worker and pinned him against an interior cattle gate. He died at the scene. Officials are looking into whether the door fell as a result of a mechanical failure. Authorities will report the findings of their investigation to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there were a total of 47 fatalities in the dairy industry in 2007. Out of these fatalities, 13 deaths were a result of contact with objects and equipment. That category includes dairy workers who were killed as a result of falling objects. In this particular case, it is not clear what caused the door to fall on the worker. In cases where industrial accidents result in death, the worker’s family will be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. However, if the fatal injury involved negligence on the part of someone else or a defective product, a third party claim can be brought against the negligent party or the manufacturer of the defective product.
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A 60-year-old man from Spokane was killed in a pedestrian accident after he was struck by a car while crossing a street. According to a KHQ news report, the man was walking across Division near the 9600 block in an unmarked crosswalk when he was struck by a southbound car. The injured pedestrian was transported to a Spokane hospital where he later died. The driver remained at the scene, but officials say he is likely to face charges.

Washington State law requires motorists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.61.235 (1): “The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.”
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