March 24, 2010

Two Spokane Bars Cited in Fatal DUI Collision

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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March 23, 2010

Pedestrian Sustains Critical Injuries in Spokane Auto Accident

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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March 18, 2010

Wrong-Way Driver Killed in Seattle Area Car Crash

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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March 2, 2010

Seattle Toyota Auto Accident Victim's Case Raises Questions

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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February 19, 2010

Man Killed in Washington Auto Accident

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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February 17, 2010

500,000 Defective Cribs Recalled after Infant Deaths

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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February 15, 2010

Spokane Ranks among Nation's "Drunkest" Cities

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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February 9, 2010

Toyota to Fix Defective Gas Pedals

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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January 29, 2010

Worker Fatally Injured On the Job in Washington Dairy Accident

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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January 27, 2010

Spokane Man Killed While Crossing the Street

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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January 25, 2010

Construction Worker Dies As a Result of Equipment Malfunction

A recent news article reports that a 53-year-old Washington construction worker was killed when he and another employee were installing an electrical line at a shopping center. The accident happened when their bucket truck failed. The worker was thrown from the bucket and struck the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Washington State construction site accidents have the potential to result in debilitating injuries or even death. Where serious or catastrophic injuries are involved, construction workers and their families come under tremendous emotional and financial strain. In many cases, families lose their primary wage-earner or sole breadwinner, which puts them in quite a tough predicament. Still, the fact remains that a majority of Seattle construction site accidents, which lead to such tragedies, can be easily prevented and avoided by following safety standards. Sometimes, these tragedies are also caused by defective products and equipment malfunctions. Equipment failure can happen because of a manufacturing defect or because it was poorly maintained. If maintenance is the issue, the injured worker or his family could file a claim against the contractor or sub-contractor in charge of maintenance. If the malfunction was caused by a product defect, the worker or his family can file a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the defective product.

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January 8, 2010

Crimes by Convicted Felons in Nursing Homes on the Rise

An alarming report in the Chicago Tribune talks about an increase in reports of violent attacks by felons living in nursing homes. Many nursing home facilities are apparently not complying with a four-year-old disclosure law that requires them to notify state and public health officials when they admit offenders. As a result, some offenders in that state have been living in facilities undeclared for as long as a year.

There have been several recent incidents involving felons abusing or seriously injuring other nursing home residents. Most recently a 22-year-old mentally ill felon pleaded guilty to brutally raping a 69-year-old woman who lived in the same nursing home. In that case, the felon's background screening had been improperly handled by the nursing home because they used the wrong birth date. In Illinois, nursing homes are required to conduct criminal background checks on all new residents and immediately notify state health authorities when someone with a serious felony conviction is admitted.

However, some homes still fail to conduct these important background checks or make serious errors on the checks, or simply fail to report these felons to officials. Some of these offenders, as a result, went on to commit assaults and serious crimes inside the homes. As a result of the nursing home's negligence and their failure to take these background checks seriously, they exposed their own residents to danger.

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January 4, 2010

Washington Hit-and-Run Car Accident Kills Pedestrian

Washington State Patrol officials are looking for a driver who they say caused a fatal car accident and then left the scene of the crash in Whatcom County. According to a KGMI news report, the car struck and killed and pedestrian on Blaine Road south of Lynden-Birch bay Road. Witnesses described the car as a dark-colored sedan. Authorities believe that the car may have front-end damage.

Leaving the scene of any traffic accident is a serious crime in Washington State, especially if another individual has been seriously injured or killed. 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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December 29, 2009

Washington Fatal Construction Accident

A construction worker was killed at a work site on Guemes Island, according to a KIRO TV news report. The accident reportedly occurred when an 1,800-square-foot home fell off its foundation and crushed one of the workers to death. Six workers were lowering the house in order to comply with building codes, when the house slipped. Five of the workers apparently, were able to escape, but one worker was killed after being trapped and crushed by pieces of the structure.

A majority of construction accidents are caused by falling objects. Many of these involve catastrophic injuries or death because of the nature of such accidents. However, the sad truth is that most of these accidents are entirely preventable. The big question in such cases is whether the construction company or contractor was following all federal and state construction safety standards. In this case, were all the workers trained to perform the job they were doing? Did they follow all safety procedures? Were they being properly supervised? Was this accident the result of someone else's negligence or a defective product?

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December 28, 2009

Jury Finds Nursing Home Neglect Led to Woman's Death

A jury has awarded $51,000 to the family of a nursing home resident, who died after suffering a large bed sore that ate through her skin, to the bone. According to a recent news report, the jury also decided that the nursing home should cover attorney's fees incurred by the resident's children over five years. The 88-year-old resident died in December 2004 after she underwent a procedure to remove bedsores and treat bone infections caused by the nursing home's extreme neglect including, failing to clean her. Nursing home administrators maintained that the woman had bedsores on other parts of her body and that she did not suffer them as a result of negligence.

Nursing home negligence lawsuits may not yield as much as other personal injury cases in terms of damages. However, in this case, the family gets the satisfaction of holding the facility accountable for their wrongdoing. The civil justice system is about righting a wrong and holding those who broke our nation's civil laws responsible and financially liable to the victim. That's exactly what happened here. The nursing home has been made to pay for their wrongdoing.

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December 24, 2009

Toyota, Lexus and Ford Models Get Most Sudden Acceleration Complaints

A Consumer Reports analysis of a federal safety complaints database is showing that more than 40 percent of sudden acceleration complaints involve Toyota and Lexus models. According to a recent news report, the study looked at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) safety complaints database, which apparently also found Ford standing out with a significant number of complaints relating to sudden acceleration.

Consumer Reports analyzed all 5,916 reports on 2008 models and identified 166 cases in which the complaint described unintended, sudden acceleration that the driver could not control. A fatal car accident in San Diego which killed a California Highway Patrol officer and three members of his family led Toyota and NHTSA to issue a safety advisory on floor-mat entrapment. Toyota is also preparing for a massive recall involving 4 million vehicles to modify gas pedals and make other changes to remedy potential sudden acceleration problems. Consumer Reports' research found that sudden acceleration incidents were distributed over 22 brands with 47 complaints about Toyota models and five about Lexus vehicles.

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December 18, 2009

Man Fatally Injured in Seattle Pedestrian Accident

A pedestrian has been struck and killed in a Seattle car accident after a wrong-way driver hit him and fled the scene. The hit-and-run suspect was later apprehended by police and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. According to an Associated Press news report, the accident occurred as the pedestrian was crossing at the intersection of Bell Street and Western Avenue. The motorist was going west on Bell Street in a white 2006 Honda. The Honda then turned left at Western after hitting the pedestrian, traveling the wrong way down the one-way street. The pedestrian was transported to a Seattle hospital where he died shortly afterward. The driver of the Honda was later stopped and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and vehicular homicide.

Driving under the influence of intoxicants is a serious crime in Washington State. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.61.502, driving under the influence is when "a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within the state." It is also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.

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December 14, 2009

Construction Worker Fatally Injured after Embankment Collapses

Washington construction site accident can result in serious if not catastrophic or fatal injuries. A lot of construction accidents in Washington State and elsewhere in the country occur because of trench collapses in the construction site. A recent construction site fatality was caused by a loose embankment. This incident caused the death of a 27-year-old worker. The embankment reportedly gave way, burying the worker. The injuries he sustained proved fatal.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are apparently investigating how and why this embankment collapsed. They should inspect the construction site for safety violations, verify whether this worker had sufficient training to do his job and also whether he was being properly supervised. OSHA must also look into how well the embankment was secured before the man began work and the contractor's prior history to check if OSHA had investigated them in the past.

OSHA investigations typically take up to six months. But, if you or a loved one has been injured in a Washington construction site accident, it definitely, would not be advisable for you to wait that long before contacting an experienced construction accident lawyer. What many workers and their families do not realize is that employers are constantly protecting themselves, thanks to their team of insurers and attorneys who watch their backs. But, who is looking out for the victim? Who's watching your back?

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December 10, 2009

Washington Fatal Rollover Car Accident

Rollover accidents can be extremely devastating for the occupants of a vehicle. Because of the intensity of a violent rollover, victims may suffer catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or even death. Sometimes, factors such as vehicle defects including tire defects, seatbelt defects, or seatback failure could cause or contribute to these injuries. That is why it is extremely important that these auto accident victims or their families consult an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer if they suspect auto product defects, roadway defects or negligence on the part of another driver.

A recent car crash in Yakima, Washington, shows how deadly a rollover accident can be. A 67-yar-old man was killed in Pasco after his car hit another driver's SUV. According to a news report in the Yakima Herald-Republic, the crash occurred on the Interstate 182 in Pasco. Both drivers were westbound on the highway when the man's Honda Accord clipped the rear of a Dodge Durango SUV. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to roll over and land on its top. Officials determined that the man was not wearing his seatbelt and believe that speed may have played a part in the crash as well.

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December 9, 2009

Washington DUI Car Accident Injures Two

Authorities say alcohol was a factor in a Washington car accident involving four vehicles, which sent one person to a Seattle hospital. According to a news report in the Columbia Basin Herald, a 23-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault and DUI. The driver was apparently driving at a high rate of speed and lost control of his car, causing a chain reaction crash involving three other cars, which were legally parked on the street and thankfully, not occupied. The suspected drunk driver sustained head injuries. His passenger suffered facial injuries and was also transported to the hospital. The suspected drunk driver reportedly did not have car insurance.

Drunk driving is a serious crime in the state of Washington. It is against Washington law (Revised Code of Washington Section 46.61.502) to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. When a drunk driver injures or kills individuals other than himself, he could not only face criminal charges, but may also be held civilly liable for his wrongdoing.

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December 4, 2009

Washington Fatal DUI Car Accident

A 20-year-old Grandview, Washington, woman was killed after a drunk driver going the wrong way struck her vehicle head-on on the Interstate 82, the Tri-City Herald reports. The 49-year-old man was charged with vehicular homicide. Prosecutors say the man had been drinking beer before he got behind the wheel of his truck and drove the wrong way on the Interstate 82 slamming into a 2007 Chrysler 300 driven by the young victim. The wrong-way driver apparently had bloodshot and watery eyes and emitted a strong odor of alcohol. His speech was slurred and he admitted to drinking beer, Washington State Patrol officials said.

In Washington State, it is illegal to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is also against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. If a DUI accident results in the death of an individual other than the drunk driver, the person will face vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide. Conviction on these charges could mean a lengthy prison time.

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December 3, 2009

Washington Car Accident Kills One, Injures Five

A Washington car accident killed a 25-year-old man and injured five of his passengers including a toddler, The Kitsap Sun reports. Washington State Patrol officials said that the 1993 Dodge four-door was heading south on Highway 3 when it collided with a 2002 Toyota pickup truck heading north. According to officials, it was the driver of the Dodge who failed to yield right-of-way to the other vehicle. The driver of the Dodge was pronounced dead at the scene. Five passengers were taken to a Seattle hospital in serious condition. The driver of the Toyota pickup truck was apparently not injured.

A number of car accidents in Seattle and elsewhere in Washington occur as a result of drivers failing to yield the right-of-way at intersections. That's exactly what happened in this car accident. The driver, whom officials say failed to yield the right-of-way, was killed, and all of his passengers were seriously injured. I hope that these injured victims recover from their injuries.

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December 3, 2009

Washington Car Accident Kills One, Injures Five

A Washington car accident killed a 25-year-old man and injured five of his passengers including a toddler, The Kitsap Sun reports. Washington State Patrol officials said that the 1993 Dodge four-door was heading south on Highway 3 when it collided with a 2002 Toyota pickup truck heading north. According to officials, it was the driver of the Dodge who failed to yield right-of-way to the other vehicle. The driver of the Dodge was pronounced dead at the scene. Five passengers were taken to a Seattle hospital in serious condition. The driver of the Toyota pickup truck was apparently not injured.

A number of car accidents in Seattle and elsewhere in Washington occur as a result of drivers failing to yield the right-of-way at intersections. That's exactly what happened in this car accident. The driver, whom officials say failed to yield the right-of-way, was killed, and all of his passengers were seriously injured. I hope that these injured victims recover from their injuries.

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December 1, 2009

Seattle Man Killed in Rollover Car Accident

A 43-year-old Seattle man has been killed in a rollover car accident involving several vehicles on the Interstate 5 just north of Highway 518, the News Tribune reports. The victim was apparently driving a 1996 black Toyota Land Cruiser heading south on the 5 Freeway when there was a crash between a white Ford Crown Victoria operated by a taxicab company and a Toyota Land Cruiser. After the impact, the Toyota rolled over and landed on its roof where it was struck by a 2000 Toyota Camry. The driver of the taxi and the Camry were not injured, but the driver of the Land Cruiser, who authorities say, was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead. The incident is still under investigation.

In cases that involve multiple vehicles and victims, it's always a good idea to get legal representation, especially if you've suffered serious personal injury and damages. That's because in these accidents, the investigation is bound to be complicated and will invariably involve insurance adjusters and attorneys for several other parties. There will be conflicting reports and accounts from those involved in the accident as well as eyewitnesses.

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November 25, 2009

Stork Craft Crib Recall Largest In U.S. History

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of potentially dangerous cribs, the largest crib recall in the history of the United States. The CPSC is advising consumers to stop using The Stork Craft drop-down-side crib because it poses a serious strangulation risk to infants. Approximately 2.1 million of the cribs have been sold and are in use.

The move follows the news that 4 infants have died of suffocation after becoming entrapped in the crib’s drop down sides. There have also been at least 110 incidents in the United States and Canada when the drop-down sides of the cribs became detached, which resulted in dozens of babies either becoming entrapped between the side and the crib frame, or falling out of the crib altogether.

Drop down side cribs have a track record for injuring infants. Nearly 5 million cribs have been recalled over the past two years and the CPSC has discussed banning dropdown sides all together. Adding to the danger in this particular case is the fact that parts used to create the cribs are easily broken, missing, or misassembled. For instance, the crib's drop-side could come off its tracks and create a "hazardous gap which can lead to infant entrapment and suffocation."

Stork Craft has released a toll-free number for consumers to call, or to order a free repair kit: (877) 274-0277.

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November 20, 2009

Kirk Bernard Discusses Aftermath of Construction Wrongful Death Accidents in Washington

The death of a loved one can have a devastating impact on surviving family members. During this time of grief, it’s difficult to think of anything else except the loss of that special person.

But after the grieving ends, what is there to do about the ones who caused the death? Did the construction site employers, contractors and/or subcontractors fail to provide a safe environment for the loved one? Did that failure cause the accident that led to the death of the loved one?

Wrongful death can arise as a result of construction site accidents in Seattle. Wrongful death occurs when a person’s reckless or negligent actions result in the death of another. Wrongful death attorney Kirk Bernard knows that in order to win a wrongful death lawsuit, the following must be proven: defendant had a duty to the decedent; defendant breached that duty; death was caused by defendant’s breach of that duty; and the survivors have suffered damages as a result of the loss and death of the decedent.

To learn more about the aftermath of a construction accident wrongful death, read the full article here.

November 19, 2009

Flammable Robes Recalled, Linked to Nine Deaths

The connection between nine deaths and extremely flammable women’s robes has instigated a recall by Blair LLC. According to a kfoxtv.com report, a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announcement stated that four additional reports of death linked to the full-length women’s chenille robes have been reported to Blair LLC of Warren, PA since June. Because of this, the company has expanded its recall to incorporate additional products imported from the Pakistani manufacturer. The recall now includes more chenille robes and three other chenille products, all made by A-One Textile & Towel, of Karachi, Pakistan.

What has been quite unnerving to consumers is that these dangerous robes were initially recalled in April by Blair after it discovered that three robes caught fire, including one incident in which a consumer suffered second-degree burns. Considering that the robes fail to meet federal flammability standards, they present great risk of serious burns to anyone who wears the garments while exposed to an open flame, such as a stove in the kitchen. Most of the reported deaths linked to the full-length robes took place when the victims were wearing the robes while cooking. A CPSC spokesman said that the victims were mainly in their 70s and 80s.

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November 18, 2009

Driver and 5 Passengers Killed in Kitsap County Crash

According to State Patrol, a collision late Friday night left a man dead on Highway 3 about three miles north of Poulsbo in Kitsap County. The man was 25-years-old, and from Marysville. He reportedly died at the scene.

The driver apparently failed to field to yield the right of way while pulling out of the Hilltop Store onto Southbound Highway 3. His car was struck by a pickup truck headed Northbound. The truck was driven by a 46-year-old Bainbridge Island man who was not hurt in the accident.

Five passengers car were hurt, including a one-year-old boy.

Two of the passengers, including a 29-year-old man and 23-year-old woman, were transported to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton. The woman suffered from broken ribs and pelvis.

Additionally, two women, ages 20 and 21, were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries. The young child was also airlifted to Harborview with a head injury. All of the passengers were from Marysville.

Both the car and the pickup were totaled in the accident. Drugs and alcohol are suspected in the crash according to the State Patrol.

Continue reading "Driver and 5 Passengers Killed in Kitsap County Crash" »

November 16, 2009

Lynnwood Worker Suffers Fatal Fall from 4-Story Building

According to a heraldnet.com article, a worker has died after falling four stories from a building in Lynnwood where he was installing carpet. Apparently, the accident took place around 10 a.m. on November 12, 2009 as the carpet installer fell out of a Holiday Inn Express window and landed on his head. Sadly, the man later died from his injuries after being transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

This fall accident is still being investigated to determine the exact cause of the incident and whether or not any safety regulations were violated. Similar fall accidents have been known to occur due to lack of fall protection, slippery surfaces, negligent actions of fellow employees, or other safety rules being forgotten or broken by employers.

If it is determined that the man’s employer, or a third party, is responsible for some form of negligence that contributed to the accident and the man’s subsequent death, then the deceased man’s family may seek compensation for loss of companionship, loss of past and future wages, funeral expenses, and medical bills.

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November 13, 2009

Former Richland Swimmer Hit by Car

A 22-year-old former Richland High School swimmer was hit by a car while crossing a Seattle street Wednesday night. It was reported that she sustained a serious head injury in the accident. She was in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. The driver of the car was a 20-year-old man.

The 22-year-old was a swim champion, and was the first swimmer to make it onto the high school's Wall of Fame, said her prior swim coach.

"She was an amazing athlete," the coach said. "She was an extremely outgoing girl who loved life, every minute of it."

Our hearts certainly go out to this woman’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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November 10, 2009

Two Women Killed As Car Crashes in Ravine in Bremerton

Two women, both in their 20s, died early Sunday morning when the car they were in veered off the roadway in Bremerton. The car then plunged down a ravine and slammed into an embankment.

The driver of the car, a 24-year-old man, survived the crash. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

At approximately 12:50a.m. Sunday morning, medics and Kitsap County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene, at National Avenue South and McCall Boulevard West in the Navy Yard City area of Bremerton. According to investigators, the car was heading south on National Avenue when it left the roadway near McCall Boulevard.

The vehicle then launched off the roadway and plunged down into a ravine. There, it crashed into a dirt embankment, said a statement released by the Kitsap County Sheriff.

The two passengers were declared dead at the scene. According to Komonews.com, Sheriff’s deputies are still trying to determine the vehicle’s speed at the time of the accident. It is not yet known if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

Continue reading "Two Women Killed As Car Crashes in Ravine in Bremerton" »

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 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 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”.

Continue reading "Lakewood Residents Argue that Speed Cameras Don’t Capture their Best Side" »

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.

Continue reading "Speeding Causes Car to Crash into SeaTac Building" »

September 30, 2009

Seattle Motorcycle Collision Kills Man, Injures Another

The investigation continues into the cause of a serious motorcycle accident in Seattle that took the life of one man and left another motorcyclist in critical condition with severe injuries. Seattle Police reported that even though there is no indication that the two motorcycles hit each other, they were both involved in the accident that occurred at around 2 a.m. in downtown Seattle. The man who was killed has been identified and was 36-years-old.

The two men in this incident were members of the “Drama Boyz” motorcycle club, its headquarters located in very close proximity to the scene of the crash. The two crash victims were on their way to the club at the time of the accident, its cause unknown at this time. According to an article from nwcn.com, the debris field stretched over two city blocks. It is speculated that high speeds may have played a determining factor in the accident.

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience and provide a person with a more gas-conservative means of transportation; however, it’s no secret that motorcyclists are more exposed to the many threats that a collision poses. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2007 motorcycle report, there were 5,154 motorcycle fatalities. The report also stated that helmets saved an estimated 1,784 lives in 2007 in which 800 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn their helmets.

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September 23, 2009

Yakima County Car Wreck Injures 7, Kills 3

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 2, 2009, a serious car accident took place in Washington, killing three men, all identified as brothers from Yakima. According to a kings5.com report, the three brothers were riding in a Jeep Wrangler, which swung into oncoming traffic and ran into a Ford Expedition that had a boat in tow. Seven others suffered injuries in the crash and were taken to local area hospitals to be treated. According to Washington State Patrol, the driver of the Jeep was 21-years-old, his two sibling passengers ages 15 and 11.

There could be any number of reasons why this tragic accident occurred; however it is not known at this time why the Jeep drove into oncoming traffic. Regardless, life was lost, grief is now undoubtedly being felt by many, and pain and injury are the nagging remnants of reckless driving gone awry. The aftermath of an auto accident in Seattle or anywhere in the state of Washington can create unimaginable challenges for an individual and his or her family to overcome. Far too often, a passenger or driver must endure catastrophic injuries such as spinal injury, brain injury, or severe burns. No one ever expects that they will be injured in an auto accident or that a loved one will be lost due to the negligence of another driver, but it unfortunately does happen on a regular basis.

The Washington State Department of Transportation continues to implement new ways to improve the safety of our roads and to decrease congestion. According to WSDT, the number of traffic fatalities in the state of Washington is among the lowest in the nation. However, such a number could always be lower, and certainly does not mean that preventative measures seeking to improve Washington roads and highways should at all decrease or be called off.

Continue reading "Yakima County Car Wreck Injures 7, Kills 3" »

September 15, 2009

Mount Vernon Multi-Vehicle Accident Kills 1, Injures 4

Friday night on State Route 9 in Mount Vernon, a 60-year-old Mount Vernon motorcyclist was killed and four other people were injured in a multi-vehicle accident.

Seattle's KOMO news.com reported that the motorcyclist was heading north on SR 9 when he crossed the center line and collided head on with a Honda CRS that was heading south. The Honda then crossed the median and hit a northbound Hyundai.

The 53 year old woman who was driving the Honda was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the Hyundai, who sustained minor injuries, was treated at the accident scene. Two passengers in the Hyundai were taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

The accident is being investigated by police.

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September 3, 2009

Seattle Traffic Law Denied Relating to Bicyclists' Death

A recent article from seattletimes.nwsource.com discusses the recent conclusion that a Seattle ordinance created in 2005 that criminalizes certain traffic violations resulting in injury or death of an individual is in fact invalid due to its conflict with state law. Specifically in question is whether or not failing to yield the right-of-way is a violation in which a person could be held criminally responsible for. That is, the article mentions a man that failed to yield the right of way to a bicyclist. The bicyclist was consequently struck by the man’s vehicle, and died from brain injury sustained during the crash. The driver of the vehicle, having a previously unblemished driving record, was at first not prosecuted, then was charged with misdemeanor assault based on local city ordinance, and then eventually had the charges dropped once the ordinance’s inconsistency with state law was realized, ultimately deeming the man’s charges as being unenforceable and, therefore, reversed.

There are 60 traffic-related crimes in Washington in which vehicular homicide and assault, racing, reckless endangerment of roadway workers, and driving while intoxicated are included. Failing to yield the right-of-way is not a criminal traffic offense. It goes without saying that this realization represents both relief and anger to citizens. On the one hand, some believe that negligent drivers that cause imposing catastrophic injuries, especially those that take another person’s life, should not only be held civilly responsible for their actions, but criminally responsible as well, even if their actions result from failing to yield the right-of-way. On the other hand, criminal charges are extremely serious, and some feel that the harsh consequences are too intense for a person, one that has already made a mistake and is now forced to have to live with the results of reckless, negligent driving, to have to endure.

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September 1, 2009

Seattle Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accident Kills Man

On June 24, 2009, a Seattle man was killed in a pedestrian accident suspected to have been caused by a light-shaded bus that left the scene of the incident without offering assistance. Police are in search of any information from the public regarding the details of the tragic hit-and-run crash in hopes of finding those responsible for the innocent man’s death. It is possible that the accident was recorded by a security camera on the east side of the Seattle Metropolitan Tower. In a recently released police statement, it was discussed that police officers have contacted building management in hopes of acquiring the footage and possibly identify the vehicle responsible for the accident.

If anyone within the downtown Seattle area has any information or recognizes a light-colored bus, which resembles a tour bus, with a dark stripe or dark tinted windows, please don’t hesitate to notify police at 1-800-222-TIPS with any information you may have that could help lead to finding to suspected accident vehicle.

Although it is unclear at this time what exactly caused the pedestrian accident in Seattle, it serves as an example of the immense devastation one moment of negligence can cause. Wrongful death cases such as these are especially difficult for families to endure because wrongful death incidents often leave those closest to the decedent feeling confused and without any sense of closure regarding the loss of their loved one.

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August 12, 2009

Oregon Crash Leaves 4 Washington Teens Dead

Authorities say that four Washington teenagers tragically died and a fifth was critically injured in a car crash on State Highway 30 in northwest Oregon on Monday.

The teenagers were in a sport utility vehicle that was heading westbound. The vehicle collided with an eastbound van just west of Clatskanie, Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said. Dead at the scene were the female SUV driver and three passengers.

The remaining SUV passenger, an 18-year-old Ridgefield boy, was taken by Life Flight Network to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland in critical condition, Hastings said.

The van driver, whose injuries were described as serious, was a 55-year-old man from Vancouver. He was taken by ambulance to a Longview, Wash., hospital.

According to Hastings, the teens had just graduated from Ridgefield High School.

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August 4, 2009

Pickup Crash Near Monroe Leaves 2 Dead

A crash early Saturday morning outside Monroe, Washington has left two people dead. State troopers believe alcohol or other drugs may be involved.

According to troopers, shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday, a 2008 Hyundai Tiburon that was driving eastbound went off State Route 522 to the right, then veered across the center line and hit a 2001 Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Dead at the scene of the auto accident in Washington were the driver of the car, as well as the passenger. Both were men in their 20s, said a local Trooper. A second passenger in the car was listed in serious condition Sunday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

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July 29, 2009

Fatal Crash Fault of 15-Year-Old Driver

According to the San Juan County sheriff's office, a 15-year-old was driving a speeding car that hit a group of bicycle riders and a jogger. The jogger was killed, and a 7-year-old girl was badly injured.

Sheriff Bill Cumming said that the driver and a 17-year-old passenger had been doing some work on a 1974 Chevrolet Nova. On Sunday afternoon, they took it out for a drive on Lopez Island.

The teenage driver lost control of the vehicle and hit the pedestrians and a group of bicyclists at about 2:40 p.m. on Lopez Sound Road. A 26-year-old jogger from Abbotsford, British Columbia died at the scene of the car crash in Washington.

The 7-year-old girl who was on the bicycle had severe injuries and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

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July 20, 2009

Washington State Restores $14 Million DUI Award

On Thursday, the Supreme Court in Washington State unanimously voted to reinstate a $14 million award to a family who sued a tavern and a bartender after one of the bar's customers drove away from the establishment and crashed into their vehicle. Their 7-year-old-son is now a paraplegic due to the tragic collision.

According to information from an Associated Press article, the law states that bartenders who serve visibly intoxicated customers are liable for damages to potential victims. At question was the type of evidence needed to prove "negligent over-service". Most states have so-called "dram shop" laws that can make taverns or bartenders — and in some states, even social hosts — liable for damages if they serve intoxicated customers who leave the premises and harm themselves or others.

It was noted by Washington State’s justices that a forensic consultant found that the bar patron likely drank the equivalent of either 21 12-ounce beers or 30 ounces of 80-proof alcohol, and probably had a blood alcohol content of 0.32 at the time of the collision. The legal blood alcohol limit in Washington State is 0.08.

The man was drinking at the Bellingham Moose Lodge, about 90 miles north of Seattle, just before the April 2000 auto accident in Washington. His girlfriend was the bartender at the lodge and served him the night of the accident.

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July 10, 2009

Fatal Washington Crash on Hwy 2 Leaves Snohomish Deputy, Prisoner Injured

A full recovery is expected for a Snohomish County sheriff's deputy and his prisoner who suffered injuries in a Washington car collision that killed the other driver on Highway 2 near Snohomish.

According to a Washington State Patrol Trooper, the 35-year-old deputy is in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The prisoner who was traveling in the car with the deputy, and was on his way to jail for domestic violence, was treated for minor injuries at a hospital in Everett.

A pickup truck apparently crossed the center line and collided with the patrol car at about 4:30 a.m., said Leary. The pickup truck caught fire and burned in the accident in which the driver died at the scene.

In order to reach the deputy and the prisoner, rescuers had to cut the roof off the patrol car.

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July 6, 2009

Seattle Fatal Bike Accident on Highway 99

According to KOMOnews.com, a 35-year-old Seattle man was killed Wednesday night in a bicycle accident in Seattle on Highway 99.

Apparently, the bicyclist collided with a car a little after 10pm in the southbound lanes of Highway 99 near the Dexter Avenue exit. The driver of the car is suspected of driving under the influence at the time of the accident and was taken to the hospital with injuries.

If it is determined that the driver was in fact under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, he or she could be charged with Vehicular Homicide, RCW 46.61.520. This Washington State statute provides that if a person succumbs to injuries as a result of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, the driver can be charged.

Additionally, the family of the person killed as a result of vehicular homicide can bring a suit for Seattle wrongful death against the person charged with vehicular homicide.

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June 29, 2009

Small Plane Crash in Washington Leaves 2 Dead, 1 Injured

According to authorities, a father and his young son were killed in a single-engine aviation accident in Washington State. The man’s 5-year-old daughter was critically injured.

The Yakima County Coroner’s Office says that the 37-year-old man, from Yakima, Washington, and his 13-year-old son were killed in the crash that occurred Sunday afternoon.

The 5-year-old daughter suffered multiple fractures, as well as head injuries, and was first taken to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, before being airlifted to a Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.

The rented plane, a single-engine Cessna, went down near the east end of Rimrock Lake, about 40 miles west of Yakima.

Allen Kenitzer, regional spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, says he isn’t sure of the plane’s destination or point of departure. The tragic crash is being investigated.

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June 8, 2009

Bus Safety Review after Fatal Bus Accident Ordered by Transportation Boss

The website philly.com reported in a storyon April 29, 2009 that Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation has plans to order a full departmental review of motor coach safety. This action comes a day after five people were killed when a tour bus carrying French tourists crashed in Soledad, California a small town located in Monterey County. The wrongful death accident prompted the California Highway Patrol to close highway 101 in both directions.

Spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Rae Tyson, stated that the review was issued after an April 21 hearing into a crash in Utah that killed nine people in January 2008.

In 1999 the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the highway administration develop bus construction standards to reduce injuries during collisions and rollover accidents.

Tyson stated he expected the agency to present new bus safety policies by the end of the year.

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May 27, 2009

Everett Teen Killed on I-5: Family Warns Others

The website king5.com reported in an article on April 14, 2009 that the family of fifteen year old Haley Salvador wants to alert people, especially teens, not to cross Interstate 5. According to reports, Salvador had taken the shortcut countless times but the last time would prove to be a deadly one.

Niky Griffin and Daniel Leatherman accompanied their good friend Salvador the night of the dreadful pedestrian accident in Washington. They say that they went across the first time safely but on the way back Salvador took the wrong shortcut and actually cut across I-5 instead of going up the on ramp.

Griffin said, “You have to make sure cars aren't going too fast that they could hit you. She didn't go up the onramp. She went down it and across the freeway, which she wasn't supposed to do. I don't know why she went that way.”

Salvador is not the first to cross the I-5 at this juncture and will most likely not be the last. According to teens, the shortcut lessens their trip to Everett Mall by 20 minutes. With no pedestrian bridge, the shortcut entices teens to the point that they overlook their safety in order to avoid taking the long way.

Daniel Letherman said, “I live right across the freeway... and this is the fastest way unless you go all the way around. There's no other way to get to the mall.”

Brandon Lee, Washington State Patrol said, “Running across four to five lanes, on-off ramps, it's just not safe, especially at night, it's really deceiving how fast people are going”.

Continue reading "Everett Teen Killed on I-5: Family Warns Others" »

May 26, 2009

Seattle Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settled by Family of Cyclist

The website seattletimes.com reported in an article on April 28, 2009 that the family of Bryce Lewis, 19 who was killed when a dump truck struck the bike she was riding, has settled out of court. The family attorney stated that parents Marc and Laura Paolicelli of Colorado, agreed to an unrevealed sum of money from Nelson & Sons Construction of Woodinville.

According to Police Reports, Lewis and friend Caleb Hall were riding in a bike lane on Eastlake Avenue East near the University Bridge in 2007 when a dump truck owned by Nelson & Sons and driven by David McClane made a right turn without warning the riders. Apparently unaware he had hit anything, McClane kept driving for a short period before stopping.

Months after the tragic bike accident in Washington, a large group of bicyclists carried out a wheeled demonstration along the streets of Seattle in memory of Lewis and to call on city officials to take more actions to ensure bike safety, particularly in the Eastlake neighborhood.

Christensen said, “Nelson & Sons stepped forward and did the right thing and the family was satisfied by their gestures.”

Accidents involving trucks account for over 130,000 injuries in the United States. There are 5,000 deaths each year and close to 35% of the injuries are catastrophic. Trucks over 10,000 pounds (semis and tractor-trailer) represent only 3% of all registered vehicles but are responsible for over 25% of vehicle related deaths.

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March 3, 2009

Seattle Wrongful Death Search For Woman By Coastguard Suspended

The website pnwlocalnew.com reported in an article on January 14, 2009 that the search for Lynn Stafford-Yilmaz 45, had been called off. Stafford-Yilmaz’s van was found with no sight of the woman when the Puyallup ferry she was riding from Seattle to Bainbridge arrived at Eagle Harbor. Washington state police reported that Stafford-Yilmaz’s personal items were found on the passenger deck.

Marine divisions from the Seattle police department, Bainbridge police department, along with a coast guard helicopter, searched the area with no luck in this wrongful death case. Commander Michael Long, chief response for the Seattle coast guard, stated that the search had been exhaustive.

Long said, “We have saturated the search area and have not located anyone. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.”

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February 26, 2009

Puyallup Boy Dies At Monster Truck Show

The Seattle Times published an article on January 18, 2009 about the tragic story of a young 6 year old boy who was killed by flying debris launched from a Monster Truck during a performance in Tacoma, Washington. Crime scene investigators were taking a closer look at the drive train from a “monster” truck to try to determine why ripped parts came off the vehicle.

Sebastian Hizey 6, was struck with a metal ring-like object that came from the monster truck as it was performing doughnuts on the field. Jessie Hizey, the child’s father, was interviewed by the News Tribune of Tacoma and stated that a metal ring about 7-12 pounds flew at his son partially severing his skull. This accident may lead to a premises liability lawsuit.

Hizey said, “You go out for a night of fun, and you loose your son.”

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February 19, 2009

Fort Lewis Soldier Dies After Car Accident

The newstribune.com website reported in a story on January 19, 2009 that a Fort Lewis soldier had died while on post. The family of the soldier has yet to be contacted and so the identity of the soldier was not released. The only information that was released by the army was that the soldier died from his injuries sustained during a Washington car accident sometime before 6 am.

Based on Allstate data for 197 U.S. cities with more than 100,000 people, Seattle ranks 150th. Drivers here are 20 percent more likely to have an accident than those in other areas -- and file accident claims on average once every 8.3 years. In Tacoma, ranked 157th, residents are 22 percent more likely to have an accident, and file accident claims every 8.2 years.

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January 27, 2009

Truck accident on I- 5 involving tanker truck leaves driver dead

A tanker truck owned by Reinhard petroleum of Federal Way, Washington,and carrying 10,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline, crashed and burned on Interstate 5. The driver was killed. According to Seattle's Komo4 News, the driver, William Neil Adams, age 56, of Scappoose, Oregon, was driving the truck from Linton, OR to Salem when the truck went off the road, hit some ice, rolled and then caught fire.

According to reports, Adams had a long career in trucking, they he had only been with the company for about a year. He was the father of two teenage children. The family recently lost their home in a fire and was reportedly living with relatives.

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December 12, 2008

Renton Car Crash Leaves Bicyclist Dead

A bicyclist was hit by a driver this morning in the Skyway neighborhood. According to King County sheriff's Deputies, the cyclist was killed.

Sgt. John Urquhart said that the accident happened on South 130th Street and Renton Avenue South around 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The driver was a man in his 70s, and the male cyclist died at the scene. There was no further information available about the driver or the victim.

Urquhart also said that police are investigating how the fatal Renton car crash happened. The road will remain closed for several hours, he added.

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December 1, 2008

Hit-and-Run Car Accident in Toppenish Kills One, Two Flee

Police still searching for two people involved in deadly car accident

Washington State Police are looking for two people involved in a deadly hit-and-run car crash Thanksgiving Day in Toppenish, Washington.

At Bernard Law Group, we handle personal injury lawsuits that are the result of an auto accident in Seattle every day. Call our attorneys at 1-800-418-8282. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

According to troopers, the driver of one car failed to stop at a stop sign west of Toppenish. That car hit another car, ramming it through a fence.

The 37 year old driver of the second car died in the crash. Two children who were also in the car were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and are still in critical condition.

"The search will continue for these two individuals that left the scene," Sgt. Ed McAvoy said. "They will be found. It'll just be a matter of time."

The first car is in police custody and McAvoy says they will check the car's past and current owners to get leads.

If you are seriously injured in an accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call the Seattle personal injury attorneys at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

August 7, 2008

Fatal Tacoma School Shooting Brings Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family of the student murdered in Tacoma, Washington while attending Foss High School has filed a lawsuit against Tacoma School District. The family of the student is seeking $35 million.

According to the Seattletimes.com, the wrongful death lawsuit, filed Thursday, states that the family says the district should have known that the teen accused of the shooting in January of last year was dangerous.

The shooter had attended four high schools previously, and had a history of psychiatric hospitalizations and suffered from hallucinations. He has also spent time in Western State Hospital. He has been charged with murder in this case.

There is a hearing Aug. 29 which may determine whether he's competent to stand trial.

The Seattle wrongful death attorneys at Bernard Law Group handle personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Washington State every day. Call our attorneys at 1-800-418-8282. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This information is brought to you by the personal injury attorneys at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

July 1, 2008

$100 Million Awarded to Troy, Michigan Family in Wrongful Death Suit

A family was awarded $100 million in a wrongful death suit -- the largest settlement known for a wrongful death case in Michigan. The settlement stemmed from the 2005 murder of 20-year-old girl in Troy, Michigan.

At Bernard Law Group, we handle wrongful death lawsuits in Washington State every day. Call our attorneys at 1-800-418-8282. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In the Michigan case, the girl was beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed to death in her parents' home by her boyfriend. He then put her body in a trash bag and into a garbage can. It was discovered in her family's garage by police and her parents, according to the attorney for the girl’s parents.

The settlement was entered Monday -- the third anniversary of her death.

The girl’s then 20 year old boyfriend was convicted of the murder in December 2006 and sentenced to life in prison.

This information is provided to you by the personal injury attorneys at Bernard Law Group. Call us now at 1-800-418-8282 and we can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

March 24, 2008

$1.25M Awarded In Wrongful Death Suit

A jury in Tennessee awarded the family of a young mother more than $1 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Ginger Williams, 34 and suffering from end-stage renal disease, died one day after doctors released her from the emergency room at Maury Regional Hospital. According to her mother, doctors and the hospital neglected to give her daughter a blood test that would have detected an elevated, deadly potassium level. The jury ruled that Williams died after a break-down in communication kept her from getting proper medical care.

Doris Howell and her grandson were awarded $1.25 million.

Attorneys for the prosecution worked for three years to prove two doctors, two nurses and the hospital didn't give the blood test to detect her elevated potassium level.

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