Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Two people sustained serious injuries in a Washington auto accident after they were struck by a car while walking on Southwest 356th Street in Federal Way. According to a news report in the Seattle Times, the driver who struck and injured the pedestrian tried to leave the scene, but was apprehended by police and arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run. One of the victims was airlifted to a Seattle hospital due to suffering life-threatening injuries. The other victim, a 50-year-old man, was also transported to a local hospital, but his injuries are not believed to be as serious as the other pedestrian. Officials are also looking into whether alcohol or drugs were involved in this major injury collision.

Several motorists and skilled Seattle car accident lawyers know that leaving the scene of an accident is a serious violation of Washington State Law. 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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At least 23 cars were wrecked and one person was injured in a Washington auto accident on the Interstate 5, King5 News reported. The chain-reaction car accident occurred near the NE 145th Street onramp in Shoreline, Washington. Washington State Patrol officials said the accident was caused by a mix of the rain, the brightness from the sunshine and cars following the vehicle in front of them too closely. Troopers say they expect to issue several citations in connection with this auto accident.

Auto accidents involving multiple vehicles and several parties can be extremely complicated. How do you deal with such an accident? Experienced Seattle car accident lawyers will tell you that if you are in an accident, the first thing you need to do is get as much information as possible. Get photographs of the accident scene. Make sketches of the vehicles’ positions when your memory is fresh. Collect insurance, vehicle license plate and driver’s license information from the parties involved. If you find eyewitnesses on scene, do get their contact information and statements as well. Eyewitness statements can be invaluable in any auto accident, especially in one where a number of vehicles and victims/parties are involved.

After the accident, please remember not to talk to insurance adjusters or attorneys for the other parties before first, consulting with your own attorney. Remember that insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. They are certainly not looking out for you. Do not sign any papers or agree to any monetary settlement before speaking with your attorney.
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State Farm Insurance Company officials are saying that they alerted federal safety regulators as early as 2007 about an increase in reports of unintended or sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. According to a news report, State Farm insurance said it noticed a rise in reports of such acceleration in Toyotas and notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The federal agency in fact received warnings about sudden acceleration in Toyotas as early as 2003. It is not clear whether the agency completely missed these warning signs. That is an issue congressional investigators are exploring.

Toyota, over the recent months, has recalled over 8 million vehicles for faulty gas pedals and floor mats, which are believed to have caused the sudden acceleration problems. Most recently, the auto maker recalled about 437,000 Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles worldwide to fix a braking problem caused by a software glitch. The auto maker also stopped producing and selling eight vehicle models including the top-selling Corolla and Camry models. Federal officials said they are also looking into complaints from Corolla owners about steering problems. So far, consumers and Seattle personal injury attorneys are shocked by the fact that NHTSA has received 80 complaints from drivers of 2009 and 2010 Corollas.
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Federal auto safety regulators have now launched an official investigation into possible vehicle defects, this time involving the power steering in 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corollas. According to a news report in USA Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been getting complaints from Toyota Corolla drivers that they cannot hold the steering straight going down the highway. So far, NHTSA has received 168 complaints, including reports of eight crashes, involving this vehicle defect. NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation to determine whether it needs to take a closer look at steering problems in the Corolla and also, the Matrix models, which are quite similar to the Corolla. Much to the shock of consumers and Seattle auto product liability attorneys, about 500,000 vehicles could be involved in this investigation.

If this results in a recall, it certainly would not be Toyota’s first in recent months. In fact, the number of vehicles that were recently recalled by the Japanese auto maker adds up to more than 8.5 million. That includes vehicles that were recalled for defective gas pedals, floor mats and brakes. Toyota also suspended production and sales of eight different models of vehicles including the Corolla, until all the defective vehicles can be fixed. Government officials are also looking into whether Toyota officials issued these recalls in a timely manner. Meanwhile, the company is also facing a slew of lawsuits over the unintended acceleration caused by the gas pedal and mat defects.
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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 driver of a Toyota was injured in a Bellevue auto accident after he drove the wrong way and collided head-on with a construction vehicle. According to a news report, the crash occurred when a man in a 1998 Toyota entered the Interstate 90 the wrong way from an HOV off-ramp. He ended up crashing head-on with a large road construction vehicle parked near an exit at 150th Avenue SE in Bellevue. The driver of the Toyota was trapped inside and had to be extricated. He was taken to a Seattle hospital with critical injuries. No one else was injured in this crash. Washington State Patrol officials say the driver may have been under the influence of alcohol.

This accident is yet another reminder that driving under the influence is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries or death. In this case, it is extremely fortunate that this wrong-way driver did not injure anyone else. Yet, it is unfortunate that the driver sustained injury. As any motorist or Seattle car accident attorney should know, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also 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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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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Troopers and tow truck drivers in Washington State are supporting a bill that creates “emergency zones” which they believe will protect them and other first responders who help stranded motorists on the state’s highways. According to a news report in King 5 News, 23 Washington State Patrol vehicles were hit in 2009 on the side of the state’s highways. Under the proposed law, drivers who are caught speeding within 200 feet of a vehicle that has flashing lights – police cars, tow trucks or ambulances – would receive citations for double the standard speeding amount.

The new law, if passed, would also require drivers to move out of the far right lane as long as it is safe. Also, drivers who operate their vehicles recklessly in those zones could face a $5,000 fine and lose their license for two months. It is not known yet when this law would go into effect. However, Washington State Patrol officials would be responsible for educating and informing drivers about the law before they start writing out these citations.

As a Seattle auto accident lawyer, I’m absolutely in support of this law. This law is necessary to keep these first responders, who are the first to get to the scene of an accident on the highway, safe and secure so they can do their jobs. Anyone who has had their vehicle break down on the highway knows that it can be a very scary place. A lot of times, motorists are negligent, driving recklessly or simply not paying attention to their surroundings.
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A 78-year-old man suffered injuries in a Washington auto accident after he failed to yield to another vehicle at a Cle Elum intersection on State Route 903. However, according to a news report in the Yakima Herald-Republic, this accident occurred because the stop sign at that intersection had been knocked into a snow bank. Thus, the injured driver had no idea he had to stop at that intersection and yield right-of-way to passing vehicles. The man was making a left turn as another man in a Chevy pickup truck was passing the intersection. Police say neither driver will face charges. The 78-year-old man suffered shoulder and ear injuries.

If a vehicular accident is caused by a dangerous condition on the roadway, the injured victims could file a claim against the city or governmental entity responsible for the maintenance of that roadway. In this particular case, it is important to look into when the stop sign fell and for how long it was not fixed. If a reasonable amount of time passed without the stop sign being fixed, then the responsible governmental agency could be held liable for the injuries caused to the 78-year-old man. When it comes to governmental entities or agencies, there are time limits within which you need to file your personal injury claim. So, it would be in your best interest to contact a qualified and experienced Washington car accident attorney as soon as possible.
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A 35-year-old man was recently hospitalized with injuries he sustained in a Washington bicycle accident. According to a news report, the bicyclist was headed east on a road in Bainbridge Island when a driver pulled out in front of the bike and caused the collision. The bicyclist was transported to a Seattle hospital with serious injuries. However, officials said that his injuries were not life-threatening. The bicyclist was wearing proper reflective gear and had lights on his bicycle; however, the car’s driver apparently told officials that he was not able to see the bicyclist. The Kitsap County prosecutor’s office is reviewing the case to determine whether any charges should be filed.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 698 bicyclists died in 2007 nationwide and about 43,000 were injured. Bicycle accidents often occur because motorists are not actively looking for smaller vehicles such as bicycles or motorcyclists when they attempt a turn on the roadway or come out of a parking lot. As a bicycle accident victim, if you have been injured by a negligent driver, you could seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, cost of hospitalization, physical therapy and other related damages.
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