Wal-Mart seeks to establish "contributory negligence" in auto accident that seriously injured Tracy Morgan, killed friend

September 30, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Comparative or contributory negligence is a legal defense which allows the plaintiff to negate damages that they may be required to pay for a negligence claim. A defendant may establish a defense that the plaintiff's own negligence contributed to their injuries..

Wal-Mart is claiming comparative negligence in the negligence lawsuit that comedian Tracy Morgan has filed after he was seriously injured when a Wal-Mart truck struck his limousine saying that Morgan and his companions failed to wear seat belts..

Morgan has filed a civil claim against Wal-Mart claiming that Wal-Mart was negligent in the car accident in which Morgan and two others were seriously injured and his friend James McNair was killed.

According to a police investigation of the accident, a truck driven by Kevin Roper, a Wal-Mart employee, rear-ended a limousine containing the comedian and his friends. Roper faces criminal charges including vehicular homicide and assault. According to charges, Roper conduct was reckless and negligent; Roper was speeding prior to the accident and that he fell asleep while driving. Charging pages claim that Roper did not sleep for a full 24 hours before the accident.

Wal-Mart's response to Morgan's complaint is an attempt to reduce the amount of damages that they may be liable for. Morgan and his companions now have a burden of proof to disprove their own negligence.

Morgan of course is upset that Wal-Mart is blaming him for his own injuries. His attorney claims that seat belts had nothing to do with the seriousness of the injuries. Morgan's limousine was apparently at a "dead stop" when the Wal-Mart truck traveling at 65mph slammed into it.

This will be a case to watch. We are sure that Morgan and his companions have secured excellent legal counsel who will fight for them and assist them in maximizing their recovery in this case.

This information is provided by Seattle car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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2 pedestrian accident deaths in Western Washington in 24 hours

September 26, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Two women have been killed in two separate pedestrian accidents in Western Washington in 24 hours. With rainy weather and less daylight, pedestrians are especially vulnerable.

An 82-year-old woman who was crossing in the 700 block of Main Street was struck by a Community Transit bus on Thursday evening around 7:30pm in Monroe and died Friday morning at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. According to the Everett Herald, the woman , was walking to a "Hello Dolly" production at the Frank Wagner Auditorium. There was light rain at the time of the accident.

In Federal Way, a 60-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car as she crossed in the 32200 block of 21st Avenue Southwest around 6:30am. An article in The Seattle Times cited "poor driving conditions/light and a pedestrian crossing outside of a crosswalk" as factors in the accident.

Safety Tips for Walking in Rainy/Dark Weather

These two tragedies may have been prevented and both women taken some safety precautions. When walking in the rain or the early or late evening hours, precautions have to make sure they are seen. The following are some safety tips:

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  1. Make sure you are seen by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Carry a flashlight to make yourself more visible.
  2. Only cross at crosswalks and do not jay walk. Drivers do not expect people to be crossing mid-block.
  3. Avoid walking on a road shoulder, or if you have to, stay as far away from the roadway as possible. Glare of headlights and windshield wipers impairs driver's visibility.
  4. Be aware that motor vehicles can hydroplane so if you see puddles and water on the road, make sure you give drivers extra stopping distance before you cross the road.
  5. Make sure you are seen by drivers by making eye contact.
  6. When crossing driveways, parking lots and at traffic lights, be especially care of turning drivers.

  7. Don't distract yourself with your cell phone or headphones. Be alert and watchful of traffic around you.

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Bicyclist behavior in the news after pedestrian struck and killed

September 22, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

speed_limit.jpgA 59-year-old Connecticut mother, was died of her injuries after being struck by a bicyclist who was riding recklessly in Central Park last week. Jill Tarlov was birthday shopping with her daughter when a bicycle ridden by Jason Marshall struck her.

It is unknown how fast Marshall was riding his bicycle at the time Tarlov was struck but records he post online shows that he routinely rides at speeds above 25mph speed limits. The New York Post said that Marshall competes in triathlete events.

Witnesses said that Marshall did not appear to stop his bicycle at all when he saw Tarlov in the intersection but yelled, "Get out of the way! Get out of the way!"

Following Tarlov's death, an Op-Ed article described some cyclists as "Assassins in Spandex" and called for serious consequences for reckless bicycle riders. In the Op-Ed, Andrea Peyser writes:

They’re terrorists on wheels.
Assassins in Spandex.
The bicycle menaces must be stopped.
It’s already too late.

Landmark Bicycle-Pedestrian Accident Case

This bicycle-pedestrian accident brings to mind a landmark bicycle-pedestrian accident case in San Francisco in which Chris Bucchere plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter after riding his bicycle recklessly and hitting and killing a pedestrian. Bucchere escaped jail time but he was sentenced to 3 years probation and 1000 hours of community service. An e-mail Bucchere wrote about his accident circulated widely before his sentencing:
"I was already way too committed to stop. ... I couldn't see a line through the crowd and I couldn't stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find."

While it is not common for a bicyclist to strike and kill a pedestrian, that was the case in 2010 when an 83-year-old Renton, Washington woman was struck by a bicyclist while she was walking on the Cedar River Trail.

In communities such as New York and San Francisco where there are many bicyclists, there are several pedestrian killed in bicycle accidents every year.

It seems clear that just as cars and bicycles should not share roads that bicycles and pedestrians should not share paths. While Seattle and Bellevue are pushing for more bicyclists, complete streets need to be designed, ones that accommodate and separate different types of traffic. Until then, bicyclists should be reminded that Washington State Vehicle Code RCW 46.61 provides that bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and that they must adhere to posted speed limits and traffic signs.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group
. We are a personal injury law firm located in Bellevue, Washington and we represent people who have been seriously injured by the negligence of motorists.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Marijuana and drugged driving

September 15, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

733342_rolled_cigarette.jpgBoth Colorado and Washington voters have given the OK for marijuana to be sold for recreational use. It appears that Colorado is ahead of Washington in terms of establishing pot shops. Many cities in Washington are still struggling to draft their city ordinances regulating sales and, while Seattle has some pot shops open, Bellevue still does not have a single pot store.

City officials in Washington are looking to Colorado in seeing how legalization is working, what regulations need to be written and the impact of the new laws.

While far reaching studies are not yet available, there does appear to be an increase in dangerous and erratic driving when driving under the influence of marijuana.

ABC news correspondent Clayton Sandell reports that Colorado state troopers have written almost 230 tickets for "driving high" and the number of drivers involved in fatal accidents testing positive for marijuana has doubled since the recreational pot law was passed. Compare this with 3,100 citations for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

While we have a concrete blood-alcohol limit in which we can determine a driver is impaired, it's not as clear with marijuana. Washington State has set a limit; a THC-blood level of 5 nanograms or more means that you are impaired. However, a driver could be impaired at far lesser levels. For some drivers, a single hit could make one intoxicated. For others users who ingest food products with marijuana in them, effects can take an hour or more before the person starts to feel effects.

Washington law is very clear : if you injure or kill a person while operating a motor vehicle and you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be convicted of Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide and face felony charges.

If you are a person who has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by an impaired drive, you may able to seek compensation for your damages. A personal injury attorney can assist you with your car accident claim. The Farber Law Group, a law firm with more than 30 years experience in representing accident victims and their families. Call the firm today for a free consultation about your claim.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Two cars totaled in Highway 2 crossover accident

September 8, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

The Everett Herald reports that two men were injured, one seriously, in a U.S. Highway 2 head-on collision near Index on Saturday night around 10:40pm.

According to news reports, a 23-year-old Tacoma man, Bryan Scott, was driving his Honda west-bound and was illegally passing when he crossed the center line and struck an Audi traveling eastbound, driven by Daryl Blanton, 52, of California.

Scott was seriously injured in the accident and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Blanton's injuries were less serious and he was taken to Valley General Hospital in Monroe.

Police believe that Scott may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident and that may have played a role.

Crossover car accidents have plagued U.S. 2 for years. Of the more than 50 fatal accidents on the highway in recent years, 18 have been "crossover" in which the driver crossed the center line. Many have called for the creation of a divided highway with a barrier between the Eastbound and Westbound lanes to make the highway safer.

Head-on collisions and sideswipes occur when the driver of a vehicle fails to stay in their lane or crosses the center line. This type of accident can occur especially on curves. Though physical barriers as proposed on Highway 2 can pose their own hazards, the severity of a collision with a median concrete barrier is usually less severe than a head-on accident.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer Blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a personal injury law firm and we represent people who have been seriously injured in car accidents caused by negligent drivers.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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PTSD after a motor vehicle accident

September 2, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

broken-car-480202-m.jpgAs a motor vehicle accident attorney for more than 30 years, I have seen the stress that car accident victims feel after an accident weeks, even months after their car accident.

Victims have many worries after a car accident.

First of all, car accident victims are intent on their recovery. Sometimes a recovery can be lengthy requiring out-patient physical therapy. Victims worry about who will pay their medical costs, how to juggle medical appointments and work.

Car accident victims also worry about their auto repair costs, auto replacement costs and how to get a motor vehicle to take them to and from work and their medical appointments.

One consequence of car accidents that many people are not aware of is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While most of people associate PTSD with combat, people can develop PTSD after traumatic events including sexual assault, serious injuries, car accidents or any event in which there was a threat of imminent death.

Some people who have been involved in a car accident are fearful about getting into a car or driving for some time after an accident. One friend whose car was totaled in Bellevue on Richards Road when she was hit by a speeding driver felt anxious and nervous about riding in a car for months afterwards. At the time, she felt like she would never be the same again.

When people are nervous and anxious, it's important that they slow overcome their anxious feelings by getting in a car and start driving short distances and gradually resume their normal driving patterns.

For some victims, their anxiety is a much more severe condition and they can receive a diagnosis of PTSD. PTSD can be diagnosed after the following criteria:

  • A traumatic event with risk of serious injury or death to self or others and a response to that event by feeling intense fear, helplessness or horror.
  • Flashback and intrusive memories of the event that persist.
  • Avoidance of simulation that will cause one to think or bring back distressing memories of the event.
  • Symptoms including nightmares, sleep disturbances, fainting, dizziness, chest pains, excessive sweating, inability to breathe, loss of clear hearing or vision.
  • Negative feelings and mood.
  • Emotional reactions when aroused.
  • Significant impairment which results in a person unable to perform activities of normal life.

We counsel car accident victims with PTSD symptoms to seek treatment as symptoms can diminish over time with proper treatment which might consist of therapy and medication.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Seattle, Washington and the surrounding areas and the family of those who have been killed. We represent clients on a contingent fee basis and provide a confidential no-cost consultation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Driver who was texting charged in Route 410 bicycle accident

August 29, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

The Washington State patrol says that texting and alcohol were factors when a pickup truck driver struck a bicyclist on State Route 410 near 166th around 10pm on Thursday.

The pickup truck driver faces vehicular assault charges. Washington State vehicle code RCW 46.61.522 states that a person can be charged with vehicular assault if a person is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of an intoxicant or driving without regard to the safety of others.

The unidentified bicyclist is a Bonney Lake man, 43. He is at Good Samaritan Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The pickup truck driver is a 23-year-old man from Lake Tapps. The Washington State Patrol reported that he drifted onto the shoulder where the bicyclist was riding.

A conviction of vehicular assault can result in serious penalties including revocation of driving privileges.

In addition to criminal charges, victims of vehicular assault can file a civil suit requesting compensation for their damages which can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been the victims of negligent drivers. With our help, you obtain compensation for your damages.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Man injured in road rage incident

July 24, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

seattle road rage accident lawyerThe Associated Press published a story of a Florida man who suffered a broken hand and foot when he was struck by his own truck in what might have been just deserts after it appears that the man was involved in an act of road rage.

Joseph Carl, 48, of Florida, was allegedly driving under the influence when he struck a vehicle stopped at a red light. He apparently was so caught up in rage that he jumped out of his truck without putting it in park and started banging on the window of the car that he had struck. The woman inside the stopped vehicle drove away, and that's when his truck drove over him.

The man will be charged with DUI and DUI property damage.

Avoiding Road Rage & Aggressive Driving Accidents

In Washington State, aggressive driving is defined as:

"The commission of two or more moving violations that is likely to endanger other persons or property, or any single intentional violation that requires a defensive reaction of another driver."

Road rage is defined as:

"An assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway.

It is important for all drivers to know how to handle an aggressive driving situation to protect themselves and to avoid an altercation and possibly an accident.

The car accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group provides some information on how to spot and avoid aggressive driving since aggressive drivers can act impulsively. It's important to know how to avoid encounters with aggressive drivers so that you can be safe.

Common aggressive driving & road rage symptoms

  • Flashing headlights
  • Causing other drivers to swerve
  • Intentionally tailgating
  • Shouting or making obscene gestures at other drivers
  • Speeding
  • Weaving in and out of lanes of traffic
  • Running red lights
  • Sudden intentional braking
  • Passing another driver, then intentionally slowing down in front of them.

Safety Tips

  • Follow at a safe distance.
  • Signal before changing lanes.
  • Be polite and courteous even if others are not.
  • Make sure you have enough room when changing lanes or entering the roadway.
  • Control your anger.
  • Don't drive when you are over tired or angry.
  • Report aggressive drivers to the Washington State Patrol.

This information is provided by the car accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group. We represent accident victims who have been seriously injured in accidents caused by the negligence of another. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, please contact our office to see if we can help you. Call us TOLL FREE at 1-800-244-9087 or use our Contact Form.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Preventing accidental hot car deaths

July 22, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

So far this year, there have been 17 children who have died after being left in a hot car. The problem has awareness ever since the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris and his father's subsequent arrest.

According to KidsandCars.org, 670 children have died of heatstroke after being left in a hot vehicle. Every story of a child death is one of unimaginable tragedy.

Quite a few children have been rescued from hot cars this year too because people are aware of the problem and are quick to alert authorities or break into a car to release the child.

Here are some simple tips to avoid accidentally leaving a child in your care in a car:

  • Tilt your rear view mirror so that you can always see the child in your back seat.
  • Place your important belongings such as purse or cell phone in the rear floorboard when traveling with a child so that you will open the rear door to retrieve these items.
  • Place your children's belongings, a stuffed toy or their diaper bag in the front seat when you travel as a visual reminder.
  • Ask your child's caregivers to call you if your child has not arrived at n expected time.
  • Avail yourself of technology such as True Fit Alert which is an integrated car seat monitor and that alerts you via your cell phone if your child is out of their seat or if your child is left unattended in their seat and also monitors the ambient temperature in the vehicle.
  • Make sure you lock your car when you have arrived to home to prevent your child from climbing in the vehicle to play.
  • Place your car keys where a child can not get to them.
  • If a child is missing, check your vehicle including the trunk immediately

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent car accident victims and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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Traffic nightmare coming our way: prepare for Westbound I-90 lane closures

July 15, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Traffic is going to be horrendous between Bellevue and Seattle from July 18th to July 25th due to Interstate 90 lane closures between Bellevue and Mercer Island. Adjust your travel schedule or you could be facing huge backups.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website, the westbound I-90 will be reduced to one lane at Bellevue Way Southeast from 9:30pm Friday July 18th until 5am, Friday, July 25th for replacement of expansion joints.

The road closure is going to cause for some traffic headaches, if not nightmares. The WSDOT is recommending the following during the closure period. They hope that 60% of the drivers can heed their advice.

  • Study the following images so that you understand what sections of the highway are affected and the revised traffic flow.
  • AVOID Westbound I-90.
  • Telecommute if possible.
  • Take vacation if possible.

Stage 1

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Stage 2

I90_Stage2.gif

For more information, see the WSDOT website.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

Injured in a car accident caused by driver high on pot?

July 7, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

drugged driving victim lawyerAs pot shops legally open in Washington state this week, the concern is that there will be an increase in driving under the influence or drugged driving associated car accidents.

A lot of marijuana users claim that they drive better under the influence of pot than under the influence of alcohol but a report by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that fatal car accident involving people under the influence of marijuana has tripled in the past 10 years.

According to Dr. Guohua Li, Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, one of nine drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents test positive for marijuana.

Driving under the influence of alcohol, legal drugs, cannabis or illegal drivers is a significant problem in Washington State. Studies show that drivers who are under the influence of marijuana have slower reaction times, are more likely to drift out of their lane while driving, and are impaired in their ability to estimate distance and time.

While experts and studies conflict over how and how much marijuana impairs a driver, smoking just .3 grams of marijuana can leave a driver four to five times over the legal limit. Hours after smoking this amount, people can still test above the legal limit.

Marijuana, when used in combination with alcohol, appears to multiply alcohol's effect and increase impairment.

Washington and Drugged Driving

Even though Washington state has legalized pot for recreational usage, it is still illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance that can impair ones driving ability.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or a loved one killed in a drugged driving crash, Herbert Farber of The Farber Law Group, will find for your legal rights to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and other losses.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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4th of July: one of deadliest holidays because of drunk driving

July 3, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

According to Mother's Against Drunk Driving:

The Independence Day holiday is one of the deadliest holidays of the year. On average, 191 men, women and children die every Fourth of July holiday because of drunk driving. And it’s usually worse when the Fourth is next to a weekend, like this year.

Don't add to the statistics. Don't drink and drive this weekend.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent the victims of drunk drivers and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.