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

I90_Stage1.gif

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.

Pedestrian accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, deaths

July 1, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

crosswalk7.jpg
Motor vehicle accidents which involve pedestrians often have result in serious, if not life-threatening injuries. Pedestrians can suffer serious injuries even if the car, SUV or truck were traveling at relative low speeds. Of course, if a vehicle is going fast, the results can be catastrophic, often resulting in death.

Washington Pedestrian Accident Statistics

The following pedestrian accident statistics are provided by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission from 2012:

  • A pedestrian or bicyclist was involved in an accident every three hours.
  • A pedestrian or bicyclist was killed in an accident every four days.
  • There were 2,038 pedestrians injured or killed in collision with 75 deaths, 337 serious injuries and 1,594 injuries classified as minor.
  • There were 1,269 bicyclists injured or killed in collisions including 12 deaths, 110 serious injuries and 1,139 minor injuries.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries, medical costs and for loss of earnings.

The Farber Law Group, a personal injury law firm located in Bellevue, Washington, can help you with a claim if you've been injured.

It is crucial to determine fault in any accident. Sometimes drivers are driving drunk, distracted or speeding. Other times, pedestrians are at fault for crossing the street against traffic or a bicyclist is at fault for running a red light. Since each accident is unique, an accident investigation will determine fault.

The police will perform an investigation and their report is important. However, a personal injury attorney may also employ an accident investigator who can interview the ambulance company, witnesses and investigate previous accidents on the same road. The insurance company may also investigate the accident and create a report for their records.

It is important that all evidence including photographs, witness statements and medical care be collated if a claim is to be made.

Accident reports, witnesses and medical records all combined will help to determine fault and damages. A personal injury attorney can represent the bicycle or pedestrian accident victim to make sure their rights are protected.

The Farber Law Group represent pedestrian and bicycle accident victims throughout Washington. If you or a loved one has bee injured in an accident in Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Renton, Issaquah, Lynnwood or Everett, please contact our office today to see if we can assist you. Call us toll free at 1-800-244-9087.

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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"100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers"

June 20, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

seatbelt-602535-m.jpgThe National Safety Council calls the summer months, "100 deadliest days for teen drivers" because car accidents kill more teenagers in the U.S. than any other cause and the rate of deadly crashes increases during summer months.
 
With Bellevue and Seattle schools now out for summer, let's take a chance to review the most effective ways to protect our teens as they drive more during the summer.
 
We have talked a lot about distracted driving and texting and driving but the number one reason teens die in auto accidents is that they were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle accident yet more than 50% of all teenagers who were killed in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt. Teenage drivers, especially teenage boys, are some of the biggest offenders in not wearing a seat belt.
 
Importance of Seat Belts
 
Seat belts save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 15,000 people are saved every year when they are involved in auto accidents because they were wearing a seat belt.
 
Not only do seat belts save lives but they protect against serious injuries including traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Seat belts prevent injury and death in the following ways:
 

  1. Prevents the occupants from a car from being thrown from the car. When a person is thrown from the car, they can suffer catastrophic injuries. People who are ejected from a car or truck are nearly four times likely to be killed.
  2. Restrains a person at the hips and shoulders which are the body's strongest parts.
  3. Spreads collision forces across the body which lessens injury.
  4. Protects the spinal column and the brain.
  5. Slows the body down when the vehicle abruptly stops.
 Suggestions for teens
 

A positive approach is a great way to talk to your teenage driver about the benefits of wearing a seatbelt. Remind teens that:
  • Washington law requires seatbelt use by everyone person in their car.
  • Wearing a seatbelt makes them a role model for other people, especially young children, riding in their vehicle.
  • Require passengers to wear a seatbelt because you care about them.
  • Ask friends to wear a seatbelt to avoid a $124 ticket.

Seat a good example for your teen by wearing a seatbelt each and every time that you drive.

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 who have been 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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10 things to do after a car accident

June 12, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Every year, there are approximately 100,000 car accidents in Washington state which require a Police Traffic Collision Report (PTCR) submitted. The Revised Code of Washington, RCW 46.52.030, requires that a PTCR report be filed whenever someone is injured or killed in a car accident or property damage of $700 or more.

Washington Car Accident Statistics

In 2012, the Washington State Department of Transporation found that:

  • A person is killed in a car accident every 20 hours.
  • A person is injured in a car accident every 12 minutes.
  • A bicyclist or pedestrian is killed in an accident every 4 days.
  • An intoxicated or impaired driver is involved in a car accident every two hours.
  • A person is killed by an intoxicated driver every 2 days.

Most car accident only involve property damage but about 30% accidents results in a personal injury and 20% lead to a death.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, you should keep your wits about you and know the things you should do after the accident:

    to-do.jpg
  1. Stay at the accident scene. It is against the law to leave the scene of a car accident.
  2. Make sure you are safe. After a car accident, you'll want to move our vehicle out of traffic if possible. You'll also want to use flares or cones and turn on your flashers so that your disabled car is not hit.
  3. Contact the police. It is recommended that you call the police even if there are no serious injuries involved in your accident. The police will make a report which can be used later if you file an insurance claim.
  4. Provide accurate information to the police. When the police interview you, be honest but do not speculate or misstate facts. You should not say "no" if you are asked whether you are injured because often injuries are not apparent until a few hours later. You can tell police you are not sure.
  5. Use your cell phone camera to take pictures to document the accident scene. Take photos of your damage and the other motor vehicle as well. Later, you can always return to the accident scene to take pictures of signage, signals and the road layout.
  6. Provide your driver's license and insurance information with the other motorist. Obtain any witness contact information if possible.
  7. Obtain medical care. If you are injured in the accident or if you start feeling pain a day or two after your accident, you should see your doctor or visit an emergency room. If you lost consciousness, you might have suffered a traumatic head injury and, in this case, you should go to an ER room.
  8. Call your insurance company. Contact your insurance agency and report the accident, check your coverage and to find out about medical coverage, rental car coverage and any other benefits you might have.
  9. Keep records of your accident including medical receipts, who you spoke to, claim numbers, your claim's adjuster's contact information and receipts for car rental and any other expenses.
  10. Contact an attorney. If your injuries are serious and the accident is not your fault, you should seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney who can assist you in filing an auto accident claim. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and will not charge you for a consultation.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We have more than 30 years experience representing 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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Police locate car involved in Seattle hit-and-run pedestrian accident

June 2, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

A 60-year-old female was seriously injured in Friday night when she was struck by a car while in the crosswalk at Virgina St. and 2nd Ave. in downtown Seattle. The pedestrian accident occurred at 11:30pm.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the woman initially stopped but then left the accident scene reports King5 News.

The Seattle Police Department asks that any witnesses to the accident call them at 911.

Hit and Run Pedestrian accidents

Washington state law requires that drivers stay at the scene of an auto accident. Failure to do so can result in a class B or class C felony.

Drivers must exchange information with the other party involved in an accident and stay with injured persons until medical aid has arrived.

Leaving the scene of an accident can result in fines, loss of driver's license and even a jail sentence.

Victims of Hit and Run Accidents

An injured person may sue a driver for the damages they suffered. Damages can include economic damages which includes medical costs and loss of wages. They can also cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

In a hit and run accident, judges often treat the hit and run driver very severely because it is a particularly egregious and immoral act to leave an injured person after an accident. In some cases, judges can increase the award amounts to the victims.

Damages in a Hit and Run Accidents

Damages, or the amount of compensation a person may be awarded for their injury, are based on how much medical treatment the person required. If a person suffered catastrophic and life threatening injuries, they can often claim the auto insurance policy limits.

A qualified personal injury attorney can assist victims with their case and will help the victim determine whether alternative sources of recovery exist beyond insurance coverage.

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 pedestrian 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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Witnesses sought after hit-and-run bicycle accident on I-90 bridge

May 27, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

The Washington State Patrol, in a media release, reports that they are searching for a female bicyclist between the age of 25-35 who was involved in a bicycle accident on the Interstate 90 floating bridge on April 30th. They are also seeking witnesses to the accident.

According to the WSP, the bicycle accident occurred around 3:15pm on the west end of the I-90 floating bridge bicycle path when two female bicyclists collided.

The bicycle accident victim, Brenda Dawson, suffered serious injuries including a fractured pelvis and elbow in the collission.

While the WSP is referring to this incident as a "hit and run," one photo on the internet shows the female being sought obviously distraught and standing near Ms. Dawson.

Washington law is pretty clear; WA RCW 46.61.755 states that bicyclists are subject to "all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle." Motorists are required by law to stop after an accident and exchange information with the other party after an accident and insure that injured persons get medical care.

Hopefully, witnesses will be found and the female bicyclist involved in the accident will come forward so the facts of this accident are sorted out.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in bicycle and auto accidents.

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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