Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Car accident investigators are blaming a driver who was distracted by his cell phone for the death of one woman and the injury of two others Monday night in Kent.

The King County Sheriff’s office said the driver of a Ford sedan drifted across the center line at 148th Avenue Southeast and struck a Honda civic, killing Sherri White, 25, and injuring two of her passengers.

Police said the driver of the Ford had looked down at his phone prior to the 8pm car accident.

Cell Phones and Car Accidents

Cell phones and electronic devices are increasingly being blamed for being factors in car crashes. One safety advocate, Deborah Hersman of the National Safety Council, estimates that 25% of all car accidents are linked to electronic devices.

Washington state Vehicle Code, RCW 46.61.668 “Sending, Reading, or Writing a Text Message While driving” prohibits a driver for making a phone call while driving or from sending, reading or writing a text message.

A driver who uses a cell phone and causes an accident that results in the death of another may be found guilty of Vehicular Homicide. Vehicular Homicide can be charged if a person dies as a result of negligent operation of a vehicle and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without regard to the safety of others.

Experts in the field report that cell-phone use by drivers is as dangerous as drinking and driving and results in up to 1,000 people are killed every year and many other injured due to negligent driving where cell phone use is a factor.

One in 10 drivers admits to using a cell phone while driving. The Farber Law Group urges you to drive responsibly for your safety and for the safety of others on the roads.

What to do if your family member has been killed

If your family member has been killed because of the negligent use of an automobile, you may be able to make a claim for wrongful death against the defendant whose negligent caused your loved one’s death. In order to hold a defendant liable in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs (the relatives or estate of the person killed) must meet a burden of proof that the defendant failed to provide the victim a duty of care.

A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can answer your questions about how to proceed with your suit. At The Farber Law Group, we have more than 30 years experience representing families with their wrongful death claims.

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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Cities across the nation are encouraging motorists to become bicyclists and bicycle commuting has increased dramatically since 2000. Most cities do not have the infrastructure such as bicycle lanes and complete streets to keep bicyclists safe, and as a result, bicycle accident fatalities are on the rise.

In fact, there was a 16% increase in bicycling accident fatalities between 2010 and 2012 according to a Governors Highway Safety Association study, Bicyclist Fatalities a Growing Problem for Key Groups.

Several factors stand out when looking at bicycle accident fatality statistics:

  • Adults age 20 and over make up 84% of all those killed while bicycling. Of those killed, about 74% were adult males.
  • Bicycle helmets do make a difference. Approximately two-thirds of all bicyclists who were killed were not wearing a bicycle helmets. Many states do not have mandatory bicycle helmet laws but Washington state enacted theirs in 1990.
  • Bicycling and drinking do not mix. 28% of bicyclists killed had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more.

Where do fatal bicycle accidents occur?

Approximately 37% of all fatal bicycle accident occurred at intersections. Often, T-intersections are involved. Roundabouts, while not common in the U.S., are particularly dangerous for bicyclists. 59% of bicycle deaths occurred on roads considered major but that were not interstate highways or freeways. Not surprisingly, bicycle accident fatalities and severity of injuries increase with higher road speeds.

Washington bicycle accident statistics

In 2012, a bicyclist or pedestrian was involved in a motor vehicle accident every 3 hours. In all, there were 12 bicycle accident fatalities and 110 serious injuries.

Causes of Bicycle accidents

When a bicycle and a motor vehicle collide, one of the common contributing factors is “failure to provide a proper lookout” by either the cyclist or the driver. Other factors including drivers making poor turning maneuvers or reckless driving.

Bicycle accident injuries

Arm and leg injuries are very common in bicycle accidents. Chest and abdomen injuries occur in only about 5% of accidents, but when they do happen, they are often quite serious. Head injuries including skull fractures can result in a concussion or a traumatic brain injury.

When to hire a bicycle accident attorney

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed, in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue-based personal injury law firm, is here to answer your legal questions. We provide a free and confidential case evaluation.

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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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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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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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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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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bellevue pedestrian accident attorneyIn 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2010, which was a 4% increase over 2009. Approximately 13% of all people killed in pedestrian accidents in 2009 were 65 and older and nearly 200,000 were injured.

For older Americans, walking is very important. Not only is it a form of transportation but it increases quality of life and provides many health and psychological benefits.

For the elderly, walking helps them maintain their independence, increases their muscle mass and balance and decreases depression. Walking is associated with greater health and increases a person’s life span.

Unfortunately, compared with other age groups, the elderly are more likely to be injured or killed in a pedestrian accident.

As people age, their vision decreases, their hearing diminishes and they are more prone to falls. Sometimes, the maintenance of sidewalks and streets in a community can make walking difficult for the elderly.

The elderly involved in pedestrian accidents might fall victim in the following scenarios:

  • A car or truck that is backing up out of a driveway, parking spot or side street strikes an individual.
  • An elderly person is struck in a crosswalk and the Walk signal had turned to yellow
  • An elderly person steps off a curb and a car making a turn strikes them.

Safety Tips for Elderly Pedestrians

The following safety tips can help the elderly stay safe as they walk for exercise, to run errands or across a parking lot to get into their car:

  • Make sure you are seen by motorists when you walk.
  • Watch for backing vehicles
  • Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight at nighttime.
  • Carefully choose your walking route and choose routes with safety benefits such as benches, sidewalks and proper lighting.
  • Walk with friends
  • Avoid walking if you feel faint or ill
  • Avoid walking in extreme heat
  • Advocate for safer streets
  • Refrain from using a cell phone while walking.

Advocate for Safer Streets

As a resident of a city, the elderly can contact their city government about things they notice that are an impediment to walking:

  • Report broken or blocked sidewalks to the Public Works Department.
  • Contact the City Council or City Manager to request sidewalks in areas where there are not one.
  • Contact the Transportation Department if a traffic signal timing does not seem adequate.
  • Call the police if you notice drivers speeding or failing to yield in a particular area.
  • Talk to a property owner if they have shrubs or trees that encroach on a sidewalk.
  • Report broken or inadequate lighting to the Transportation Department.

Government Action

Government can take action in making streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians. Cities should mark crosswalks, especially those near senior housing and school, with signs and painted stripes. In addition, they can restrict parking near crosswalks and provide curb extensions at crosswalks. Prohibiting right hand turns on Red signals may also increase pedestrian safety.

Washington Personal Injury Attorney Represents Pedestrian Accident Victims

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represents people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed.
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left-hand-turn.jpgThe Seattle Times reports that a 36-year-old motorcyclist was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car making a left hand turn in Everett.

The fatal motorcycle accident occurred on Evergreen Way around 3pm.

A car making a left- hand turn is one of the most dangerous situation for all motorists, especially motorcyclists. In fact, 42% of all motorcycle-auto collisions occur when an auto is making a left-hand turn.

dui.jpgThe United States has been making great strides to reduce alcohol-related car accidents, reducing serious injuries and fatalities related to drinking and driving in the past two decades . Drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more has declined substantially since 1991.

Despite the drop in drunk driving, it is estimated that 10,600 Americans were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012. Intoxicated driving factors in 31% of all motor vehicle accident deaths every year.

While the progress against drunk driving is laudable, a new study by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities are under-reported.

Researcher Ralph Hingson believes the underreporting occurs because 30% of drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents do not undergo blood alcohol testing or their death certificate is issued before blood alcohol testing results are back from the lab. Death certificates provide data for the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) which provides traffic accident statistics.

The reporting of alcohol involvement in motor vehicle accident also varies from state to state with some states including New Mexico and Nevada having low reporting numbers.

Washington State Car Accident Fatalities

Washington state has a population of nearly 7 million people. In 2012, there were 409 fatal motor vehicle accidents and 444 deaths. Washington state has one of the lower deaths per 100,000 population with 6.4 car accident deaths. Of the deaths where the BAC results of the driver was known, there were 69 drivers killed with a BAC of greater than 0.08%.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, or a family member has been killed, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group aggressively advocates on behalf of drunk driving victims and their families. With more than 30 years of trial experience, we will work hard to obtain the settlement you deserve.
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bicycle%20wheel.jpgThe Seattle Depart of Transportation (SDOT) survey revealed that in 2013 that more than 150,000 Seattleites ride bicycles. Seattle has been working to increase the number of people riding bicycles but safety is the number one deterrent to people not riding a bicycle more.

Bicyclists and pedestrians are at a high risk for accidents in busy cities like Seattle. Unfortunately, yesterday there was a collision between a bicyclist and an automobile. Detective Jeff Kappel of the Seattle Police Depart writes that the SPD investigating a crash between a car and a bicyclist that took place yesterday afternoon around 4:30pm. The unidentified male bicyclist in his 40’s was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The bicycle accident occurred at 15th Avenue West and West Ruffner Street when the bicyclist and a Honda Accord collided.