Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

Two men were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries after they were struck by a car while crossing the street on May 20. The pedestrian accident victims were thrown up onto the vehicle’s window during the accident. (See Seattle Times May 20, 2014 “2 pedestrians struck by car in South Lake Union” Posted by Jennifer Sullivan and Paige Cornwell.)

According to the Seattle Fire Department, the victims, ages 62 and 39, were crossing Fairview Avenue North and Denny Way when they were struck by a driver making a left hand turn.

Some witnesses said that the unidentified driver did not immediately stop after striking the pair and that he had to be flagged down.

The Seattle Police Department are investigating the cause of the pedestrian accident. The driver was relatively inexperienced having been licensed for only seven months. The driver claimed he did not see the pedestrians.

Left Hand Turing Rules

Left hand turns are risky because the driver has to be concerned about oncoming traffic, yield to oncoming vehicles and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists in crosswalk. The driver must judge the safety of the left hand turn when there is not a traffic arrow. It is the duty of the left-hand turning driver to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

Left hand turns are considerably more dangerous that right hand turns. 53.1 percent of “crossing path” accidents involve left hand turns while only 5.7 percent involve right hand turns. A New York City study found that left-hand turns were significantly more involved in fatal pedestrian accidents. Companies like UPS plan their routes to avoid left-hand turns.

Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident

The Seattle Police Department investigation should determine fault in this accident. If it is determined that the driver was negligent, the injured pedestrians can decide whether they want to file a claim against the driver and his insurance company to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Seattle Pedestrian Accident Attorney

An attorney who specializes in personal injury law can assist the injured with their claims. At The Farber Law Group, we have more than 30 years experience representing accident victims and their families. We work hard to obtain maximum compensation for injured persons.

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.
Continue reading

A new study published by AutoVantage, 2014 In The Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey, Seattle drivers are more polite than most of the other 25 cities studied.

Seattle drivers are least likely to honk their horns. We also are less likely to “flip the bird” and to do other crude gestures like showing the middle finger or shaking a fist at other drivers, according to the survey.

While Seattle drivers rank 7th out of the 25 big cities studied in polite driving behavior, we also tend to be discourteous and we are the 4th worst for cutting across lanes of traffic without signaling.

Today was a case study of that dangerous lane cutting behavior when a motorist driving a Volvo cut-off a gravel truck on Interstate 5. The semi truck driver crashed into a jersey barrier as he avoided striking two motorcyclists. The gravel truck turned over, caught on fire, resulting in southbound Interstate 5 near I-90 to be shutdown this morning.

The gravel truck driver is a hero in this accident as, by all accounts, he maneuvered the truck to save lives and got out of his truck as it burst into flames.

Unsafe Lane Changes Often Causes Motor Vehicle Accidents

Unsafe lane changes is whenever a driver moves out of their existing lane into another lane without signaling they are going to change lanes, thus endangering the other motorist.

The at-fault driver, like the Volvo this morning, most likely did not check the other lanes before the lane change.

Unsafe lane changes can result in rear-end collisions, side impact accidents, and in the case of the accident this morning, a rollover accident.

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 caused by unsafe drivers.

The Farber Law Group believes that negligent drivers be held liable for their actions and the injuries that resulted. We work hard so that car accident victims receive maximum injury compensation.

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.
Continue reading

telephone-notes-61020-m.jpgIf you’ve been in a car, motorcycle or truck accident in Washington state, you’ve likely already exchanged auto insurance information and with the other motorist as required by law. You should then call your insurance agent to report the accident. You will also be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company who will interview you about the accident. Often this phone call will be recorded if you give permission.

When speaking with an insurance adjuster, there are often mistakes that drivers make which could hurt their injury accident case in the case.

Avoid these mistakes when talking to an insurance adjuster:

  1. Admitting fault – You may or may not have caused your auto accident. You should not tell the insurance adjuster that you could have avoided the accident. Do not mitigate the other person’s actions because you do not know what was going on in their vehicle, whether they were speeding or had been drinking. Just state the facts as you know them.
  2. Don’t minimize your injuries– Often people downplay their injuries after an auto accident. Many people are stoic or don’t like to whine. Often, the extent of a person’s injuries, how their injuries will impact the activities of every day living are unknown and recovery time is also unknown. You are not a doctor and you do not know your prognosis or how long your pain or anxiety will last.
  3. Give facts, not opinions – You never know who is at fault in a car accident so just report the facts as you know them and resist giving your opinion.
  4. Get legal advice before speaking with an insurance adjuster – You are not obligated to speak with an insurance adjuster if you don’t feel comfortable. If you are injured, you may wish to first contact a Washington personal injury attorney for a free consultation to insure that your rights are protected. A personal injury attorney can advise you on how much treatment you should get, how to document your injuries and how to gather information for your case.

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.
Continue reading

no_stopping.jpgWashington State Patrol vehicles have been involved in car accidents this past week. Today, a trooper’s vehicle was sideswiped as the trooper was speaking with a driver whom the Trooper had stopped.

This accident comes after two patrol cars were rear-ended on Monday night when they were struck by a suspected DUI driver on Monday night on Interstate 5.

On Wednesday night, a trooper’s car was struck by a hit and run driver on Interstate 405 in Kirkland.

Luckily for the troopers, none of them were seriously injured.

These motor vehicle accidents illustrate how dangerous it is to park a vehicle on the shoulder of a highway. In 2012, 44 state patrol vehicles were struck, usually while the vehicle was stopped on a highway shoulder.

A shoulder often serves as an emergency stopping lane where a motorist can pull in case of a breakdown. Emergency vehicles and police also use the lane. Despite it being legal to stop on the shoulder in case of a breakdown, one should avoid it except in case of emergency.

Avoid stopping on highway shoulder for non-emergencies

As illustrated by the accidents described above, a highway shoulder is one of the most dangerous places to stop.

When a vehicle is stopped on a shoulder, drunk drivers might actually be confused by flashing emergency lights and strike the vehicle.

If your vehicle becomes disabled while you are driving along the highway, try to avoid pulling onto a shoulder. Try to pull off the highway , a rest area or a parking lot where you can wait for assistance.

If you do have to stop on a shoulder, try pulling completely off of the roadway, turn your emergency lights on, place flares outside of your vehicle and try not to remain in your vehicle. If you don’t feel safe and you remain inside your vehicle, use your shoulder safety belt.

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.
Continue reading

car-breakdown-633066-m.jpgLast weekend we read about a couple of fatal car accidents that occurred after a car was disabled on the highway and was rear-ended by another vehicle. So, we thought we’d take this opportunity to advise you on what to do if your vehicle breaks down on a busy freeway or highway.

One of the scariest things for any motorist is to have their car or truck break down on a busy highway. It’s especially dangerous during times of busy traffic, after dark or during inclement weather. One must keep their wits about them to insure ones own safety and the safety of passengers in the vehicle.

Whether your tire blew, your engine unexpectedly shut off, you simply ran out of gas, or you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should attempt to get your vehicle as far away from traffic as possible. Try to maneuver your vehicle out of the flow of traffic and onto the shoulder or even beyond the shoulder or emergency lane if possible. You want to avoid the possibility of another car hitting you.

If your vehicle is stopped in lanes of traffic, get out of your vehicle and get to safety if possible. However, you don’t want to be in a situation where you are darting across lanes of traffic because you might get hit. Do not attempt to run across the highway unless you are absolutely sure you can make it.

Call 9-1-1 and let authorities know where you are if your vehicle is stuck in a dangerous place like a bridge or a freeway overpass. The state highway patrol can come and assist you and make sure that you are safe.

Turn on your hazard lights. Don’t turn your vehicle off if possible because you want all of your lights and hazards still working. Raise your hood as another way to alert the highway patrol that you are broken down.

If you remain in your vehicle, keep your seat belt on. On some highways where traffic is moving quickly and drivers are coming home from bars or clubs, you want to make every precaution in case drivers are not paying attention.

Know where you are

When you call for help, one of the most frustrating aspects of a freeway breakdown is not being able to tell the 9-1-1 operator your location. If you don’t know exactly where you are, try to approximate the driving time from a major sign that you saw, or the milepost number. Look for landmarks or businesses alongside the roadway. If you have a GPS on your cellphone, you can locate your position using the GPS.
Continue reading

The New York Times reports that a train engineer who was at the controls a Metro-North train that derailed killing four people and injuring 70 had severe sleep apnea that had not been diagnosed.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing or breathes shallowly while asleep. The pause in breathing can last from just a few seconds to several minutes and in severe cases, it can occur more than 30 times in an hour.

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disturbance and can cause sleepiness during the day time. Often the disorder goes undiagnosed.

Sleep apnea and sleep deprivation are both linked to motor vehicle accidents and sleepiness, like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can contribute to an accident, especially if the driver falls asleep or zones out at the wheel. A driver who is experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness may be 7-15 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

People in transportation fields such as bus drivers, train operators and heavy equipment operators may pose a danger on the roadways especially when their shifts changes or when they have long shifts.

While the subject of sleep apnea is in the news after the New York train derailment, it’s been a problem that researchers have looked at for a number of years. In 1991, a paper — “Drivers with untreated sleep apnea. A cause of death and serious injury.” — looked at three patients with untreated sleep apnea who fell asleep while driving causing serious motor vehicle accidents. According to the paper, one person was killed, one became a paraplegic and the three drivers with sleep apnea were seriously injured.

Some commercial drivers may resist being tested for sleep apnea for fear that, if they are diagnosed, they may lose their job.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study which measures a person’s Apnea-Hypopnea Index using electrodes. Some indicators for testing is snoring, a high Body Mass Index, Hypertension, Diabetes, daytime fatigue and Cardiovascular Disease though these factors are not always present in people suffering from sleep apnea.

Many states have voluntary reporting of sleep apnea by physicians. While a physician may not be mandated by law to report an impaired river, a physician who believes that a patient’s medical condition impairs safe driving making them a hazard to themselves and others has an ethical duty to report the patient to the Department of Licensing.

Drivers who are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a sleep disorder may be found liable for the accident. In addition, their employers may also be found negligent. In one such case, the family of Susan Slattery received a $40.8M wrongful death and injury settlement because a semi-truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and the Slattery family estate successfully argued that the truck driver was not properly supervised.

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 caused by the negligence of others.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading