Articles Posted in Serious Personal Injuries

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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Today we were saddened to read about a horrible wrong-way car accident which killed a 6-year-old boy and injured his mother and 10-year old brother on Interstate 5 near Vancouver, Washington this morning near exit 11.

Gage W. Musgrave, 84, the wrong-way driver was taken to Peace Health hospital for undisclosed injuries.

Musgrave mistakenly entered the highway either from a rest stop or off-ramp and Washington State Troopers believe that he only drove for several minutes on the highway before the car accident occurred.

Head-On Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009 there were 1,772 people killed in car accidents caused by wrong way drivers — drivers who are driving on the wrong side of the highway or road.

Two vehicles colliding head-on are some of the most devastating types of car accidents, often leaving people seriously injured or, as in this case, killed. A head-on collision must be one of the worst car accidents for first responders to have to deal with. The force of two vehicles travelling in opposite directions and colliding at high speeds can leave both vehicles mangled wrecks. The loss of life is heart breaking.

Most often when we see head-on collisions, alcohol or drugs are involved. In this accident, we do not know if that is the case at this time but the elderly driver at the wheel makes one wonder if the driver was confused, lost his bearings or if medications he might be taken caused him to be impaired.

In some head-on crashes, there can be multiple contributing factors including confusing or missing signage or poorly designed on/off ramps.

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 with their wrongful death lawsuits.

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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pedestrian-xing.jpgPedestrians who are struck by a car or a truck are often traumatized by the experience. Often, pedestrian accident victims sustain serious and life-altering injures and death. Pedestrians can receive disabling injuries even if they are hit by a car traveling at relatively low speeds. The higher rate of speed that the motor vehicle is going, the greater chance of disabling or fatal injuries. The Washington car accident attorneys at The Farber Law Group advise pedestrians and drivers to look out for each other as we approach spring.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provide some statistics related to pedestrian accidents:

  • 4,743 pedestrians were killed in 2012 after they were struck by a motor vehicle.
  • 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012 in auto-pedestrian accidents.
  • A substantial number of pedestrians were struck in non-roadway accidents such as a parking lot or driveway and therefore their injuries or deaths were not counted in official statistics.

Pedestrians age 70 and older are more likely to die after being hit by an automobile
Alcohol a factor in pedestrian accident deaths

Alcohol continues to factor into pedestrian accident deaths. Drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher were involved in 13% of the pedestrian accident deaths in 2012. Pedestrians own alcohol use is a factor in some fatal accidents. In 2012, 36% of the pedestrians older than 16 who were killed had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

Steps to take if you were involved in a Washington car/pedestrian accident

If you have been struck by a car, truck or bus, be sure to call 911 so you can be assessed by a certified emergency medical technician at the accident scene. Sometimes, people who are struck are in shock and adrenaline can make it difficult to assess their own medical condition. If you are able to, please note the road conditions and get the names/addresses of any witnesses as well as the pertinent information of the driver who hit you.

The Farber Law Group recommends that you seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney so he/she can obtain copies of the police and EMT report and gather evidence and contact witnesses before information is lost.
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king county car accident lawyerI was in Los Angeles last week when I read a horrific news story in the Los Angeles Times about a wrong way drunk driver who collided head-on with another vehicle resulting in the death of six people. The driver of the red Camaro was speeding at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour when the accident occurred.

At first glance, I assumed that the wrong way driver was a young man because the car involved was a red “muscle car” and that the driver was speeding. I was wrong. The driver was 21-year-old Olivia Carolee Culbreath. All evidence points to the fact that Culbreath was driving under the influence at the time of the car accident. This was not her first driving under the influence arrest, she was convicted of drunk driving when she was 17 years old. Now she faces a lengthy jail term.

Prior to the horrific crash, at least 17 people had called 911 to alert authorities. Unfortunately, it appears that nothing could have been done to stop her that night. She killed a family of four and her own two passengers, one of which was her sister.

This accident points out the chilling fact that since the 1980s, the number of women arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) are female. Women are more likely to be using another substance and have mental disorders than males arrested for DUI.

In the greater Seattle area, we have had a few incidents of female wrong way female drunk drivers. In one, incident, a 60-year-old woman drove more than 17 miles on Interstate 5 in the wrong direction. In January of this year, a woman was arrested in downtown Seattle after driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 in the early morning hours. In September of 2013, Kelly Ann Hudson was convicted of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault for killing an 81-year-old Kirkland woman and critically injuring one other person. Hudson was drunk and under the influence of prescription drugs when her car crossed the centerline and struck a small car head-on.

Women and Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is the number one reason women come into contact with the criminal justice system. Nationally, arrests for drunk driving is on the rise in the female population and has risen from the single digit numbers in the 80’s to almost 30% in 2007. In 2008, the Federal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) revealed that 1,837 people were killed in car accidents involving females driving under the influence.

A North Carolina study showed that between 1976-1985, alcohol-related crashes rose in the female population compared with a 27% decline among males in the same age group.

The following are some characteristics of female drunk drivers:

  • A New Mexico study found that 85% of females convicted of DUI had a alcohol problem.
  • Female DUI offenders are often diagnosed with a problem with opiates or other medications.
  • The average age of a female on their first DUI is 31. However, there seems to be a trend in which young women are being involved in risky driving behaviors.
  • Female DUI drivers are more likely to be single or divorced.
  • A 2000 New Mexico study revealed that females convicted of DUI have a lower recidivism rate than males but a more recent study in Maryland found no lower recidivism rate.

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