Bonney Lake couple and baby killed when concrete from construction project falls on their truck

April 14, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

Vanessa and Josh Ellis, of Bonney Lake, and their 8-month old baby son were killed Monday night when a slab of concrete fell from a Highway 410 overpass and struck their motor vehicle crushing it.

Construction workers were working to install a sidewalk when the accident occurred.

The Ellis' were traveling on Angeline Street under the 410 in their Toyota pickup truck.

This tragic accident stunned the neighbors and friends of the young couple who said that anyone of them could have been killed as this was a road that they all traveled.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing. One question that must be answered is why there were not flaggers or traffic diversion measures taken during the work on the overpass.

In all likelihood, there may be a case of negligence in the death of this young couple and their baby. The family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim on the couple's behalf. The law requires that a contractor exercise what is known as "reasonable care" to foresee that people might be injured during the work. In addition, the entities that hired the contractor may also be held responsible for the negligence of the contractor.

Road construction contractors have a legal duty to safeguard the public and make driving safe while construction is ongoing. Failure to do so may be a breach of contract. In this case, it seems apparent that the contractors failed to warn motorists of hazards.

In bringing a wrongful death claim, there is a statute of limitation in Washington and an attorney should be consulted so that a right to claim is protected.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We have more than 30 years experience representing families with their wrongful death claims. Call today for a free and confidential consultation.

construction accident death attorney

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2-year-old dies after falling into uncovered septic tank in Skagit County

April 8, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

Orion Fenstra, a 2-year-old-boy, was killed on Monday morning around 10am when he fell into an uncovered septic well when his family was visiting another family in the 20000 block of Sanchez lane in Burlington in Skagit County reports Fox News.

According to a report on Fox News, little Orion wandered off as the two families were visiting. Officers from the Skagit County Sheriff's Office responded to a call shortly after Orion was reported missing.

Sheriff deputies found Orion in the septic well. It was covered at the time they made their search but they learned that it had been uncovered earlier.

Efforts to resuscitate Orion were not successful.

Just last month, a five year old boy, Noah Thomas, was found in a septic tank in Dublin, Virginia. His death is being treated as suspicious. Read more on ABC news here.

Accidental Falls into Septic Wells

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Orion Fenstra tonight as they grieve the loss of their young son. While investigators will sort out what exactly happened, it appears that Orion's death was not intentional but may have been caused by negligence on the part of the property owner or the company that may have been working on the septic tank prior to the accident.

While doing some research, The Farber Law Group found that accidents involving fatalities to children when they fall into septic tanks or wells occur far too frequently. It is estimated that there are approximately 50 deaths and many more injuries due to fall into wells and septic tanks every year.

Some times people are injured when septic tank covers are too light and can be moved by children and sometimes the covers are damaged or fragile so that a person who steps on them can fall through.

Septic tanks should never be left open or unattended at any time for any reason because a person or small child could fall in and drown. Septic tanks no longer in use should be decommissioned and filled in.

Septic tanks are a type of sewage facility and approximately 25% of the properties in the U.S. relies on septic tanks for their sewage, mostly in small towns and rural areas.

Because of the high risk of injury or death, the Washington Administrative Code provides for certain design and construction requirements for on-site sewage system tanks to prevent fall accidents as well as problems with methane gas. Unfortunately, safety precautions are not always followed by installers or manufacturers or the septic tanks and their covers are not properly maintained or secured.

Property owners as well as installers and maintenance personnel must maintain septic tank safety. Because septic tanks are a well-known hazard, homeowners or renters must check to make sure that a septic tank does not pose a hazard to anyone who inadvertently steps on a septic tank cover and that no tank is uncovered so that a person can fall into it.

Just last year, we read this article about a 4-year-old child who inadvertently stepped on a septic tank lid, popping the lid up and she fell in. The lid then popped back into place. Fortunately, her family was nearby and was able to rescue her. Read more here.

Unfortunately, these preventable tragedies do occur because of many older tanks are not maintained or decommissioned.

Washington Premise Liability Attorney

If your loved one or child has been injured or killed after a similar tragedy you are advised to contact Herbert Farber, an experienced premise liability lawyer at 1-800-244-9087. Mr. Farber has more than 30 years experience representing families with their wrongful death cases. Call today for a free and confidential 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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Pedestrian killed in downtown Seattle crosswalk accident

March 28, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

A 45-year-old woman, Michele Jozefiak, was killed on Thursday as she was crossing a downtown Seattle street.

According to a police report, Jozefiak was crossing Seneca Street and 5th Avenue assisted by a walker when she was struck by a truck driver.

Jozefiak was taken to Harborview Medical Center where she died of head injuries and injuries to her lower extremities.

Police are investigating the accident and interviewed the truck driver. Early police reports indicate that the motorist did not appear to be intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Pedestrian Accidents

Approximately every year, nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed and another 76,000 are injured in pedestrian accident. The average age of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents is 46 years of age. In nearly 50% of all traffic accidents involving a pedestrian fatality, alcohol is a factor.

There are many other factors that can contribute to a pedestrian accident. Driver negligence including the following can also contribute to pedestrian fatalities:

  • Driver inattention or distraction
  • Failing to observe speed limits
  • Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks, either marked or unmarked
  • Driver disregard of traffic signals.
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 crosswalk and pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

Washington Pedestrian Accident Attorney

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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Study shows -- no surprise! -- distraction a factor in 60% of teenage driving accidents

March 26, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has just released a report that should be no surprise to parents of teenagers. The study found that 60% of all car accidents that teenagers drivers are involved in, distraction -- either inside or outside of the vehicle -- was a factor.

According to the study, the number one distraction occurs in the vehicle itself. The teenage driver can be distracted while interacting with passengers in the car, looking at their cell phone, talking to friends, eating, singing, reaching for something and grooming.

Teenagers don't seem to understand that when they take their eyes off the road for as little as four seconds to check out a text message, if they were traveling at 60mph, they have traveled the distance of a football field.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety used dashboard cameras and recorded teens crashing because they were not paying attention to the road. The car accident videos are really chilling when you look at them.

The foundation recommends that states look at their distracted driving laws, prohibit cell phone use by teens while driving and restrict the number of passengers for teen drivers. In Washington state, the state provides for a restricted driver's license which follows the AAA Foundation's guidelines.

Washington state has worked hard to combat distracted driving and passed legislation that directly bans handheld devices.

Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers

Despite Washington state's laws, distracted drivers get into single car accidents, accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists or multi-vehicle accidents involving track and motorcycles. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a distracted driver, you may be able to receive compensation for the medical costs and other damages you suffered as the result of an accident caused by a distracted driver.

Washington State Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You

To obtain the most favorable resolution of your car accident case, you should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident if your believe your injuries were the fault of a negligent or distracted driver. It is important to establish a working relationship with your attorney so that evidence is preserved and the necessary legal procedures are taken.

The Farber Law Group, a personal injury law firm in Bellevue, Washington, is here to help you. Contact Herbert Farber today to discuss your case. We handle car accident insurance claims and lawsuits in the greater Seattle area throughout Washington state.

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New technologies will curb distracted driving, save lives

March 19, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

teen%20texting%20and%20driving.jpgIt is estimated that 1.6 million car accidents occur every year due to distracted driving. Now car companies and technology companies are designing new technologies which have the potential to save thousands of lives by preventing distracted driving car accidents.

With an estimated nine deaths a day due to distracted driving and 500,000 people injured every year, technology must keep up with the increasing lure of texting and driving.

Cellcontrol™ -- Cellcontrol™ is a technology in which a small standalone "control" box is installed in a vehicle. The device syncs with phones in the car via a app and it allows one to set customized limits on what is permitted on a cell phone while driving. Limits can be customized, for example, a passenger can be allowed to text while a driver cannot.

Life360 is a popular ap which allows families and friends to stay connected. Ford has partnered with the company to provide an in-the-dash solution which notifies people who are texting a driver that the driver cannot answer the text until the car has stopped.

Seeing Machines is a technology which monitors a driver's eye movements and warns the driver if they are fatigued or distracted by tracking their eye movements.We will see "seeingmachines" installed in commercial carriers first but this is technology that will come to the personal automobile in the near future.

New technologies can certainly curb or stop distracted and save lives.

Driving a motor vehicle in Washington is a privilege and it is the responsibility of every driver to pay attention and stay focused at the task of driving.

Washington state has laws which prohibit drivers from using a cell phone while driving and the state passed a cell phone ban in 2007. The Senate is now seeking to expand the texting-while-driving ban to include all cellphone use while driving except for some hands-free functions.

How can attorney help if I've been injured by a distracted driver?

Drivers who are involved in a cra accident due to being distracted may face criminal penalties. In addition, accident victims may be entitled to obtain compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

Each case is unique and circumstances of the accident and a person's losses determine the amount of compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide you the answers to your questions.

Washington Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

The Farber Law Group has been presenting people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents for more than 30 years. We handle all accident and injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that you do not pay any up front legal costs unless we win your case for you.

Call us today for a free and confidential case evaluation 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.

For more information see: What if my accident was caused by someone using a cell phone?

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5 patients sickened, 3 die because of listerosis linked to tainted ice cream

March 14, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

ice-cream.jpgThree patients have died and two others were sickened in a Wichita, Kansas hospital, after all were apparently infected with the listeria monocytogenes bacteria linked to Blue Bell ice cream served to them when they were in the hospital.

For of five of the ill patients had underlying health issues and were patients in the the Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita, Kansas when they were served single serving ice cream, "Scoops."

Tests on patients and the ice cream showed that both had the same listeria contaminant. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigated the outbreak and can determine the DNA fingerprint of listeria bacteria.

Blue Bell ice cream is a 108 year old company and this is their first recall. It appears that Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and No Sugar Added Moo Bars manufactured in the Brenham, Texas plant were contaminated.

All contaminated products have been removed from store shelves but consumers are recommended to remove any Blue Bell ice cream from their freezers with the product SKU's listed here.

About Listeria

Listeria is a pathogen that can be found in the soil, raw milk, meat, poultry, vegetation, anand animals. The bacteria can be spread when people consume uncooked foods, fail to wash their hands or when there is a break-down in manufacturing safety.

Symptoms of listeria includes flu-like symptoms and women who are pregnant, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly are most susceptible to serious illness after infection.

Approximately 2,500 people are sickened every year in the U.S. and, of those, 200 become seriously ill and die.

Treatment of listeria include antibiotics.

One of the worst listeriosis outbreaks in the United States occurred in 2011 when cantaloupes shipped by Jensen Farms in Colorado killed 33 people and caused at least one miscarriage. In that case, 123 people were sickened.

Contact The Farber Law Group Listeria Lawyers

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become sickened by foodborne illness and the family of those who have died.

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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My child was injured by a dog, should I hire a lawyer?

February 27, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

If your child has been injured by a dog, you might be facing medical bills plus the aftermath of the attack including scarring, disfigurement and psychological trauma. Often, the dog that bit your child might be owned by a neighbor, a friend or a family member. In fact, approximately, 75% of all dog attacks occur within the family.

You might be wondering how to file a dog bite claim and still maintain relationships that might be important to you.

The Farber Law Group is personal injury law firm with experience in representing dog bite victims and we assure you, that you can file a claim and still preserve relationships. An experienced attorney can be a "cool head" and help with relationships during a process of filing a claim. Often, settling a claim with an insurance company can be amicable with the injured person receiving the compensation they deserve for their immediate medical expenses, loss of wages and for psychological services.

Reasons to Hire A Dog Bite Attorney

Most dog bite victims never get compensated even though home insurance coverage covers dog bites. A lawyer can help you file a claim and get it paid.

Insurance adjusters often will low ball a claim if the child's parents do not have an attorney. While a personal injury attorney will work on a contingency fee basis (you don't pay attorney fees unless a settlement is recovered), the attorney can often obtain a far greater compensation from the insurance company resulting in the child receiving more money for their medical and psychological care as well as pain and suffering.

One benefit to hiring a dog bite attorney is that it can reduce a lot of stress between the family members, friends or neighbors. The parent can always refer any questions or concerns to their attorney. The attorney can reassure any parties that the goal is not to bankrupt anyone or embarrass them but to claim on insurance so that the child's medical needs are taken care of.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites are one of the top five reasons a child seeks treatment in a hospital emergency room. Dog bite injuries can cause serious injuries requiring stitches and even plastic surgery. In some cases, victims suffer permanent nerve damage which can leave them in pain or disfigured. A severe dog mauling can often require between two and five separate surgeries.

Dog Bites and Washington Law

The reviewed code of Washington, 16.08.040, says that dog owners are liable for dog bites. If a dog has a history of attacking people, the amount of liability against the dog owners is expanded.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious dog bite injury, you should contact a personal injury attorney who has experience representing dog bite victims and their families. At The Farber Law Group, a Washington personal injury law firm, has more than 30 years experience representing dog bite victims.

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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Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney

February 25, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

There are probably not many times in your life when you need to hire an attorney. But sometimes, usually in a time of personal crises due to an accident or an injury, you may find yourself in the need of legal representation. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve and help you with the morass of paperwork that is often required after a car accident.

When should I hire an attorney?

You generally only need to hire an attorney after a car accident if you have had serious injuries requiring medical care. Many minor accidents involving only vehicle damage can be handled through direct contact with your insurance company. However, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney when you have had significant losses because of a car accident including medical costs, lost wages, car repairs and other costs.

How to choose a car accident attorney?

When searching for a car accident attorney, you should look for a "personal injury attorney" as opposed to one who has another specialty such as family, elder or bankruptcy law.

Most car accident attorneys will accept your case on a contingency fee basis. That means, the attorney will take your case if he or she feels like it has merit and they do not ask you for any upfront fees. You pay nothing unless they win your case for you.

You should choose a an attorney with experience and a proven track record of success. Several lawyer rating services can help you. Martindale Hubbell has a peer rating service and AVVO has a rating system based on a myriad of factors including education, peer endorsement and years of practice.

What to ask a prospective attorney?

Most people use the internet to help them in their search for an attorney. Know that most attorneys will provide a no-fee, no-obligation initial consultation. When you go for your first visit, you may wish to bring documents that you might have that pertain to your case and insurance. These may include:

  • Insurance policy
  • Contact information for the other person involved in the accident
  • Medical records
  • Citations or tickets related to the car accident
  • Photographs of the accident scene or the damage
  • Statements or witness contact information

What are attorney fees?

Read more about the contingent fee basis and how attorney fees are calculated.

The Farber Law Group representing car accident victims for 30 years

If you are interested in learning more about the car accident claim process, contact The Farber Law Group. Herbert Farber personally represents every case himself. He has a track record of success in obtaining just compensation for motor vehicle 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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Duvall man killed in head-on collision near Monroe

February 11, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

Jeff Lucas, 56, of Duvall was killed on February 10th in a head-on collision near Monroe.

According to a report in the Everett Herald, Lucas was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 2 between Snohomish and Monroe when his Jaguar was struck head-on by a Hyundai that had crossed over the centerline.

The Hyundai was driven by a 72-year-old Lake Stevens woman. She was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett for treatment.

Lucas' car rolled into the eastbound lanes after the impact and it was struck again by a eastbound pickup truck. No one in the pickup truck was injured seriously.

A fourth car was also involved in the accident.

The Washington State Patrol says that drugs or alcohol do not appear to be factors in the car accident. The section of road where the accident occurred is two lanes and is only separated by a rumble strip.

U.S. Highway 2

U.S. Highway 2 has seen its share of head-on collisions. The last fatal accident on that stretch of road occurred in September 2014 and it to was a cross-over collision.

Head-on Auto Accidents

Head-on auto collisions are some of the most deadliest accidents. While the exact cause of this collision are not known at this time, passing, alcohol or drugs, driver distraction, attempting to make a u-turn, driver confusion and speeding are some of the most common causes of head-on collisions.

In some cases, road design and environmental factors contribute to head-on collisions. Some environmental factors include deer running on to the road or ice on the roadway.

In the case of Highway 2, there have been 50 fatal accidents on the highway between Snohomish and Stevens pass in a 9 year period. Many of these have been crossover accidents and a citizens group has clamored to make the highway divided.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a series of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicles 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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Colorado releases marijuana and driving stats, will Washington follow suit?

February 2, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

Colorado and Washington states both legalized marijuana for recreational use a couple of years ago. In Washington, pot was legalized in November 2012.

The Colorado State Patrol has released their data for last year (2014) concerning marijuana and driving. According to their statistics, The Colorado Patrol found that 12 percent of DUI cases involved marijuana. In 6% of the 5,546 drivers cited for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 6.4% were under the influence of marijuana only.

Both Washington and Colorado, and any states that is considering legalizing pot, are concerned about stoned driving. States are trying to answer the important question, "Will roads be less safe?" after marijuana legalization.

Colorado has been working hard to educate their drivers that driving high [on marijuana] will get them a DUI. 21% of marijuana users say they did not realize that they could get cited for DUI driving after using the drug.

Colorado Statistics are Lacking

The Colorado statistics still seem to be lacking in their answers to crucial questions. What was the rate of marijuana intoxication citations prior to legalizations? Was their an increase in car accidents in correlation with the legalization of marijuana?

Drug Recognition Expert

A blood test is used to tell if a driver is intoxicated on marijuana. Washington state law limits drivers to a five nanograms of THC per milliliter of whole blood. However, police officers must have a warrant to obtain a driver's blood.

Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) are police officers who are trained to detect if motorists are under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. In Washington state, DREs often are called to testify in court. More than 200 police officers across Washington are trained to be DREs after they undergo a two-week training program.

DRE's are called by arresting officers if a driver's is suspected of being under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. Often this follows a breath alcohol test with inconsistent results. The DRE expert will take a suspect's pulse, examine their eyes and gaze, perform a divided attention test, check for injection sites, take statements and exam for muscle tone.

Washington Vehicle Code

In Washington, a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state while under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or while the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 46.61.502(1)(a)-(b)(West 2010).

High Profile Washington Car Accident Case Involving Marijuana

Just last year, a mother of two caused a major car accident in Snohomish County that injured nine people including two of her own child. The woman, admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the car accident but her blood test was not performed until three hours after the accident. At that time, her THC level was 3.8 nanograms, under the legal limit for intoxication. The WSP toxicologist said the level at the time of the accident was probably higher but was unable to determine what the woman's THC level was at the time of the accident.

Washington Attorney Represents victims of Drugged and Drunk Driving

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drugged driver, we recommend that you obtain a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will work hard to make sure your rights are protected. At The Farber Law Group, we will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Herbert Farber will work immediately to help preserve crucial evidence regarding your case.

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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Teenager driver charged with vehicular homicide in Seabeck single car accident that killed 3

January 12, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

We have seen this story far too often. Teenagers attend a party, the driver consumes alcohol, the driver loses control of the car and young lives end tragically in a car accident.

According to KOMO News, this past weekend a 17-year-old teenage driver was charged with Vehicular Homicide after a single car accident in Seabeck that killed three passengers of a Toyota Corolla.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, the teenagers had attended a party in Seabeck prior to the car accident. The Toyota they were traveling in was found in a ditch on its roof around 3:16am by a passerby.

Killed in the car accident were James Wiggins-Soudermire, 18, Kassidy Miranda Clark, 16 and Jenna M. Farley, 14.

The 17-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton. The driver was later booked on suspicion of Vehicular Homicide at Kitsap County Youth Services Center.

Police are still putting together the facts from this auto accident but they believe alcohol and speed were factors.

Teenagers and Alcohol: A Serious Problem

In this car accident, the teenage driver was not legally allowed to consume alcohol but drunk driving statistics reveal this is far too common of a problem:

  • Approximately 30% of all drunk driving deaths occur to young people between the ages of 16-20.
  • Approximately 10.8 million Americans under the age of 21 consume alcohol.
  • Almost 20% of teenagers engage in binge drinking.
  • Most parents are unaware that their teens are binge drinking.

Teenage Drinking and Social Host Laws

Adults who furnish alcohol to teenagers are considered "social hosts" under Washington's Social Host Laws and they can be held liable if they provided alcohol to a minor and the minor was injured or killed, or injures or kills another in a motor vehicle accident. Even if no one is injured in a car accident, an adult that furnishes minors alcohol can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and face fines and sometimes even jail time.

How a Washington Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Representing the victims and families of victims of drunk driving accidents is important to The Farber Law Group. Drunk driving accidents are far too common and are often devastating to not only the victims but to their families. The compassionate attorneys at The Farber Law Group work hard to seek justice against those whose negligence played a factor in a drunk driving car accident.

While the above accident is still being investigated, the family of the victims deserve to have their questions answered. In Washington, the family of an accident victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against whomever they believe to be at fault. 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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L & I fines Pacific Topsoils for safety violations after death of teenage employee

January 9, 2015 by The Farber Law Group

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has fined Pacific Topsoils, a landscaping and supply company based in Everett, Washington $199,000 for safety violations relating to the death of Bradley Hogue, 19.

Hogue was killed on his second day of work when he fell into a machine used in distributing "beauty" bark onto a property.

L&I cited Pacific Topsoils for "two willful and 14 serious violations" related to Hogue's death. L&I Assistant Director Anne Soiza said:

 “The loss of this young man’s life is a tragedy that could have been prevented if the employer had followed basic safety and health rules that protect workers from moving machinery. We hope this citation and the penalties serve as a deterrent so that nothing like this ever happens again.”

In citing Pacific Topsoils, L&I found that the company had workers clear jams in the bark-blower truck hoppers when the hoppers were operating. This exposed workers to very hazardous conditions, all which were potentially life threatening.

L&I cited Pacific Topsoils for two willful violations:

  1. Not ensuring lockout/tagout procedures were regularly used.
  2. Not properly training employees in use of these procedures.

A willful violation is one in which an employer knowingly disregarded or was indifferent to employee safety.

seattle construction accident attorneyIn addition to the fines to Pacific Topsoils, L&I issued a bark and mulch-blower hazard alert to other companies about the dangers of working inside a hopper while it is under operation. L&I informed operators that two workers have been killed and another seriously injured in separate accidents

It is incumbent on employers to follow manufacturer's safety instructions and to develop safety rules, procedures and training when operating dangerous equipment.

Work Related Accidents and Wrongful Death

The Farber Law Group is a Washington law firm dedicated to providing legal services for people who have suffered serious personal injuies related to work-related and construction accidents. We have worked with families with their wrongful death claims related to on-the-job accidents.

It is a tragedy when a worker is seriously injured in a job-related accident or a family member killed. In Washington state, when a construction worker is hurt on the job, worker's compensation pays the cost of the injury if the employer is injured.

When a loved one is killed in a construction or in an on-the-job accident a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed claim against the employer claiming negligence by the spouse or children of the deceased. A wrongful death lawsuit is often the best way for a family to pursue financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. Damages can include earnings the deceased person would have provided, funeral expenses, lost benefits including insurance, loss of consortium and punitive damages designed to punish. Damages can be especially helpful to families in which there are minor children to raise.

If you have questions about a personal injury or wrongful death claim, please contact The Farber Law Group today. 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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