5 students, 5 others killed in California head-on bus accident

April 11, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Five students, their charter bus driver, three chaperones and the driver of a FedEx semi-truck were all killed yesterday when the FedEx truck crossed the centerline and struck the tour bus head-on on Interstate 5 in Northern California reports The Seattle Times.

Both the bus and FedEx truck burst into flames and not all students were able to escape.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the FedEx truck to veer out of its lane, cross the center median.

Investigators will attempt to determine if the FedEx driver had fallen asleep, if there was mechanical failure or if a previous collision caused the FedEx driver to lose control.

Investigators say that one other vehicle, a Nissan sedan, was involved in the accident but its occupants injuries were not life threatening.

The students all attended LAUSD schools and were on a college trip to visit Humboldt State University in Northern California when the accident occurred.

The NTSB says that they made proposals to the design of school and charter buses, making it easier for occupants to escape, but those changes have not been implemented.

This may be one of the worst bus accidents in the U.S. in a number of years. In 2013, eight Mexican tourists were killed in California after their bus went off of a mountain road. In December 2012, a charter bus went off of a snow road in Oregon and nine people were killed. In Mary 2011, fifteen passengers were killed when a charter bus were travelling to New York city from a Connecticut casino when it crashed it to a barrier. In 2008, a charter bus of Vietnamese who were returning from a religious pilgrimage were killed when their bus went off a over pass.

Besides deaths, there are thousands of people injured in bus accidents every year. Bus accidents can result in catastrophic and serious injuries to passengers including brain and spinal cord injuries, fractures, internal and soft tissue injuries and burn injuries. Often these injuries require extensive medical treatment.

Bus Accident Causes

Bus accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, and some having nothing to do with the bus driver or bus company. However, in a lot of bus accidents one can focus at some of the following factors:

  • Driver inexperience
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver intoxication
  • Bus maintenance
  • Overloaded buses
  • Absence of safety equipment
  • Poor road conditions

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a bus accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can insure your legal rights are protected. Liability for the bus accident must be established to persevere with a claim and an experienced bus accident attorney can assist you.

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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Escalators can be dangerous: hold on to the railing

April 9, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

escalator.jpgYesterday was the year anniversary of the death of Maurecio Bell, who died in an escalator accident after he fell and his clothing got tangled on the University Street Station escalator in Seattle.

Since then, The Washington state Department of Labor and Industries estimates that more than 60 people have suffered injuries related to riding on an escalator in Washington.

Escalators seem such a ubiquitous part of American life whether one is shopping at Bellevue Square or catching a flight at SeaTac airport. It's hard to imagine that can pose a hazard, especially to small children.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nationally, approximately 10,000 people are injured while riding escalators. Most often, escalator accidents are caused by falls, accounting for 70% of all escalator accidents.

Falling can result in traumatic head injury or broken bones.

http://www.hgfarber.com/lawyer-attorney-1290378.htmlMost escalator accidents could be prevented if people held on to the handrail. Often, accidents occur when people are carrying packages while shopping and lose their balance.

One area of danger is where the stairs meet the floor. At this area, people, and especially children, can get their loose shoes such as flip-flops or Crocs wedged into the stair mechanisms. In this case, amputations can occur. Children should never be allowed to plan on or near escalators. If you are travelling with more than one child, you might consider using an elevator.

Parents and caregivers need to pay special mind to small children while riding an escalator and make sure that children cross the escalator threshold safely.

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U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to offer boating safety classes

April 7, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

boating2.jpgThe opening of boating season is just around the corner with Opening Day on May 3rd, 2014.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering boating safety classes at Bellevue Fire Station No. 9 which is located on 12412 SE 69th Way in Newcastle. Classes are held from 8:30am to 5pm on April 26, May 24 or June 28.

Those attending the classes will be able to obtain their Washington Boaters card which is required of boaters between the ages of 12 and 60 who operate a boat with 15 or more horsepower.

Boaters operating power boats in Washington state should be knowledgeable about of boating legal requirements including:

  • How to register and identify a boat.
  • Age requirements and restrictions.
  • Negligent and reckless boat operation.
  • Boating under the influence, alcohol and drugs
  • Safety around other boats and homeland security restrictions.
  • Personal flotation devices and life jackets
  • Fire extinguishers.
  • Ventilation systems and engine requirements.
  • Navigating after dark.
  • Personal water craft.
  • Water skiing and intertubing.
  • Safety regulations including diver-down and skier-down flags.
  • Boating accidents -- what the law requires you to do.
  • Protecting the environment.
  • Trash, oil and waste disposal.

To register or for information, contact Terrence Hooper at 425-885-0259 or email at HoopCGAUX@gmail.com. Email is preferred

This information is provided by Washington boating accident attorneys at The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in boating accidents caused by the negligent use of a boat.

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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Should you be driving your recalled GM car?

April 4, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

iStock_000012404949Small.jpgAs you may be aware, General Motors has recalled several of their models because the ignition switch may move from the "on" or "run" position causing the engine to lose power.

According to GM, the risk of an engine shut-down increases if the driver's key ring has additional keys besides the key fob on the key ring. The engine can also shut off if a driver is driving on rough roads.

Imagine how frightening it must be for motorists speeding down the highway to have their engine shut off.

One of the other risks of this defect is that the airbags may not deploy in a car accident.

GM says the ignition switch problem is linked to 31 car accidents and 12 deaths in the U.S. and one fatal car accident in Canada.

In all, nearly 2.5 million vehicles have been recalled including:

  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada)
  • 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles
  • 2008 – 2010 Pontiac Solstice and G5
  • 2008-2010 Saturn Sky
  • 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR.

U.S. Senator Richard Bllumenthal has started a petition asking GM "ground" or refrain driving driving any vehicle on the recalled list until the ignition switch has been replaced saying that the vehicles pose a safety hazard.

Some drivers are opting to drive their vehicle with no ignition keys attached.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against GM due to the defective ignition switch.

The Farber Law Group is available to answer your legal questions if your car accident was caused by a defect in your vehicle. The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years experience in complex civil litigation and works to obtain settlements on behalf of individuals who were harmed by large corporations.

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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Cameras in nursing home rooms needed to end elder abuse?

April 3, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

The Telegraph, a British newspaper, recently ran an article by author, Max Pemberton, in which Pemberton stated that cameras (also known as "Granny cams") are needed in nursing homes and care facilities to end elder abuse. We wrote in 2008 that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo increased the number of hidden cameras in nursing homes after cases of abuse came to light.

We have seen time and time again that some people who care for some of the most vulnerable among us are guilty of elder abuse in the form of physical abuse, neglect and mental torture. Often the abuse of the elderly and vulnerable goes undetected because the victims often cannot advocate for themselves.

One infamous case of elder abuse in this country was when six nursing home assistants at an Albert Lea nursing home were criminally charged with poking, groping and taunting the elderly patients they were supposed to care for. Two young women, 18 and 19 years of age, as well as four juveniles were charged in the case.

In 2012, Pennsylvania woman suspected that her mother was being abused in a nursing home and, after installing a hidden camera, found that her mother was in fact being abused.

In the U.K., just few days ago, two women were secretly filmed in Greater Manchester with "slapping, jabbing and taunting" a man with brain-damage whom they were supposed to be caring for. The pair were also seen hurling verbal abuse and demeaning the man.

The man in this case was not elderly. His parents were concerned about his welfare so they secretly installed a camera and caught the abuse on video tape which brought the abuse to light.

The Telegraph article states that often inspections of care facilities are only a snapshot of what is truly happening at a nursing home. Often, family members are fooled that their loved ones are being well cared for but only with video cameras do they find out the truth. Says Pemberton:

It’s a sorry state of affairs when we have to put CCTV cameras in the rooms of all vulnerable people being cared for, but I can’t think of another way of clamping down on abuse and neglect once and for all.

One of the biggest deterrents to nursing home abuse is regular visits since abusers often do not abuse a resident who is visited regularly.

If you notice that your loved one has signs of physical abuse or neglect or emotional abuse, you can report your fears to the nursing home administrator or adult protective services.

If your loved one has been seriously injured, you may seek the counsel of Bellevue nursing home attorney, Herbert G. Farber. Mr. Faber has been representing nursing home abuse victims and their families for more than 30 years. Contact him for a free and confidential case consultation.

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NHTSA SaferCar cell phone apps alert drivers to auto safety issues

March 27, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

mobile-phone-in-hand-1438233-3-m.jpgThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has two cell phone apps which allow drivers to register their vehicle so that they can be notofied if a safety issue is discovered.

In addition, the app allows owners to submit safety concerns to the NHTSA.

Apps are available in both Apple and Android versions.

The apps also provide safety ratings 5-Star Safety Ratings and help on installing child safety seats.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

Related Posts:
Nissan recalls Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder & Sentra due to possible airbag deployment problems
Mini cars fail in small frontal overlap crash tests
IIHS simulates crashes to see which car seats protect against whiplash

Hit and run driving a problem on our roads

March 27, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Hit and run car accidents are far too common. In performing a search for "hit and run car accidents" on The Seattle Times, we quickly found these headlines:

With all of these headlines, one almost wonders, "Doesn't anyone stop after an accident anymore?" The truth of the matter is that nearly 11% of all motor vehicle accidents reported to police are of the hit and run variety. Hit and run simply means that the driver who was at fault in the accident left the accident scene without seeking medical aid for the injured and without providing identification and insurance information as is required by law.

Every year, at least 1,500 people are killed in hit and run auto accidents and scores more suffer serious injuries.

That leaves us to ask, "Why do motorists hit and run?"

Often hit and run drivers are caught or they turn themselves in. Some common excuses for their behavior includes:

  • I was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
  • I had a warrant out on another charge.
  • I didn't have insurance.
  • I didn't have a valid driver's license.
  • I was driving a friend's car.
  • I was doing something I shouldn't have been doing when the accident occurred.

First of all, anyone with a driver's license should know it is a class B or class C felony to leave the scene of an accident. Leaving the accident scene most often results in a jail sentence and/or fines.

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Nissan recalls Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder & Sentra due to possible airbag deployment problems

March 26, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Nissan motor company has issued a recall of 1 million motor vehicles because the front passenger-side air bags may not deploy in a motor vehicle accident.

According to the Recall notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2013 model year vehicles are part of the recall:
recall.png

The problem involves the Occupant Classification System (OCS) software erroneously classifying the front passenger seat as empty when there may actually be a person sitting in the seat.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified in mid-April and they can bring their vehicle in to have the OCS reprogrammed.

airbag.jpgAirbags

Airbags have been standard in all passenger vehicles since 1998 and the save lives by cushioning the driver and front passengers from coming into contact with the windshield, dashboard or steering wheel which may prevent serious injuries.

Airbags and lap/shoulder safety belts are effective to protect occupants in the case of a car crash and are 75% effective in preventing traumatic brain injury or preventing serious chest injuries.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

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Bicycle accident claims against public entities

March 21, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

One of the hazards of riding a bicycle are road hazards. Because bicycles have relatively thin tiers, changes in road surfaces, debris in the road, sewer grates, railroad tracks and potholes can all cause a bicycle accident and result in serious injury.

When a bicycle accident is caused by a known road hazard, the governmental entity responsible for that road may be liable for injuries suffered by the accident victim.

In Oakland, California, the City Council has agreed to pay a $3.25 million bicycle accident settlement to a bicyclist, Dulcey Bower, who suffered "severe injuries to her face, head, jaw, teeth" when her bicycle hit a pothole. The city council agreed to the settlement after evidence was provided that the city had received prior complaints about the potholes and ruts on the street and had failed to fix thm

In 2010 inWashington State, the Department of Transportation awarded Mickey Gendler, an $8 million settlement after a bicycle crash on the Montlake Bridge caused a Gendler to suffer a spinal cord injury which left him as a quadriplegic. In this case, the Gendler claimed that the DOT was because of a inch-wide gap in section of metal grating on the bridge that had caused a previous accident.

Pothole Accidents

In the case of a pothole accident, the governmental entity may be liable for a bicycle accident caused by the hazard if the entity was aware of the problem and the pothole was caused by shoddy road fixes or long-term wear and tear. If the pothole was only present for a short duration, the public entity may not be liable.

Sewer Grate Accidents

Sewer grates can pose a serious danger to bicyclists. If the sewer grates were installed in the same direction as traffic, bicycle tires can get stuck between the grates. Most governmental entities install sewer grates in the other direction, cover them with crosshatches or change their shapes so that bicycle tires do not become ensnared. I grates were improperly installed, there may be a case for negligence.

Railroad Track Accidents

Bicycle wheels can bet caught in the space between railroad tracks and the roadway if they cross the road at an angle or curve. In cases where railroad tracks are not in use, the public entity should remove or cover the tracks. If they remain present, bicyclist should be warned with a sign and a bicycle bath could be built.

Determining Negligence

In determining negligence for a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, the plaintiff need provide documentation that the governmental entity responsible for a particular section of road was aware of the danger and employed measures to eliminate the danger. In cases against governmental agencies, it is advised that a knowledgeable personal injury law firm be engaged.

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Costco recalls 'Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit' due to possible salmonella contamination

March 16, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

fresh_fruit.jpgIf you purchased Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit by Oregon Freeze Dry from Costco with a Feb. 14, 2015 to March 11, 2015 "best by" date, you should dispose of any unopened product or return it to Costco and monitor your health. Look for this date on the product:

Best Before Date: FEB 14 2015 - MAR 11 2015 (which reads FEB142015 - MAR112015)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)was able to contact people who purchased the product because shoppers must use a Costco card at checkout which provides the FDA with customer name and address information.

According to the FDA, there are no confirmed cases of salmonella illness.

In all, 59,780 cases of the product were voluntarily recalled after the company found that the product may have been contaminated. From the lists of states where the product was shipped to, it appears that none of the suspect product was shipped to Washington, Idaho or Oregon.

About Salmonella

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection which can result in abdominal cramps, severe diarrhea, and fever. People infected with the bacteria usually become ill within 12 to 72 hours. Most infected people do not require treatment however those with severe diarrhea may need to be hospitalized especially if the infection has spread to the blood stream.

Infants, pregnant women, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems are especially vulnerable to serious illness in the case of an infection.

There are approximately 42,000 reported cases of salmonellosis every year in the United States and an average of 400 die from the infection or its complications.

One long-term consequence of salmonellosis is a type of reactive arthritis which can last months or years and can result in chronic arthritis.

Preventing Salmonella

Here are some tips to prevent salmonella infection:

  • Thoroughly cook foods containing eggs and raw products such as unpasteurized milk, ground beef and poultry.
  • In restaurants, don't hesitate to return undercooked meat.
  • Wash hands and cutting and cooking surfaces when cooking with raw meat and poultry.
  • Be especially careful with raw foods around babies, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly if you handle pet reptiles.


This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become seriously ill due to foodborne illness. If you have experienced serious illness requiring hospitalization, you may have a claim for your medical expenses, loss of wages and for pain and suffering against the restaurant or food supplier if their negligence resulted in your illness. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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Driver arrested after Hwy 167 accident that killed taxi pasenger

March 4, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

Shanna Huttenstine, 34, of Tacoma was killed in the early morning hours when the taxi she was riding in collided with a pickup truck that had crossed the centerline and struck the taxi. The taxi driver attempted to avoid the oncoming pickup truck so the main point of impact was behind the taxi driver where Huttenstine was sitting.

The taxi driver, Said Ali, 52, and passenger Jason Speers, 36, who was riding in the front passenger seat, were injured in the accident.

The driver of the pickup truck, Anderson Hamilton, 48, of Puyallup will be charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in the accident as police believe he was under the influence of alcohol and or drugs at the time of the crash. A blood draw was taken at a local hospital.

Images of the taxi after the accident show that it with severe damage to the front and side and the vehicle totaled.

Vehicular homicide, RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person is a killed in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly or driving without regard to the safety of others. If convicted of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, Hamilton could face a sentencing range of 78-102 months.

The truth about drunk driving

  • Driver's chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident increases as the blood alcohol content increases. Drivers who have any amount of alcohol are seven times as likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who have ingested no amount of alcohol. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or more are 13 times more likely to be involved in an accident.

  • 112 million times a year, an alcohol-impaired driver gets behind the wheel putting themselves and every one on the road at risk.

  • Approximately 31% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve alcohol.

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 of 3 Americans are involved in alcohol-related traffic accidents in their lifetime.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Herbert G. Farber is a Washington personal injury attorney service car accident victims throughout the greater Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue metropolitan areas and throughout Washington.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, or a loved one has been killed, contact us for 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.
washington wrongful death lawyer

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Can morecellation surgery spread cancer?

February 27, 2014 by The Farber Law Group

The Wall Street Journal just published an article, "Doctor's War Against a Common Surgery, Morcellation." What came to light in the article is that one of the most common hysterectomy procedures, in relatively rare cases, may actually spread undetected cancer in some patients. The procedure is called morcellation.

Morcellation surgery allows surgeons to remove large masses of tissue during laparoscopic surgery, allowing for less invasive surgery, leaving smaller scars and presumably allowing a quicker recovery time. The surgery is done using medical devices designed especially for morcellation .

The WSJ article highlighted the campaign by Dr. Hoorman Noorchashm, whose wife (also a physician) -- Dr. Amy Reed -- is battling an advanced cancer after a routine laparoscopic hysterectomy for a diagnosis of fibroids. The morcellation procedure, in Dr. Reed's case, appears to have spread a rare and undetected cancer, leiomyosarcoma. When fibroids or other tissue is cut into small pieces, there is a risk that previously undetected malignant cells can be left in the abdomen can spread. An article on NEJM Journal Watch quotes one study:

Two of seven patients with undiagnosed stage I uterine leiomyosarcoma and one of four with undiagnosed stage I smooth muscle tumors had disseminated intraperitoneal disease after morcellation.

Dr. Noorchashm's campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal, takes on the "medical establishment" and takes to task hospitals and physicians who do not provide informed consent of the potential spread of cancer.

Until there is a reliable way to identify patients with uterine sarcoma before surgery, they may not be enough data to allow patients predict benefit-to-harm of the surgery.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured by medical malpractice due to the negligence of another. For more information on medical malpractice and surgical malpractice, please contact us.

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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