Articles Posted in Spinal Cord Injury

seattle motorcycle accident lawyerWe just read about a new product, Spidi Neck DPS, which is a vest which basically inflates like an airbag when in the rider is involved in a motorcycle accident. The vest inflates like a car airbag and protects the rider from serious spinal cord injury which could result in paralysis or death.

The Spidi vests are hooked to a motorcycle with a tether which will inflate the vest when the rider falls off.

The vests can be used multiple times when recharged with CO2 and they come in both black and fluorescent yellow.

This is a safety innovation that could prevent serious injury or death in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Another safety innovation that has benefited motorcylists over the last few years are anti-lock brakes. Anti-lock brakes have been showed to reduce fatal motorcycle accidents by 37% and are especially helpful for novice riders.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent motorcycle accident victims and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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People age 75 and an older are at risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to a fall. TBIs are caused when there is a blow or jolt to the head. The number one cause of a TBI in the elderly are falls. As people age, they are at a greater risk of falling and the risk is greater with women than for men.

In the elderly, 75% of those who have fallen will fall again within the next six months.

Environmental hazards in the home are a leading cause of falls among the elderly. Throw rugs and poor lighting along with objects of everyday living can provide hazards which can make an elderly person more susceptible to falls.

Motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, violence and falls are the most common causes of spinal cord injury which can result in various level of impairment.

When the spinal cord or spinal nerves are injured, a person can experience having problems with sensation, strength or permanent paralysis.

In many cases, spinal cord injuries can be prevented, whether it is avoiding a risky behavior or taking precautions when doing everyday activities.

Motor vehicle accidents

Car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries but using a seatbelt every time one drives, goes a long way in preventing a spinal cord injury. Children should always be placed in a age-appropriate child seat or booster. Drivers should also avoid drinking and driving or using drugs and driving.

Sports injuries

snowboarding.jpgSports injuries are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries. It is important that children receive proper coaching in many sporting activities such as gymnastics and football.

In other sporting endeavors such as motor biking, skiing or snowboarding, the participant should make sure they have the proper equipment such as wearing a helmet. Participants should also use caution when participating in these activities including staying on marked trails and not skiing or riding beyond one’s ability.

If a concussion is suspected, the person should not return to their sport until cleared by a physician.


Falls are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries and fractures, especially in the elderly and frail. People are warned to use step stools or ladders to reach objects in high places to prevent falls. The elderly should also “fall proof” their home but removing extraneous rugs, installing handrails and have proper lighting.

Seeking help for the injured person

It is important that after an accident, proper medical care be administered. A secondary injury could occur if the injured person is moved without proper support. If person loses consciousness, has severe pain in the back, neck or head, suffers from paralysis or weakness in the extremities or loses bowel or bladder control, call 9-1-1 immediately and do not move the person.
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A new study published in the journal Pediatrics reports that injuries to children on inflatable bouncy houses, slides and moonwalks have increased fifteen times over since 1995.

According to the study, approximately 30 children a day were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained on inflatable blouncers in 2010. There were 11,311 reported injuries in 2010 compared to 701 in 1995. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System provided data for the study.

trampoline injury lawyerInjuries to children under the age of 18 included fractures, strains or sprains spinal cord, and head and neck injuries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that parents be vigilant when children are playing on the inflatable structures. Their safety recommendations include:

  • Do not allow older and younger children to bounce together.
  • Do not allow children unde the age of 6 to play on an inflatable.
  • Allow only one child to bounce at a time.
  • Do not allow children to do stunts including summersaults or flips which could result in a spinal cord injury.

The study’s lead author, Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, says it is time to to draft national safety guidelines for the structures.

Injuries to children on the bouncy structures have increased while trampoline injuries have been decreasing. Manufactures and resellers of trampolines have been held liable for injuries to children in some cases. In product liability cases involving serious injuries, courts focus on whether the instructions and warnings were adequate.
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Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injury. In fact, nearly 50% of spinal cord injuries are suffered in motor vehicle accidents, often leaving the injured person with a life time of pain, partially disabled or even paralyzed. People with spinal cord damage can suffer from sciatica, nerve pain, nerve damage, incontinence and degenerative disk disease.

South v. Vasquez

The following case (South v. Vasquez, No. BC 420 371 (Cal., Los Angeles Co. Super. Aug. 20, 2012) describes one such motor vehicle accident case that left a man with a serious back injury and the legal remedies that the injured man sought for compensation for his lost wages, medical expenses and for pain and suffering.

Motor vehicle accident caused by stop sign runner

seattle spinal cord injury lawyerDaniel South, 29, suffered a serious back injury when Carol Vasquez ran a stop sign and hit South’s pickup truck. After the accident, South suffered low back pain and received a medical diagnosis of a S1-L4 herniated disks.

South sought medical treatment for his back condition but when his pain could not be alleviated, he underwent a surgical procedure, a spinal fusion. His medical bills mounted and his medical expenses rose to about $400,000.

Vasquez admitted her liability in the accident yet her attorneys argued that South’s injuries did not warrant surgery.

South’s attorney, fellow AAJ member Douglas D. Shaffer, brought in experts who could testify about South’s injuries and his inability to return to his previous line of employment and his lost future earnings.

The California jury awarded South $3.42 million but the parties in the case settled for $2.5 million after a defense motion for a new trial was entered.
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Many Americans have a digital or cell phone cameras and one can use these ubiquitous devices to document injury accidents, car accidents and injuries for evidence to use as documentation of an accident claim. Some people keep a disposable camera in their glove compartment in case of an accident.

If you have the presence of mind after your accident, you can photograph the accident scene. If you were involved in a car accident, you should photograph your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Be sure to take photographs from a several angles and especially what your view might have been right before the accident. You should also take pictures of the environs at the accident scene including traffic, road conditions and any malfunctioning lights. You should also take photos of skid marks and broken glass. Remember to take photos of license plates of the vehicles involved.

seattle injury law attorneyYou should also photograph the highway or road where your accident occurred including driveways, embankments, obstacles, signage and traffic lights.

If you’ve been in a car accident in which your airbags deployed, you should take interior pictures of your vehicle.

If you don’t have the presence of mind to take photographs immediately after the accident, you can return to the accident scene on another day. Be sure you take pictures around the same time of day that your accident happened.

If your accident was a slip and fall, you can return to the accident scene and take pictures of the factors that caused your fall, say for example the area where the concrete was wet in a store or a broken stair that caused you to fall.
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We were just reading a case result in which a defendant claimed a “sudden emergency defense” — that the driver was avoiding another car — when he hit a pedestrian. We thought we’d take the opportunity to look at this case and discuss what a “sudden emergency defense” is.

The Case in Question

Citation: Dacosta v. Drummond, No. 10835/10 (N.Y., Kings Co. Sup. May 10, 2012).

seattle injury accident lawyerIn a 7-2 decision, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that accident reports compiled by the Washington State Patrol (WSP)are public records and should be available by request.

The state sought to withhold records from the public arguing that a federal state shielded the records because they were in a Department of Transportation database.

Justice Mary E. Fairhurst wrote for the majority that that citizens of Washington had been allowed to access location-specific reports up until 2003 and that the state was unfairly prohibiting the access of the records.

A man who suffered an L-3 herniated lumbar disk when his pickup truck was t-boned in an intersection has been awarded a negligence settlement of $2M to be paid by Tel Tec Security Systems.

John Bowden, 50, suffered a disabling injury when his pickup truck was hit by Bryan Popplewell who was working for and driving a van owned by Tel Tec Security Systems.

Bowden’s injuries were so severe that they left him permanently disabled and, unable to work, he had to go live with his son. His medical expenses totaled $319,000 and his future medical expenses and life-care costs are estimated between $1.2 million and $2 million.

The defendants had a $1 million insurance policy and an excess policy of $1 million.

Doctrine of Respondeat Superior

In his negligence lawsuit, Bowden claimed that Popplewell was negligent when he failed to yield the right-of-way at the intersection. He filed suit against Tel Tec Security Systems under the doctrine of respondeat superior for Poppelwell’s negligence. The legal doctrine of respondeat superior finds that, in some circumstances, employers are liable for the negligent acts of their employees working in the course of their employment.

Al hallmark case of respondeat superior was the Domino’s pizza campaign. In the 80’s and early 90’s, Domino’s pizza had a campaign “30 minutes or it’s free”. Domino’s ended this policy after delivery drivers. in a rush to get the pizzas delivered in the prescribed time frame. were involved in car accidents. The company was sued under the doctrine respondeat superior and discontinued the policy.
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In mediation, the family of Susan Slattery, 47, has settled a wrongful death and negligence claim against a trucking firm for $40.8M in damages for the trucking accident that claimed Slattery’s life and seriously injured her two sons.(Citation: Slattery v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., No. 1116-CV-13913 (Mo., Jackson Co. Cir. June 22, 2011).)

In two separate mediation sessions, Slattery’s family was awarded $6.2 for their wrongful death claim, $1.2 million for Slattery’s son Peter’s injuries and $33.4 million for her son Matthew’s personal injury claims.

Slattery was driving with her sons Matthew, 12, and Peter, 15, when a large truck pulling triple trailers rear ended her vehicle. The force of the crash caused Slattery’s car to be pushed under the rear of another semi trailer.

Slater died at the accident scene.

Slater’s son, Matthew, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident. He was hospitalized for a month and is disabled, requiring 24-hour care. His future care and life care costs ranges from between $22M to $30M.He has difficulty communicating as he suffers from aphasia as a result of his head injury.

Slater’s son, Peter, has mostly recovered from injuries which included fractures to his pelvis and face. His medical expenses totaled around $220,000 and he is still unable to participate in sporting activities.

Trucker’s Negligence
The Slattery family claimed that the semi-truck driver, Douglas Bouch, driving for Estes Express Lines, fell asleep at the wheel causing the accident. They made a claim against Estes Express under the doctrine respondeat superior. They also claimed that Estes Express failed to have an adequate plan to supervise their drivers.
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