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seattle bicycle accident lawyerThe Governors Highway Safety Association reports that bicycle accident deaths increased by 16% between 2010 and 2012 at the same time other motor accident fatalities were decreasing.

California leads the nation in bicycle accident deaths, followed by Florida.

While bicycle accident deaths of those under the age of 20 has decreased 84% since 1975, the profile of a person killed in a bicycle accident is an adult male over the age of 20. Two thirds of those killed were not wearing a helmet and 28% of the riders age 16 and older were legally drunk.

Hit and Run Collisions also Increasing

The Los Angeles Times reports that, in California, hit-and-run collisions have “increased by 42% since 2002.” This trend does not bode well a s many cities, including Seattle, have been advocating for more people to commute via bicycle and some apartment buildings provide limited parking for automobiles.

Up to 80% of all hit and run accidents are not solved which makes it impossible for bicyclists and their families to recover compensation for their injuries, medical costs and even funeral expenses.

Often hit and run drivers leave the scene of the accident because they are intoxicated and they fear the consequences of their actions. Other times, they are driving without a valid driver’s license or have outstanding warrants against them.

What to do after a hit and run bicycle accident

Immediate after a hit and run bicycle accident you should do the following:

  1. File a police report. Often, bicyclists do not feel like the police can help them if the driver who hit them did a hit and run. The police will attempt to track down the driver. Even if the driver is not found, any insurance claim may require a police report or investigation.
  2. Notify your own auto insurance and health insurance companies. Open a claim against your own automobile insurance company as they may be the only source of recovery.
  3. Seek medical attention and obtain treatment for your injuries.
  4. Obtain witness information.

This information is provided by the Bike Accident Attorneys at The Farber Law Group. We have more than 40 years experience representing victims of pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle accidents and their family.

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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iStock_000006945203XSmall.jpgMany people think, often incorrectly, that whiplash is a made-up injury or one that is not serious. We just read an article in the Telegraph India about the death of a political figure who was killed, in what was described as a “minor traffic accident.” Union minister Gopinath Munde cause of death was consistent with a “whiplash” injury, an injury to the cervical spinal bone in the neck.

While “whiplash” is not a medical term, it describes a hyperextension, hyperflexion or rotation of the neck injury when the neck suffers a sudden jerking or shipping of the head.

Whenever a vehicle is struck from behind, the person inside the vehicle can experience a whiplash injury when the head rapidly jerks forward and then backwards. In some cases, the cervical bone can be fractured which injures the spinal cord which controls a person’s ability to breathe. Even if the bone is not fractured, any spinal injury may result in death.

Gopinath Munde may have suffered a serious spinal cord injury when his sedan was rear-ended by a hatchback. Munde was brought to the hospital only 15 minutes after the fender bender accident but he was not breathing and could not be revived.

Whiplash injures can be classified by severity using the following scale:

  • Grade 0: no physical symptoms
  • Grade 1: Sore neck and muscles but no physical signs of injury
  • Grade 2: Sore neck and muscles, other physical symptoms along with musculoskeletal signs
  • Grade 3: Sore neck and muscles and neurological signs of impairment
  • Grade 4: Sore neck and muscles and fracture or dislocation of cervical spine. Most fatal cervical spine injuries occur at the C1 or C2.

More information about Whiplash

  • People, especially younger adults, can also sustain a whiplash injury while playing sports.
  • Whiplash injuries can occur when head rests are not fitted properly.
  • Women suffer whiplash injuries at a higher rate than men as their neck muscles are less developed than men.
  • People with existing neck injuries or congenital malformations may experience more serious injuries.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Our law firm represents car accident victims and their family and we work hard to obtain compensation for damages.
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carbon_monoxide2.jpgTwo men are in critical condition and five other people, including a Seattle police officer, were taken to Harborview Medical Center for symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

According to the SPD Blotter, a car that was left running in a garage was the source of the carbon monoxide. The two critically injured men were in the condo above the garage. Other victims were in nearby units and the police officer was responding to a call.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In light of this article and with winter on its way, The Farber Law Group wanted to remind people of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and safety precautions that one can take. In Washington state, we often see cases of carbon monoxide poisoning during winter months when there are power outages and people are using charcoal grills or their oven to heat their home or apartment. The other time when we see carbon monoxide poisoning is in boating during the summer months.

Unfortunately, hundreds of people suffer accidental death every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning and even more are sickened. Babies in the womb, babies, people with respiratory illnesses and the elderly are the most vulnerable to carbon monoxide exposure.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is difficult to detect because it has no color, smell and it is odorless.

Carbon monoxide is created when burning gas, kerosene, wood, oil or charcoal or using devices that uses these fuels.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • mental confusion
  • nausea
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath
  • flu-like symptoms

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Never leave a car idling in the garage even if your garage door is open as fumes can get into your home.
  • Do not leave a gas oven to provide heating for your house.
  • Never use a charcoal grill inside for heating or cooking.
  • Make sure your heater and other gas appliances are properly vented.
  • Don’t use gas powered engines including mowers, snow blowers, chain saws or generators in enclosed spaces such as a garage.
  • Do use a carbon monoxide detector but do not use it as a replacement for proper venting nor lull you into a false sense of security.

Washington Carbon Monoxide Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been seriously ill due to carbon monoxide or chemical poisoning caused by the negligence of another or due to a defective product, you should contact a experienced personal injury attorney who can help you file a claim for your damages. If you are a surviving family member, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your deceased loved one.
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Last week we wrote an article that mentioned that stricter Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws go into effect today in Washington State. In that article we mentioned that alcohol is related to more than 30% of all boating-involved deaths.

With that article in mind, we read about an horrible boating accident on the Hudson River in New York over the weekend that killed a bride-to-be and the wedding party’s best man. Lindsey Stewart, 30, and Brian Bond, 36, were planning to be married next month. They were together with four friends when the 21-foot Stingray power boat they were riding in struck a barge at a construction site, throwing the party overboard.

Mark Lennon, the couple’s best man, was killed in the accident as well as Stewart. Bond suffered serious injuries but was able to swim ashore.

The boat operator, Jojo John, 35, has been arraigned on one count of first-degree vehicular manslaughter and three counts of second-degree vehicular assault. He may face additional charges. Police believe that John was operating the boat while under the influence of alcohol.

There may have been contributing factors to the accident such as the barge may have been poorly lighted. In addition, the party was boating well after dark as the accident occurred around 10:41 pm. Only two of the passengers on board were wearing life vests.

Boating at Nighttime

Boating after dark is tricky. It requires boat operators to driver slower; nighttime speed limits are usually lower or even require boats to run at idle. Distractions onboard the boat such as lights and stereo can pose a hazard. A boat’s interior lighting can cause a glare on the windshield of the boat which can be lighting. A boater needs to use their hearing while boating at nighttime to hear engine noise and approaching vessels so stereo systems and even conversation should be lowered.
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medical malpractice lawyerA Tulsa, Oklahoma oral surgeon, W.Scott Harrington, egregious practices in sterilizing instruments and all-around unsanitary conditions in his dental practice has resulted in at least 60 of his patients contracting serious illnesses. The possibility of many more patients having contracted illness is a distinct possibility.

While investigators are trying to pinpoint all of the potential ways in which Dr. Harrington’s patients were infected, the investigation so far has revealed that old needles and rusty instruments were used in treating patients. Susan Rodgers, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, said that what they saw at the Dentist’s office made the investigators “physically kind of sick.”

Because Harrington performed dental surgery including wisdom teeth removal which is invasive, patients may have been introduced to infection from unsanitary equipment through their tissue, blood and bones.

7,000 of W. Scott Harrington’s patients have received letters recommended they be tested for illness including hepatitis b, hepatitis B and HIV. So far, 3,122 patients have been tested and it has been determined that 60 people have tested positive for a virus.

Three patients have tested positive for hepatitis B which is an inflammatory illness of the liver which can cause acute liver inflammation and may eventually cause cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Symptoms of the illness begins with poor health, loss of appetite, vomiting, body aches, fever and later develops into jaundice.

One patient tested positive for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which is the virus known to cause AIDS which is a life-threatening failure of a person’s immune system.

Fifty-seven patients have tested positive for hepatitis c which can lead to inflammation of the liver, cirrhosis, and lead to liver failure, liver cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released their drunk driving fatality data for 2011 and it shows that less than 10,000 – 9,878 – people were killed in drunk driving accidents. This is the first time that the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents was less than 10,000.

Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that 300,000 lives have been saved since 1980 when the organization was founded. The drop in drug driving fatal accidents is due to law enforcement and public educational campaigns by MADD and others.

Washington State Data

Drunk driving fatalities also fell in Washington state. In 2010, there were 169 people killed in drunk-driving related accidents and 2011 there were 156 fatalities.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has partnered with local law enforcement agencies in targeting drunken drivers and keeping them off of the highway.

Legal Representation

For anyone that has lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, one fatality is far too many. If you have lost a loved one, or you have been injured due to an accident caused by a drunken driver, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group has more than 40 years experience representing victims of drunken drivers and the families of those who have been killed. We offer a free and confidential legal consultation to discuss your legal options. CALL US today, toll free at 1-800-244-9087 Continue reading

As of January 1, 2013, alcohol ignition interlock devices in Washington state must be equipped with a camera which will take a picture every time the device is used. The picture will be used to verify that the driver of the vehicle is the same person who took the interlock test in order to prevent drivers from cheating the system.

The camera feature was added after some drivers used friends, children or even air compressors to circumvent the test.

Ignition Interlock Driver’s License in Washington State

Ignition interlock devices allow drivers to continue driving when their regular driver’s license is suspended or revoked due to alcohol or drug related traffic offenses.

Ignition interlock devices prevent a car, truck or SUV from starting if it detects the presence of alcohol on a person’s breath.

A driver can apply to the court for an ignition interlock device so they can continue driving after being arrested or convicted for DUI, reckless driving, Vehicular Assault due to alcohol or drugs or Vehicular Homicide due to alcohol or drugs.

Captain Rob Huss, Commander of WSP’s Office of Government and Media Relations says:

“The Ignition Interlock License gives them a way to drive legally, but gives the rest of us some assurance that they’re sober and safe.”

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol is a serious problem in Washington state. Drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher may be charged with DUI. Commercial drivers have stricter limits and they are prohibited of driving if their BAC is .04% or higher. Minors may be charged with DUI if their BAC is .02% or higher.
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The daughter of a Bucks County nursing home installed hidden cameras in her mother’s room in a Pennsylvania nursing home after she suspected that her mother was being abused.

Now, it has been reported by NBC Philadelphia, two nursing home workers have been arrested after the cameras revealed that workers were taunting elderly residents and manhandling them.

Two young female workers, Regina Battles, 20, and Irene Rodriguez, 22, are charged with neglect of a care dependent person, reckless endangerment, simple assault and harassment according to NBC Philadelphia.

This is not the first problem at the Arbors At Buck Run assisted living facility. Inspections in 2012 found numerous violations at the facility including failing to report a gastrointestinal outbreak to county health authorities, poor record keeping and failing to inform a patient’s family that their family member had been hospitalized.

While the investigation into the abuse caught on cameras, the license of Arbors at Bucks Run has been revoked.

When a nursing home license is revoked, it does not mean that the facility is shut down but usually means that no new patients can be accepted into the home until remedies are made at the facility.

It is disturbing when the vulnerable elderly have their rights compromised in a facility that is paid to provide care and protection. Federal law provides that residents in nursing home have rights of dignity, privacy, freedom from discrimination, freedom from restraints, rights of complaint among other rights.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Provides Consultations

If you feel that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a Washington nursing home, you may be seeking a consultation of a Bellevue nursing home abuse attorney about the rights of your loved. The attorneys at The Farber Law Group will provide free and confidential case consultations to insure your loved one is protected under the law.
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The Olympian reports that two people were injured in a head-on collision on Highway 101 just south of Shelton on Monday night.

According to the report, Deborah D. Waldon, 62, of Hoodsport was driving north on the highway when she attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle and collided with Michael P. Martin, 34, of Shelton.

Both of the drivers were injured in the accident and are being treated at Mason General Hospital.

Waldon faces charges of second-degree negligent driving. Negligent driving in the first degree, RCW 46.61.5249, is a misdemeanor and can be charged if a person operates a motor vehicle accident that endangers any person or property and shows the effects of having consumed alcohol or illegal drugs. Negligent driving in the second degree, RCW 46.61.525, can be charged if a person operates a motor vehicle accident in a negligent manner and endangers a person or property.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are some of the most serious accidents often resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death. Head-on collisions are often caused by ill-advised passing or the driver drifting across the centerline due to being intoxicated, driver distraction or drowsy driving.
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A Maryland jury awarded Jamie Blake, 31, a $7.08M award for the injuries he received in a rear-end motor vehicle accident.

Blake was driving to work on a highway when his truck was rear ended by Jeffrey Crain who was driving in the course of his employment for Iacoboni Site Specialists.

Blake suffered multiple injuries in the accident including to the head, neck, back and hand. His back injury required spinal surgery and epidural injections for pain.

Blake suffers from chronic pain from the accident and he is no longer to work as a roofer.

Blake filed a negligence against Crain for negligent driving and Crain admitted liability.

He also filed suit against Iacoboni under respondeat superior since Crain was in the course of his employment when the accident occurred. The doctrine of respondeat superior, “let the master answer”, provides that an injured party may, in some circumstances, seek remedy from an employer for negligent acts of their employee.

While the jury awarded Blake approximately $7.08M including an award of $4.04 million for pain and suffering, the pain and suffering award was reduced by the court to $665,000.
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