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Washington Personal Injury Law Blog

Rest periods are a requirement for many commercial drivers

Drowsy driving is a dangerous form of distracted driving because it may cause a motor vehicle operator to lose control of the automobile when they fall asleep while behind the wheel. Exhaustion plagues all drivers at some point in their lives, but for most individuals who simply drive to get to where they want to go it is not an issue that could threaten their livelihood. However, for long distance truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers, resting and taking sleep breaks can put them off of their schedules and can cause them to lose money.

Regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandate that certain commercial drivers take breaks from operating their rigs so that they may rest and prevent exhaustion from affecting their abilities to drive. For example, after taking 10 full hours off duty from driving a driver may operate their rig for up to 11 hours. Their operation may not continue beyond 14 hours, including mandatory stops and breaks, before they must again take a 10 hour off duty break.

After a pedestrian accident, know your rights as a victim

Previous posts here have offered several articles on the devastation that can result when vehicles collide with people. From a street sweeper striking and killing a pedestrian to the harms that may befall children when drivers fail to notice them, pedestrian accidents are dangerous and can uproot the lives of not only their direct victims, but also the victims' families.

It may take everything for the victim of a pedestrian accident to simply wake up each day and face the challenges that their accident left them with. They may find that they can no longer do their job or that they need help simply completing tasks that barely required their attention before. Their family may feel the stress and strain of their lost income and their new responsibilities toward caring for the injured victim.

What steps should be taken after a pedestrian accident?

A collision between a vehicle and a Washington resident can be a devastating and often tragic event. When a Bellevue resident becomes the victim of this type of preventable accident, they may be uncertain of what they should do to protect their legal rights. There are some steps victims can take after their pedestrian accidents.

As with all vehicle-related accidents, victims should seek medical help for any and all injuries they may have suffered in their ordeals. In some cases, a victim may not even know that they have suffered an injury because in the shock of the incident they may not feel any pain. As such, victims should be checked out by medical professionals to make sure their health-related needs are met.

Crashes between cars and commercial vehicles can be devastating

Fender-benders and minor collisions happen every day on the roads throughout Bellevue, and most of the parties who are involved in these accidents are able to go about their days after working through the details of their crashes. However, as our readers know, more serious accidents also occur that can cause victims to suffer serious bodily injuries and even deaths. One type of accident that can be particularly devastating to victims is a commercial vehicle collision.

Commercial vehicles are those trucks, vans, buses and big rigs that are used to carry passengers and cargo to different destinations. Unlike private vehicles that are used by individual owners and operators for their personal use, commercial vehicles are part of the chain of commerce that gets things to where they need to be. Commercial vehicles are often large and when they are weighted down with parcels or passengers they can be massive obstacles for drivers to encounter on the roads.

A driver's duty changes when children are near

Anyone who has had to drive near a school at the time of release understands the crunch of traffic that happens when a wave of children begins crossing a road. Though many Washington school districts take care to employ safety guards and protect kids with crosswalks, close calls happen when drivers fail to slow down, note the presence of children, and exercise heightened care when around them. In fact, drivers are generally expected to raise their duty of care when they are in the vicinity of kids.

This is because children are often the victims of auto-pedestrian accidents. Children become victims of these preventable tragedies for many reasons, such as the fact that their small statures that make them harder for drivers to see. Kids also can make poor decisions with regard to their safety and may inadvertently put themselves in harm's way by running into roads when their paths may be crossed by cars.

Aviation accident liability

Thankfully, aviation accidents happen far less often than car accidents. Nonetheless, they are just as serious, if not more so. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a press release on October 24, 2017 detailing aviation crash statistics in fiscal year 2017 and identifying preventative measures currently being taken to improve those numbers.

Causes of these types of accidents run the gamut from fuel depletion to landing gear failure to weather related incidents. Depending on the cause, an injured party may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against any number of responsible parties. Defendants to be named could include a pilot, air traffic controller, or airplane manufacturer among others. Families of deceased parties can file a wrongful death action when a crash could have been avoided. Many times, aviation accident lawsuits will name multiple Defendants, as aviation is an industry in which several individuals as well as mechanical aspects must all work together simultaneously.

Street sweeper kills Bellevue pedestrian

On Northeast 12th Street near downtown Bellevue, a pedestrian was crushed and killed by a street sweeper on the morning of Monday, February 19th. The accident happened near the intersection of 120th Avenue Northeast.

At approximately 11:15 a.m., Bellevue firefighters were on the scene working to remove the deceased body of a 44-year-old man from underneath the street sweeper. The operator of the sweeper truck was not found to be impaired in any way. Working in a construction zone of an apartment complex, the operator was backing the vehicle up in a closed lane at the time of the incident.

Negligence, recklessness are common causes of car accidents

Even the safest Washington drivers can be involved in dangerous car accidents when they encounter hazardous motorists on the roads. Defensive driving can only do so much when a distracted driver rear-ends their victim's car in heavy traffic or when a drunk driver runs a red light and collides with a vehicle that is properly in an intersection. This post will touch on some of the causes of car accidents that may form the legal bases for personal injury lawsuits initiated by accident victims

One cause of many vehicle collisions is negligence. Negligence occurs when a person does not meet the expected standard of care that they should exercise in a given situation. Drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in a safe manner; texting and driving, talking on a cell phone and a myriad of other behaviors can cause a negligent driver to fail in their duty and cause a crash.

Laws that matter when car accidents involve pedestrians

Car accidents involving pedestrians happen almost every day, especially in cities such as New York or Washington where large numbers of people walk everywhere. Any time a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle it is easy to assume that the driver of the vehicle was at fault. However, that may not always be the case.

In Washington, there are defined pedestrian laws. If these laws are not followed, thereby causing a pedestrian to be struck by a vehicle, then he or she rather than the driver could be at fault. If it can be proven in court that a pedestrian was violating one or more of these laws at the time of the accident, a driver could win the case.

What does "underinsured driver" mean?

We often hear of uninsured drivers, but many drivers do not realize how easily they can also be underinsured.

Each state has its own set of insurance rules and regulations, with mandated minimum liability limits. For example, the state of Washington has a minimum requirement of $25,000 per person bodily injury coverage, and $50,000 per accident.