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Washington Personal Injury Law Blog

Drug and alcohol testing after a truck accident

Drunk and drugged driving are dangerous practices because alcohol and certain pharmaceutical and illegal substances can cause drivers to experience changes in the ways they react and perceive their surroundings. When a motorist causes an accident and exhibits signs of intoxication or drug use, Washington law enforcement officials may have them tested to see if they were impaired at the time they caused their crash. Drug or alcohol use while driving can support legal claims based on recklessness and negligence for the recovery of victims' accident-related losses.

Private drivers are not the only ones who may make poor choices regarding alcohol and drug use, however. Commercial drivers have also been found to have driven while intoxicated and impaired and in some cases have caused serious and fatal accidents. Commercial drivers should be screened for drug use before they are hired to drive for their employers but also may be assessed if they cause motor vehicle collisions.

TBI may be a risk to pedestrian accident victims

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a serious form of injury that can affect victims of personal injury accidents. These damaging injuries can result when victims' brains suffer impacts with other surfaces or when a brain is punctured by a foreign object. In Washington, a pedestrian accident victim may suffer TBI if they suffer a head injury as a result of their collision.

The symptoms of TBI can look very different depending upon on the severity of the victim's accident and the manner in which the injury manifests. A victim with mild TBI may recover quickly from their trauma and may only experience mild headaches and dizziness as they heal. A more severe TBI may cause a victim to suffer sleep problems, concentration issues, illness, light sensitivities, memory loss, and depression.

Road travel over Thanksgiving can be dangerous

It is the time of year when families all across Washington begin to pack their suitcases to visit their distant relatives and friends. While some may travel to local airports to fly to their final destinations, others will load up their vehicles and take on holiday traffic on the roads. For those traveling by car, awareness and safety should be important considerations to avoid deadly collisions.

Last year, Thanksgiving was the second most deadly holiday on American roads, with the Fourth of July beating it out with more fatal accidents. In order to prevent tragedies this year there are some important steps that drivers and their passengers can take to stay safe.

Study finds ride-sharing may not be saving lives

In the not-so-distant past, a driver who was unable to get home on their own might call a taxicab to take them from a party or bar back to their residence. While taxis are still in operation in Washington state it is now more common for individuals to use ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft to locate drivers near them who may get them where they want to go.

Many advocates for ride-sharing have expressed their belief that the practice is beneficial for society because it is helping to get dangerous, particularly intoxicated, drivers off of the roads. The idea behind this belief is that it is now so easy to get a ride that drunk drivers simply are not causing accidents like they did prior to the use of ride-sharing apps.

Avoid pedestrian collisions on Washington roadways

Bellevue residents may have noticed that nighttime has been coming earlier and earlier each day over the last few weeks. As autumn has fully made its presence known in the Pacific Northwest drivers may be finding that they need to turn on their headlights in order to safely drive their evening commutes. Early darkness can make it particularly hard to see obstacles that may be in the paths of moving vehicles.

This can include the failure of drivers to see pedestrians who may be crossing their cars' paths. Children heading home from school, adults leaving their places of work and people exercising on foot may all be lost in the dim light that is common to the afternoons and evenings of October and November. When pedestrian accidents happen, it is not uncommon for victims to suffer serious and even fatal harm and to leave their loved ones struggling to support them.

Why do crashes between cars and large trucks happen?

Accidents on Washington roads are not uncommon, and many of the same causes of standard motor vehicle accidents apply to accidents between smaller vehicles and large commercial trucks. For example, erratic driving and unsafe operating practices committed by either truck drivers or car drivers can cause collisions and create significant dangers for those who are involved.

Spinal cord injuries are a serious complication from accidents

Every car accident has the potential to inflict serious and grievous injuries upon its victims. While some may escape their ordeals with only minor harm, others may be affected by car accident injuries for the rest of their lives. One of the most serious injuries that a Washington resident may suffer in a vehicle collision is a spinal cord injury.

A spinal cord injury affects the bundle of nerves that runs down a person's body. The spinal cord is protected by the spinal column, but when one of the bones of the spinal column breaks it can cause damage to the cord's nerves and other parts of the body. That is because the spinal cord is responsible for carrying information from the brain to other parts of a person's body.

Who is responsible when a pedestrian is hit on a highway?

Depending upon the type of road that a Washington resident must travel on, their speed may be relatively low or quite fast. Local roads through neighborhoods and congested commercial areas often have low speed limits because there are more vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles for drivers to look out for. On interstates and highways, though, speed limits are much higher as many such hazards are presumed to be removed from the paths of drivers.

However, from time to time a tragedy occurs on Washington highways where pedestrians are struck and sometimes killed by drivers. To answer the question posed in this post's title, liability for a highway-based pedestrian accident will depend upon which party - the driver or the pedestrian - was at fault for the crash.

Despite improvements in safety, car accidents are still dangerous

Vehicles have changed a lot over the last few decades. Since their introduction to the consumer world, cars have become safer and more secure for those who choose to drive them and ride in them. Features like anti-lock brakes, seatbelts and airbags are just a few of the standard features that Washington residents may find in their new automobiles.

While these and other features have saved lives and made cars generally safer than they were in the past, an alarming number of individuals are still hurt and killed in collisions each and every year. For example, in 2016 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that 37,461 people died in vehicle collisions that year.

Two children hurt in Seattle auto-pedestrian collision

Accidents between pedestrians and cars can have tragic results. It is an unfortunate reality that in the congested metropolitan cities of Washington that these incidents occur with upsetting frequency. Not long ago, two young girls were struck by a vehicle in the Dunlap area of Seattle.

The girls, who are believed to be the ages of nine and 12, were crossing Rainier Avenue South. They were apparently hit by a vehicle in the vicinity of South Henderson Street. The driver of the vehicle stopped and spoke with authorities and it is unknown if charges will be filed against that individual.