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Washington Personal Injury Blog

Personal injury claims can include wrongful death lawsuits

This blog often discusses the financial effects of an injury, and how these damages can affect the victim's family. For example, a person who has been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver must face enormous medical costs and lost wages from the time he or she cannot return to work. These damages can create a huge financial burden on a family, and can lead to long-term debt.

The subject can be uncomfortable to talk about, but this kind of economic impact is very real in cases involving fatal accidents as well.

Orthopedic surgeons are often sued for medical malpractice

It is not uncommon for a person in Washington to undergo orthopedic surgery. They may have injured a knee playing a sport, they may have fallen and broken a hip, or they may have suffered a spinal injury in a car crash. No matter how the injury came about, most people expect that after their operation, they will be able to heal and ultimately resume their normal activities. Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong during surgery that prevent this from happening.

Recent research has revealed that the primary reasons patients pursued medical malpractice lawsuits after an orthopedic procedure were for negligence and procedural errors. The report studied 81 medical malpractice cases from 2010 to 2016. Some of the procedures studied were operations on the spine, hip and knee.

Washington motorists may be more cautious following E-DUI law

Washington's E-DUI law was enacted in July 2017. Under the law, motorists using a cellphone more than a single touch while driving will be fined. The aim is to prevent distracted driving due to cellphone use. However, how has this law affected Washington drivers over the past year?

PEMCO, an insurance company based in Seattle, conducted a poll on this issue. It examined motorist perception and actions while driving after the enactment of the E-DUI law. Respondents to the poll reported that the new law made them less likely to use a cellphone while behind the wheel. In fact, almost one-quarter of respondents reported that the fine associated with the E-DUI law encouraged them to drive much more cautiously. And, one-third of respondents reported that they use their cellphones less these days and may not use them altogether while driving.

Is your child safe from an allergic reaction at school?

For parents, sending a child off on a school bus can be nerve-wracking. You probably remember the problems of your own school days, such as bullies and strict teachers. Some parents, however, have the added fear that their child’s medical needs will also put them in danger.

If your child has a serious allergy, it may be hard to let them leave your sight. Parents should not have to worry that teachers, students or staff would put an allergic child in harm’s way. Schools must protect children from coming into contact with major allergens.

Assisting with premises liability claims

Most people in Washington entering a business or going to a person's home have the natural expectation that they will be safe in doing so. Unfortunately, hazards can exist on these premises that a person cannot anticipate. For example, there could be a puddle on the floor, making it dangerously slippery. Or, a step on a staircase could be broken and trip up an unsuspecting person. When a property owner knows of these hazards but does not fix them or warn people of them and a person is injured as a result, the injured person may want to pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner.

Slip-and-fall accidents are not the only types of incidents that could cause a person to be injured on another's property. Some common circumstances that could lead to a premises liability lawsuit include harm related to negligent security, buildings that do not adhere to building codes, unstable objects up high that could fall on a person and playground equipment that breaks while a child is using it.

Did something go wrong with your epidural?

Washington women and others often cite welcoming a baby into the world through childbirth as one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of a lifetime. You may be among those who enjoyed pregnancy but were quite relieved to get to the point where pregnancy's end was imminent and labor and delivery were about to begin. You hopefully thought ahead of time about any pain management you might want, even if your ultimate goal was to try natural childbirth.  

If you received an epidural, you're among those who choose one of the most common forms of childbirth assistance. Yes, it involves a needle, but many women say it's worth it to alleviate contraction pains. It may indeed be worth it, unless something goes very wrong, which it often does; it's worse when a mishap could have been prevented were it not for medical negligence. Knowing where to seek support if a problem arises may be key to your recovery if you suffer an epidural injury.  

Washington has seen increase in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Summertime naturally sees more people in Washington walking outside or riding their bike. After all, people want to take advantage of the pleasant weather while they can. However, at any time of the year, walking or riding a bike presents dangers in the form of inattentive or reckless drivers.

According to a recent report from the Washington Department of Transportation, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities increased two-fold in Washington from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, there were 60 individuals who lost their lives while walking or bicycling on Washington's public roads. By 2017, that number increased to 122. All in all, people walking or bicycling compromised 22 percent of all traffic deaths in Washington in 2017. In 2013, only 14 percent of traffic deaths in Washington involved people walking or bicycling.

What are the elements of a medical malpractice claim?

When a person in Washington is sick or injured, it can be a very distressing time. From the initial diagnosis to treatment to after care, people expect their physicians and other medical professionals to perform their jobs competently. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, and sometimes a person is misdiagnosed or receives the wrong treatment. This can cause a patient significant harm, prolonging their illness or making their illness or injury worse. When this happens, a person may want to learn more about pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice laws vary by state, but, in general, medical malpractice occurs when a physician does something while treating the patient that deviates from what a competent physician would have done in a similar situation. In this sense, it is like a negligence claim. The elements of a negligence claim include a duty owed to another person, a breach of that duty, and damages that were actually and proximately caused by the breach.

Playground accidents: all fun and games until someone gets hurt

Summer is just around the corner, and this means that kids across Washington will be spending less time in the classroom and more time playing outdoors in the coming months.

Because so many days are about to be spent on playgrounds and in gyms or parks, it can be a good time to remind parents of the most common risks involving children and playground equipment.

Drowning: It doesn't look like what you'd expect

Just about everyone has seen movies and TV shows depicting a person drowning. Usually against the backdrop of intense music, we see a person thrashing, waving their arms and screaming out for help. These actions call the attention of someone who can rush out and save them.

Unfortunately, as this article notes, this is not what drowning looks like. 

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