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Washington Personal Injury Blog

Are you a victim of an epidural abscess? You have rights.

When you go in for a surgical procedure or turn to a doctor for medical care, it is likely with the assumption that you will be safe from unnecessary risks. Most Washington patients assume they will receive a certain standard of care from both their doctor and other medical professionals involved with their care, but that is not always the case. Some patients actually suffer additional physical harm because of lack of care or negligence.

One of the most common indications of medical malpractice or some type of negligent care is the development of an infection after a medical procedure. One increasingly common example of this are epidural abscesses. These often develop after a spine or back procedure, leaving the patient in pain and needing additional medical assistance.

Help is available for victims of medical malpractice

Physicians in Washington may take the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. Unfortunately, some physicians fail to live up to that maxim and they make mistakes that harm patients. They may give a patient the wrong medication, misdiagnose a condition, perform unnecessary surgery or fail to diagnose a condition. When these acts of medical malpractice happen, patients should know that they have options.

One of these options, depending on the circumstances, is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, these types of cases are extremely technical, complex and hotly contested. They take the right legal knowledge and experience to prevail.

Are dog owners liable if their animals attack?

Many dog-owners in Washington love their pets and may be under the impression that their dog would never harm anyone. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Any dog could potentially bite someone, even without provocation. Therefore, it is up to dog owners to ensure the public is safe from their pet.

Per Washington statutes, if a person suffers a dog bite, that dog's owner may be held strictly liable if the following elements are met. First, the bite must occur either in public or the victim must lawfully be on private property. Strict liability may be imposed even if the dog had never attacked before, and it may be imposed even if its owner did not know the dog was vicious. However, if the victim provoked the dog, the owner cannot be held liable for the dog's actions.

Washington sees thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year

Most of the time, people traveling in Washington State reach their destinations without incident. After all, most people go through their daily commutes or simple trips such as taking the kids to school or going grocery shopping without being involved in a car crash. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents do take place regularly in the Evergreen State, some of which can cause significant injuries or even fatalities.

In 2015, Washington State saw 117,053 motor vehicle collisions. Of those, 551 people were killed in the collisions and 49,505 people were injured. The highest number of collisions took place on Fridays, while Sundays saw the fewest amount of collisions. Most collisions took place between 5 p.m. and 5:59 p.m., while the fewest amount of collisions took place between 3 a.m. and 3:59 a.m. December saw the most crashes at 401 per day, while February saw the fewest crashes at 271 per day.

When might medical professionals in Washington make errors?

Many people in Washington may notice that they feel drowsy in the mid-afternoon, even if they have gotten a good night's sleep. While this might affect the productivity of an office worker, it can be downright dangerous in other professions. For example, drowsiness on the part of doctors and nurses could lead to medical mistakes that harm patients.

For example, a Duke University review determined that anesthesiologists were more apt to make errors between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. Also, shift changes in hospitals often take place around 3:00 in the afternoon. Sometimes, this means an entirely different set of workers take over existing operations. If a drowsy surgeon, physician, nurse or anesthesiologist fails to provide their replacement with critical information regarding their patients, mistakes could be made.

Car seat safety is vital for kids

Parents work to protect their children in various ways, and you undoubtedly have the desire to shield your kids from harm. Of course, you cannot protect them from every potential hazard that they could come across. Even just taking kids out to the grocery store can pose a substantial risk, as a car accident could easily take place.

Because children are so vulnerable to injury, it is always important to make sure that they are properly restrained while inside a vehicle. You certainly do not want your child hurt due to a mistake on your part when it comes to child seat safety. Even if you do your part to stay focused and cautious behind the wheel, other drivers may not be so conscious about your child's safety.

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.

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