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Washington Personal Injury Blog

Failing to prevent and diagnose a spinal abscess

Like many in Washington and across the country, you may automatically take precautions to prevent infections, perhaps without realizing you are doing so. Washing a scratch or cut and covering it with a bandage are simple actions that can save you much pain and suffering. You may also take for granted the availability of antibiotics to treat or prevent infections.

Nevertheless, even with all the knowledge and medical advances to avoid infections, people continue to develop fast moving infections and related conditions. One example is an epidural abscess on the spine. If you were the victim of an abscess on the spine, chances are you were left with devastating injuries.

With experienced help, proving fault in a crash is possible

Although driving is one of the most common behaviors people across the country engage in on a daily basis, it is also one of the most dangerous. A car accident has the potential to completely change the trajectory of the lives of the people involved, not just physically but also emotionally and financially. While many are lucky to walk away from a motor vehicle accident with minor injuries, it is highly likely that accident victims become severely injured and may require a hospital visit in the aftermath of an accident.

As hospital bills pile up, so does the frustration. Accident victims and their family members may find themselves questioning how they came into this position, why the other driver was so reckless, and more importantly, how they are going to pay for the treatment they so urgently require.

How do I prove fault in a car accident?

When a Washington resident has been involved in a car accident, the victim most commonly says that the accident was the other driver's fault. However, claiming that someone was at fault and proving that fault in a court of law are two separate matters and it is important to know how to prove liability to get compensation from a reckless driver.

When it comes to fault in motor vehicle accidents, common law recognizes four basic levels. Negligence is often the most common legal issue argued in court. This term means that a driver's careless or inadvertent conduct has caused damage or harm. Failing to yield the right of way is a common form of crashes caused by negligence. Running a red light is also considered negligent behavior.

Personal injury lawsuits include wrongful death claims

No one leaves their house in the morning expecting it to be the last time they will do so. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for a person in Washington to be killed in a car wreck, pass away due to a medical mistake, die in a workplace accident or die while participating in a supervised activity. Sometimes, these deaths are simply unavoidable accidents. Unfortunately, many times these types of deaths are due to the negligence of another individual.

When a person's death is caused by another's negligent acts, the victim's survivors may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. To succeed, the following elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. First, a person must have died. Second, that death must have been caused by someone else's negligence or intent. Third, the victim's survivors must have incurred financial damages due to the death. Finally, in some states, a personal representative must be appointed to the estate.

Drowsy driving a significant factor in motor vehicle accidents

While we all know the importance of a good night's sleep, this doesn't prevent some motorists from driving while fatigued. When a driver is fatigued, their reaction time can be slowed down, or they could even fall asleep while behind the wheel. This could cause a serious motor vehicle accident injuring or killing others on the road.

However, residents of Washington may be surprised to hear that, according to one report, drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. If a motorist gets less than four hours of sleep at night, their driving can be as dangerous as if their blood alcohol content was 1.5 times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, even motorists who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are at an increased risk of causing a car accident. This is significant because, according to surveys, one out of every five respondents reported that they usually get less than seven hours of sleep a night.

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.

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