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Seattle Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Is your insurance company denying, delaying or devaluing your claim in bad faith?

After a car accident, you've done everything right: you filed the police report, notified your insurance agent and went to the doctor. You had to spend your own money to fix the car, putting stress on finances during an already stressful period of recovery. Yet, your insurance company still hasn't made a settlement offer.

"My office receives more complaints about auto insurance than any other type of coverage," says Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler in introducing the state's auto insurance consumer's guide. All Washington drivers carry auto insurance by law, yet many aren't getting the coverage they expect in return.

Negligent entrustment and vicarious liability in car accidents

Lawsuits stemming from automobile accidents in Washington and around the country are generally filed against the negligent drivers involved or their insurance companies, but there are situations where litigation may be initiated against a party not directly involved. The legal principles of negligent entrustment and vicarious liability allow those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident to sue the owners of vehicles in certain situations.

The owners of vehicles involved in traffic accidents may be sued when they allowed an individual to drive their car, truck or SUV who was likely unable to drive safely. Examples of negligent entrustment include vehicle owners handing over their car keys to an obviously intoxicated individual and parents who allow a child with only rudimentary driving skills to operate a powerful vehicle unsupervised. Employers may also face lawsuits when employees are involved in accidents while driving company vehicles. However, this liability is generally limited to accidents that occur while employees are performing work-related duties.

U.S. leads wealthy countries in traffic fatalities

Washington readers may be surprised to learn that it is more common for people to die in car accidents in the U.S. yearly than in other countries with high GDPs, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says that more than 32,000 people died on American roads in 2013.

Over the last 13 years, the U.S. motor vehicle death rate has fallen by 31 percent. However, the death rates in 19 other wealthy countries have dropped by an average of 56 percent over the same period. In fact, the death rates in Spain and Denmark plummeted by 75.1 percent and 63.5 percent, respectively. The CDC reports that 18,000 more lives would have been saved if the U.S. had matched the average death rate decline of other countries.

Legal advocacy for severely injured car crash victims

If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries because of a vehicle rollover crash or any other type of car accident in Washington, our law firm may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. With nearly three decades of experience, our attorneys are dedicated to defending the rights of our clients in an effort to obtain the justice they deserve.

In fact, a large number of the cases we handle are those that involve serious car accidents in which the victims have incurred catastrophic injuries. While some of these accidents have been caused by poor road conditions or inclement weather, others were caused by another driver's negligence or a defect in the vehicle. In all of our clients' personal injury matters, our attorneys work hard to determine what caused the accident and who is responsible for damages.

Man with baby in car collides head-on with SUV

A 53-year-old Washington man was killed when another vehicle crashed head-on into his SUV. The incident happened on June 7 around 5:45 a.m. on Issaquah Hobart Road just off of Highway 18 east of Renton.

According to law enforcement authorities with the King County Sheriff's Department, a deputy was driving to work on the highway when he saw a black Kia driving erratically and weaving through traffic. The deputy attempted to stop him, but the vehicle sped away. After giving chase for a short distance, the deputy stopped the pursuit because of public safety fears. The Kia exited on Issaquah Hobart Road.

Teen drivers involved in many fatal motor vehicle accidents

There are numerous dangers on the road in Washington, and research shows that teen drivers is a major one. According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, almost two-thirds of those who are injured or die in a car accident with a teen driver are people other than the teen. In 2013, accidents involving a teen driver injured more than 371,600 people and killed more than 2,900.

The study analyzed police reports from 1994 to 2013 of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19. The report found that about 66 percent of fatalities and 67 percent of those injured in teen crashes were people other than the teen driver. About 30 percent of fatalities were occupants of another car while 27 percent were the passengers in the teen's vehicle.

Six steps to take after a car accident

A car accident can knock the wind out of you, both literally and figuratively. It's no surprise that even the most cautious and responsible people can feel overwhelmed and underprepared.

Here are six steps to take if you do get into a car accident. You may never need them, but at least you'll be prepared - just in case.

Marijuana legalization leads to more fatal crashes in Washington

Since legislation for the use of recreational marijuana was passed in 2014 in the state of Washington, drivers high on the drug have been connected to more than twice as many fatal car accidents since 2013, according to reports. In 2013, marijuana was involved in about 8 percent of fatal crashes, but in 2014, it rose to 17 percent.

The report, which is based on research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, noted that while marijuana has led to the considerable <increase in crash-related fatalities, there is no method to establish the amount of marijuana that causes driving impairment. While blood alcohol tests determine how drunk a driver is based on the amount of alcohol in the person's blood, no test can accurately show if a person has too much marijuana in his or her system because the chemical component in the drug, known as THC, affects people in different ways. The AAA warns that motorists should avoid taking any amount of marijuana before driving.

Keeping your teen driver safe on Seattle's roads

Watching your teen sit behind the wheel of your car for the first time can be a truly terrifying ordeal. Your child, who seemingly just a few years ago required you to push them in a stroller, now has the ability to go anywhere.

Of course, getting a driver's license is a right of passage, and your parents probably felt the same way watching you take the keys of the family car. However, with more distractions now than ever before, your teen will need to take driving precautions extra seriously while out driving around Seattle. To keep your teen driver safe, here are a few tips to follow.

Driverusing Snapchat causes serious accident

As an ongoing case illustrates, a new Snapchat filter that some people are using while driving puts others in Washington and elsewhere at risk for serious or fatal injury accidents. In the case, a woman in Georgia decided to use the filter, which shows how fast a phone is moving, in her car while driving

The woman reportedly got her car up to 107 mph before slamming into another vehicle on Sept. 10, 2015. A man in the other car incurred traumatic brain injuries and now must rely on a wheelchair or walker in order to get around.

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