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Seattle Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Making seat belts safer

Auto accidents are scary. The surprise jolt causes anxiety, the impact causes flashbacks and various physical injuries can hurt for anywhere from a few days to the rest of your life. Getting from Point A to Point B is a simple process in the modern era, but the lasting effects when something goes wrong are severe.

Driving regulations are there to make drivers and passengers safer. Air bags, speed limits, controlled intersections and even the shape and design of cars takes safety into account, but the fact is that people come in all shapes and sizes. From the world's tallest (8'3") to the shortest (21.5"), every body has different needs and responses in a car crash. Children's car seats are regulated for a reason, but as kids graduate to the passenger seat, a car's interior isn't always optimal for different body types.

Driving rain is terrible for actual driving

Rain's something we know a lot about here in Seattle. In addition to our average 150 days a year of rain, we also have severe storms, such as the one in December of last year. You might think all this experience would make us really skilled at driving in the rain. But unfortunately, that's not true.

On average, according to the Federal Highway Administration, 46 percent of crashes related to weather occur while it's raining, while 73 percent happen when the roads are wet. From dealing with limited vision to splash-back from passing trucks to standing water and hydroplaning, there are many challenges to arriving safely at your destination.

Which distraction is the most dangerous for drivers?

Distracted driving is more than just texting. Driving distracted means that kids are screaming in the backseat, you're drinking a latte, talking on the phone, and checking out the car crash on the side of the road. While most people only do one of these at a time, distracted driving is a growing problem which causes motor vehicle accidents every day. A study has recently looked into what is the most dangerous type of driving distraction.

Typically when people talk about distracted driving they relate it to texting, but a recent study conducted by University of Houston and Texas A&M Transportation sought to find out which kind of distraction was truly the worst. They looked into the effects of strong emotions, distracted thoughts, and being on the phone while behind the wheel.

Do I have a case if I didn't visit the doctor after my car accident?

You did everything else right.

You filed the police report, exchanged information, and told your insurance company about the crash but in your rush to get on with your life, you forgot to schedule a doctor's appointment or you didn't think it was necessary.

Now a few weeks have passed and you have persistent aches and pains. Is it too late?

Should you settle out of court or go to trial?

If you've recently found yourself the victim of medical malpractice, an auto accident or another personal injury claims, you may have already filed a lawsuit against the person (or company) whose negligence caused your injuries. You may be eager to proceed to trial so that you can have your day in court -- however, in many cases, settling before trial may be the wiser decision. In fact, around 61 percent of personal injury plaintiffs who proceeded to trial actually wound up receiving a worse deal than they'd have obtained by settling.

Read on to learn more about some of the factors that may drive the strategic decision to settle a case before trial. 

A single car accident does not always mean the driver is at fault

Not all car accidents involve more than one vehicle, and not all accidents come at the fault of a driver. Road conditions and equipment are sometimes the culprit. Just because you've been in a single car accident doesn't mean you're at fault: there may be a problem with your vehicle, poor road maintenance or design, or you may have hit an animal in the road (or swerved to avoid one and hit something else instead).

What to do in a single car accident

Like in other collisions, the first step is to pull over and assess the situation. Make sure that the roadway is clear and your stopping position is safe for other traffic.

Distracted driving: teens aren't the only ones

When the topic of distracted driving comes up, many parents automatically think of their teens' behavior. They worry that their teens are talking, texting or playing Pokéman Go behind the wheel. But the truth is--that while distracted driving is a concern for the parents of teen drivers--teens aren't the only ones who are looking at their phone while operating motor vehicles.

In a recent poll, 56 percent of parents admitted to checking their phones while driving. The poll was conducted for Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping families and policymakers navigate media and technology. Interviewers questioned 1,240 parents of children between the ages of 12 and 18.

Man with baby in car collides head-on with SUV

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.

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