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Seattle Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Driven to distraction

It talks to you and it shows you where to go in Seattle and what to do while you're there. It relays messages from your friends and family, plays your favorite songs and lets you know what the weather is like ahead.

This seemingly all-knowing entity is, of course, your car. Today's vehicles are too often themselves the sources of distractions that make driving dangerous. While maps, music, directions, messages and more can be useful and entertaining, the car-provided stimuli are often behind the inattention that causes car accidents, injuries and fatalities.

How to protect yourself against medical errors

When you need medical care in the Seattle area, your first thought may be to delay making an appointment. This is because you probably keep hearing about how unsuspecting patients are becoming victims of medical mistakes and negligence. Every day, doctors, nurses and other medical staff make mistakes that increase the amount of fear and distrust patients have for them. 

Medical errors and negligence are major issues that can lead to drastically different outcomes than anticipated by patients and their health care providers. Besides the risk of complications, there is a higher chance of patients developing serious health conditions that diminish their quality of health, life and life expectancy. You do not need to avoid your medical team to stay safe. Review the following suggestions on how you can protect yourself from medical malpractice and negligence situations: 

3 distractions to avoid while driving

While you may be an effective multitasker in the office or at home, there is no such thing as safe multitasking on the road. Anything less than 100 percent attention while you are driving increases your risk of getting into an accident.

Although you cannot control other motorists' bad driving, you can keep yourself alert so you can avoid potential accidents and injury. Start with staying clear of these common distractions.

Stan Perkins to receive Legal Innovation Award

For his commitment to helping new lawyers get solo practices off the ground, Dean Standish "Stan" Perkins will be honored with the Legal Innovation Award from the Washington State Bar Association. The WSBA selected Perkins for the award for his "commitment to improving access to justice, pioneering an innovative low bono incubator, and enriching the legal profession and those who work within it."

What risks do construction sites pose to Seattle citizens?

Construction can stand as evidence of growth, improvement and a thriving economy. While this certainly may be true, it is undeniable that construction sites also brings certain risks to the area. This is worth considering given the fact that developers are working on over $3 billion worth of construction projects in Seattle, according to NW Construction Illustrated.

Construction is clearly lucrative, but it is often also dangerous. Anybody working on a site or walking through the streets of Seattle could become injured due to some of the common risks present on a construction site. Be careful and stay aware of the following perils you could fall victim to.

What to know about BUI accidents in Seattle

Coming up is Seafair Weekend in Seattle, which is a water, land and air festival at Genesee Park. As with any holiday, this often means partying with alcohol. While you may be well versed in how to prevent drunk driving on the road, you may not know the laws about drunk driving on the lake.

Boating under the influence carries higher risks and penalties than a typical DUI. In addition to suffering property damage and bodily harm, accident victims also face the possibility of drowning. By understanding the laws, you can help to prevent BUI and know what to do in case of an accident.

Seattle University's 'Low bono' Program Helps Make Legal Assistance Affordable

I have always been grateful to the experienced lawyers who took time out of their busy schedules to mentor me when I started my own firm 30 years ago. I really couldn't have made it without them. Now I'm proud to work with and mentor outstanding young lawyers from Seattle University School of Law's Low Bono Incubator Program.

Tips for dealing with property damage after a car accident

If you just got into a car accident, you may be frustrated and wondering how you are going to settle a property damage claim or personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. Paying for repairs on your own is a daunting thought. You understandably want to get compensated, move on and put the collision behind you.

Getting the best settlement largely depends on the documentation you collect after the car crash. Here are some guidelines for getting the most out of your car accident claim.

Studies show hands-free in-car systems are riskier than drivers realize

Many drivers think voice-activated in-vehicle systems are safe, but research shows that these systems can still cause significant and lasting distraction.

In recent years, the dangers of using a cell phone while driving have become apparent to most Seattle residents. However, many of the same people still believe that voice-activated in-car systems offer a safe alternative to cell phones. In theory, these systems reduce driver inattention by eliminating manual and visual distraction. Unfortunately, though, research increasingly indicates that these systems are still distracting and may greatly raise the risk of serious or deadly car crashes.

Dangerously distracting

Last year, a study of six voice-based in-vehicle systems and two hands-free apps found that the majority caused significant driver distraction. According to Fox News, researchers observed the participants as they drove, did simulations and completed tests while using the systems. They found that both of the apps and four of the six systems created greater levels of distraction than a hands-free cellphone call.

This is especially worrisome because past research has shown that hands-free and handheld cellphones create comparable levels of distraction. According to the National Safety Council, drivers who are distracted with either type of cell phone show various handicaps. These include blindness to surrounding stimuli, delayed responses and reduced activity in the part of the brain used during driving. Presumably, voice-activated systems cause similar forms of impairment.

Another observational study conducted this year reveals that the distraction associated with in-car systems can linger. CBS News states that some participants in this study were distracted for as long as 27 seconds after using these systems. These drivers, who were only traveling at speeds of 25 mph, covered the length of three football fields before shifting their attention to the road. At higher speeds, this prolonged distraction could be even more dangerous.

Common injuries drivers are at risk for during car crashes in Seattle

Many car accidents in Washington leave victims facing serious injuries, including brain trauma, back injuries, whiplash and psychological injuries.

New innovations in the field of vehicle safety technology have helped decrease the risk of injuries occurring during car accidents. Still, Americans suffer millions of these injuries each year. In 2014, over 2.3 million car crash injuries were reported in the U.S, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sadly, car crashes may leave many people in Seattle facing severe ailments that are highly debilitating and even life changing, including the following common injuries.

Soft tissue trauma

Whiplash, which results from the abrupt stretching and bending of muscles in the neck, is a common injury in car crashes. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the symptoms of whiplash aren't always apparent immediately, but once they surface, victims may experience pain, limited mobility, dizziness and headaches. Although whiplash isn't permanent, it can persist for weeks or months. Some victims also experience lingering headaches and pain even after this injury heals.

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