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Spokane Law Blog

Should you sue an uninsured driver for your damages?

Your first thought when the at-fault driver tells you he or she has no auto insurance is that you will file a lawsuit in the Washington courts to get the money to cover your damages. After all, if you file a claim against your own insurance, the rates may go up.

Is litigation the right answer?

Which age group has the most pedestrian fatalities?

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, there are many factors to go over, from common causes of an accident to the consequences of being struck by a vehicle. However, it is important for people to understand which age groups are especially prone to fatal pedestrian accidents. Sadly, many lives have been claimed due to these mishaps, which, in some cases, are the result of driver negligence. When a pedestrian passes away, their loved ones may struggle to move forward, both emotionally and financially as well.

According to data that was published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 4,700 fatal pedestrian accidents over the course of 2013. Among all of the pedestrian lives that were claimed, those between the ages of 50 and 54 years old had more fatalities than any other age group (471). However, there are some other important statistics to consider based on the NHTSA’s statistics. When looking at the number of fatal pedestrian accidents in comparison to all fatal traffic accidents, 24 percent of those who were four years of age and younger lost their lives in a pedestrian accident, higher than any other age group.

Blood Draws and DUI's

During a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest in Washington State most people will be asked to submit to a breath test for alcohol. However, if the investigating officer suspects impairment from drugs - prescription or non-prescription, then the officer may try to obtain a warrant signed by a judge authorizing a blood draw to determine intoxication. This process used to take several hours, but it has been streamlined over the past decade. Today law enforcement can email warrant requests to judges who can electronically review and sign them. Once a signed warrant is emailed back to the officer virtually anyone with the appropriate medical training can draw the blood. The whole process can take less than 30 minutes.

Driving during dangerously high winds

For drivers, there are a multitude of hazards to watch out for on the road. Sometimes, these hazards are very obvious, such as roadways that have become covered in thick snow. However, there are other potential risks which also involve weather which may not always be clear. Wind, for example, can be dangerous in different ways, especially when wind speeds reach very high levels. If you are driving during windy conditions, it is important to be aware of the potential problems that you could encounter.

For starters, wind can blow debris onto the road, which might affect your visibility, cause you to become distracted, or cause you or another driver to swerve. For example, if debris is lying on the center of the road, a driver might try to switch lanes abruptly to avoid the debris, not realizing that doing so would result in a collision with another vehicle. During high winds, tree branches may fall on the road and power lines could be taken down as well. All of these problems can lead to a motor vehicle crash and it is vital to exercise caution if you drive during windy conditions.

Recovering from a crash as an elderly person

Motor vehicle collisions can be very difficult for victims and those they love, often resulting in injuries that shatter one’s life and leave them unable to handle responsibilities they have at work or around the house. Sometimes, people are not even able to survive a collision. Worse, the consequences of a motor vehicle collision can be especially difficult for certain people, such as the elderly. If you are an older person who is trying to piece your life together following a traffic accident, you should carefully explore each of your options.

There are a number of reasons why crashes can be especially hard for those who are older. It may take longer for people to recover from injuries sustained in a wreck and the impact of a crash may be more likely to result in an injury or cause physical pain. Sometimes, elderly people who are struck by an irresponsible driver are struggling with other problems related to physical health, which are worsened due to the collision.

Rental property and dog attacks

We have gone over some of the consequences that dog bite victims may endure after they are attacked, from scars and physical pain to medical costs. If you were attacked by a dog, you may have many questions and could be struggling to work through a variety of issues. For example, you may be wondering how the attack was allowed to occur and who shares responsibility in the incident. In some instances, unique details may need to be considered, especially for those who are thinking about taking legal action due to dog bite injuries. For example, a landlord may be held accountable if his or her tenant owned a dog which attacked someone.

There are various issues you may need to look over if you are in this position and think that a landlord's carelessness contributed to the attack. For example, maybe a tenant complained to his or her landlord about a hole in the fence or some other repair or issue that had to be addressed with regard to the rental property and the landlord failed to take action. Or, perhaps a landlord knew that a violent dog was posing a threat to other people and failed to do anything about the situation.

The DUI First Appearance Hearing

In Spokane, Washington the criminal case for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) normally begins the next business day after the arrest. The initial court appearance for a DUI charge is a First Appearance Hearing. This hearing begins with roll call to see who is present. The judge will then advise everyone of their constitutional rights and the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. These consequences may include jail time, house arrest, fines, loss of driver's license, ignition interlock device, SR-22 insurance and alcohol/drug treatment.

Moving forward after a rideshare accident

Years ago, many people had to choose between public transportation or taking a taxi at certain times. However, thanks to technology such as rideshare apps, people have more decisions in the digital era. While this can be convenient for some, it can also be problematic. For example, some drivers may not have very much experience or familiarity with an area’s roads, which can increase the likelihood of something going wrong. Unfortunately, drivers who are employed by a rideshare company may cause a traffic collision, leaving their passengers or people riding in another vehicle hurt or killed.

With a difficult job market, some people have decided to work for a rideshare company to support themselves. Unfortunately, some may not have the dedication or experience that a taxi drier has. Moreover, there are times when things go wrong regardless of a person’s driving abilities or precautionary measures that are taken. As with all other crashes, rideshare accidents can leave victims with serious injuries or even prove fatal.

Snow drifts and the risk of an accident

Driving in the winter can be difficult and there are many factors that can make the likelihood of a crash even higher. At times, operating a vehicle this time of year can be downright dangerous, but many people get behind the wheel because they have to go to work or take care of important responsibilities. As a driver, it is crucial for you to keep an eye out for potential hazards, especially those related to inclement weather during this season. For example, you might need to pay close attention to snow drifts.

While driving around, the roads might be fairly decent, overall. However, certain spots might have a greater accumulation of snow. Snow drifts can accumulate because of wind patterns or because snow plows neglect a particular area. Sometimes, people do not see these drifts and they can cause problems, such as a vehicle becoming stuck or even an accident. When someone drives through a snow drift, they might be more likely to collide with another vehicle, especially if their vehicle cannot handle winter weather well or they do not have very much experience driving in these conditions.

What Are DUI Pretrial Conditions of Release?

Under Washington State criminal law Pretrial Conditions of Release (COR's) are legal restrictions ordered by a judge after someone has been accused of a crime, like Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Domestic Violence Assault (DV). Most people accused of a crime do not sit in jail while their criminal matter is pending resolution. On those cases COR's act like laws restricting the defendant's behavior while the case is pending. COR's remain in effect unless a judge amends or cancels them or until the criminal charge is resolved. If the COR's are violated, defendants may face more strict conditions or may even be booked into jail until the case is resolved.

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Cooney Law Offices P.S.
330 W. Indiana Ave.
Spokane, WA 99205

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