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Spokane Law Blog

How should you proceed if you were hit by an uninsured driver?

Being involved in a car accident in Washington is never something you hope for, but it can be significantly more frustrating if you find out that the person who crashed into you does not have insurance. Ultimately, this means you are left to forge the costs of the repairs on your own unless you can successfully get the money from the responsible party. Being aware of how to proceed with a motorist that does not have insurance can help you to make the right decisions to hopefully limit the impact your situation has on you. 

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to contact the local authorities right away. Once they have arrived on the scene, calmly explain the situation and describe what happened. According to American Family Mutual Insurance Company, be proactive in collecting information and evidence from the scene. Ask the other driver for his or her contact information including a working phone number, a name and an address if possible. Take pictures of the damage that happened on both vehicles and try to get shots from different angles. These photographs can be incredibly helpful for adjusters and estimators as they work to decide how much the damage is worth. 

Domestic Violence Protection Orders: The Basics

Early in most Domestic Violence criminal cases the judge will issue a Protection Order, also known as a No Contact Order (NCO). A NCO in a domestic violence case prohibits the person charged with the crime from contacting the accuser, including through social media, text messages, phone calls or even through another third party like a friend or relative. Most NCO's will also include a geographical restriction prohibiting the person from going within a certain distance of any known location of the protected party, like their residence or workplace. This may leave the accused homeless if the protected person and accused person live together. These NCO's do not normally prohibit a parent from having contact with their children so long as the child is not the listed accuser, but an NCO can make it difficult to coordinate visitation if communication between the parents is prohibited. For more informaiton about these orders from the Spokane Court website, click here.

Motor vehicle accidents can lead to bodily injury for pedestrians

Walking is a great exercise for you that is enjoyed by many Washington residents. However, with its many benefits comes the slight risk of being a pedestrian involved in an automobile accident. Consequences of being hit by a motorist can range from a bodily injury such as broken bones to even death. We here at Cooney Law Offices recognize the severity of being a pedestrian victim of a car accident. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian fatalities in this country have been increasing greatly, with a 35% increase between 2007 and 2018. In fact, in 2017 pedestrian deaths accounted for 16% of all traffic deaths. This can be attributed in part to an upsurge in both distracted driving and distracted walking as a result of the proliferation of mobile devices. It is vital when you are walking and crossing roadways to be focused on what you are doing so you can avoid bodily injury. 

Spokane Therapeutic Courts

The Spokane Therapeutic Courts Foundation was formed in 2012 in an effort to give those battling drug addiction and mental-health challenges the opportunity to enter into a court supervised treatment program. Currently, there are 83 therapeutic courts throughout Washington State. These include the Adult Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Family Treatment Courts, Mental Health Courts, DUI and/or DV Courts, and the Veterans Courts. These various courts are located in multiple counties across Washington State. A list and description of these courts can be found here.

Understanding pregnancy discrimination

If you are an employed pregnant woman in Washington, you are no doubt trying to reach a balance between fulfilling your job with pride and caring for your growing body. This is equally true once you have given birth to your baby and hope to maintain an equilibrium between your career and your family. Unfortunately, there are times when an employer may treat you in a negative manner due to your current situation. We here at Cooney Law Offices P.S. understand how pregnancy discrimination laws protect women. 

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer behaves unfavorably towards a current employee or a job applicant based upon her pregnancy, childbirth or a condition related to one of those two. This is forbidden, including when it comes to things such as:

  •       Hiring, firing or layoff
  •       Job assignments or promotions
  •       Salary
  •       Fringe benefits like leave or health insurance
  •       Training

Set the standard for the remainder of your parenting relationship

Many emotions come to light when you are going through a divorce. These can make the process more challenging because they can seep into every area of your life. They can also make it much more difficult to make sound decisions during the legal process. If you have children depending on you, this might be even more complex.

As you work with your ex to go through the child custody matters, you have to remember that the way things go now can have an impact on the parenting relationship in the future. Being able to work through an amicable divorce can set your co-parenting situation out on a good start.

DUI Deferred Prosecution

When someone is charged with a DUI in Washington State a Deferred Prosecution is one of several potential resolutions. After a complete investigation of the evidence and after negotiations with the prosecuting attorney your attorney should present all options for resolving your DUI charge. Any DUI that doesn't get dismissed through suppression motions will eventually come down to one of three options: accepting a negotiated resolution, going to trial or asking the judge to grant a Deferred Prosecution.

What should you do if a dog bites your child?

While most dogs in Washington are friendly and make good pets, there are still circumstances that may lead them to bite. In many cases, the victim of a dog bite is a child. Responding correctly if a dog bites your child may help you reduce the risk of further injury or infection. The first thing to do is move yourself and your child to a safe location away from the dog. Once you are there, you may start providing first aid to your child.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are several important steps you should take immediately after a dog bites your child. Once you are in a safe place, you should check your child's body for wounds. If there are any deep puncture wounds or cuts, you may need to go to the emergency room. For small minor wounds, you may clean and bandage them yourself before seeking medical attention. Gently press on any wounds to encourage a little bleeding. This may help remove some of the bacteria. Then, use mild soap and warm water to wash out the wounds.

Understanding the DUI Sentencing Grid

The Washington State Courts' DUI Sentencing Grid details the mandatory minimum penalties for misdemeanor DUI convictions. The sentencing grid attempts to simplify the penalties found in RCW 46.61.5055. The grid is split into columns by number of prior offenses and in rows by breath or blood test results. The Washington State Courts update the grid every year or two as amendments to DUI laws are passed by the legislature. Recent versions of the grid can be found here.

Post-surgery tips for facilitating a healthy recovery

When people are preparing for a surgical procedure in Washington, they often take into consideration the suggestions of their health care provider for behaviors they can implement to prepare for a successful surgery. However, this kind of attention should also be given to post-op recovery. When people are vigilant in making sure they are following their doctor's orders, they can be more confident in their ability to facilitate their recovery in a safe and healthy way. 

According to, one thing that people can do is to understand how to regulate their pain and manage it in order to stay comfortable. Their awareness of the level of pain they should be feeling and what they are feeling may help them to identify situations where suspicious symptoms may require a follow-up visit with their doctor. Additionally, people should have a clear understanding of their doctor's recommendations for activity throughout recovery. It is imperative that they slowly reintroduce activity to prevent unnecessary injuries or setbacks from happening. 

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