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Lynnwood Legal Blog

Top crosswalk hazards for pedestrians

In Washington, people have to cross the street many times in any given day. Unfortunately, crosswalks can be one of the most dangerous places for a pedestrian to be. Here are some of the most common hazards that a pedestrian could face in a crosswalk.

The National Safety Council's website, Drive It Home, has an article featuring the dangers of crosswalks. One of the biggest issues happens to be a problem across the board in vehicular safety right now: distracted driving.

Dog Bites and the Basics

Dog bites can certainly prove upsetting for owners, but can become life-threatening for the victims themselves. Like most states, Washington enforces its own dog bite laws that aim to protect all residents in communities; however, such frightening incidents do happen. What can victims of dog bites expect in these tricky situations, and what are the repercussions for owners? 

By better understanding the basic facts on dog bites, residents can best prepare for potential attacks and can know the warning signs. The American Veterinary Medical Association shares some quick pointers on dog bites and preventative steps, noting that such incidents are no rarity: dog bites affect over four million Americans each year. Out of this number, roughly 800,000 people require medical attention as a result. While it can be difficult to understand an animal's behavior, the AVMA adds that reading a dog's body language can help prevent an attack. This step includes maintaining awareness about a dog's surroundings, its food, toys and other factors that could ignite aggression. 

You may suffer from injuries you did not know about after a crash

You were recently in a seemingly minor collision, and you felt fine the day of the accident, if a little shaken up, so you refused medical attention at the time. However, a day or so later, you are starting to feel stiff and sore. Still, this is no big deal, you think. Whiplash is common after small accidents and it will clear up on its own, right? You and other Washington residents should understand that more serious injuries may be lurking beneath the seemingly minor pain of whiplash. Also, whiplash itself is not an injury you should be so quick to dismiss.

Whiplash is most commonly experienced in rear-end crashes, as the sudden impact violently shakes your head back and forth. This injury mostly involves the soft tissues of the ligaments, muscles and nerves supporting your head and neck. Often, whiplash resolves on its own in a few days or weeks, but it may be masking injuries that require medical treatment, such as sprains, fractures or concussion. It is generally advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible after a crash, no matter how minor. If you have put off a checkup, it can be wise to make an appointment if you experience the following symptoms: 

  • Chronic, persistent headache, especially if combined with difficulty concentrating, confusion or memory loss
  • Changes in sleep and mood
  • Swelling, redness, tenderness or difficulty moving a limb or joint
  • A clicking or "crunchy" feeling when moving your head or neck
  • Numbness or tingling in your extremities
  • Pain or stiffness that does not get better over time

Some experience long-term problems after whiplash

Anyone who has been involved in or knows someone who has been involved in a vehicle accident in Washington State may well have heard about whiplash. It may be one of the conditions most commonly associated with car accidents, especially if an accident has involved one vehicle being hit from behind by another. It is this type of situation that may result in the neck being jerked quickly back and forth.

When whiplash occurs, some people think that it is a short-lived condition. This may be true but is far and away not always the case. WebMD indicates that the severity of the pain and stiffness in the neck that a person experiences right after a crash occurs may actually provide some type of indication as to their likelihood of the problem becoming chronic or long-term. Living with chronic pain of any sort may have serious negative implications for a person's quality of life.

Dangerous dog law to be considered

Views about what may be identified as a dangerous dog breed span quite a gamut among people in Washington State and the rest of the country. Certainly dogs are a popular type of family pet but some breeds have become the center of some debates as to their safety over the years. Pit bulls are one of those breeds who have found their way into many headlines after attacks on people young and old. 

The city of Yakima in the central part of the state actually went so far as to ban legal ownership of this breed of dog back in the 1980s after a series of serious incidents involving pit bulls. Reports indicate that there have been multiple attempts to repeal this ban but none have been successful. One of the most recent attempts just happened and again resulted in the ban staying in place.

How do people get compensation for dog bite injuries?

If you have lived in the state for long enough, you know that Washington pet owners, for the most part, take good care of their animals. Unfortunately, you might encounter exceptions to this rule. 

As you might expect, those who break the rules governing animal safety stand to face major consequences. However, you should typically avoid dollar amount estimates when it comes to injury settlements or judgments. Statistics might do nothing to describe your specific case. Worse, the data collection methods behind the estimates you read might be biased or flawed. 

Soft tissue injuries and bone damage

When a Washingtonian gets into a car accident, damage can be done to any area of the body depending on how the accident occurs. Soft tissue damage, organ damage, and bone damage are all possible. Each represents a different risk to a person's health, and has a different healing time.

The Physiotherapy Clinics describes a soft tissue injury as any injury that happens to the tendons, muscles, or ligaments. As the name implies, these parts of the body are softer than bone and prone to tearing, rupturing, or being stretched. In the case of a car accident, soft tissue damage can occur when sudden changes in the body's position happen. For example, a person could easily tear a ligament or tendon if they're thrown from the vehicle. They may tear a muscle trying to grab hold of something within the car, as well.

Suspected impaired driver underage, causes crash

Many people in Washington State may well have thoughts in their minds about when their risk of being hit by a drunk driver is most likely. Certainly a lot of attention is given to holidays like the Fourth of July or New Year's Eve but the reality is that a drunk driver can be on any road at any time, day or night, holiday or not.

An example of this can be seen in a recent accident that happened along a stretch of Interstate 405 in Bothell, not far from Highway 527. Two people were riding along in a sport utlity vehicle heading north on the freeway in the middle of a Saturday afternoon in February. The SUV that they were in was hit from the rear by another SUV. This second vehicle was being operated by a man who was 20 years of age.

Avoid these mistakes with insurance adjusters

After a serious crash, your life is likely to change drastically for the short term and perhaps even the long term. You may need help with medical bills, lost wages, suffering and more. Insurance companies are a major source of assistance for people in such situations, but it is important to remember they are not necessarily on your side. They are a business.

Thus, with all that is going on in your life, it can be easy to make some common mistakes with insurance adjusters.

Snohomish County third in motorcycle deaths statewide

If you or a relative enjoy the experience of riding the open roads on a motorcycle in Washington State, you know that there are unfortunately serious risks associated with this. Whether as a passenger or a driver of a bike, the lack of protection around you and the poor decisions all too often made by other drivers put you in harm's way and expose you to serious injury or even death.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that for two years straight, the number of motorcyclists killed in accidents rose. In 2014, there were 69 bikers who died. That number increased first to 75 in 2015 and then to 81 in 2016. Those increases sadly followed two years in which the number of biker deaths dropped. Helmet use can help but is not enough. Between 2012 and 2016, helmets were worn by motorcyclists in 94 to 100 percent of fatal crashes.