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Seattle Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

What is the rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents?

We drive vehicles because it is a nice and convenient way to get around. Owing a vehicle is very common in Washington and other states across the nation; however, car ownership comes with duties and obligations. All drivers are required to follow the rules of the road and drive safely. Unfortunately, this does not prevent some drivers from driving recklessly, intoxicated, distracted or fatigued. These are dangerous situations and could be the cause of a serious or even fatal accident.

What is the rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents in Washington State? Based on recent data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington State experienced 537 fatalities in 2016. Of these, 238 occurred in rural areas while 298 took place in urban areas. These fatalities involved 332 passenger vehicles, 81 motorcyclists, 84 pedestrians and 17 cyclists.

Increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents across the nation

When we are behind the wheel in a vehicle or are a passenger in an automobile, we generally believe we are safe. With modern technology, air bags and a strong, hard exterior shell, motorists and passengers feel comfortable knowing that all of these safety features are in place. While safety features are good and often mandatory in vehicles, these do not always prevent injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident.

According to current statistics based on federal data, the number of fatal accidents occurring on U.S. roadways increased last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety administration collected data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia in order to assess the seriousness of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Based on this data, a total of 37,461 traffic fatalities occurred in 2016. This is a 5.6 percent increase from the previous year, which experienced 35,485 traffic fatalities.

Helping you take action following a motorcycle accident

As previously discussed, motorcycle accidents can have serious and grave results. The injuries that befall victims can alter their life completely. A brain injury can cause lasting effects, even damaging their brain. This unfortunately leads to temporary and permanent disabilities. While many Seattle residents enjoy short and lengthy rides on their motorcycles, they are exposed to many risks on the roads due to the vehicle's small size. This causes the situation where motorists do not see motorcyclists in time to evade a collision. Even if it was an innocent mistake, the simple negligence of an automobile driver could cause a serious or even fatal motorcycle accident.

The aftermath of a motorcycle crash is likely horrific. A bike is not equipped with any that could keep a rider on the bike; thus, a collision is likely to result in a rider being thrown from his or her bike. Even with the usage of a helmet and protective clothing, this does not mean a motorcyclist will walk away from the accident unharmed. In most cases, riders could suffer injuries to their head, neck, back, limbs, skin and internal organs.

Brain injuries are prevalent in motorcycle accidents

For some residents in Seattle, riding a motorcycle is their passions. No matter the time of the year or the weather they might be faced with, being on their bike is exactly where they want to be. Whether a person is a die-hard biker or just enjoys rides when it is nice outside, many risks are associated with riding motorcycles. In the event of a collision, a rider could suffer serious injuries, one of which is a head injury.

Brain injuries are one of the most severe injuries an accident victim could suffer. Based on current data, two million head injuries are reported each year in the U.S. Of these, 28 percent are from motorcycle accident. Because motorcyclists are not protected like other motorists on the roadway, a collision could cause a rider to be thrown from their bike, causing injuries to their head, limbs and abdomen.

What time limitations are involved with wrongful death claims?

Hearing the news that a loved one has been involved in a serious accident is bad enough on its own. Finding out that they did not survive the incident is devastating. Young or old, the loss of a loved one is a tough reality to face. Surviving family members are overwhelmed with a rush of emotions; it is difficult to process the situation at hand. They are so busy dealing with funeral arrangements and overcoming the financial losses loved ones often forget that they have legal recourses available to them.

A wrongful death suit could be a valuable step to take, especially if it was the negligence of another person that caused the unfortunate death of a family member. However, the availability of this legal action does not exist forever, making it imperative that family members take the time to understand their rights to this claim as soon as they are emotionally and mentally ready.

Judge rules no punitive damages in Seattle accident

As previously discussed, accidents involving busses can be especially tragic. Because these vehicles are designed to hold a multitude of passengers, when an accident ensues, numerous passengers could become victims. Additionally, most buses are not equipped with seatbelts. This can be the cause of passengers being tossed around and thrown about the bus during a collision, resulting in serious and even fatal injuries. Those harmed in a bus accident as well as the loved ones of those killed in a bus crash have recourses available to them if the accident was caused by the negligence of another party.

According to recent reports, a judge made a ruling on the available damages in a lawsuit stemming from a bus accident occurring in Seattle in September 2015. In that accident, a Ride The Ducks amphibious bus was in an accident with a tour bus on the Aurora Bridge. The accident resulted in the death of five passengers and dozens of passengers suffering injuries.

Matt answers your questions on #FAQFriday live videos (Video)

As part of my continuing mission to education people about car insurance, motor vehicle accidents, and the civil litigation system, I recently started doing live video FAQs every Friday. We typically announce the event on Wednesday on our Seattle and Everett Facebook pages, and we seek questions for me to address during the video.

Helping you recover damages following a bus accident

Most parents in Washington State and other states across the nation rely on school buses to get their children to and from school. While this is an efficient and helpful way to transport students, it is also a form of transportation that could result in a serious accident site if an collision ensues. School buses are massive vehicles that are not equipped with seatbelts, While safety features exist in the vehicle, this does not always prevent or reduce severe injuries being suffered by student passengers.

The aftermath of a school bus accident is shocking. It is not only unexpected, but hearing news that a child or teenage student was injured in a crash is tragic. Thus, parents often seek justice following such a horrible event. At the Law Offices of Matthew D. Dubin, our experienced legal team is well equipped and prepared to help victims of a bus crash. We are dedicated to helping bus accident victims understand their rights and what steps they should take to protect them.

Washington strengthens distracted driving law

Distracted driving, such as texting and driving, has been identified as one of the car crash causes in Washington. Notably, it has been related to car accidents involving teenage drivers.

Washington enacted a new distracted driving law which took effect on July 23, 2017. In addition to bans on the use of personal electronic devices, the law also prohibits other distracting behaviors such as shaving while driving.

'Survival actions vs. 'wrongful death' in Seattle

The death of a loved one in an accident can take quite a toll on a Seattle family. The sudden absence of a husband, wife, child or parent can mean great emotional and mental suffering, as well as potential economic problems caused by the loss of an income or medical costs associated with attempting to save the individual's life. When such a death is caused by the negligence of someone else, and thus may have been preventable, the effects can be even more pronounced.

In Washington State, there are statutory legal grounds that families can use to potentially recover compensation when a loved one is killed by another's carelessness. However, those contemplating such a course should understand that there are two main ways of pursuing such a course. One is through a wrongful death lawsuit, and the other is through the use of a so-called 'survival action.'

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