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Reckless driver sends deputy to hospital after car crash

A car accident can happen to anyone in Washington State and come without warning. No one is immune to the injuries and fatalities that can result from a car crash. Even those whose job it is to investigate and help people who have been in an auto accident can be in a crash themselves, suffering the aftereffects. A crash can have wide-ranging ramifications and those who have been affected need to know their legal rights even if their loved ones were a first-responders.

This reality came to pass in the state recently at around 3:30 p.m. when a head-on crash injured a 34-year-old sheriff's deputy as he sat in his squad car. A pickup truck was turning a corner and passing a van when it went into the lanes of the road heading in the opposite direction and hit the deputy's vehicle. The truck went over the hood. According to the driver of the pickup, he tried to pass the van because it had stopped in front of him. Law enforcement cited the man operating the pickup for being a reckless driver. The van was cited for failing to yield. The deputy was trapped inside his squad car and needed to be extricated after the roof was removed. As he was transported to the hospital, the deputy had his neck immobilized. He had severe injuries, but was reported to be aware of his surroundings and responding when spoken to.

The deputy was able to communicate after the auto accident, but that does not mean that he will be free from damage that can affect his life for an extended period. He might need to have an extended stay in the hospital, undergo surgeries, have rehabilitation and be unable to return to work in the near future, if he is able to return at all. There can be massive medical expenses, lost wages, and the need to have help to perform even the most basic activities. Insurance companies are meant to pay compensation for these issues, but their main focus is often on the bottom line. With that, a family might accept a settlement before realizing how much the car accident will end up costing.

In this accident, a deputy became a car accident victim while he sat in his cruiser. The injuries and his long-term prognosis are still not fully known. With the case still in its initial stages, his family may need to protect his and their legal interests.

Source: Bellingham Herald, "Seriously injured Pierce County sheriff's deputy cut from patrol car after crash," Kenny Ocker, Feb. 7, 2017

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