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Kennewick Personal Injury Law Blog

How do I know when it's time to service my brakes?

Your vehicle's ability to stop is essential for accident avoidance, so if you haven't taken your car into the brake shop for a checkup in a while, you might want to do so as soon as possible. After all, a split second of stopping time could mean the difference between life and death on the road.

Aside from taking your car in for regular maintenance checkups as recommended by your owner's manual, there are several things you can do to ensure your brakes are safe:

  • Keep an eye out for any signs of wear on your brake pads. You can actually see them through the holes in your vehicle's wheels on most cars. You'll want to see -- at the very least -- a quarter-inch of brake pad.
  • Keep your ears attentive for a screechy sound. If you hear a high-pitched noise while braking, it's probably the wear indicator, which is designed to let you know when your brake pads are too thin.
  • Check for a lack of braking ability. This can creep up on you over time, but eventually, you might notice that your brakes aren't what they should be and you really have to press hard with your foot to get your vehicle to stop.
  • If your car starts to pull to one side, then it's definitely time to take your brakes in for service.
  • Grinding and growling noises are very bad indeed. These need to be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Vibrations coming through the brake pedal or being transferred throughout your car are particularly dangerous. Be sure take your car in immediately if you feel vibrations when you apply the brakes.

Medical malpractice: Potentially negligent parties

In most personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff will want to identify as many liable parties as possible. The more liable parties you can name, the higher chances you'll have of receiving a financial recovery. In regard to medical malpractice cases, then, who should you look to when pointing the finger of blame?

  • Doctors and hospital staff: Your doctor or a hospital staff member could be to blame for your medical malpractice. As such, you'll want to review the decision made by your doctor, the information he or she had available for making these decisions and whether these decisions made practical medical sense given the facts at hand.
  • Hospitals and medical facilities: Modern hospitals are often short on staff and they push the limit of what they can achieve with the smallest number of people. Your hospital might also fail to maintain its equipment or fail to have certain supplies on immediate hand that could have led to your injury.
  • Vicarious liability: Even if the hospital wasn't at fault, but a staff member was, the hospital will probably be liable for the employee's actions through the legal concept of vicarious liability or "Respondeat Superior," which means in old Latin, "Let the master respond." Basically, employers can be held liable for the actions carried out by their employees.

Were you hurt by a negligent doctor, medical staff member or medical facility? You may be able to pursue a financial claim for financial justice and restitution by filing a personal injury action in civil court. It's important to pursue such an action as soon as possible, however, as statutes of limitation will bar you from pursuing a medical negligence claim after a certain amount of time has passed.

Mother and 4-year-old girl injured in tragic Washington collision

A mother was driving with her 4-year-old daughter in the back seat of a sport utility vehicle when another vehicle struck them. Both the mother and her daughter suffered injuries in the accident. The 4-year-old required helicopter transportation, and the mother was taken by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

According to authorities, their preliminary investigation revealed that a Subaru was traveling northbound on Highway 169. The mother and her daughter's SUV was also traveling northbound along Highway 169. That's when the SUV slowed down to turn left. A dump truck was stopped on 383rd Street at the time, waiting to enter Highway 169.

4 strategies to avoid car accidents

It's interesting to consider how safe our nation's roads could be if all drivers followed the rules of the road. In fact, there are certain things that — if all drivers did them or stopped doing them — would exponentially reduce the risks associated with driving.

Here are four things that every driver should do to dramatically reduce the risks of car accident deaths and injuries in Washington and the rest of the nation:

Semitruck full of potatoes injures 5 in transit bus crash

A semitruck full of potatoes struck a transit bus late last month injuring five people. According to first responders, the semitruck driver went through a red light on State Route 395 at approximately 3 p.m., on a recent Tuesday, then crashed into a transit bus in Kennewick.

The 25-year-old bus driver and four bus passengers -- a 54-year-old and three 15-year-olds -- were among the injured in the crash. The semitruck driver survived the collision unharmed.

Tips to prevent 18-wheeler crashes

Have you ever been driving down a three-lane highway and found yourself sandwiched between two semitrucks? It's frightening to get stuck between two 18-wheelers like that, and you probably drove as quickly out of that hole as you possibly could -- and with good reason. Collisions are often catastrophic and fatal when they happen between a passenger car and a big rig.

Keeping the dangers of semitrucks in mind, here are a few tips that every Benton driver should keep in mind:

  • Don't pass a semitruck on its right side. Almost every 18-wheeler has a massive blind spot about halfway back on its right side. Lingering in this zone for any length of time can be catastrophic and fatal if the semitruck decides to move back over to the right lane. As such, it's best not to ever pass a semitruck on the right side. Rather, you should wait for it to move back over and pass it on the left.
  • Move slowly and don't do sudden maneuvers around a semitruck. Eighteen-wheelers are slow and lumbering behemoths. As such, when you're driving around a semitruck, you should mimic their behavior. Drive slowly and deliberately, and give them plenty of space so they can react to your movements.
  • Let the semitruck pass you if it needs to. Drivers can get into weird games of cat and mouse with one another as their jockeying for position. But this is dangerous, and what does it gain? Perhaps you'll arrive at your destination five minutes faster, but is it worth the risk? Especially if it's a semitruck, just let it pass.

How do teratogens cause birth injuries?

Medications are supposed to help us treat the devastating symptoms of various medical conditions. They're not supposed to endanger us or our babies. Nevertheless, they can -- especially when the wrong kind of medication is prescribed to a pregnant woman who has a sensitive baby developing in her wound.

It seems like every year a new list of potentially dangerous medications is revealed as it relates to what pregnant women shouldn't taken during their pregnancies. Often, these drugs were regularly and carelessly prescribed to pregnant women for years before medical researchers discovered that the drugs are linked to birth defects and birth injuries.

Driver causes accident after failing to take seizure medicine

A driver recently pleaded not guilty after being charged with vehicular homicide relating to an auto accident that happened earlier this month. Allegedly, the man caused the accident because he failed to take his seizure medication.

The four-car collision happened in early August, resulting in the death of one man. The 27-year-old driver who caused the crash suffers from a medical condition that causes him seizures. Court documents allege that the man did not take his seizure medication, which might have prevented him from causing the crash, and the subsequent death of a 38-year-old man.

Intoxicated driver kills 1 in head-on collision

The death of a man in Lacey has left his community in shock. A 66-year-old man was killed after his vehicle was struck head-on by an allegedly drunk driver. The man who police say caused the head-on crash is the owner of a drinking establishment.

According to authorities, the tavern owner crossed the center line, drove directly into oncoming traffic and hit the 66-year-old victim's car. Sadly, he didn't survive the incident, but the driver who struck him did.

Prescription errors: Viagra

Did your doctor prescribe you Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction? Perhaps you're hopeful that the Viagra your doctor prescribed could improve your enjoyment of life significantly, as erectile dysfunction can create a serious rift in marital life.

However, there are several things you should know before taking this potentially risky medication -- which is sometimes prescribed in error by doctors.