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Kennewick Personal Injury Law Blog

2 ways truck drivers can avoid traffic accidents

If you're a semitruck driver, you know that you carry a heavy responsibility every time you get on the roadway. Your vehicle is hundreds of times heavier than the average car. It's also exponentially slower, harder to maneuver and more difficult to slow it down. In fact, a semitruck at the hands of an irresponsible truck driver is a fatal and catastrophic accident waiting to happen.

Here are two things you'll want to keep in mind to help avoid an accident:

Crash inspires more questions about safety of self-driving tech

The idea that a vehicle could drive itself without a human operator behind the wheel was nothing more than science fiction 10 years ago. However, modern technological advancements and artificial computer intelligence have come a long way in recent years. Self-driving cars are already being tested and used on Washington roads. The question is: Are they safe?

A recent accident caused by a Tesla, which was being driven by it's "Autopilot" feature at the time of the crash, has inspired new questions about whether the world, human drivers -- and the technology -- are ready for mass implementation. According to details pertaining to the accident, the Tesla drove into the back of a fire truck while the truck was stopped and helping out in another accident. Miraculously, no one was hurt.

Semitruck accidents: When are vehicle drivers are at fault?

The law that applies to semitruck accident claims is different from the law that applies to normal car crash claims. That's because semitruck drivers and transportation companies must adhere to an array of different rules and regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry and their drivers. When a semitruck driver violates one of these many laws, an injurious or fatal auto collision results, the driver and his or her employer will likely be liable for any related financial damages.

That said, many semitruck accidents are not the fault of the truck driver, but rather, they're the fault of a normal vehicle driver that got into the accident. Here are a few examples of semitruck accidents caused by normal vehicle drivers:

3 of the most common medical errors

Not all patients go to the doctor and return home healthier than they were before. Aside from the fact that doctors aren't miracle workers, they can also make serious and deadly mistakes. When those mistakes happen as a result of negligence, inept medical decisions or unlawful behavior, an injured patient may be able to pursue medical negligence claims to seek justice and restitution in court.

Here are some of the most common medical errors that give rise malpractice lawsuits:

Prevent car accidents when the roads are slippery

Drivers in Washington state encounter slick, wet roads all the time. These driving conditions can reduce the traction of your wheels, and spin-outs and slide-out crashes are common. As such, drivers need to be aware of safety practices that can prevent an accident when the roads are slippery.

Follow these tips to maintain control of your car during slick road conditions:

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.