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Western Washington Personal Injury Law Blog

Stage barrier collapse injures dozens, including four seriously

Stage barriers in Washington and throughout the country are a familiar sight at outdoor events, especially musical performances. Audience members frequently press against these barriers for a better view of the performers. Whether they succeed is a question that has never been conclusively answered. When the audience at a Saturday night performance at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle pressed against a stage barrier, the barrier collapsed and more than two dozen persons suffered injuries. No one commented on whether they achieved a better view.

The incident occurred during the last set of the performance by electronic artist, Jai Wolf. As concertgoers pressed against the barrier, it collapsed and fell on the audience. Twenty-five people had their injuries evaluated at the scene. Ultimately, four persons who were injured in the collapse were taken to Harborview Medical Center, where they were reported to be in stable condition.

What are Washington’s teen driving laws?

Does it feel like just yesterday you were sending your child off to school for the first time? Now, your child is a teenager and preparing to obtain their driver’s license. It’s amazing how fast time flies.

While you’ve always known that this day would come, you may still feel uneasy. Inexperienced drivers are among the most disadvantaged on the road. Car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths and because of their youth, injuries can become lifelong problems.

Mechanical failure sends truck crashing into Subway sandwich shop

Washington trucks that are intended to haul construction materials or debris, such as large dump trucks, are necessarily large and powerful. Stopping, such a vehicle in the event of a mechanical failure, can be difficult, if not impossible. A recent crash caused by a driver losing control of her dump truck illustrates the point.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on August 19, 2019, a dump truck was traveling west on James Street near Pioneer Square. According to police, the truck suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure that caused the driver to lose control. The truck rolled forward and struck a pedestrian at the corner of James Street and Second Avenue. The driver responded by attempting to weave through traffic. The truck struck three cars on James Street and then crashed through the front window of a Subway Sandwich Shop. A video recording of the incident shows the truck resting completely inside the sandwich shop with its windshield shattered.

One killed when car collides with shuttle bus at Sea-Tac Airport

One the most familiar sites at big city airports, like those here in Washington, is the number of shuttle buses carrying airline passengers to or from the airport. How safe are the passengers on the shuttle buses? Are seat belts available? Can these vehicles withstand the impact of a standard sedan? The recent collision of an automobile and a shuttle bus near the Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle is providing uncertain answers to some of these questions.

A shuttle van from the Seattle Airport Marriott was headed north on International Boulevard at about 1:00 p.m. on July 25. A car heading south in the opposite lane crossed the median and hit the shuttle bus. The force of the impact tipped the van on its side. The van was carrying nine persons, but police were unable to determine how many, if any, were using the available seat belts.

Head-on crash kills driver on notorious stretch of SR 202

For the second time in less than a month, a stretch of State Road (SR) 202 near Sammamish has claimed a life in an automobile-truck accident. According to a state trooper who responded to reports of the most recent accident, this stretch of road is "kind of notorious." According to the trooper, the road in this area has several blind corners and narrow driving lanes, and accidents on this stretch are "not ever easy little fender-benders." The latest accident proves both points.

A sedan was heading east on SR 202 when the driver veered to the left as he entered a severe curve. A semi-trailer truck heading in the opposite direction collided head-on with the sedan. The impact broke the steering mechanism on the semi, and the large truck careened toward the side of the road. The truck smashed through the guardrail and toward a 25-30 feet drop into a creek.

Two-vehicle crash leaves many questions

Some traffic accidents leave no doubt about the sequence of events and the assignment of liability. Others raise more questions than they answer. The recent fatal collision of a pickup truck and sedan near Sammamish seems to raise few questions, but a careful inquiry shows that the determination of liability rests on questions that have not yet been answered.

The accident occurred at about 4:30 a.m. on SR-202 near Ames Lake Road. A pickup truck being driven by a 24-year-old male collided with the driver's side door on a Mustang being driven by a 19-year-old woman. The Mustang rolled and left the roadway, coming to rest in a ditch. The truck also left the roadway and struck a tree.

Some businesses have no business running nursing homes

The scene at HCR ManorCare nursing home when state inspectors visited was one that could sadden even the most reserved administrator. Patients were found unkempt and dirty, claiming they were lucky to receive minimal personal care every once in a blue moon. Patients in the facility often soil themselves while waiting for a response to their call buttons, while others were left on bedpans fso long that bruises began to form.  

Unfortunately, this scene was not the only problem occurring at the nursing home. Due to lack of staffing and lack of care, there were multiple incidents where residents suffered devastating injuries. One resident had suffered an opioid overdose, another resident had flipped over his wheelchair, resulting in a brain hemorrhage, and an employee helping a paraplegic woman without the assistance of a helper resulted in a fractured hip. 

Woman pinned under pickup truck in Bellevue

Waiting at a bus stop is generally not considered to be a dangerous activity, but a Bellevue woman recently had a different experience. While waiting for a bus, the woman was struck and pinned to the bus stop bench by a pickup truck trying to make a left turn against traffic. Given the nature of the accident and the potential for catastrophic injury, the victim has proclaimed herself to be "lucky."

The woman was sitting on a bench waiting for a Rapid Ride B Line bus near a filling station in Bellevue. At the same time, a pickup truck towing a boat attempted to turn into the filling station adjacent to the bus stop. The truck driver elected to attempt the turn without waiting for traffic in the oncoming lane to clear. As the truck turned into the oncoming traffic, it was struck by a vehicle that caused the truck and trailer to jackknife. The truck struck the woman waiting for the bus and pinned her between its bumper and the bench. The driver of the truck was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault, but police do not believe that he was impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Five injured in police chase accident

One of the most controversial police tactics is the high-speed chase. Opponents of the tactic say that high speed chases endanger other motorists and do not increase the number of arrests. Police supporters argue that such chases are a necessary arrow in the policeman's law enforcement quiver. Opponents of high-speed chases received some support for their position when a high-speed police chase resulted in a wrong-way collision and five injured people near Snoqualmie.

Snoqualmie police officers received a call about 6:15 p.m describing an attempted kidnapping in progress in the parking lot at the North Bend malls. One witness described a woman who was standing near a white van and shouting that she did not "want to get into this vehicle." As officers were racing to the scene, a wildlife officer spotted a white van being driven erratically. The officer said that the van was repeatedly changing lanes and occasionally using the wrong lane.

What are Washington’s auto insurance requirements?

There is a certain trust among Washington drivers. You and other motor vehicle operators mutually trust that each other is carrying the proper level of auto insurance. Auto insurance doesn’t exist with the expectation that you will have an accident; it exists in case you have an accident.

A 2015 study showed that roughly 1-in-8 Washington drivers were uninsured. That figure ranked 10th worst among the 50 states. Drivers know the risk of driving without insurance and this still happens too often. Why do people drive without insurance despite knowing the consequences? A couple reasons include:

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