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Seattle Personal Injury Law Blog

What constitutes a medical malpractice case?

When the residents of Seattle visit a medical professional, they expect to receive quality medical care and diagnosis for any serious problems they may have. When a doctor or other medical professional is negligent in their treatment, there may be a case for medical malpractice. If you feel you have been treated negligently, you should understand when you have a case for medical malpractice.

According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, under the law, the following characteristics must be present for an individual to have a case for medical malpractice. The standard of care must be violated, the negligence must have caused an injury and the injury caused significant damages to the patient.

Pedestrian accidents and foggy conditions

In some parts of the country, winter weather is receding, and warmer temperatures are being welcomed. During the spring, many people enjoy spending time outside and some people want to get exercise by jogging or going for walks. Although this can be a great way to burn calories and enjoy the outdoors, it can also present certain dangers, such as the risk of a pedestrian accident for those who find themselves near traffic. Moreover, the risk of a pedestrian accident can be especially high at certain times, such as periods of heavy fog.

Whether someone regularly walks their dog alongside the road or walks to work in the morning, this can be particularly dangerous if it is foggy. For example, those who walk alongside the road may be struck by a driver who was unable to see them or stay on the road due to fog. In rural areas, where there may not be any sidewalks, walking on the shoulder of the road can be very dangerous if it is foggy. Moreover, some pedestrians may try to cross the street and if there is a great deal of fog, they may have difficulty seeing oncoming traffic.

What Washington cities have the most distracted drivers?

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In the United States, distracted drivers are everywhere. While many states have banned texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving, it remains a problem.

In Washington, drivers are not allowed to use hand-held cell phones while driving or stopped at a stoplight or stop sign. Drivers can, however, use hands-free devices while driving. They can also use a single touch to begin operating the phone. 

Is there governmental aid for babies with birth injuries?

Parenting is an expensive endeavor as is, but when your child sustains a brain injury, especially one that results in long-term disabilities, it can be even more so. If your Seattle birthing team failed you and your child in that it allowed your child to sustain a disabling birth injury, you may wonder if there are programs available that can help you cover the cost of inevitable expenses that stem from the injury. The good news is, there are.

According to Birth Injury Guide, the United States government has established numerous programs and services designed to provide parents of disabled children with additional financial, medical and educational care assistance. For instance, the Social Security Administration makes Supplemental Security Income available to children with disabilities and their parents. The SSA pays SSI benefits monthly to ensure families of disabled children do not suffer financially. Some birth injuries SSI covers include muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, complete blindness or deafness and serious intellectual disorders in children over seven years of age. 

Is Washington a safe state to live in?

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Determining tangibly how safe it is to live in a certain area may seem like an impossible task. For many people, safety is a feeling more than something you can calculate.

But WalletHub, a financial website, took on the task of looking at data across a variety of metrics to determine how each state ranks for safety.

Autonomous vehicles and consumer readiness

Residents in Washington State who are concerned about the ongoing problems associated with vehicle accidents may well be interested to learn about ways to improve safety on the road. Over the past few years, more and more companies are working to develop autonomous vehicles. There are many assertions made about how these vehicles may reduce or even eliminate traffic accidents and deaths. 

As the technological advances continue, it is important to track how ready consumers really are for these vehicles to hit the streets. As reported by Deloitte, their 2019 Global Automation Consumer Study has found that there remains significant concerns among consumers when it comes to their willingness to adopt fully self-driving cars. In 2017, nearly three-fourths of people surveyed indicated they were not ready to trust the safety of these vehicles. A year ago, trust seemed to improve dramatically as only 47 percent of people cited such hesitation. Today, that number is relatively unchanged at 50 percent.

Documentation errors can lead to patient harm

Documentation is among the most important tasks that nurses in Washington can perform to keep patients safe from medical errors. Elite Learning notes that a recent study revealed over 250,000 deaths annually are attributable to medical errors. By providing the right information in the right place at the right time, nurses can help eliminate or reveal mistakes and prevent serious injuries.

Here are a few of the most common documentation errors.

The importance of diagnosing fetal distress

For most Washington families, the birth of a child is a joyous time filled with celebration and love. Most pregnancies progress to full term without issue. However, complications can occur in even the healthiest mothers. At Elk & Elk Co., Ltd. we often represent clients whose child sustained injuries at or near the time of birth due to doctor negligence or a medical error.

American Pregnancy Association reports that fetal distress can occur throughout your pregnancy and during labor. Typically, the term refers to a situation in which the fetus receives inadequate amounts of oxygen, but it has become a generic term that can describe many issues. Birth asphyxia occurs as a result of insufficient oxygen before, during or after birth. This may happen if the umbilical cord becomes compressed, reducing the blood flow to the fetus or if the mother’s blood has low oxygen levels.

What should you know about car seats?

When your family hits the road in Washington, you may think your young child will be safe in the car as long as he or she sits in a car seat. However, there are many factors that determine how safe a child is in a safety seat and it is important for you to make sure you are as knowledgeable about your child's car seat as possible.

You may think it does not matter how you buckle your child into a safety seat. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to make sure you buckle up the seat properly. This means you should check the straps to see there is no slack and that they fit securely over a child's body. Additionally, it is a good idea to make sure you install the seat correctly. You should typically read the instructions before setting up a car seat so you know which way the seat needs to face and how far the seat should recline. 

Fatal errors lead to reminder about cosmetic surgeries

With a growing concern about the safety of cosmetic patients, experts everywhere are issuing warnings about the types of precautions that should be taken before people in Washington pursue any type of cosmetic surgical procedure. The hope is that through patient education, there can be a reduction in the number of cases that are encountered where patients are injured because of poor operating practices of their surgeons. 

One of the top recommendations is that people who are looking to get a cosmetic procedure first thoroughly research the background of the surgeon they are interested in using. They should scour online reviews that could potentially alert them to red flags that may indicate a surgeon's unreliability. They should also ask their surgeon how many of that specific procedure he or she has completed, and how many surgical procedures are scheduled on the day of their appointment. Excessive surgeries in one day can put people at risk of injury if their surgeon is fatigued and unable to focus on their operation. 

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