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Seattle Personal Injury Law Blog

PTSD and other mental challenges after a crash

News reports and social media discussions often cover some of the consequences of traffic collisions, such as the loss of life and physical injuries. However, our law firm knows that some car crash victims and their loved ones struggle with problems that may not be as visible. For example, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident, which could throw your life off track in many ways. Whether you are no longer able to drive, which could affect your transportation to work and other facets of your life, or you are struggling with depression, these crashes can be devastating from a mental health standpoint.

Regrettably, some car accident victims have chosen to remain silent even though they are struggling with PTSD and other hardships. Sometimes, victims may feel as if they will not be taken seriously, while others may think that they are already too overwhelmed to take their case to court or fight for their legal rights. If a reckless driver has upended your life, you should not feel hopeless and it is crucial for you to examine your legal options soon. Unfortunately, too many reckless drivers have been able to get away with their actions or have not been held fully responsible for the pain they have caused.

Vehicle technology risks and benefits

The new vehicle safety technology that is becoming more and more prevalent may have you considering a new car purchase in Washington. Manufacturers are touting these onboard crash prevention features as the solution to many of the sources of traffic crashes. We at Elk & Elk understand that safety features are not a substitute for safe driving behaviors.

The AAA is an organization that evaluates vehicle technology and provides reports that assist the auto industry, legislators and the public in analyzing the pros and cons. The developers of safety features are focused on mitigating your risks on the road, but at times, the finished product does not perform as well in real life as it did in concept and in crash tests. A recent AAA study assessed performance of two systems in a series of traffic conditions: Lane-departure warning and blind spot-monitoring systems.

What is a uterine rupture?

Pregnancy is supposed to be a happy time, but sometimes things go wrong. If you are pregnant, it is smart to understand if you are at risk for certain complications. Your Washington doctor will likely review your medical history to determine if you are at risk for a complication, such as a uterine rupture.

According to Baby Center, a uterine rupture is when the uterus tears. It can happen at any time but is most common during delivery. It requires carefully monitoring by medical professionals to catch a rupture. If not caught and handled, it could result in severe blood loss and put your health at risk.

Hospitals can reduce rates of health care-associated infection

People expect to check into a Washington hospital to receive treatment. They probably do not expect a lengthy stay due to an infection acquired while they were there. These hospital-acquired infections are a serious problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, statistics indicate that about one patient out of every 25 develops an HAI each day.

There may be many potential sources for germs, including the patient and his or her visitors. However, FierceHealthcare.com reports that a CDC study indicates the risk of infections may be significantly lowered through the actions of hospital staff. This conclusion places the responsibility for infection control in the hands of hospital employees, and the solution is as simple as proper hand hygiene.

Encouraging young motorists to drive safely

One rite of passage that many Seattle area teens look forward to is receiving their driver licenses. Many parents greet this moment in their adolescent children’s lives with pride. As exciting and momentous as this occasion may seem, they should remember there is a dark side to adolescents having their licenses. More “teens die from car accident injuries than any other type of injury,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Teenagers can benefit from getting more experience behind the wheel so they know how to handle the various situations they may encounter. According to Today.com, there is a higher crash risk when teens are presented with new and unfamiliar situations. Parents should discuss the dangers with their adolescent kids to inform them about the dangers they face while they are behind the wheel. They should also encourage them to take a more active role in preventing car collisions. Here are some additional ways parents can help reduce the number of teenage motor vehicle wrecks that happen. 

Causes of stillbirth

Although the majority of pregnancies in Washington result in a live birth, some women may worry that complications will arise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 percent of pregnancies in the United States each year do result in a stillbirth. Although prenatal care has reduced the risk of a stillbirth after 28 weeks, the rate of those that occur between 20 and 27 weeks of pregnancy has remained the same.

The American Pregnancy Association notes that in approximately one-third of cases involving stillbirth, the cause is never determined. There are many known causes, though, and some of these may not result in stillbirth if they are detected and treated in time. 

Labor Day weekend and car crashes

On this blog, we have examined some of the different reasons why car crashes occur, such as distracted driving and poor weather conditions. That said, it is essential to keep in mind that additional factors, such as holiday celebrations occurring during Labor Day weekend, can also lead to a crash. From an increase in traffic to drunk driving, Elk & Elk knows that Labor Day and many other holidays can be especially dangerous for people on roads in Seattle and across the state of Washington.

It is not uncommon for those celebrating Labor Day with some of their friends or relatives to consume alcohol. Unfortunately, some people foolishly decide to attempt to drive even though their blood alcohol content level is above the limit. Moreover, some people may find themselves rushing to return home after the holiday has come to an end, while certain areas may be busier than usual. All of these factors can contribute to a car crash, which may result in debilitating injuries or even lost lives.

Patient precautions may lower the risk of doctor errors

Mistakes are made in any profession, but when a person in Washington suffers a doctor error, the results can be devastating. It is not that far-fetched for people to think they may fall victim to medical malpractice. Forbes magazine reports that medical negligence is in the top three causes of death for Americans. 

People often do not get to choose who their medical providers are, but there are ways to improve their chances of quality care. It is easy to get to the doctor and forget to mention a symptom, for example, but noting the signs of a problem as they arise can ensure that the provider gets all the relevant information. Before the visit, the patient also may want to do some research and have that on hand, along with a list of questions. When doctors are rushed, they may be less inclined to sit and conduct a thorough interview and exam, but patients have the right to quality care, and should feel confident insisting on answers. It may also help to have a friend or family member come to the appointment who can offer support and help remember questions and answers that are discussed.

Lowering your risk of preterm labor

When a woman is pregnant in Washington, everyone hopes she will carry the baby for the full 40 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes, though, situations occur when a baby is born premature or too early. It is well-known in the medical community that preterm labor is to be avoided at all costs because babies are not equipped to live in the outside world during the earlier weeks of pregnancy.


Washington's brand new distracted driving law


As the distracted driving epidemic reaches its crisis point, the state of Washington has taken a major step to curb the problem.

The law: On July 20th, a new distracted driving law went into effect. The law bans hand-held cell phone and other electronic device use while driving, while stopped in traffic, and while stopped at a stop light. Drivers may use hands-free devices provided that use is limited to a single swipe or touch.

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