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Seattle Personal Injury Law Blog

How do I report an accident?

It is perfectly normal to be a little confused and dazed after you are in an accident on Washington roadways. Despite not thinking clearly, you still need to report the incident to law enforcement as soon as possible. If you do not know how to do this, it can make the aftermath of a crash even more stressful. Knowing what to do before you ever get in this situation is the best plan.

The Washington State Patrol tries to make reporting an accident simple. Most accidents are minor fender benders that do not require law enforcement to complete a report at the scene. In some cases, they may not even report to the scene. In this case, you can file an electronic accident report via the WSP's online system. You can also get a report through this system if you need a copy at a later date. Reporting is done through the WSP Online Motor Vehicle Collision Reporting system, and getting copies of reports is done through the WSP Requests for Electronic Collision Records system.

Study finds women more likely to engage in distracted driving than men


Most people have heard about the dangers of distracted driving. But distracted driving remains a huge problem - one that only seems to be getting worse.

Distracted driving doesn't discriminate: Men and women, young and old, engage in distracted driving. But a recent study reveals something interesting: Women are more likely than men to engage in distracted driving practices.

What is a nuchal cord?

Having a baby is a wonderful time, but it can also be scary if you are told something is wrong with your baby. A great fear for many mothers is that the cord will get wrapped around the baby's neck and cut off the oxygen supply. When the cord wraps completely around a baby's neck, it is referred to as a nuchal cord, according to Medical News Today.

A nuchal cord is not actually as scary or as bad as it seems, especially if the doctor is aware of the condition. It is a common occurrence in reality. Babies who move a lot are more at risk of this condition. It often will resolve on its own before birth, leaving no issues with delivery. However, your doctor should monitor the baby and the cord once the condition is diagnosed. If it has not resolved by delivery, the doctor should monitor it during labor.

How you can know that a hospital prioritizes patient safety

Patient safety is no new issue when it comes to hospitals and health care facilities. In fact, you have probably heard some stories in recent months where patients were injured or even killed as the result of medical mishaps that are oftentimes preventable. At Elk & Elk, we have helped many people in Washington to learn more about their role in protecting their wellbeing in a health care facility setting. 

You have probably heard about some of the things you can do to protect your safety including taking notes, understanding your medical condition, asking questions to your doctor and bringing a trusted friend or family member with you to important appointments. However, you can also help protect yourself by holding your hospital to a high standard of care. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, hospitals should be taking several standard precautions to protect their patients. By keeping your eyes and ears open for implementation of these policies, you can find a hospital that you are confident understands the importance of patient safety. 

Recognizing the subtle signs of whiplash after a car accident

When people are involved in a car accident in Washington, one of the first things they do is assess their condition and that of their passengers. In situations where the collision was violent, but the victims are okay, it can be easy for them to discount injuries as they do not recognize anything that is immediately wrong with them. However, in the days or even weeks following the accident, they may begin to notice subtle changes. What many fail to realize is that these alterations to their well-being or physical abilities could actually be the sign of a more severe problem that stemmed from the impact they experienced in their car accident. 

Whiplash for example, is one of the most common problems that many car accident victims experience after a collision. However, oftentimes it is not immediately noticeable. According to Web MD, whiplash or a sprained neck is the result of cervical muscles, intervertebral joints, nerve roots and discs becoming damaged because of sudden and violent impact. Often, whiplash is detected using an MRI or CT scan. Usually whiplash is effectively treated using various techniques including therapy and gentle exercising. In many cases, over-the-counter pain medications are prescribed to manage pain levels and facilitate a person's recovery.

What will happen if your baby is injured during delivery?

You and your spouse are expecting your first child and the anticipation and excitement of having a new baby is becoming more prevalent as your delivery day is fast approaching. You have found a doctor and hospital that you trust in Washington and all of your bags are packed and ready to go. However, there is always the lingering concern that something could happen to you or your baby during delivery. If your baby is injured, what will happen?

In a majority of cases of infant delivery, things go seamlessly well and you will leave the hospital with a healthy and happy baby. However, it is important to understand what will happen if a situation escalates quickly so you can have some reassurance during any moments of chaos. According to babycenter.com, once your baby has been safely delivered, he or she will be assessed and assisted in learning to breathe and acclimate to the outside world.

Breakdowns in communication create malpractice hazards


When the time comes for people in Washington to seek medical treatment for persistent symptoms they are experiencing, they rely heavily on the experience and knowledge of their health care provider to give them a thorough assessment and corresponding treatment plan. However, there are times when mistakes can happen that in serious cases, can greatly endanger the life of an unknowing patient. 

Common anesthesia errors that you should be aware of

Your upcoming surgery is going to require you to receive anesthesia to facilitate the progress of your treatment. While you may not think twice about your upcoming procedure, it is important that you are aware of common anesthesia errors so you can protect your wellbeing. At Elk & Elk, we have helped many medical patients in Washington to become better educated in understanding their role in preventing medical malpractice from happening to them. 

According to Elcam Safety, every year in the United States, approximately 40,000 anesthesia procedures are completed. While your hospital staff may be working faithfully to protect your health, sometimes mistakes can happen. Some of the most common errors related to general anesthesia are:

  • Failure to document your anesthesia the right way.
  • Improper control of the rate of your IV.
  • Inaccurate dosage amounts or administered at the incorrect times.
  • Failure to monitor and modify dosages for post-op pain levels.
  • Receiving residual anesthetics when you do not need them.

Gauging a nursing home's ability to provide committed care

For many Washington families who have aging loved ones, the idea of putting their family member into a nursing home is often met with a lot of thought and anxiety. In many cases, people are looking for a facility that demonstrates a high standard of caring for each of their patients in a manner that is equivalent to the treatment they would receive at home. While a majority of places are dedicated to their patients' comfort, there are also the ones that should be avoided. 

In the year 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were approximately 16,000 nursing home facilities around the country. The number of people receiving services in nursing homes was 1.4 million. With such an incredible number of patients, it is not surprising that mistakes are sometimes made. However, serious mistakes, can often be entirely preventable with the dedication of committed staff members. 

Can you reduce your risks of having a stillborn baby?

Whether you are considering starting the journey to have a child or have recently found out you are expecting, you have probably already begun to think about what adventures lie ahead. You may have discussed potential risks with your health care provider in Washington in relation to your pregnancy; conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and stillbirth among others. Stillbirth in particular can sometimes happen unexpectedly, but when you are familiar with what you can do to reduce your risks, you may be able to more effectively lower your risks.

According to Baby Center, prescription medications are valuable in helping reduce or eliminate unwanted symptoms, but certain kinds can be dangerous for you to be taking during pregnancy. As soon as you realize that you are pregnant, it is important to discuss what medications you are taking with your doctor. You should disclose how much you are taking, how often and for what symptoms. This way, your doctor can modify or replace what you need to avoid putting your baby's life at risk. 

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