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Spokane Washington Legal Blog

Alleged hit-and-run driver likely planning criminal defense

In Washington and other states, law enforcement is out in full force at this time of the year, especially on roads around clubs, bars and other places where alcohol is served. Almost everybody has something to celebrate as the end of the year approaches, and those who choose to drink and drive might just as soon have to consider their criminal defense options. A 36-year-old man was arrested and locked up after allegedly fleeing the scene of an accident.

According to law enforcement, the suspected hit-and-run driver admitted to drinking alcohol at an establishment before the collision. Police say he admitted that he was scared after the crash that happened shortly after 5 p.m. on a recent Monday on Highway 99. They say he also admitted to fleeing the scene, leaving behind the injured driver of the other car. The vehicle of the missing driver was impounded, and the investigators identified the owner after obtaining a search warrant.

Family law: How are gifts between spouses treated in divorce

Washington is a community property state in which all assets accumulated by the couple during their marriage considered to be owned equally by each partner, and subject to property division in the event of a divorce. This community property concept also applies to debts. One of the frequently asked questions for family law attorneys involves gifts that the spouses gave each other during the marriage.

Gifts from one spouse to the other during the marriage were most likely purchased with marital assets, making the gifts community property. However, gifts exchanged between the two parties before the wedding, such as an engagement ring, will likely be regarded as the separate property of the recipient of the gift. Similarly, personal gifts and inheritances given to one spouse by other people will remain his or her personal property, unless it becomes commingled with the community property such as using inheritance funds to pay for renovations on the family home.  Gifts that the parties receive as a couple will be community property.

Can I still be arrested with a marijuana charge in Washington?

Even though recreational marijuana has been legal in Washington for six years, there are still plenty of instances where its use is illegal. The passage of Initiative 502 didn’t create a free-for-fall.

If you are interested in using recreational marijuana and want to do so legally, here are six restrictions to know:

Oddly shaped eyebrow leads to personal injury lawsuit

Following trends in the beauty industry can be hazardous. But then, people in Washington and other states face multiple personal injury risks on a daily basis. Most people hate the process of plucking their eyebrows, which led to a process called microblading that involves the tattooing of semi-permanent eyebrows. However, for one woman in another state, it became torture when the freehand drawing by the microblading artist left her with one oddly shaped eyebrow.

According to court documents in the case filed by the woman, she selected the eyebrow shape from the artist's gallery of photos before taking the beauty plunge. She asserts that, after lengthy discussions with the microblading technician, the eyebrows were drawn, and the left one appeared more arched than the other one. The plaintiff alleges the artist maintained that it was easy to fix and proceeded with the needling process without making changes to the drawn eyebrows.

Personal injury: Common orthopedic birth injuries

While most mothers in Washington will likely gladly experience the pain of giving birth to a child, no one would want their newborn to suffer the pain of a birth injury. Many personal injury lawsuits involve claims of medical negligence during the birthing process. Although most birth injuries are preventable, some common orthopedic injuries are frequently reported.

Fractured collarbones, or clavicle fractures, are said to be the most common birth injury. It involves a fracture in the bone that forms the connection between the shoulder and the chest. Fractures of the femur, or thighbone, are less frequently encountered, and they happen during awkward twisting of the baby's leg during childbirth. It can cause significant pain to the child when he or she is moved and during diaper changes.

Car accidents can cause physical and emotional personal injury

A recent report about a patient in a Washington hospital underscores the impact car accidents can have on the lives of crash victims. It also serves to emphasize the rights of personal injury victims to pursue financial relief through the civil justice system of the state. The 61-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was involved in a head-on motor vehicle accident in August.

The other vehicle's driver died in the collision, and although this woman survived, she fractured almost all the bones in her body below her neck. She was not expected to survive, but her will to live has brought her to a stage at which she can see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, this is after undergoing about 20 surgical procedures, and there are no guarantees that she will avoid suffering long-term health consequences.

Social Security disability appeals process is challenging

Anyone in Washington who is no longer able to work because of an accident or illness might be desperate for financial assistance. While help is available through the Social Security Disability Insurance system, most applications are denied at the initial filing. To prevent fraudulent claims, the Social Security Administration has meticulous requirements and standards, and any applicants are free to tackle the long and complicated appeals process if their applications are denied.

The first level of appeal is to file a request for the SSA to reconsider the application, during which process a different person from the one who denied the initial claim will re-evaluate it. If this person affirms the rejection, a hearing before an administrative law judge can be requested. For this, the SSA might require additional information, and the applicant may present expert witnesses.

Pharmacist medication error might lead to personal injury lawsuit

People can suffer physical and emotional harm at the hands of others in many ways. Significant numbers of personal injury lawsuits make their way through the Washington civil justice system each year. The cases involve injuries caused by auto accidents, dangerous premises, defective products, medical malpractice and pharmacy errors.

Most people trust their pharmacists as much as their GPs, and while medication errors can be prevented, they happen frequently. Common mistakes include providing the wrong medication or the correct medication indicating the wrong dosage. Some might fail to recognize potentially harmful complications through interactions of different drugs, or the pharmacist might neglect to warn patients of possible harmful or dangerous side effects that the prescribed medications might have.

What types of birth injuries are caused by medical negligence?

Nothing is more joyous than the birth of a new baby, yet no person is so vulnerable as an infant during childbirth. Injuries can occur even when everyone does everything right, but if you put your trust in your medical care team, and they injure your newborn, the consequences can be devastating and long-lasting. If your child was injured during childbirth, you may be wondering if it was caused by medical negligence. Several common injuries make up a majority of birth injuries.

Types of injuries:

Family law: The court can modify child support orders

Once the divorce is final, and a child support order is issued, it is far from over because children will tie parents together for quite a few years and perhaps the rest of their lives. Divorced parents in Washington know that life goes on and circumstances change. Job losses, illnesses, remarrying and the increasing needs of children as they grow older may create the need for modified child support orders. Fortunately, the family law court understands this, and parents with documents to substantiate claims of changed circumstances may file petitions for modifications.

A custodial parent might need the noncustodial parent's help with occasional or once-off financial needs regarding their growing children. It could be braces, school camps, uniforms or needs for sports activities, and in cases that involve children with special needs, additional unanticipated expenses might arise. On the other hand, the paying parent might remarry and/or have employment issues or health concerns, which might make it impossible for him or her to maintain court-ordered child support.

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