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Spokane Washington Legal Blog

Personal injury: Investigation into crane collapse ongoing

In late April, a crane collapsed in Seattle. Occupational Health and Safety authorities in Washington say the company that provided qualified crane operators were found not to have played a role in the tragedy that might still lead to personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. Four other companies are still under investigation.

The collapsing crane fell onto the roadway, damaging six vehicles. Two people who were occupants of cars lost their lives, but it is not known how many others were injured. Two ironworkers who were working in the crane when it collapsed also suffered fatal injuries in this incident.

Give yourself a higher chance of success with a disability claim

When a Washington individual is unable to work due to a disability injury or medical condition, it can be disheartening for that person and his or her family. Being unable to earn a living directly impacts things like paying for medical care and other important things. If you find yourself in this situation, you understand first-hand how difficult this situation can be.

You probably know that you could have a valid claim to disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. What you may not know is where to start with this process or how you can prove you have an actual disability. The claims process can be complex, and it's in your interests to learn as much as you can about what to expect and how you can give yourself a higher chance of success with your claim.

Do you need criminal defense for a misdemeanor charge?

Misdemeanor charges are often seen as insignificant while, in reality, it can be a big deal. Although the classification of these crimes in Washington might differ slightly from other states, misdemeanors could be punishable with up to 12 months behind bars. This is but one reason why it is a good idea for anyone facing such a charge to talk to a criminal defense attorney.

Incarceration for misdemeanors typically means spending time in a county or city jail, unlike sentences for felonies that could include prison time. For less serious crimes, the punishment might consist of no jail time but fines and community service or probation. Misdemeanor convictions could have an adverse impact on other aspects of an individual's life, sometimes limiting educational opportunities and even restricting living accommodations. 

Do you have parenting plans in place for the summer holiday?

Divorced parents in Spokane and other cities in Washington are challenged to come up with workable parenting plans for the summer holidays every year. As children grow older and the circumstances of their parents, plans typically need modification each year. The best way to tackle this issue is well in advance. Fortunately, guidelines and tips are available for parents who can communicate and work together to ensure a fun summer for parents and children.

For many families, it works well for the parents to spend alternating summers with the children. However, birthdays or other family celebrations during the vacation might require special arrangements if they are to be spent together as a family. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that the dynamics of each family are unique and that guidelines should not be followed blindly. Unique circumstances include the other spouse needing permission to take the children out of the country, which would require signatures on travel documents and exchanging contact details and addresses of destinations.

Motorcycle safety is a two-way street

When two cars are involved in a fender-bender or low-speed collision, most of the damage is done to the cars. When one of the vehicles is a motorcycle, sadly that is hardly the case.

Even small mistakes can lead to major injuries to motorcyclists, which is why biker safety should be a priority for everyone on the road. Here are a few things cyclists and car drivers can do to help make road sharing safer for all:

Social Security disability program could help financially

Accidents happen at any time, and so do debilitating illnesses. When this happens, the victim might be robbed of his or her ability to earn an income, which is most people's greatest asset. Thankfully, the Social Security Disability Insurance program assists by replacing a portion of the income of people in Washington state and elsewhere who are unable to go back to work. However, specific criteria must be met to be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Some of the aspects that will be considered by the Social Security Administration include the applicant's age and his or her level of earnings in the years before the debilitating injury or illness. Also, the contributions paid through taxes pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Typically, eligibility requirements include at least five years of tax contributions during the 10 years immediately preceding the injury or illness; however, exceptions exist for young workers who have not yet worked for five or 10 years.

Exploding cooking spray can brings another personal injury claim

Defective household products threaten the safety of consumers nationwide, including in Washington state. An example is Pam cooking spray cans that have exploded and caused personal injury to victims in several states. At least six lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of the product.

One plaintiff claims that an exploding cooking spray container caused second-degree burns all over his hands and arms. He claims to have accumulated medical bills exceeding $60,000, which was exacerbated by the fact that he lost his job due to the time it took to recover. This plaintiff asserts that the cooking spray was used in a normal kitchen environment.

Are you considering co-parenting after your divorce?

You undoubtedly felt a tremendous amount of joy when you welcomed your child into the world. Like most Washington parents, you likely pictured all of the ways in which you would help your child grow and live a happy life. Now, you may worry that you will disrupt that happiness because you and the other parent are getting a divorce.

While having concerns about the impacts divorce will have on your child is understandable, you may want to remember that it is sometimes better to end an unhealthy relationship rather than staying married for the sake of the kids. Plus, getting divorced does not have to mean that one parent is cut out of your child's life. Instead, you may want to put forth the effort to co-parent effectively.

Personal injury caused during birth could give rise to a lawsuit

The birth of a baby is usually one of the highlights in the lives of parents in Washington. However, pregnant mothers put their lives and the lives of their unborn children in the hands of doctors and other health care workers. Sadly, despite the unwavering trust most people give their doctors, medical negligence could cause personal injury or even death.

Different circumstances lead to the most common birth injuries, and doctors are typically expected to identify signs of potentially difficult births and take the necessary precautions to prevent causing injuries. Excessive weight of the baby can complicate the birthing process, and in contrast, premature babies who are born before the 37th week are incredibly fragile and easily injured. Cephalopelvic disproportion refers to the shape and size of the pelvis of the mother, which could make vaginal birth impossible or dangerous.

Personal injury lawsuit filed after Instant Pot explosion

In Spokane and elsewhere, it's important for consumers to read and follow the operating instructions of manufacturers regarding new appliances. They will also naturally expect manufacturers to design safe products and test appliances thoroughly before offering them for sale. However, this is often not the case -- as proved by the number of personal injury lawsuits that are processed by the Washington civil justice system each year.

Consumers might be wise to take particular care with newly purchased Instant Pots. A woman in another state recently filed a products liability claim against the manufacturers of the appliance. The lawsuit states that the woman and her daughter suffered serious burn wounds when the Instant Pot exploded when she opened it. She asserts that she followed all the manufacturer's instructions to allow the pressured steam to escape safely.

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