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Spokane Washington Legal Blog

Personal injury: 3 airlifted after Highway 395 crash

The state of Washington is full of great fruit and vegetable produce, making slow-moving farm equipment on the highways a familiar sight. It is also not uncommon for impatient drivers of other vehicles to pass the large machines when it is unsafe. One such an accident recently caused personal injury to three people and sent them to the hospital.

A Washington State Patrol accident report indicates that first responders were called to the crash shortly after noon on a recent Friday. Officers say a farm equipment vehicle was slowly making its way south on the shoulder of Highway 395, a short distance from Chewelah. A 29-year-old driver in a pickup truck that was also southbound moved into the northbound lanes as he attempted to pass the farm vehicle.

Strong criminal defense required when evidence includes DNA

A 52-year-old Washington man was recently arrested and charged with a count of first-degree kidnapping. Reportedly this followed the results of DNA tests that indicated that this man was involved in the alleged attempted abduction of a teenage girl. With such evidence, any person accused of a felony will likely want to rely upon the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

According to the court documents, a 16-year-old girl returned from a run to a gas station at approximately 10 p.m. on an August evening when she was allegedly grabbed by the defendant who attempted to force her into a vehicle. She claims the man tried to stop her screams by clamping his hand over her mouth and strangling her. She was allegedly forced into the vehicle and attempted to prevent the man from removing her clothes by scratching and kicking him.

How to earn work credits for Social Security Disability benefits

Workers in Washington who have suffered injuries or illnesses that left them unable to return to work will likely have significant financial concerns. They might also have questions about Social Security Disability and their eligibility for benefits. Individuals will be considered for benefits if they worked in occupations that are on the Social Security list of covered jobs, and their medical condition must meet the disability definition of the program. Furthermore, the disability must be permanent or of a nature that will prevent the return to work for at least one year.

Along with the above criteria for eligibility, the applicant for benefits must have enough Social Security work credits -- based on the number of years worked and contributing to Social Security. The total annual wages earned, or income from self-employment, will determine how many credits were earned -- no more than four credits per year. The amount of income required to obtain one credit varies from year to year.

Drugged driver faces criminal charges after stealing occupied car

Law enforcement in Spokane reported the arrest of a man who allegedly stole an occupied car on a recent Saturday morning. The man is facing multiple criminal charges after leading police on a high-speed chase. The incident started when a man and woman stopped at a Safeway store in Spokane.

According to an incident report, the woman went into the store while her passenger remained in the vehicle. However, before she could return, a shirtless and shoeless man in the parking lot got into the van and drove off at high speed. He allegedly threatened the male passenger and, although he would not stop to let him out at first, he later forced the man out of the van, while speeding along.

Personal injury: What factors could constitute negligence?

Injured victims of car accidents in Washington might be unsure about the requirements for a viable civil lawsuit in pursuit of financial relief. Legal claims of personal injury that arise from incidents such as car accidents will only be viable if negligence can be established. If a negligent driver caused a crash, he or she could be held liable for financial and property damage. However, the injured party must prove that negligence was the proximate cause of the crash and of the plaintiff's injuries that resulted from it.

Establishing negligence is a challenging endeavor, which is typically best accomplished by a personal injury attorney. Factors that legal counsel will look at in a quest to establish negligence include possible disregarding of traffic signals or signs, or the driver's failure to signal a turn. Driving below or above the effective posted speed limit could indicate negligence, and so can the disregards of traffic conditions and current weather. Other forms of reckless driving include improper passing and lane changing, and driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

5 tips to remember when cycling

Biking is a popular pastime in Spokane, Washington. The city is beautiful and there are many trails and places you can reach by bicycle. Whether for exercise, leisure or commute, it is important to remember that while biking is fun, there are risks as well.

An unfortunate statistic, cycling accidents accounted for over 18,000 individual injuries  or deaths. The number could be even greater, as not every cyclist reports his or her accident. One of the biggest dangers for cyclists are the vehicles they share the road with. To stay as safe as you can, remember these five tips when you go on your next bike ride.

Personal injury claims might follow chain reaction crash

Construction zones in Washington will always be hazardous areas for the workers and the passing traffic. The slightest distraction of a driver can cause major crashes, and when there are big rigs in the picture, consequences could be catastrophic. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits following construction zone accidents are not unusual.

One such a calamity occurred on U.S. Highway 195 shortly before noon on a recent Tuesday. According to a report by the Washington State Patrol, a construction worker flagged a stop in the construction zone. A 55-year-old Spokane man who was operating a semi truck failed to reduce speed and smashed into the rear of one car. This caused a chain reaction that involved three cars.

Criminal charges follow drone surveillance of burglary suspect

Law enforcement personnel are utilizing the newest drone technology. A Washington man was recently arrested in an auto impound yard, and he is now facing criminal charges. Reportedly, Kelso Police was alerted by someone on a property nearby who reported a cut in the fence of the impound yard. Officers launched a drone that belongs to the office of the Cowlitz County Sheriff to investigate.

Reportedly, the drone hovered above the yard and moved about, monitoring the area. It did not take long to locate the intruder who was said to be trying to conceal himself by lying on the ground between some vehicles. Officers notified the premises owner who unlocked the gate. The alleged intruder was arrested and charged with burglary.

Family law: Can grandparents seek custody if CPS removes a child?

Anyone in Washington who is concerned about the welfare, health or safety of a child can report it to Child Protective Services. As soon as such a report is filed, family law requires CPS to investigate the circumstances in the home where the child lives. If CPS finds any reason to suspect that harm may come to the child, it will evaluate the situation to determine whether there is a viable option to improve the child's safety.

If it is decided that the child must be removed and placed elsewhere, CPS is obliged to notify grandparents or other close relatives of its intentions, and even to attempt placing the child with relatives of one of the parents. Grandparents are usually the most appropriate relatives to take care of children who are no longer safe in current conditions. As such, they are allowed to petition CPS to place the child with them.

Criminal charges filed after attempts to steal a bait bike

Following multiple incidents of criminal activities in Spokane, reserve officers of the Spokane Police Department recently agreed to organize a sting in the affected area. This led to arrests and criminal charges filed against three people. Two of them already had warrants out for their arrest.

Authorities said the officers decided on a bike sting in an area where a spate of burglaries, thefts, assaults and drug deals had been reported in recent months. Soon after they set the bike up as bait, a man rode up, parked his own bicycle and took the more expensive-looking one. Officers promptly arrested him, and a police report indicates that the man admitted to stealing the bike with the intention to sell it.

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