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Spokane Washington Legal Blog

What if a resort's negligence causes a skier's personal injury?

Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy skiing a Washington state are likely aware of the inherent risks of their chosen sport. These include changing weather conditions, snow immersions, avalanches, ice, slush and unexpected changes that cause hazardous packs of snow. Skiers who know about potential risks can be cautious and avoid accidents, but what are their legal rights if personal injury is suffered as the result of a ski resort's negligence?

Injuries on the mountain slopes of Washington state are fairly common, many of which involve bone fractures. Broken wrists and ankles are the most prevalent bone fractures to occur on ski slopes, but not the only type of injury. Other orthopedic injuries are those that cause soft tissue injuries. These include ligament strains, sprains and tears. Safety authorities say wearing proper protective clothing and knowing when to stop are two crucial aspects of injury prevention.

Avoid driving in snowy, icy conditions to avoid personal injury

Washington residents are said to be experiencing the snowiest winter since the 1940s. With many drivers being more used to rain than snow and ice on the roads, extra caution is necessary by those who have to drive in such hazardous conditions. Failure to take due care might be regarded as negligence in the event of an accident that leads to personal injury claims.

Potential dangers include icy conditions, with the often-invisible hazard of black ice on overpasses, bridges and other elevated roadways. Keeping a close eye on weather forecasts might help to avoid such dangers. Accomplished drivers might feel at ease with their driving skills, but their safety could depend on the ability of other, less experienced drivers to control their vehicles. For that reason, it would be smart to maintain safe following distances and adjust traveling speed to suit the weather and the road conditions, even if it is slower than the posted speed limit.

Personal injury claim might follow hit-and-run driver's surrender

Whenever a hit-and-run driver strikes anyone in Washington state, the chances of recovering damages depend on the ability of law enforcement to locate the driver. This came to play in a recent case in which a hit-and-run driver gave himself up to law enforcement. It might make it easier for the pedestrian who was struck to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Reportedly, the 37-year-old man who surrendered was arrested on charges of vehicular assault and leaving a crash scene where injuries occurred. He was allegedly also driving on a suspended license and in violation of probation. Court documents indicate that this man, along with three more, left a bowling alley in the early morning hours of Dec. 29. Surveillance footage shows them driving off without turning on the car's headlights, and witnesses reported seeing this vehicle strike a pedestrian in a nearby intersection.

Nightclub owner faces criminal charges after undercover operation

Following the closure of a nightclub in Washington last August, Seattle police continued an investigation that led to the recent arrest of the owner of the establishment. The criminal charges that were filed against the owner include conspiracy. The allegations are based on evidence found by the Homeland Security Investigations drug task force during an undercover operation.

Agents and investigators allege that the defendant supplied significant amounts of drugs that included cocaine, MDMA, GHB, methamphetamine and other drugs to dealers, who would then provide them to patrons. It was further alleged that they were instructed on the methods to use to administer date rape drugs to women in the club. The closure of the club in August followed the execution of search warrants at various locations, during which large amounts of multiple types of drugs were seized along two firearms and over $60,000 in cash

What should you do right after a car accident?

A car accident is a frightening and potentially life-altering experience for anyone and even a minor collision can throw you for a loop. Knowing and reviewing what you should do at the scene can help you be prepared to act accordingly if you are involved in one.

To stay safe and protect yourself at the scene, there are steps you should take immediately after an accident.

Family law: Court will consider custody modification petitions

Sometimes, changing circumstances can cause carefully worked out child custody plans to become ineffective. For that reason, family law allows parents to petition the court for modification of child custody orders. Parents whose relationship remains amicable could even negotiate changes, and then present the proposed alterations to a Washington court for approval -- as long as they are in the best interest of the child involved.

Before the court changes the custody orders, the parents would have to justify the reasons for the request because it will not make changes that will unnecessarily upset the child's well-being and his or her way of life. Valid reasons for modification requests might include threats to the child's safety due to domestic violence. The court will examine the circumstances at the child's home, and if he or she is old enough to express the wish to be removed from dangerous surroundings, it will likely be enough motivation.

Personal injury lawsuit could follow plastic surgery catastrophe

With the many reports about plastic surgery that went wrong, people in Spokane and other cities in Washington state might think twice before undergoing cosmetic surgery. Even procedures that are typically safe could lead to patients suffering personal injury. Any negligence by the medical staff or the plastic surgeon could have devastating consequences.

In cases that involve errors such as scarring, implant malfunctions, wrong-site surgeries or nerve damage, the patient might have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, in most cases, the monetary compensation covers only the expenses incurred due to the injury, including income loss and potential medical costs in the future. That does not necessarily mean that the court will not consider the extent of the injury, and the emotional damage caused by visible scarring.

Social Security disability for severe medical conditions

People in Washington state who have severe health conditions that prevent them from returning to work might be overwhelmed by the daunting application process for disability benefits. Although the Social Security Administration says it is essential to process Social Security disability applications quickly, the process could take months, and a significant percentage of applications are initially denied. However, the SSA has a list of serious disabilities that get preference and the applications of people suffering from those conditions are fast-tracked.

The list of severe medical conditions and diseases include acute leukemia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), pancreatic cancer and many more to make up the current number of 233 diseases. Additions are made to the essential list from time-to-time, with the latest changes made in Aug. 2018. At that time, five conditions were added to the primary list of the Compassionate Allowances Program to ensure prompt provision of benefits to individuals with those conditions.

Family law: Secretive spouses and hidden assets in divorce

It is often reported that January is the month in which many people file for divorce. Some family law attorneys say that the holidays might be the final straw in marital relations that are already scarred. In other cases, couples with children postpone the filing to avoid spoiling the celebrations for their children. Regardless of the reason or when a divorce is filed in Washington, one or both spouses might be concerned about hidden assets and bank accounts.

As a part of the divorce process, both parties must fully disclose all their assets for the purpose of fair property division. Assets typically include bank accounts, real estate, business interests, vehicles and even Bitcoin accounts. The place to start is to scrutinize the bank accounts that the spouse does submit for red flags such as transfers into other bank accounts. It might also be wise to request any monthly statements that are missing because they might have been held back for a reason.

Irresistible toys could pose personal injury hazards

Children in cities across the country, including in Spokane, look forward to the holidays in anticipation -- crossing their fingers that their gifts will include at least some of the irresistible toys they saw on the shelves of stores and online. They have no idea of the dangers some of the toys pose, and fortunately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls most of the items that pose personal injury threats. However, some toys are not recalled before they have caused harm. For that reason, parents will be wise to inspect all toys before they buy them as well as gifts from other people.

Although stores are not allowed to leave recalled products on their shelves, parents might want to look out for the following recalled items that might still be available in some stores or online. Slap bracelets are furry panda, heart and unicorn designs that cover metal bracelets, which could pierce the covering fabric and cause cuts. Self-Esteem clothing sets for little girls come with an enclosed metal pendant on a necklace that could cause strangulation, and they could be toxic when children put the decorations in their mouths.

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