Getting Tough on Distracted Driving Laws

It seems that every year, there is a new technological advance that tempts drivers to remove focus from the road. Distracted drivers can drift into oncoming traffic, change lanes without seeing other vehicles or drive through an intersection unaware of traffic patterns or safety signals. An inattentive driver can cause serious collisions, leading to life-altering injuries.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you might be entitled to recover monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. At Cross Border Law, we can represent clients injured in Seattle or Vancouver, or their surrounding communities. We thoroughly understand personal injury law in both Canada and the United States, and can provide the legal guidance our injured clients need.

HOLDING INATTENTIVE DRIVERS ACCOUNTABLE

Any action that removes a driver’s attention from the road is a distraction. Distractions can be cognitive, manual or visual, and can include:

  • Eating
  • Personal grooming
  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Talking to passengers
  • Texting
  • Manipulating the menu of a navigation system
  • Reading
  • Changing a radio station or selecting an MP3 track

Unfortunately, distracted drivers can cause devastating accidents. Head-on collisions, rear-end collisions and side-impact collisions are commonplace when a driver takes his or her eyes off of the road. If you were injured in an accident caused by an inattentive driver, you will likely face serious injuries such as multiple fractures, traumatic brain injuries, neck sprains and spinal cord damage. Let our firm thoroughly investigate your accident, injuries and your prognosis for recovery.

Cross Border Law is prepared to provide legal guidance and representation from start to finish in your motor vehicle accident case. Call the firm or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Whether you need a lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia, or Seattle, Washington, contact our firm.

Trial Has Become So Unfair in Washington

I find myself in the middle of trial again, this time in Whatcom County (Bellingham).  Washington law provides that a defendant must be sued in the county in which the accident occurred or where the defendant resides.  Here, my British Columbia resident clients were injured in a car crash in Whatcom County in 2012.  They were rear-ended in their 2,500 lb Honda Civic by a 5,500 lb Chevy Avalanche at 50 mph!  They had no choice but to sue the defendant driver there.

He’s insured by USAA for $500,000 per person/$1,000,000 per accident.  Unfortunately, Washington law does not allow us to tell the jury about the existence of insurance.  One prospective juror said she was unable to consider an award of damages to my clients without considering the financial worth of the defendant.  We were able to challenge her for cause.  But we couldn’t tell the other prospects that the judgment wouldn’t be coming out of the defendant’s pocket.  He has insurance.

Additionally, another prospective juror wondered out loud whether my clients’ treatment was all covered by the “Canadian” medical system.  It’s actually provincial and not federal, but it sure doesn’t cover everything.  As far as I can tell, it’s a lot more similar to the system in the US than it is different.  People pay premiums, not everything is covered, when a person’s own insurance covers treatment and that expense is recouped from a defendant, the original insurer expects to be repaid according to a formula–that’s known as subrogation.  Certain kinds of treatment require a substantial co-pay.  One of my clients had to choose between paying for physiotherapy and paying for psychological counseling.

Counsel for the defendant driver stood before the jury in opening statements and had the gall to suggest that the defendant accepts responsibility for the collision.  Really?  Seven years later, he finally admits liability but his insurer has never offered to pay for a single treatment nor to cover a single dollar of wage loss.  How is that accepting liability?

I always make the promise that I won’t insult jurors’ intelligence.  Unfortunately, it’s impossible for me to keep that promise given that I can’t share with them these basic factors of who pays what and why.

Trial continues Monday morning…

Pedestrian Injuries Can Be Just as Serious as ‘Behind the Wheel’ Accidents

By Cross Border Law

Pedestrian accidents can be the most devastating. As someone is jogging, crossing an intersection or walking along a sidewalk past a parking lot entrance, being struck by a car can be catastrophic. If you were hit by an automobile in Canada or the United States, it is imperative that you seek a lawyer who can help.

Pedestrian accidents can occur in numerous situations, including:

  • Drivers not clearing an intersection before crossing a sidewalk
  • Drivers turning right at a red light without looking for pedestrians
  • Drivers exiting a parking lot or parking garage without looking for pedestrians on the sidewalk
  • Drivers not recognizing people crossing an intersection or jogging along a roadway

Pedestrian accident injuries can be exacerbated due to the possibility of multiple impacts. Often, the victim is struck by the vehicle, falls to the ground, and can be run over by the original vehicle or other vehicles on the road. At Cross Border Law, our international lawyers will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine liability. Additionally, we will work with your chosen medical professional to gain a clear understanding of your injuries and the future challenges you might face as you fight to return to preaccident health.

With offices in both Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington, our firm can provide legal guidance in both countries. We are prepared to negotiate a beneficial settlement with either Canadian insurers or insurance carriers in the United States. No matter your residency or the location of your accident, Cross Border Law can handle your case.

When you need a lawyer for your pedestrian accident injury,email or call our offices to discuss your matter in greater detail.