Losing a year of college to a traumatic brain injury

The eastern part of Washington State is rural with lots of open roadways. Semi-truck traffic is common, with truck drivers traveling both across the state and down from Canada. What I have seen over my career in handling truck crash cases, is that commercial drivers can often get complacent and allow their minds to drift when driving in rural areas without much traffic. The danger lies in unfocused or distracted truckers, who don’t see the slowed or stopped vehicles in front of them. Distracted trucker causes traumatic brain injury It was a sunny fall day when Amy was driving home for the weekend. A college freshman at Washington State University in Pullman, Amy was doing well in her classes, and

After the crash: surviving with a devastating amputation

When we talk about car crashes, traffic violence, and highway safety, we all tend to focus on the fatalities. But the 40,000 people who will likely die on our roads this year are just a fraction of the crash victims. Hundreds of thousands of people get seriously hurt in traffic crashes.  Some will have sprains and strains for which they see a doctor a few times. These folks will probably miss a few days of school or work, and have to take some time to recover. Others will experience more serious and traumatic injuries. Some will not come back from these injuries. Some come back to find their lives are very different. Compared to death, even a permanent injury seems

This is what a multiple-threat crash looks like

On a sunny winter afternoon in Seattle, a kid I’ll call “Marcus” was walking home from middle school. He was with his classmate and good friend. Marcus’ grandmother dropped the boys off to get a soda; they would walk the familiar route home together. At a street corner, the boys waited to cross. An oncoming car slowed and stopped. As Marcus walked past the stopped car, a van slammed into him. Marcus was taken to Harborview Medical Center with brutal, life-threatening injuries. His brothers came to the hospital to say their good-byes because of his condition. Multiple-threat crash:   one vehicle on a multi-lane street stops for a pedestrian to cross, then another vehicle coming from the same direction strikes the pedestrian.

The Truth About the McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit (video)

It’s one of the most famous lawsuits in the country. A woman spills coffee on herself, and files a lawsuit against McDonalds because the coffee was hot. She wins a million dollars, and becomes the poster child of “frivolous lawsuits”. What if everything you’ve heard about the hot coffee lawsuit is wrong? In this 5-minute video, you’ll learn what really happened. Stella Liebeck was 79 years old. McDonalds served her coffee so hot that it caused third-degree burns on her legs and groin. She had to have painful skin grafts, and multiple surgeries. Ms. Liebeck didn’t want to file a lawsuit. She asked McDonalds to pay the medical bills not covered by insurance—about $20,000. After six months, McDonalds offered her $800. The

The Tragedy of Suicide, and the Courage to Make a Difference

In a motel on Seattle’s Aurora Avenue in the dark days of winter, Matt sat alone and took his own life. He was 40 years old, a senior partner in a prestigious national law firm, a husband and the father of two young children. Across the state, in the rural town of Packwood, it was springtime when Brian wandered through the back roads. He came upon an open trailer where he found a loaded rifle and took his own life. He was only 16 years old and a beloved son, grandson, nephew, brother and friend to many. The families of Matt and Brian came to me for answers and help. While I am proud that we obtained some measure of

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