ERISA – Punishing the Innocent

One of the worst things things that can happen to you is to be injured through no choice or fault of your own. If you think nothing could be worse than being smashed up by some drunken driver you are wrong.

There is something worse and it comes from a series of United States Supreme Court decisions concerning a law originally enacted to protect workers. In a perverse twist the court has turned the law into a hammer used to smash those who are injured when others break the rules we all live by.

Imagine you are hit by a drunk driver. The driver is on mandatory insurance for earlier troubles. The limit of the insurance is $25,000, the minimum. Let’s assume though that you are responsible and prudent. You have health insurance through your employment and you purchased $100,000 of under insured motorist (UIM) coverage for just this kind of disaster. The drunk runs a stop sign and smashes into your car breaking your leg and shoulder. You won’t be working for at least 6 months, if ever again. Your medical bills are mounting.

Now the bad news. Your health care plan has a provision excluding injuries caused by the fault of third parties. Your health insurance plan won’t pay a cent until medical bills exceed the coverage on the other driver’s car and the UIM coverage you bought and paid. What will you live on? According to the SCOTUS it is just fine to leave you with no compensation at all for your loss of income, pain, suffering, mental anguish or any other damage. The ERISA plan can take it all. Here is a link to some case studies of the horrible effects of this law.

Pedestrians Run Down in Crosswalks – Why?

It has long been known that the “free right turn” is a major factor in pedestrian injuries in urban crosswalks. Drivers look left but don’t check back to their right when turning. This type of collision explains the folding mirrors, inset door handles and flush bumpers on modern cars. Now a new traffic technology designed to save time and cut pollution is producing increased pedestrian injuries.

Many municipalities have begun using flashing yellow errors to signal permissive left turns. With the new technology a new danger has come to light. Pedestrians are being hit while crossing, in the crosswalk with a walk signal. A recent study sheds light on the reason.

As reported by,the study by researchers from Portland State University and Oregon State University found that an alarming number of drivers do not look for pedestrians before turning. Using simulators and devices to measure where driver’s looked researchers found that the greater the traffic, the less likely a driver is to check the crosswalk before turning.

While traffic engineers work to counter the effect of this new technology both drivers and pedestrians should be on the alert for one another.

Home Elevators Killing Children – Easy Fix Ignored

Safety Research and Strategies Inc., a leader in safety engineering and failure analysis has recently published an expose’ on the shocking number of children killed and maimed in elevators with swing type outer doors. The information SRS has gathered presents a very disturbing picture of neglect spanning decades. Although the worlds leading elevator manufacturer has known of the problem for over 75 years, and has taken steps to try to remedy it dating back to the 1930’s, the danger remains. This trap strikes the youngest and most vulnerable children, those 3-12 years of age. The danger grows greater as more and more home elevators are installed each year across the country.

The danger exists because of excessive space between the door to the elevator car and the swing door. The child can slip between the two doors. When the elevator is called to another floor the outer door locks trapping the child. What happens when the elevator begins to move is tragic. A simple fix patented in 1933 can stop these tragic accidents. The number of unsafe elevators is in the tens of thousands.

This is particularly troubling because thousands of swing door type elevators are found in homes with children, and children are the victims of this dangerous product. It is essential that this information be broadcast as widely as possible to protect children from this  danger.

Another shocking disclosure is the fact that ASME, the organization charged with setting standards, knows about the problem and knows how to fix it, yet it refuses to act. View the entire article here: -for-decades/

The article also describes the efforts of personal injury attorneys and the families of dead and severely injured children to ensure these tragic events are not repeated by ensuring the safety rules do what they are supposed to do, and existing elevators are rendered safe. Too often known dangerously defective products remain on the market. Often court action is the only way to force a remedy.

If you’ve been injured by a defective product contact our Vancouver, WA personal injury attorneys for a free case review.

Insurers Try To Avoid Responsibility

Imagine a nightmare scenario. Your car is demolished due to the violation of numerous driver safety rules by an insured motorist. The motorist admits she left her glasses at home and can barely see. She tells the officer she does not know if the light was green or not, she couldn’t see it. You contact the driver’s insurer and they demand a statement from you before accepting liability. In fact they tell you that unless you give them the statement they won’t do a thing for you.

Against the advice of any experienced personal injury attorney you give the statement. Near the end the insurance adjuster asks: Do you think there is anything you could have done to avoid the accident? You respond, “anticipate she would run the red light maybe?” You have just stepped on a landmine. Two days later the adjuster calls you back and says “we have decided you are 25% at fault because you didn’t react soon enough when our insured ran the red light”. Then they offer to pay nothing for a rental car and only 75% of your car’s value. This nightmare plays out hundreds of times a day in Washington and Oregon as insurers attempt to take advantage of the elimination of strict liability they shoved through the legislature years ago.

You can protect yourself.

  1. Refuse to give a recorded statement.
  2. Read the police report before talking to the adjuster.
  3. Do not agree that you did anything wrong.
  4. Don’t agree with anything the adjuster tells you about how the crash happened.
  5. Be very careful of the “what else could you have done” type of question, these are traps.
  6. Perhaps most important, if you are hurt and it was not your fault call an experienced personal injury attorney at Caron, Colven, Robison, Shafton PS in Vancouver Washington for a free consultation before the insurance company can close the trap on you.

Children’s Booster Seats Kids Threatened by Lack of Safety Rules

When it comes to your child’s safety in your car you don’t care what you have to spend, you will buy the best booster seat you can find. You might find assurance in the manufacturer’s claim that the seat meets or exceeds all federal government standards for child safety seats. If you think that means anything you are in for a surprise.

Recent disclosures have informed the public that meeting the federal safety guidelines is basically meaningless. As The Safety Institute blog recently pointed out, a three ring binder filled with paper and wrapped in duct tape would “meet or exceed” the federal standard. The failure to produce meaningful safety standards for child booster seats has led to the marketing of blatantly unsafe seats. Among these are inflatable seats that offer many risks for misuse or failure needlessly endangering small children.

Look for a solid seat without excessive padding that interacts with the manufacturer supplied safety belt system to secure the child and the seat. The seat should not have a risk of deflation, accidental or caused by a curious child. The seat material should not compress beyond what is necessary to pad the seat for comfort.

Apply some common sense as well. If you can easily dislodge the seat by lifting the front or rear when it is properly belted down the same thing can happen in a crash. Don’t accept claims of compliance with federal standards as a mark of safety. Just as the flammability standards for children’s clothing leave children at severe risk the standards for booster seats expose children to unsafe products.

Frequently Asked Personal Injury Lawsuit Questions

Personal Injury Lawsuit FAQ’s

When you are involved in an accident, everyone wants to give you advice. Some will tell you their embellished horror stories, and most people will provide you with inaccurate information. To get the truth about personal injury lawsuits, and all that they entail, it is best to contact an experienced personal injury and accident lawsuit lawyer. The personal injury lawyer will be able to offer professional advice, and answer any questions you may pose.  However, we have provided some common questions people have regarding personal injury and accident lawsuits.

Common Questions About Personal Injury & Accident Lawsuits

  • Do I need an attorney?  Any type of litigation that involves insurance companies and financial settlements will have a great number of factors to consider. It can be hard for one person to keep it all in perspective. Additionally it can be hard for you to know exactly how much money you deserve. The experience of a personal injury accident lawyer is what you need to make sure you are properly compensated for your injuries.
  • Lawsuits take too long, is it worth the fight? Most accident settlements happen out of court. If you have a great personal injury attorney you may be able to settle out of court without the need for a trial, which may allow you to receive compensation sooner than you may think.  Each case is different, so it is important to discuss your accident with an experienced accident attorney.
  • Will an accident lawsuit cost me money for legal fees? In personal injury and accident lawsuits, most lawyers operate on a contingency, meaning they do not get paid unless you win a settlement.  However, there may be some expenses that you will have to work out during your initial meeting with your accident attorney.
  • Can I file a lawsuit if I think the accident was my fault? Never admit to anyone other than your accident attorney that you were at fault for an accident. Even if you suspect you are at fault, you can still seek damages for the negligence of the other party.
  • Can I settle with the insurance company and then seek more compensation later? Once you accept a settlement from an insurance agency they are no longer responsible for any further expenses related to the accident.
  • Are all personal injury cases settled out of court? Although a majority of accident cases are settled outside of the courtroom, a number of them do proceed to trial. When this is the case you want to be sure you have the best possible personal injury trial attorney on your side.

Experienced Personal Injury & Accident Settlement Attorneys

If you were harmed in an accident, or if a loved one has died because of the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another, contact Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton today for a FREE initial consultation. Our Vancouver attorneys are experienced litigators who understand what it takes to win in the courtroom. We are sensitive to timing issues and begin working on your case immediately. Our Vancouver lawyers are dedicated to the pursuit of justice and devote themselves to providing you with effective representation designed to get results.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Things to Consider When Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm

If you were involved in an accident, the time immediately following it is usually difficult and you may find yourself disoriented. It is crucial that you contact an personal injury law firm as soon as possible following your accident to be sure that you do not become the victim of greedy insurance companies, and receive the settlement that you deserve.

Questions to Ask Potential Personal Injury Attorneys

When selecting a law firm to handle your accident case, it is important that you ask the right questions. Choosing someone to represent you in litigation is a sensitive matter, and the accident law firm that you choose should be willing and able to answer all of your important questions.

  • How long has your firm been in existence?
  • How many accident cases has the firms lawyers handled with a successful outcome?
  • What percentage of the firm focuses on my particular type of accident?
  • Does the firm represent the victims of the accident or the defendants?
  • Does the law firm have a clear outline of the litigation process? Lawyers should be able to guide you through the process, and assist you with all the paperwork so that you can focus on healing.
  • Does the law firm charge on a contingency basis or do you pay for services either way? Some accident lawyers work on a contingency, meaning they only get paid if you do. Other lawyers charge by the hour, some in increments as small as 15minutes. When choosing an accident law firm in Vancouver, be sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.
  • Has the law firm handled cases similar to yours and won? And if so, are there people you can contact who have firsthand experience with the firm?

Doing Your Own Research on Prospective Personal Injury Law Firms

The Internet provides a wealth of information about accident law firms in Vancouver. People have often posted their experiences with certain law firms on websites and forums. With just a few clicks of the mouse you can learn quite a bit about your prospective accident law firm.

By asking questions you will be able to find the personal injury law firm that is best suited to handle your case. You want a reputable law firm that combines experience, successful verdicts, and attention to detail, to make sure that you receive the most comprehensive settlement possible.

We take accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no legal fees unless and until we obtain a recovery for you. If you were injured in an accident in Vancouver, WA, Clark County, Skamania County, Cowlitz County or Pacific County, contact our experienced Vancouver personal injury attorneys today for a free initial consultation.

Ridgefield Teen Killed Another Injured

A 17-year-old Ridgefield High School student died and another was injured in a single-car crash on a rural Clark County road Wednesday night.

The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. at NW Main and 291st streets, near the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. The 17-year-old driver was taken to the hospital. His passenger, Tanner Kaine Trosko, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials told KOIN 6 News the driver was trying to make a 90-degree turn and lost control, flipped over and landed on its top. The teen was driving a 1960 Ford F-25 pickup truck.

The driver is the son of the owner of TLC Towing. That company has a contract with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and because of that, the Vancouver Police Department was asked to lead the investigation.

Many students learned of the teen’s death through social media.

Read the full story: