Category Archives for Injury Claims

Hip Implant lawsuit attorneys sadler ladenburg

Defective Hip Implant

Defective Hip Implant Attorneys Help Victims Recover Damages for pain, disability, and medical bills. 

Our defective hip implant attorneys are here to help advise you about your legal options and pursue your claim for compensation. Metal on Metal defective hip implants have caused thousands of people to endure years of pain and expensive revision surgery. There are several manufacturers that are the subject of lawsuits for these metal on metal implants. These include DePuy (a Johnson + Johnson Company), Smith&Nephew, and Stryker. Most of these lawsuits are in the initial stages of litigation. Some case, however, have gone to verdict. Below is an article from the Expert Institute about one recent verdict in Texas. If you need help from Sadler Ladenburg's defective hip implant attorneys, please call us today for a free consultation. Our defective hip implant attorneys work on a contingency fee so there is no up front cost to you. 

From the Expert Institute:

On November 16th, a federal jury in Dallas, TX told Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary DePuy that they need to pay six patients a total of $247 million due to hip implants that turned out to be defective.

The verdict came as a result of finding that the hip implants used a metal to metal design, which was directly linked to patient injuries. Moreover, the companies who designed the hip replacements failed to warn the patients about the possible risks involved in the surgery.

Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the large verdict, however appeals on complex cases such as this one could take years to resolve. Moreover, while a jury verdict cannot be directly overturned, appeals can be effective when they call into question evidentiary rulings by the court, instructions to the jury, and other issues such as whether the jurors failed to be impartial.

Doctors now know that metal hip replacements can come with a variety of side effects. Side effects can include metal debris being found in the body, cobalt toxicity, bone erosion, tissue death, bursitis, and radicular pain. Despite these potential side effects, metal hip implants were used due to the claim that they would last longer than other materials typically used in these procedures, such as plastic or ceramic.

What is more, having to take out metal hip replacement parts is a very painful process which can result in the patient experiencing a sustained interruption in their lives.

The six plaintiffs involved in this case experienced bone erosion and tissue death due to the metal hip replacement parts which were designed defectively.

Over, it appears that this verdict is only the beginning. There are at least 9,700 other lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson throughout the country for similar conditions caused by their metal hip implants.

DePuy has stated that there is strong research that supports the metal-on-metal hip implants, however, the scientific merits of these devices was debated in court by expert witnesses on both sides. To prove that the design of the metal hip implants were defective, expert testimony was required to show that there is a safer alternative design. This will typically call for medical and engineering experts.

Plaintiff counsel has been using test cases to see just how vulnerable DePuy and Johnson & Johnson will be to litigation involving their metal-on-metal hip implants. DePuy won the first trial case, but have lost in later cases.

“This nine-week trial was a disservice to everyone involved because the verdict will do nothing to advance the ultimate resolution of this six-year old litigation,” said the defendants’ attorney following the plaintiff verdict in the most recent case.

The USDA changed its artificial hip regulations in 2013, leading to a cessation in the use of metal-on-metal hip implants. The regulations came after a 2012 Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Advisory Panel meeting where the panel reviewed failure rates, metal ion testing, complications, risk factors, and post-surgical care.

Hip replacement surgery involves the removal of a hip joint with arthritis and replacing it with an artificial joint hip replacement surgery. The procedure is usually done when more conservative treatment has failed. Hip replacements can also become necessary in the course of slip and fall accidents, or as the result of degenerative changes that occur with age.

The plaintiffs should not count themselves lucky yet: many of these large juries verdicts have been reduced by courts after they have been rendered to the jury due to them being excessive in nature. It would not be surprising that a court would lower a jury verdict of $247 million.

It should be no shock that Plaintiff’s attorneys are still seeking clients to go after Johnson & Johnson and are looking for patients who have received these metal hip implants and are experiencing hip pain, difficulty standing, loss of mobility, or have had to undergo a subsequent  hip replacement surgery.

Patients experiencing problems with these type of hip implants can require periodic injections and pain managment due to difficulties caused by the metal-on-metal devices. This allows the plaintiffs to seek pain and suffering in addition to large medical bills as damages in their cases.

Defective Hip Implant Attorneys

Are you wondering "Do I have a defective implant case? Is it too late to file a defective hip implant case? How can I file a defective hip implant claim?" Our defective hip implant attorneys are here to answer these questions. If you need help, call 253-573-1700 today for a free consultation. 

Car Accident Attorneys Seattle Tacoma Personal Injury attorneys insurance claims

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

'Tis the Season for Car Accidents in Tacoma, Washington.

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As car accident attorneys in Tacoma, we know first hand how the weather impacts collisions. Car crashes in Tacoma and throughout the Puget Sound increase during winter months. It is wet and sometimes icy on the roads and not enough drivers take the proper precautions. There are steps you can take to avoid collisions and other dangers that arise during our dark winter months. If you are involved in collision, you should call the Tacoma - Seattle - Olympia car accident attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg for free advice.  

The following tips were borrowed from AAA recommendations for winter driving to help avoid car accidents and stay safe on the roads so you never need to call the car accident attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg:

  1. Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  2. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  3. Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  4. Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  5. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  6. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  7. Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  8. Always look and steer where you want to go.
  9. Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  1. Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  2. Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected before a long trip.
  3. Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  4. Pack and keep charged a cellular telephone, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  5. If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  6. Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  7. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  8. Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  9. Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  10. If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow to help avoid car accidents and stay safe on the roads so you never need to call the car accident attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg:

  1. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  2. Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  3. The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  4. Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  5. Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  6. Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  7. Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  8. Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a collision, it is important to know what to do. The car accident attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg provide free advice for people injured in car accidents. You can also get your copy of What Insurance Companies Don't Want You Know now so you will be prepared for a collision.  

Uber Lyft car accident

Injured by Uber or Lyft? What can I do now?

Injured by Uber or Lyft? Ride share companies like Uber and Lyft have taken off in the last few years. As a result, many people have come to our law firm with questions about what they can do if they are injured by an Uber or Lyft driver. If you have been injured by an Uber of Lyft driver or even a traditional taxi driver, this article will answer some basic questions. For more detailed advice on claims against an Uber or Lyft driver call the personal injury attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg.

There are a couple different scenarios where you may need to bring a claim for injuries against Uber, Lyft, or a taxicab driver. You may be a passenger in the ride share vehicle may be injured when the driver causes a collision. Or you may be in another vehicle, on a bicycle, or a pedestrian when the driver causes a collision. In each situation it is important to understand the available sources of funds to pay your medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
Injured Passengers in Uber, Lyft or Taxi

Uber and Lyft both maintain insurance coverage for their drivers up to $1,000,000. If you are a passenger and the driver caused the collision, then you will be covered under that policy. If you have your own insurance, you may be covered under that policy as well. It is best to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney who have can properly determine what policies apply to your situation.
Injury in Another Vehicle, Bicycle, or Pedestrian

As stated above, Uber and Lyft both maintain insurance coverage for their drivers up to $1,000,000. Whether or not that policy applies depends upon whether or not the driver was at fault and whether or not the driver was on duty at the time of the collision. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. When they are not actively engaged in picking up a passenger or transporting a passenger, they are arguably not acting on behalf of Uber of Lyft. In that situation, the driver’s regular insurance applies, not the $1,000,000 policy provided by the company. If you have your own insurance, you may be covered under that policy as well. It is best to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney who have can properly determine what policies apply to your situation.

Like any other collision, if you have been injured by a commercial driver, it is important to remember these tips for car accident victims:
• Gather as much information about the other driver as you can including: name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
• Take down witnesses names, addresses, and whenever possible, license plate numbers.
• Obtain the name, badge number, and precinct number of the investigating officer, and request the case control or accident report number.
• Writing down the precise address or location of the crash scene and note information about traffic, weather and road conditions. If the configuration of the roadway played a factor, note that information as well.
• Summarize the cause of the accident including fault, layout of the roadway, presence of the traffic control devices, etc.
• Take photos of the scenes, the vehicles, skid marks, and debris in the road.

If you need help or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact our car accident attorneys for a free consultation or request a copy of our FREE BOOK. Do not talk to any other driver’s insurance company, make a statement, or sign any documents before discussing your rights with our experienced and helpful car accident attorneys.

tacoma car accident attorney sadler ladenburg maximize damages for personal injury claims

Baby Powder linked to Ovarian Cancer

Talcum baby powder has been linked ovarian cancer. As more and more women learn about the link, more lawsuits are being filed nationwide. Women with ovarian cancer can get help from Sadler Ladenburg. Our Tacoma personal injury attorneys help those impacted by ovarian cancer caused by baby powder and other Talcum products.

Johnson and Johnson developed their baby powder more than a century ago. Recent lawsuits have exposed their corporate practice to manipulate information about the product’s safety for more than 40 years. A jury verdict last year ordered the company to pay $127 million in damages to two families impacted by ovarian cancer linked to Talcum powder usage.
Recently the jury’s verdict on the talcum powder’s lawsuit left many people shocked worldwide. If Johnson & Johnson was found guilty and ordered to pay $127 million in compensatory damage, is this the irrefutable proof that their famous cosmetic product can cause cancer? And if so, why science keeps claiming that there’s no consensus on whether this substance is truly dangerous for our health?

In one case, the Court was provided the court with a damaging document. In Johnson & Johnson’s internal correspondence, a medical consultant suggested that denying the possible risks could damage the company’s own image.

In another recent case, a woman was awarded $110 million after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 57. She alleged that Johnson $ Johnson concealed the possibility that talc in its baby powder and Shower to Shower products can cause cancer. The company has now lost verdicts of $72 million, $70 million and $55 million. Johnson & Johnson faces multiple federal class-action suits according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

For more information on recent lawsuits, read this news article.

For more information on how Sadler Ladenburg Personal Injury Attorneys can help ovarian cancer victims who used baby powder, please call us at 253-573-1700.

Car Accident Attorneys Sadler Ladenburg recommend taking photos at the scene of a car accident

“What Should I Do After a Car Accident?”


As a Car Accident Attorney, every day I speak to people who have been injured in car accidents and have questions about what they can expect when they bring a claim against an insurance company. I have compiled and answered the 50 most asked questions here in this blog over the next several weeks. The sections are broken down into several subsections starting with questions people may have about what to do at the scene of a car accident and finishes with questions people have about car accident settlements. If you have questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact me. I speak to people everyday who have been in car accidents in Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia and throughout Washington. My initial consultation are always free and if you need to hire our firm (Sadler Ladenburg), our fee is only paid when we obtain money for you.


What should I do at the scene of a car accident?

After a car accident it is important to try to remain calm. The first priority is to assess any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If anyone is in need of immediate medical help, call 911. If a person is seriously injured, is unconscious, has neck pain or back pain do not move the person until medical help arrives unless their safety is in danger.
If there is significant damage to vehicles or anyone is injured, call the police and ask that a report be filed. Get a card from the investigating officer and copy of the incident report number. With or without the help of an officer, gather as much information as possible.

What information should I get at the scene of a car accident?

It is very important to gather as much information at the scene as possible. If you have a camera phone, use it to take lots of photos including:
A. damage to the vehicles
B. scene of the collision
C. location of the street signs and stop lights
D. people involved in the collision
E. driver’s license of the other drivers involved in the collision
F. insurance card of the other drivers involved in the collision
G. license plate of the other drivers involved
If you don’t have a camera available, write down as much information pertaining to all the items in the above list as you can. Also get the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of any witnesses to the collision.

Who should I talk to at the scene of a collision?

You should talk to the other driver but do not discuss who was at fault for the collision. Your conversation with the other driver should be for the exchange of information only. You should also talk to any witnesses to get a summary of what they saw and their contact information. If a police officer investigates, you will need to provide a description of the events to the officer.
You should not talk to the other driver’s insurance company at the scene or at any point without first consulting an attorney. Never provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.

Is it okay to move my car from the scene of collision?

If there are no injuries from the collision or only very minor injuries, you should move your vehicle off the road safely.

Car Accident Attorneys Seattle Tacoma Personal Injury attorneys insurance claims

Breaking Down Auto Insurance

Most people have car insurance but many do not fully understand their policies and what is covered. Often people do not even read their policy until after they have been injured in a car accident and are considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help them recover their damages. This articles breaks down the basic categories of auto insurance so you can know what you need before you are injured in a car crash. Do not wait until you need a personal injury attorney because you might not have the coverage you need. 

Bodily Injury Liability
Personal Injury Protection
Property Damage Liability
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability

This covers injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder causes to someone else. It also covers you and the family members you list in your policy when driving someone else's car (with their permission).

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for medical bills incurred to treat injuries to the driver and other people in the car. PIP will pay the medical bills no matter who is at fault for the collision.

Property Damage Liability

Property Damage Liability pays for damage you or whoever is driving your car (with your permission) causes to someone's property, such as their vehicle. But it can also include fences, telephone poles or other structures you hit with your car.


This pays for damage to your car if you collide with another car or object, or your car flips over. It can also pay for damage to your car due to driving over potholes.


This will reimburse you for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object. This could include fire, vandalism or contact with an animal, such as a deer.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage reimburses you if you, a family member or your designated driver is hit by an uninsured driver, a hit-and-run driver or an unidentified vehicle that forces you to have a collision. Generally, you should report (based on your policy) any accidents involving a hit and run or unidentified vehicle to local law enforcement with 72 hours and get contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Be sure to talk with your agent and check your policy for specific requirements.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage reimburses you if you, a family member or your designated driver is hit by another driver who has insurance but his or her policy does not provide enough money to pay for all your damages.

"How Much Auto Insurance do I need?"

Do not assume that if you are involved in a collision, the other driver’s insurance company will pay your damages. Even though it is against the law to drive a vehicle in Washington without insurance there are far too many people on the road without insurance. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, 16% of the drivers on the roads in Washington do not have insurance. That means if you are involved in a collision there is at least a 1 in 6 chance that the other driver does not have insurance. The actual probability of being hit by an uninsured driver is probably greater than 1 in 6 because the same people who are irresponsible enough to drive without insurance are also irresponsible on the roads. They may have been involved in several accidents or received several tickets and now cannot afford insurance. Do not let them destroy your life too.

Even if a person who injures you in a motor vehicle collision has insurance, they probably do not have adequate insurance. The minimum liability coverage that an insurance company must offer to a resident of Washington is $25,000. With the skyrocketing cost of medical care, $25,000 is not enough for most motor vehicle injuries. Even a “minor impact” collision can cause substantial harm both physically and financially. Most of our clients who are involved in rear-end collisions with relatively minor damage to the vehicles suffer back and or neck injuries. They typically treat with a combination of chiropractic care, massage therapy, or physical therapy. Just a few months of treatment can cost more than $5,000.

More serious injuries can cause the medical bills to skyrocket quickly. Just an initial visit to the ER with a CT scan or MRI will likely exceed $10,000. Any time a person is admitted to a hospital or needs surgery, the cost can quickly become too much for any middle class family to bear. With the right insurance coverage, however, those bills can be an afterthought and you can focus on your recovery.

When deciding what coverage to get, always err on the side of more. A policy with $35,000 in Personal Injury Protection is a good start. The Underinsured Motorist Coverage should be at least $100,000 but $250,000 is much better. Never settle for the minimum policy even if it saves you a little money up front. No one expects to be involved in a collision but if you are, it is nice to know that you have a policy that can take care of your finances so you can take care of you.

Unfortunately just having the right coverage does not always mean you will be fairly compensated. Protecting your rights and your financial well-being starts with being prepared and knowing what to do if you are involved in a collision. Stopping your insurance company from delaying, denying, or wrongfully defending your legitimate claims is the focus of practice. If you need help with a car accident injury claim, please do not hesitate  to contact our attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg. We help victims of car accidents in Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia and all of Washington.  If you just want to learn more about auto insurance and the injury claim process, you can request a free copy of Erik Ladenburg's book What Insurance Companies Don't Want You To Know by clicking here

Most people have car insurance but many do not fully understand their policies and what is covered. Often people do not even read their policy until after they have been injured in a car accident and are considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help them recover their damages. This articles breaks down the basic categories of auto insurance so you can know what you need before you are injured in a car crash and need a personal injury attorney.

Hip Implant lawsuit attorneys sadler ladenburg

Court Upholds $2.1 Million Verdict in Wright Hip Replacement Case

Defective metal on metal hip implants have been causing serious and permanent harm to people for years. On Monday March 20, 2017, the 11th Circuit judicial bench affirmed the $2.1 million jury verdict in the first Wright Hip Implant trial.

The plaintiff in the trial claimed that Defendant’s hip replacement implant was defective and that Defendant failed to adequately test the device before introducing it to the public market. The Plaintiff further claimed that Defendant failed to warn both patients and doctors of the risks associated with the device and chose instead to aggressively market the product as an extremely durable implant, ideal for more active patients. Plaintiff alleges that she was in the middle of a yoga class when she heard a “crunch” and realized her hip implant had been dislodged. The Plaintiff was forced to undergo revision surgery where it was discovered that metal debris from the implant had spread to the surrounding soft tissue.

Other manufacturers of metal on metal hip implants have faced similar lawsuits. Many of these devices have been recalled but there are thousands of people still walking around with these implants that could fail at any moment. People with metal-on-metal implants manufactured by Stryker and Wright should be on the lookout for any signs of a defective hip implant. According to the FDA, the following symptoms, if experienced three or more months after surgery, may indicate that a hip implant is not functioning properly:

Hip, leg or groin pain;
Swelling at or near the hip joint;
Popping, grinding, clicking or squeaking sounds from the hip joint; and
A limp or change in mobility.

In addition, patients should monitor for symptoms of metal poisoning. According to the FDA, the signs of metal toxicity include:

Impaired kidney function;
Thyroid problems, including weight gain, neck discomfort, fatigue and feeling cold;
Depression, cognitive impairment or other psychological issues;
Skin rashes;
Hearing or vision impairments; and
Cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these issues or has a metal on metal hip implant that has failed and been removed, please do not hesitate to contact Personal injury attorneys Sadler Ladenburg to get answers to your questions. The attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help injured victims throughout Washington State. If you need a hip implant attorney, do not delay and contact us today.

Medical Malpractice attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help victims of medical mistakes

2.6 Million Dollar Verdict for Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Medical malpractice attorneys have helped a victim of malpractice obtain justice from the VA. A U.S. Army veteran sued the Veterans Administration alleging the VA failed to timely diagnose his prostate cancer. The 18-year veteran has won a roughly $2.6 million judgement against the Phoenix VA Health Care System after a week long trial before a U.S. Magistrate. According to the ruling, the VA should have ordered follow-up test and referred the veteran to a urologist after his 2011 prostate exam in 2011. If found early, doctors say the cancer was curable. Due to the medical malpractice on the part of the VA, the cancer went diagnosed for about a year.

Failure to diagnose case is a common basis for medical malpractice claims. The personal injury attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg help victims of medical malpractice obtain the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact us today for a free consultation to learn your rights and options.

Car crash injury attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help victims with insurance claims and jury trials get full compensation

Hope against the erosion of our constitutional right to a jury trial.

The 7th Amendment to our nation’s constitution provides “in suits at common law . . . the right of trial by jury shall be preserved . . .” which is a cornerstone of our judicial system. The founding fathers were well aware that a court of law, with a jury of our peers was the only forum in which a common man could attain justice against the government, the rich, and the powerful.

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” -Thomas Jefferson

“In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.” -James Madison

“That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.” -George Mason

In the past 15-20 years there has been an attack on our right to a jury trial. The attack has come from many angles. Tort reform legislation has limited the authority of juries to decide cases. Media campaigns from insurance companies and big business have caused people to believe juries are “out of control” which has prejudiced the jury pools before they even hear any testimony. Lastly, the proliferation of arbitration clauses in many areas of our lives such as cell phone contracts, employment agreements, student loans, insurance policies, credit card agreements, and nursing home contracts has stripped many consumers of their right to a jury trial.

Arbitration clauses force disputes into a private justice system where cases are resolved behind closed doors by a professional arbitrator. Unlike juries who decide one case, based on the facts of that case, professional arbitrators work with the same attorneys, insurance companies, and corporations on many cases. Their decisions may be impacted by their desire to continue to be hired as an arbitrator. Most troubling, however, is the fact that these decisions are made away from public scrutiny. The system allows corporations to hide facts of their wrong doing from the public which makes them less accountable. Patterns of wrongdoing that can be brought to light in court proceedings can be kept under wraps and allowed to continue in the arbitration arena.
Supporters of arbitration clauses argue that these clauses are in a contract the consumer has agreed to be bound by. This playing field is not level. These contracts are not ones in which the consumer really has any bargaining power. They are “take it or leave it” contracts.

“The sad reality is that today too many Americans must choose between forfeiting their legal rights and getting adequate medical care,” Senator Patrick Leahy

There is some hope, however, that these arbitration clauses will finally be seen as an attack on our constitutional rights. On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department issued a rule that bars any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring that its residents resolve any disputes, including nursing home neglect in arbitration, instead of court. The rule promises to restore a fundamental right to more than 1.5 million residents of nursing homes. Last May, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation’s consumer watchdog, drafted rule that would prevent credit card companies from using arbitration clauses that bar consumers from banding together in a class-action lawsuit.
These recent changes by federal agencies are a good start but more needs to be done. Legislative change might seem impossible as insurance companies and large corporations have pumped millions into their lobbying efforts. However, if enough people become aware of the proliferation of arbitration clauses and the impact they have on their constitutional rights, maybe our voices can be heard by our representatives. Maybe a grass roots campaign can prompt the legislature to act to preserve our right to trial by jury.

Tacoma Personal Attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help car accident victims file insurance claims

Traffic Fatalities on are the Rise

Cars are safer now than ever before. In general our roads are safer now than ever before. Yet, a jump in traffic fatalities last year pushed deaths on U.S. roads to their highest level in nearly a decade. According to the National Safety Council, fatalities rose 6 percent in 2016, reaching an estimated 40,200 deaths compared to 37,757 deaths the previous year, according the National Safety Council. The group gets its data from states. The last time there were more than 40,000 fatalities in a single year was in 2007 which had 41,000 deaths.

The deaths in 2015 were significantly higher than 2014 as well. In fact, the two-year increase in traffic death was the sharpest rise the U.S. has seen in 53 years.

It is difficult to know for sure the cause of this increase. One possible cause could simply be because Americans drove more miles last year. Compared to 2015, Americans logged in 3 percent more miles. This is likely due to continued lower gasoline prices and an improving economy.
Another key factor in the increase in traffic fatalities is distracted driving. Traffic deaths had been decreasing steading until reaching their low point in 2011. About that same time, the use of smart phones rose dramatically and the death rate also began to rise. The combination of more miles being driven and more phones in the hands of drivers is recipe for disaster.

There are things you can do to lower your chances of being in a collision. Put your phone out of your reach when you are driving. Slow down. Speed kills so follow the speed limits. Be aware of your surroundings and other drivers. If you see someone driving while distracted, create distance between you and that driver.

Not every collision is avoidable. If you find yourself a victim of a collision, please do not hesitate to contact Sadler Ladenburg for free advice. Our personal injury attorneys represent car accident victims throughout Washington.