The 5 Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

The 5 Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Unfortunately, sometimes those we rely on to take care of our loved ones can end up causing harm. Often, it falls to family to be alert to signs that their loved ones are at risk, even when they live in a care facility. Here are five warning signs of nursing home abuse:     

1. Physical Changes in Your Loved One

If your loved one is sleeping more, has unexplained physical injuries or has become more irritable than usual, it might be cause for concern.

2. A Negative Change in Mobility

A nursing facility should make sure residents get plenty of exercise, as they are able. If you notice that your loved one can’t walk or get around as well as he or she used to, this could be a red flag.

3. Isolation

A person living in a care facility should have access to family and friends. The facility should never tell you that you can’t visit. They should never place conditions on visits by family members. A resident should have social interaction with other residents on a regular basis. If you notice these things don’t happen at your loved one’s care facility, Duce Bastian Peterson, has a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney that can help you discuss your loved one’s options.

4. Financial Secrecy

The nursing home should work with you and your loved one in a clear, transparent manner. You should know what the care facility charges and why. If the facility tries to keep secrets or refuses to produce records, it might be a sign of financial abuse.

5. Bullying or Humiliation

In a care facility, your loved one should age gracefully. If you hear, or if your loved one reports name-calling, teasing or blame, your loved could likely be a victim of nursing home abuse.

If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, contact Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Duce Bastian Peterson. We offer consultations to discuss your concerns and explore your right to compensation.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Regulations of Commercial Motor Vehicles.

big rig trucks -- Federal GuidelinesThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the primary government agency that regulates the commercial vehicles conducting interstate transport. The classes of trucks they regulate include all types of commercial vehicles from buses to semi tractor-trailer rigs. Federal regulations do not necessarily apply to a commercial vehicle that operate within the boundaries of a particular state, such as Washington, but the standards set by a state is normally consistent with federal regulations. Both government levels (state and federal) have distinct regulations in place that govern how transportation companies should maintain and operate vehicles, and highway accidents that are caused when these regulations are ignored can be very serious. When involved in one of these accidents the victim will always need an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer like an attorney of Duce Bastian Peterson.

Federal regulations covering big-rig operators and transportation companies are numerous and many of them involve keeping commercial vehicles in safe operating conditions, frequent and detailed inspections of the truck’s safety systems and driver requirements that, when followed, are intended to prevent driver distraction and fatigue. Detailed logs and reports are also required to ensure a system of follow-up verification and supervision is in place. In addition to records about the condition of the truck and it’s cargo, all drivers are required to maintain operational logs with respect to the number of hours on the road and how many days they have driven within a particular month. Complying with these regulations is essential to safe operations, but they take time for the company and driver to complete, and, in the transportation business, time equals money. Unfortunately, many shipping companies skirt these responsibilities when they will impact profits; this can lead to dangerous and even deadly results.

Anyone one in Washington State who thinks they have been in an accident with a non-compliant commercial vehicle should contact us at Duce Bastian Peterson for a free evaluation of your truck accident case. We understand how non-compliance with federal regulations can impact an accident claim and will work diligently on your behalf for justice, including a full financial recovery.


Most common distractions for Tractor Trailer Drivers.

tractor trailer on the roadHow Common Driving Distractions Affect Tractor Trailer Drivers

When someone who is operating a tractor trailer and becomes distracted, it can have disastrous results. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) estimates that over 3,300 individuals are killed annually in accidents resulting from distracted driving. There are also more than 400,000 injuries associated with these accidents. The efforts made to decrease deaths and injuries associated with distracted driving have not yet had a major impact.


The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has determined there are three types of driver distractions. They are cognitive, manual and visual. A cognitive distraction is anything that takes a driver’s focus away from the activity of driving. This could include spending too much time thinking about something other than driving as well as watching videos and more. A manual distraction involves anything that may make a driver remove one or both of their hands from the tractor trailer’s steering wheel. This could involve eating, drinking or trying to retrieve items just out of reach. Visual distractions are things happening outside the tractor trailer that takes your visual focus off the road. This could include accidents and other things such as law enforcement activity and more. This is why the use of cell phones is so dangerous while driving, it pulls the driver’s mind, hands, and vision away from the task of safe driving.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Driving a tractor trailer is very different than driving a smaller vehicle. It is much more difficult to make quick corrections in a commercial truck. Research conducted by FMCSA shows tractor trailer drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a critical safety event when using handheld devices. These are events such as unintentional lane deviation, crash avoidance maneuvers and more.

FMCSA Cell Phone Rules

The FMCSA has issued administrative rules that apply to tractor trailer drivers for texting or calling on their cellphones while operating their vehicle. A tractor trailer driver is not permitted to use the internet or hold a cell phone when driving. Dialing a hand-held device increases the chances of a tractor trailer being in a crash by more than 575 percent. When texting, you will take your eyes off the road for an average of 4.5 seconds. The FMCSA provides rules for cell phone use. Drivers are not permitted to dial, hold or reach for a hand-held cell phone while operating a tractor trailer. A driver is permitted to use a cell phone after stopping on the side of the road where the tractor trailer can remain still. Use of a hands-free cell phone is permitted with a device such as with an ear piece.

Breaking Capability

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the capacity for braking with tractor trailers is often a major issue in wrecks. The distance required for safely stop a tractor trailer is considerably longer than a smaller vehicle. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) estimates that a commercial vehicle weighing over 79,000 pounds and traveling at 55 mph under perfect weather conditions will take almost two football fields to come to a stop. This distance is more than 90 percent longer than for a regular sized vehicle. This means a tractor trailer driver must be constantly thinking about the road, planning ahead and traveling at a safe speed to avoid mayhem on our highways.

Navigation Systems

Navigational systems are very helpful for assisting a tractor trailer driver find their way around an area that is unfamiliar. They can however also present a risk while in use on a tractor trailer. Many of these navigation systems will require adjustments by the driver in route. Making these adjustments can take a driver’s attention away from driving. There are safer alternatives available. Many tractor trailer drivers prefer to use a navigation system that can be completely programmed prior to going on a trip. There are also navigation systems that are hands-free. It’s important to decrease the amount of distraction that can be caused by using any navigation system.


The FMCSA has statistics that prove tractor trailer drivers who obey their regulations have a much lower chance of being involved in a traffic accident or near collision. Staying focused and ready to react to changing traffic ad weather conditions can many times be the only way to avoid a deadly accident with another driver. Following the law regarding pre-trip inspections, in route inspections, and post-trip inspections of all critical safety components of a commercial vehicle combined with conscientious maintenance work hand in hand to prevent deadly equipment failures that put both the tractor trailer driver and the public at risk.

Free Consultation

If there comes a time when you or someone close to you are the victim of a wreck involving a tractor trailer, you will need an experienced tractor trailer accident lawyer to help you. The attorneys at Duce Bastian & Peterson know how to handle the most difficult situations involving tractor trailer crashes.


5 Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

tractor trailer

Injured in a tractor trailer accident? Contact Duce Bastian & Peterson.

Every year, thousands of tractor trailers get into accidents that result in injuries, fatalities, and millions of dollars in property damage. There are many reasons why these crashes occur; here are the five most common ones you should know about:

  • Drug or Alcohol Use – Although you hear a lot about truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel, it isn’t the most common reason for accidents. Use of drugs and alcohol were the contributing factor in 34 percent of trucking accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It wasn’t just illicit drugs either. Over-the-counter medication can also negatively impact a driver’s reaction time, leading to a higher risk of getting into a crash.
  • Brake Failure – Another common cause of truck accidents is brake failure. The malfunction is often the result of poor maintenance or manufacturers’ defects. However, in some accident cases, drivers had depowered the front brakes to save money, but ended up making it harder for the truck to stop in an emergency.
  • Improper Loading – When the load the truck is carrying is not distributed properly, it can throw off the vehicle’s balance. This results in the truck tipping over in when it would have remained upright had the load been properly placed and secured.
  • Speeding – Drivers must often meet tight deadlines, which can cause them to travel faster than is safe. The problem is trucks require more time and distance to come to a complete than a passenger car.  A truck driver may not have the necessary time to stop if the driver is traveling too fast for the conditions.
  • Distracted Driving – This is one of the top reasons accidents on the roadways occur in general, and truck drivers are not immune. Texting, talking on a cellphone, and even riding companions can draw drivers’ attention away from the road so they don’t see problems until it is too late.

Preventing tractor trailer accidents requires being aware of what causes them and taking steps to minimize the risks. For more information about this issue or assistance with litigating an accident case, contact tractor trailer accident lawyer at Duce Bastian Peterson.

© Duce Bastian Peterson

Slip and Fall Case: What Is Negligence?

slip and fall

     Were you injured in a “slip and fall”?

If a property owner/manager chooses to neglect safety issues that existon his/her property the law holds that property owner/manager liable for the injuries that occur as a result. Hazardous floors and stairs are common areas where people get hurt if property managers to not regularly inspect and maintain their properties. Slip and fall injuries are a serious problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one million Americans suffer slip, trip, and fall injuries each year and 17,000 people die annually because of falls.

The legal test in cases like these is whether a property owner/manager chooses to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.If the property owner/manager is inviting the public onto their property for business purposes, then if the owner/manager does not maintain that property in a reasonably safe condition and, as a result, someone is injured or killed, the property owner is responsible for all the harm done. These cases are referred to as “Premise Liability” cases.

The law does not hold a property owner responsible for every injury that occurs on their property, but the law does require that property owners/managers keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. This is especially true if the property owner is inviting people onto their property as part of their business. When the public is invited onto a property, theproperty ownerhas a responsibility to learn and follow the safety rules that protect people from being injured while on their property. That means more than simply not creating new dangerous conditions or inspecting their property when they first open it to the public, although the owner certainly has both of those duties, but the owner/manager must be on the lookout for potential hazards that might develop on their property;when hazards are discovered, a commercial property owner must act promptly to either remove the danger or protect people from the danger. Sometimes this means cordoning off an area, other times it means using warning signs, but it always means taking reasonable action to keep people safe. By age five most people are very accomplished at walking and they don’t just fall downwithout a reason. If the reason someone falls is the condition of the floor, and if the property manager knew about the hazard, or with reasonable inspections he/she should have known about it, then unless the property manager acted reasonably toprotect people from that danger, the law holds the property owner/manager responsible for all of the harm done to the injured person.

An Everett personal injury lawyer like those at Duce Bastian Peterson understands that premises liability cases, including slip and fall cases, require quick action to preserve and collect evidence and determine what actions the property owner/manager took to keep their property safe for customers/visitors/tenants. If you have questions about a possible premises liability claim give us a call.

© Duce Bastian Peterson

Re-creating Car Accidents: Expert Witnesses

taking a picture of a car accident

Experienced a car accident? Duce Bastian Peterson can help you gather all the evidence you need.

If you were injured in a car crash, you need to look into protecting yourself and hold those accountable who may have caused the injury. With the help of an Everett personal injury attorney, you can dive deeper into the auto accident. An Everett Washington car accident lawyer like those at Duce Bastian Peterson is able to reconstruct the accident from physical evidence, witness statements, and even using specially trained experts. This way the case can be ready for trial if necessary.

Inspect the Scene and Evidence Inspection

If fault is at issue, the attorney is going to examine photos for clues, inspect the scene of the wreck, look at the physical damage to the vehicles, and interview witnesses. This is where data recovery begins. The attorney and specialists may need to check road conditions, measure skid marks, look for debris, and take a careful critical look through every bit of information available.

During the inspection they will take photographs. Photos will also be taken of the vehicles involved in the accident. These photographs are extremely important as time passes since they can often help point to how fast someone was driving, which directions the vehicles were traveling at impact, whether one vehicle was breaking or not, and many other factors.

Look for Eyewitnesses

Now, eyewitnesses are not always completely reliable but they certainly help and many times are the key to resolving disputes between the drivers.   Their potential biases, their vantage points, and the reasons for their taking note of what happened are all important factors.

The combination of these various types of evidence make it possible for a lawyer and his or her experts to recreate a crash. All of this information is important so the crash can be played out for the trial.

If you have been involved in a car accident and received injuries, compensation may be due. Contact an experienced Everett car accident attorney today to discuss your case. Call Duce Bastian Peterson to schedule a free initial consultation.

© Duce Bastian Peterson

Tractor Trailer Accidents

big rig truck

Injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, contact Duce Bastian Peterson.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association these deadly crashes were in addition to 385,000 injury crashes involving large trucks or buses. In Washington State, the safety data is also troubling; between 2010 and 2013 the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by nearly one-third.

Because of the size difference between a large truck and a passenger car, when collisions occur, the chance that the driver of the smaller car will be seriously injured or killed is significantly increased . While only rarely does the driver of the big rig get hurt.

Even though commercial truck drivers and the trucking companies they work for are expected to receive and follow more rigorous safety standards than automobile drivers, the rules that are meant to keep us all safe on the roadways do not always get followed. In nearly every case we handle for victims of commercial truck crashes we discover safety violations on the part of the trucking company. We work closely with top accident investigators – experts with years of experience investigating large truck collisions for the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Department of Transportation and other respected institutions, in order to gather and analyze evidence from these collisions. Our goal is not just to find out what happened to our client, but to dig deeper and find out why it happened. In most cases this is the only way we can motivate the people with the power to prevent the same thing happening to someone else to change their ways. Safety must always be a top concern and the culture of safety begins at the top.

If you or someone close to you has been involved in crash with a large truck or other commercial vehicle you should not be deceived into believing that the insurance company representatives are looking out for your interests. Do not sign any paperwork, or even give any statements, to insurance company people before talking with a lawyer experienced in handling trucking injury cases.

The attorneys at Duce Bastian Peterson have successfully litigated cases involving serious injury and death cases resulting from collisions caused by Semi’s, commercial trucks, garbage trucks, logging trucks, heavy equipment trailers, 18-wheelers, and double trailer combinations. If you or someone close to you has been involved in a crash with a large truck or other type of commercial vehicle please give one of our attorneys a call at 425-259-4151 for a free consultation.


© Duce Bastian Peterson

Personal Injury Claim: Steps to Take

man on crutches

Injured? Follow these steps, and call Duce Bastian Peterson.

If you have been injured and it is at the fault of someone else’s negligence, it is recommended to talk with an Everett personal injury attorney at Duce Bastian Peterson. Our attorneys are able to help you along the way in performing all the necessary steps leading up to the case. If you are still considering, these are the steps you must follow.

Start with the Consultation

Before you go after the individual or company responsible for the injury you need to seek out an initial consultation with an Everett personal injury lawyer. The consultation with attorneys at Duce Bastian Peterson is free and they can go over the facts in order to determine whether or not the case is worth pursuing and the best way to move forward from where you are.

Move onto the Paperwork

If you decide to move forward, it is time to file all of the formal paperwork with the court. The paperwork is going to drafted up for not only the court but for the individual or company being sued. This document is known as the “complaint.” It is going to include the injury, what took place and some other basic information. It will also be accompanied with a summons to appear in court, which is delivered to the person or company being sued.

Collect Evidence

Now is the important stage of collecting evidence. It can’t just be a “he said she said” situation; courts require persuasive evidence. So, from taking photographs of a cracked walkway or collision scene to collecting medical opinions from doctors, taking depositions and issuing subpoenas the attorneys at Duce Bastian Peterson will handle things.

Settlement or Trial

After the evidence is collect and preserved many cases are able to be settled, however in some situations a trial is required to achieve fairness and justice.   The attorneys at Duce Bastian Peterson have more than 90 years of combined experience in helping their client’s get justice after an injury.

If you have suffered from a personal injury, contact the experienced Everett personal injury attorneys at Duce Bastian Peterson today! We can help you understand your options and help file your claim. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

© Duce Bastian Peterson

Safest Cars for Teenage Drivers

teenage girl holding car keys

Keep your teenage safe on the road, if injured in a car accident call (425) 259-415 Now!

Parents purchasing vehicles for their teenage drivers must focus on safety because the accident rate for teenage drivers is three times higher than for all other drivers. The last ten years has seen car models fitted with more and more safety features to bring down the number of car accidents. It is now easier to find a used vehicle with the required safety features and a decent crash test performance without breaking the bank.

Crucial safety features include; electronic stability control (ESC) that enables car drivers to keep up vehicle control on slippery roads and curves. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has stability control among its recommendations for safe vehicles. As of 2012 all cars have ESC. Other recommended safety features include at least 6 airbags, a “good” safety rating, and smaller engines that provide less horsepower. Forward collision avoidance and warnings are also being added to some new models.

The following are some examples of safe vehicles for teen drivers:

2008 or later Honda Accord is one of the most highly rated mid-size sedans in the U.S. It has a spacious interior, with comfortable seats with enough space for tall people, this vehicle is handy if your teen participates in sports i.e. basketball.

2009 and newer Toyota Corolla are highly rated in safety, economy and reliability. In 2009 ABS came standard along with side airbags and head protection. The car is small enough for easier maneuverability and parking.

2007 or later Volvo S60, this is a comfortable vehicle fitted with many safety features like ABS, standard side and head airbags and ESC since 2007.

2009 and newer Subaru Forester, this vehicle has enough room for sports gear and has been noted for its safety and practicality.
2009 and newer Chevrolet Malibu performed will against other smaller vehicles in safety features and crash tests.

As an Everett Washington car accident lawyer who values the safety of young drivers, I advise parents to avoid purchasing the high performance vehicles for their teenage drivers. Be sure that your child is driving one of the safer car out there and is trained to avoid distraction while behind the wheel.

In the unfortunate event that you or your child are injured in a car accident, seek the advice of an experienced Everett personal injury attorney. At Duce Bastian Peterson, we have the experience to help you with the legal aspects of a collision while you or your child focuses on getting better. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

© Duce Bastian Peterson

Common Types of Injuries at Construction Sites

construction worker

If you have been injured in a construction site accident, contact us today!

Due to the machinery, working at heights, and debris, construction sites have more inherent dangers than almost all other types of working conditions. Construction workers have an important job to do and have a right to rely on their employer, other contractors, and the general contractor to follow the rules about maintaining a safe place to work. Just like any other workplace, an employee should not expect to be injured while on the job. In fact, those overseeing construction sites should consider safety as the number one priority. Unfortunately, sometimes a contractor is tempted to make something other than worker safety as their top priority. Here are some common types of injuries workers may receive if their employers aren’t providing satisfactory safeguards.

  1. Equipment. Equipment like cranes, trucks, or hydraulic machines should be maintained and properly operated, but sometimes they aren’t.
    2. Falls. Many construction workers are supported by ladders or scaffolding or the like. If these things are installed improperly or guardrails aren’t up to standard, dangerous falls can occur.
    3. Loose equipment. Small tools can cause just as much danger as large ones. A falling hammer can be deadly from a high enough height.
    4. Flammable material. Exposed wires, chemicals, and electrical materials are an inevitable part of construction. However, they should all be treated with extreme caution.

If you’ve been involved in a construction site injury resulting from a failure of the general contractor to enforce safety rules or by the negligence of anyone other than your own employer or a fellow employee, legal help can put you on the smoothest path to recovering damages. Not only that, but we can help ensure that safety is returned to its proper priority and prevent others from suffering your same fate. The Everett personal injury attorneys at Duce Bastian Peterson are available today for a consultation.