Tips for Keeping Your Home Secure When You’re Away From Home

Keeping your family safe when you’re at or near your home is one thing. But keeping your home secure when you’re away from it is a whole nother matter. From going on a business trip to a family vacation, there are many reasons why you may need to leave your home for an extended period of time. 

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that property crime—particularly of empty homes—is something we need to be mindful of. If you think that it could never happen to you, consider that there were 7.2 million reported cases of property crime in the U.S. in 2018 alone. It’s worth noting that the actual number of incidents is likely to be far higher, given that some people choose not to report such incidents to the police.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you should never leave the house again! It just means that it pays to be “better safe than sorry.” If you’re after some useful precautionary measures that you can implement to secure your home when you’re away, keep reading.

Install a Home Security System

One of the best defenses you can take to prevent property crime is to install a comprehensive home security system and burglar alarms. We already discussed the importance of doing so in our article about home safety tips, so we won’t go into too much detail here.

The key thing to remember is that it’s well worth the time, effort, and expense of doing so, as in addition to helping prevent potential break ins, a home security system and burglar alarms can also provide invaluable footage of an incident, should the worst happen. 

Let Your Neighbors Know 

The simplest home security measures can sometimes be among the most effective. Case in point: telling your neighbors whenever you need to be away from home. “Alerting your neighbors to the fact that you’ll be away from home offers you the peace of mind that someone will be looking out for your best interests,” says Angela Stringfellow from Family Enthusiast.

“Of course, it’s vital to install a home security system. But having a neighbor keep an eye out for anything fishy could spell the difference between a potential break in and an actual one.” 

To this end, Stringfellow advises informing your neighbor of key details such as:

  • How long you’ll be gone for
  • Where you’ll be going
  • Your best contact number
  • How to work the alarms
  • What things to watch for
  • What they should do if they suspect something is amiss

“Be sure that they’re aware of what your precise situation will be while you’re gone. For example, if you’ve arranged for someone to check in on your house, be sure to tell them. You don’t want your neighbor accidentally mistaking them for a burglar!”

Secure Your Car

If you ever need to leave your car at home while you’re away, this tip is for you. After all, vehicle theft is no laughing matter. The FBI estimates that nearly 773,139 motor vehicle thefts were recorded and almost $6 billion was lost to this type of crime in 2017.

So if you don’t want your car to become a statistic, it’s advisable to start using a high-tech car alarm system. There are many benefits to doing so. For starters, these systems are specifically designed to protect your car from being stolen or broken into. Even if your car already comes with a solid alarm system, it’s wise to double up on protection given what’s at stake.

Another key benefit is that many insurance companies are willing to offer you a lower rate if your vehicle has an alarm system installed. One final benefit is that using a car alarm system will give you the peace of mind that your car will be secure, even when you’re thousands of miles away from it. 

Minimize the Signs That You’re Away from Home

The fact of the matter is that the more obvious it is that you’re away from home, the greater the likelihood that your home and/or car will become the target by burglars. So it’s logical, then, to minimize the signs that you’re away.

Fortunately, doing so couldn’t be easier. Here are a few tips we suggest that you put into action next time you have a trip of any kind planned:

  • Clear your mailbox before you leave
  • Ask your neighbor or a friend to collect your mail
  • Mow your lawn
  • Keep a few lights on in your house
  • Don’t advertise your trip on social media 
  • Don’t make it obvious that you’re going away on your answering machine message

Keep Your Family Safe With These Home Safety Tips

Keeping your family safe at home—particularly when you’re spending considerably more time there than usual—is no doubt a major concern at the top of your mind. So what is the best way to keep your family safe? The short answer is to take proactive—rather than reactive—home safety measures.

To do so, you will need to ensure that your home is equipped with the right items to prevent and/or promptly respond to any incidents. If you are looking for some tips to help you get started, consult our expert home safety tips below.

Have the Right Supplies on Hand

When you are faced with an accident or emergency at home, you need to have the right supplies on hand in order to react quickly and effectively. At minimum, you should have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand. It should feature all of the essentials you could need, such as gauze, bandages, tweezers, disinfectant, a first aid guide, and so on.

However, we suggest going a step further. After all, a first aid kit will allow you to attend to certain wounds and accidents, but not much else more. It’s well worth putting together an emergency food kit as well as a general emergency survival kit.

These kits are designed to ensure you and your family have access to adequate supply of food and other essential items should a natural disaster strike. Hopefully, you will never need to confront such a situation. But if you do, you will no doubt be thankful to have made the effort to purchase such essentials.

Consider Installing Home Security Cameras and Burglar Alarms

Installing home security cameras and burglar alarms is generally considered a wise idea for a couple of reasons. Depending on how visible your home security camera and burglar alarms are, their mere presence may be enough to dissuade a potential break-in or other unsavory incidents from occurring.

Home security cameras will also record footage that you may be able to use to catch an offender or build a case against them. Meanwhile, burglar alarms will alert you and/or the police if anything sets them off.

A final reason that you may wish to install them is due to the peace of mind they will likely provide your family.

(Speaking of alarms, make sure that you have installed fire alarms throughout your house and that they’re all in working order!)

Devise a Safety Plan That Outlines What to Do in the Event of an Emergency 

One of the most practical things you can do to keep your family safe is to ensure everyone is on the same page about what to do in the event of an emergency. This is particularly important to do if you have young children, who are more likely to panic when faced with a confronting situation.

The easiest way to go about this is to establish a safety plan for the whole household to follow. We recommend taking a read of the Department of Homeland Security’s comprehensive guide to making a family safety plan. It explains step-by-step how to create one, and usefully highlights a number of important considerations to keep in mind when doing so.

Once you’ve finalized your family’s unique safety plan, print out a copy for each family member to read and familiarize themselves with. Keep multiple copies of the plan throughout your house so it’s always easily accessible. Be sure to let your children know that they can approach you at any time if they need you to reiterate the plan or answer any questions they have about it. 

Don’t Forget to Make Plans For Your Pet

When you start putting home safety plans into place, it can be easy to let some vital considerations slip your mind. One of the most common ones that people forget about is their pets.

So what can you do to ensure your four-legged friends are also accounted for? We suggest two main things. Firstly, prepare an emergency kit just for your pet. Make sure to include items such as additional food, medication, emergency numbers, and any other emergency supplies that could come in handy in the event of a disaster.

Secondly, consider taking out pet insurance. Pet insurance is just like normal insurance, only it focuses solely on your pet. Each pet insurance company offers different levels of coverage and rates, so be sure to compare at least a few before committing to one. The reason pet insurance is worthwhile is because it gives you the peace of mind that should something happen to your pet, the insurance will partly or wholly cover their treatment. 

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Suing Someone for Sexual Assault

There are no two victims of sexual assault with the same experience, just as there is no “typical victim” in these crimes. Anyone can be targeted for rape or sexual assault. Victims include men, women and children of all ages. Survivors of these crimes suffer long-term physical, mental and emotional trauma that affects their lives and those of their families.

To a rape victim, recovery may seem impossible at first. It takes work for these victims to return to some normalcy in daily life and they need support from various areas in order to do so. For many, empowerment is gained in the Arizona criminal courts through the state’s tough stance on these types of crimes. For others, Arizona’s civil courts provide a means of empowerment by allowing the victim to initiate their own legal case against their criminal perpetrator.

Civil Accountability for Sexual Assault or Rape

It may seem impossible to fully financially compensate for the emotional, mental and physical pain of sexual assault or rape. But it is possible to gain a sense of vindication and closure for trauma through Arizona civil courts. At the same time, you can be financially compensated for the injuries you suffered and other damages, to help you regain footing in your life. Attorneys with experience in representation of sexual assault victims are able to help these victims hold criminals accountable for their actions.

There are statutes of limitations that apply to civil cases after sexual assault, rape or other crimes. This is why contacting an attorney becomes urgent after a sexual assault has occurred. You are limited in how much time you have to file a claim against your offender.

When you decide to talk to the personal injury lawyers of Cantor Crane, you will receive a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case. This private, confidential consultation will allow you to talk with us about your needs, just as we are able to inform you of steps we can take to provide the closure and compensation that you deserve.

Who can be held accountable in civil court, for a sexual assault or rape?

Beyond the obvious offender, you may be able to hold other parties accountable for your sexual assault, as well. Some examples of others who may also be responsible include property owners who may have inadvertently provided a place for your crime to occur. By not ensuring adequate lighting or security on their property, they are not meeting their obligation of reasonable care on their premises.

When you speak with the sex assault lawyers of Cantor Crane, you will be able to gain some understanding of how a claim for monetary compensation can be pursued. But due to statutes of limitations, it is critical that you request a consultation as soon as possible.

Why file a civil case for sexual assault or rape?

Victims of sexual assault suffer injuries that are even difficult to overcome after a long period of time. By pursuing a civil case, these victims can gain power and a voice that the criminal case does not provide. It also allows victims to gain some compensation for the alterations made to the course of their lives due to these heinous crimes.

One issue experienced by most sexual assault victims is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a major problem and brings depression, anxiety, and even the possibility of suicide under an umbrella of many disorder symptoms. The suffering that PTSD causes makes it even more important for victims to reach out to a sex crimes attorney as soon as possible. By developing and filing a civil case, the victim can start using resulting empowerment and strength to overcome the aftereffects of their sexual assault.

Sexual assault victims are:

  • 26 times more likely to abuse drugs
  • 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol
  • Six times more likely to suffer PTSD
  • Four times more likely to commit suicide
  • Three times more likely to have depression

Civil cases provide compensation for all of the things that a victim of sexual assault experiences as losses and injuries. While a civil case cannot erase all of the damage of rape or sexual assault, it can provide financial means to recover, in addition to the much-needed closure gained from having a voice against the offender in court.

Compensation for the following losses and injuries can be gained through a well-formed civil claim:

  • Physical injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and associated symptoms, including crippling triggers
  • Insomnia, nightmares and other sleep disorders
  • Fear and anxiety in public places or social settings
  • Attention deficit disorder or inability to concentrate on school or work
  • Lost motivation in work and personal life
  • Termination from employment or school expulsion
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Withdrawing from previously enjoyed activities
  • Significant expenses – medical, psychological, relocation
  • Intimacy difficulties, sexual and emotional
  • Problems in relationships or becoming close to others
  • Sexually transmitted viruses or other diseases

Use Civil Laws to Rebuild Your Life after Sexual Assault or Rape

Experienced representation by an attorney willing to fight for your rights is an important part of your healing from sexual assault or rape. Although you have suffered damages that may never heal, you can use civil courts as they were intended, to be heard and stand up against your offender. Through a civil claim, you can gain compensation through a settlement designed to help you recover and start fresh.

How Much Can I Recover in My Motorcycle Accident Injury Settlement?

Motorcycle accidents can have catastrophic results, when it comes to the lives of everyone involved. These accidents often result in very serious injuries, damages and even fatalities. Most motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles result in the motorcyclist needing immediate medical treatment. Many crashes cause the rider to need long-term follow up care or rehabilitation for injuries sustained in the accident. Of course, there are also other damages, including property damage, lost income due to missed work and rehabilitation costs.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you need the help and guidance of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney phoenix. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you receive the settlement you deserve for injuries and other damages as a result of your accident.

Overall Costs of Motorcycle Accident Damages in the U.S.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the highest overall motorcycle accident property damage losses in 2014 were experienced by super sport motorcycle riders. These motorcycles sustain more damage at greater expense than nine other classes of motorcycles.

In an index of property damage losses all motorcycles are indexed at 100, whereas super sport motorcycles receive an index of damage at 345. This means that damages sustained by super sport motorcycles and paid by insurance companies are 3.45 times greater than other types of motorcycles. Super sport motorcycle owners also file insurance claims with greater frequency than owners of other types of motorcycles.

The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported that motorcycle crashes occurring in 2010 cost about $16 billion. These costs included:

  • Emergency services on the accident scene
  • Medical costs
  • Rehabilitation
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of household productivity
  • Insurance costs
  • Defense attorney costs for the at-fault driver

Of the above costs to accident victims and negligent drivers, lost income and market productivity accounted for the largest percentage of overall accident costs. Lost wages and market productivity were 44 percent of total crash expense. Medical costs rated at 18 percent of the overall accident financial toll.

Personal Financial Toll of Motorcycle Accidents

Damages associated with your motorcycle accident will usually depend on the types of losses you experienced due to your crash. You will likely be able to claim several types of compensation as being owed to you by the at-fault driver, including some or all of the following:

Medical Costs

As an injured victim in a motorcycle accident, you were probably provided with emergency medical treatment at the scene of the crash. You may have been transported to the hospital by ambulance. Whether you did receive EMT attention or walked into the hospital yourself, you likely have multiple injuries necessitating ongoing medical care. All of these costs, as well as rehabilitation and future costs of your injuries, can be claimed toward settlement compensation.

Lost Income

When you were injured in your motorcycle accident, you may have missed some work for recovery from the crash. You may have also missed work to attend medical appointments for injury care and other accident related requirements. If you are seriously injured, you may miss work for the long term. These hours, days or weeks of lost work and financial impact of those losses can be included in your claim.

Property Damage

Your motorcycle is likely damaged after your accident. You probably face expensive repair or replacement costs. These costs will be part of your settlement. You may also need an alternate form of transportation while your motorcycle is being fixed or as you await replacement. These auto rental costs can also be included in your compensation, in most circumstances.

Pain and Suffering

Although pain and suffering costs may be included in your settlement amount, these expenses can be difficult to calculate. Factors in this amount include the types of injuries you sustained in your crash, the nature of treatments required and how extensive the medical treatment is for recovery. Insurance companies often challenge pain and suffering amounts claimed by injured victims of accidents. So you will need to provide documentation of injuries and expenses for your pain and suffering to be considered in the settlement.

You Need an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

After your motorcycle accident, you need a trusted, skilled and experienced motorcycle lawyer to handle your insurance claim. A good personal injury lawyer phoenix will know your state’s laws governing motorcycle accidents and can help you understand your legal rights and how your personal injury claim must be submitted to insurance companies.

The ideal result of a motorcycle accident injury claim is a quick settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. A personal injury lawyer can help facilitate this settlement and negotiate with insurance adjusters to ensure you are compensated as you deserve for your damages.

But if the claim settlement offer is not satisfactory for your damages and personal needs, your personal injury lawyer can take your claim to court for a judgment to be received. If your motorcycle accident attorney has a reputation among insurance adjusters in your state, you stand a better chance of achieving a positive settlement instead of having to go to court. But when court is necessary, a quality attorney will fight for you to gain the amounts you truly deserve.

Personal Injury Law, Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Negligence, or neglect, is one of the prime areas of personal injury law.

Negligence implies that a person should have known (or at least been able to anticipate) the outcome of his/her actions. For example, a driver knows if he hits someone with his car, bodily injury is almost certainly the result.

The premise of negligence goes far beyond auto accidents, however. In fact, it is one of the largest elements of medical malpractice – another major area of personal injury law.

If a medical device manufacturer knowingly produces a product that – due to lapses or failures in design, defects in manufacture, or lack of clarity when it comes to operational instructions – harms an individual, that is a prime example of medical negligence.

The Definition of Medical Negligence

In many cases, medical negligence can be defined as the failure to act. It can also be an action that deviates from an accepted standard of care – that is, acting appropriately, effectively, or in a medically necessary fashion, when, for example, action was called for – as in the case of putting a watch on a patient who has a burst appendix instead of operating.

In today’s world, the term “medical malpractice” is virtually the same as medical negligence. Both suggest a lapse of necessary, appropriate and timely medical care on the part of a medical professional.

Most of us have lapses of attention, but our momentary fugue states rarely end in disability, disfigurement or death unless we are behind the wheel of a car or armed with a weapon – or so skilled in defensive maneuvers that our hands and bodies are weapons.

Not so with medical professionals, who have an extra burden of the “duty of reasonable care” (one of the underpinnings of personal injury law).

When Negligence Becomes Malpractice

When a doctor, therapist, nurse or other medical professional fails to act, or to act appropriately to the situation, it does not always result in bodily harm. The surgeon may ignore or overlook a disease or disability, and the patient could potentially recover and go on to live a normal life.

When, however, the medical professional’s failure to act results in injury to the patient, negligence becomes malpractice. Malpractice occurs whenever a medical professional’s behavior, or lack of it, results in complications, creates the need for additional or alternate treatment, or in any way makes the patient worse than he/she was before.

In some cases, depending on the nature of the situation (incurable disease, untreatable malfunction, etc.), a medical professional’s perceived failure may not be malpractice at all. For example, a victim with multiple sclerosis may be treated by a doctor and yet find his or her inability to walk remains. This is not the fault of the doctor, or even of the treatment modality, but of an intractable disease that, in its later stages, does not reliably respond to any treatment.

Treating Intractable Disease

The same is true of a patient who begins going to a doctor with an essentially untreatable condition (like lupus, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, or any other persistent, deteriorating medical condition), and eventually finds himself or herself getting worse.

Getting worse is part of the typical progress of the disease, and cannot be prevented, even with the best medicines and most aggressive therapies.

There are, however, instances of doctors facing these intractable diseases who exceed their mandate (and the dictates of sound medicine) by giving more medication than is needed, using medications not approved for treating the condition in question, or otherwise behaving excessively. This verges on medical recklessness.

In some cases, the caregivers or parents want this extremely aggressive treatment. They may even insist on it. This does not relieve the doctor, nurse or therapist of responsibility, because – under the law – it is assumed the medical professional knew better.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury at the hands of a medical professional, consult a qualified personal injury attorney for advice on whether you have a case or not.   

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