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.   

Dangerous Dogs

“Detroit Man Suffers Catastrophic Injuries from dogs in Pit Bull Pack Attack.” shrieked the Detroit Free Press headline.

For those of us who love dogs (and, I suppose, for those who fear them), the headline was typical of the sort of overblown rhetoric the mainstream press uses to attract new readers and keep old ones coming back. After all, nothing except sex sells as well as blood and butchery in today’s media-saturated world.   

Granted, it was a horrific attack. More than a dozen pit bulls, eight of which were adult, attacked Steve Constantine, 50, after he had offered to help feed them. The owner, Derrick Felton, 61, accepted Constantine’s help but reportedly ran away after the attack started. Both Felton and his mother, the owner of the home, are named in Constantine’s lawsuit.

Nature vs. Nurture

The dogs, some of whom were puppies, were not pets. They were raised like factory-farmed animals, struck and/or deprived of food for barking and growling, and given little or no friendly contact with any human other than Felton, who could hardly be described as friendly.

Sadly, meanness is not the pit bull’s natural behavior. Nor is it the nature of any of the “bully breeds”, whether pit, Cane Corso, Presa Canario, American Staffordshire terrier, the American pit bull terrier, the boxer, the bulldog, or the Boston terrier. In fact, in England, during the Victorian Era (1837–1901), pit bulls were kept as family pets because they were considered “nanny dogs” (i.e., good babysitters). Illustrations of family life from that period often show the pit bull laying on the floor next to its charge, a chubby baby in a long, white gown.

Pit bulls, known as “pitties” to their human fans, naturally show an inordinate degree of protectiveness when raised in human families, by people who love them. Pit bulls are charming, boisterous, a little goofy, often highly intelligent, and – if raised properly – very friendly. This means they do not make the best guard dogs, except as “inside” dogs protecting their home and family.

Raising them like feral children leads to all kinds of misbehavior. In Constantine’s case, it meant losing an arm and a leg. Training them to fight other dogs, as Felton was apparently doing, turns naturally affectionate pitties into monsters.

Dogs as Family

The pit bull’s strong protective instinct goes back a long way, into the dawn of man’s relationship with canines.

“That instinct, in fact, is the origin of the family unit,” according to animal behaviorists, who point out that canines have been guarding their human families for at least 15,000 years. (The only question that remains is, who domesticated whom?)

Dogs as Protection

Dogs, and specifically pit bulls, are even becoming the favorite among those concerned with rising crime.

Whether inner city or rural isolation, nothing is quite as effective as a barking dog inside the premises to discourage every type of mayhem, from the average burglar to the crazed drug addict.

Pit bulls are also the most sensible solution. A gun can fall into the wrong hands, and kill the wrong person(s). A knife is almost ineffectual against a determined assailant, but a pittie will not be confused by who is the aggressor, where to sink those impressive teeth, or even whether one’s human family is worth dying for.

As for a pit bull’s ability to protect, look no further than the wide jaw and well developed temporalis muscles that create the pit bull’s characteristic cheek bulge and seriously impressive bite force, enabling it to bite firmly and hang on virtually forever.  

Dogs as Companions

Pit bulls are very good companions. In fact, in tests run by the American Temperament Test Society, Inc., or ATTS, pitties scored above some dog breeds traditionally seen as “friendly”

The ATTS test, which rates various characteristics like aggression, friendliness, protectiveness (towards owners or handlers), shyness, stability, and the extent to which a dog will go to protect itself, is the benchmark standard for canine domesticity. Higher scores indicate lower sociability. To date, 728 out of 839 American Pit bull Terriers scored below the average. Well below Chihuahuas, for example, and terriers.

By comparison, the tiny, fluffy Bichon Frise scored 76.7 percent – scores that don’t surprise pit bull owners, who are constant witness to the affectionate, sometimes silly, but always conscientious guard-dog attitude of their pitties.

Most bites Are the Result of Misunderstandings

Another factor – and one that can only be corrected by professional training – is the pit bull’s protective instinct. The fact is, the majority of dog bites occur among children aged 1 to 10 years old.

The cause is simple. Usually, the pit bull guardian misinterpreted  a hug from your child’s friend as aggressive behavior. This can happen with any breed, but the pit bull’s bite force can turn a mishap into a tragedy.

Moreover, if your pittie bites, you may have a more difficult time defending it, and yourself, simply because of the pit bull’s undeserved reputation. In fact, in some cities and municipalities, your pitty may actually be illegal. If so, and even if you didn’t know it, you will need the services of a good law firm.

You can eliminate some of this danger, notes the legal website CK Law, by training both your dog and your child, and by supervising those times when your child, his or her friends, and your dog are in the same room. Because accidents happen no matter how careful you are.

pool safety

How to Keep Your Home Pool Safe This Summer

Summer is in full swing, and if you’ve got a pool at home, it’s probably already getting a large amount of use! Do you have a bunch of family and neighbors over constantly? Your back gate may almost be like a swinging door as people are going in and out at all times of the day. While having your own home pool is awesome for you and everyone you know, it’s also a huge responsibility. The last thing you want is for a friend or family member to get hurt while playing in your pool. Make sure you’re following these tips for keeping your home pool safe all summer long

 

Secure Your Pool

Make sure your pool is completely surrounded by a fence at least 4-feet high. You also want the gate to be self-closing and self-latching. This can help prevent smaller children from making their way into the pool area if that’s not where they’re supposed to be. You might even consider getting a cover for your pool when it’s not in use to help prevent anyone from falling in.

 

Always Keep an Active Watch on Children

It’s so important to stay incredibly alert while kids are in the pool. Even if they do know how to swim, anything could happen. Make sure you know where they are at all times. Adult supervision is one of the most important factors in ensuring the safety of younger kids. You should stay within an arm’s reach of small children. Keep in mind that anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

 

Make Sure Everyone Knows How to Swim

You might enroll your kids in swim lessons. If the neighbor’s kids don’t know how to swim – handle it in a way you feel comfortable with. Perhaps you ask their parents to be in the pool with them at all times, or you may simply not allow them in your pool at all. Remember that if anyone gets hurt on your property, you could be held responsible.

 

Keep Rescue Equipment Next to the Pool

Safety rings and long poles are crucial to have by your pool in the event of an emergency.

 

Teach Kids How to Dial 9-1-1

If your kids don’t already know the importance of 9-1-1 in an emergency situation, now is probably the time to teach them. If a worst-case scenario was to take place and you were dealing with the situation in a hands-on way, you would want to be able to tell them to dial 9-1-1 and make sure they knew how to handle the conversation with the operator.

 

Get CPR Certified

Getting CPR certified is so important. If someone went underwater and drowned or passed out, being able to provide CPR before an ambulance arrived could literally save a life. These situations can be incredibly time-sensitive and require immediate attention.

 

hazards

When Car Accidents Are Caused by Road Hazards

Motor vehicle accidents are often caused by a driver’s poor decisions, behaviors or actions. At other times, car wrecks are caused by defective parts or other issues outside of drivers’ control. Sometimes, the very roads constructed to keep drivers safe can cause accidents.

Disintegration of roads and bridges, broken pieces of cement or road materials, traffic cones, signage and issues of road construction can cause dangerous road conditions leading to accidents.

How Roads Deteriorate

State and local roads require funding for construction, maintenance and repair. Gaining funding for these projects takes a very long time, as does completion of the projects once funding is approved. Government funding keeps bridges in good shape, roads free of potholes and disintegration of roadways from occurring. Even slightly damaged roads can cause major accidents involving multiple vehicles, leading to injuries and even causing death. When funding for road safety is not available, the roads we use every day can become more dangerous than the drivers using them.

Today’s road construction quality helps roads to last about 20 years before a major reconstruction effort must be undertaken. Regular maintenance is extremely important throughout these two decades of a road’s lifetime, with routine maintenance not being effective after the road’s lifetime has passed. This is because at the end of the 20 years, underlying issues are too great to be fixed by resurfacing or filling of cracks and potholes. Neglect of aging roads is a problem when funds are not available for reconstruction.

Dangers Associated with Infrastructure

Bridges have gained a lot of press exposure in recent years, as American bridges and infrastructure as a whole are aging. Aging bridges pose great danger, even when they appear to the naked eye to be sound. Bridges become less structurally sound over time and eventually start to fall apart. They must be repaired or even reconstructed to ensure the public and all vehicles crossing over or under them are safe.

Driver behaviors and hazards from vehicles always pose danger to other cars on roads today. But when freeways or other highways are allowed to fall into disrepair, hazards are greater and can result in even more catastrophic accidents. Potholes, narrowing shoulders, crumbling sides of the road, uneven lanes and cracking surfaces can cause vehicles to lose control, leading to a serious accident causing injuries or death.

Road Construction Dangers

Road construction is a terribly hazardous situation for both drivers and workers completing construction on the road. Many collisions occur in road construction areas, as drivers try to swerve away from workers in the road, maneuver changing circumstances of the road, handle their vehicle in more constrictive space or otherwise drive where construction is underway. All of the distractions of road construction being completed on an open road often cause drivers to make drastic mistakes, too.

 

Paving materials used for repair or construction of a road can cause problems for drivers trying to see where they are going. Temporary signage may be placed improperly or incorrect in information provided to drivers. Lane closures slow and confuse drivers and often cause accidents. Speed limit decreases for construction safety are often disregarded or cause aggressive drivers to become more dangerous. Construction vehicles cause traffic congestion, block roadways and may throw debris onto cars behind them, causing cracked windshields and even accidents.

When road construction is being completed, it is critical that all drivers navigating the hazardous area are alert and obey all warning signs. Of course, the nature of these areas and changes to once-familiar roads creates the perfect circumstances for accidents.

Indicators of Road Hazards

When roads are in disrepair, it is important to be aware of these hazards and how they can cause accidents. By simply paying attention to the surfaces driven upon and environments around roads, drivers can avoid many accidents.

Some common indicators of road disrepair include potholes, faded striping, faded areas of pavement, cracks across the road, uneven surfaces, or loose gravel. Drivers should be particularly alert when their vehicle jostles about when changing lanes or driving on particular stretches of the road. Guard rails can become hazards when a vehicle has hit them and peeled them out of place, protruding into a lane or no longer providing protection at the side of the road. Damaged signs, covered signs or missing signage can be indicators of general disrepair of roads and the need to be particularly cautious for other road hazards.

When Road Conditions Cause Accidents

Government and private businesses often hold liability when road conditions cause auto accidents. This is because they are responsible for designing, building, maintaining and reconstructing safe roads. When accidents are caused due to poor road conditions, the government and business representatives may be held liable for compensation.

Federal, state and local governments often specify obligations and responsibilities of those tasked with maintaining safe roadways.

When you or someone you love have been injured in an accident or suffered property damage caused by issues with a road, bridge or other infrastructure, government or private businesses may be responsible. An experienced auto accident attorney can help determine where responsibility may exist and whether negligence was the cause of the auto accident. It is possible to gain compensation for injuries and damages resulting from car accidents caused by dangerous road conditions.