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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.

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.

college campus

Campus Safety

As a college student, you may be experiencing complete freedom for the first time in your life, and it may seem both exhilarating and overwhelming. You left your parents at home and now you are on your own (except when it comes to cash, of course). Nevertheless, no one can tell you what you can and cannot do, as probably you know everything already, correct? Unfortunately, statistics show otherwise.

Even though college campuses are regarded as a sort of safety bubble for students, crimes of different sorts continue happening. Crimes ranging from assaults, to burglaries to sex crimes have been reported on many campuses across the nation. While most of them are committed by residents (students) of the campus, almost 20% were committed by outsiders from the surrounding communities. No one expects anything like that to happen in the new life that you are about to start, but it is wise to keep a  few tips in mind to  assist you during times of need as you finish your studies on campus. As the old adage goes, “Better safe than sorry.”

Campus Is Not As Safe As Many Think

As much as you are used to listening to your mp3 player or Smartphone at all times, at least as a freshman, avoid this habit and try to become more aware of your surroundings. Watch and scan carefully for different people and scenarios in order to recognize a potentially dangerous situation in time to avoid it. College students come from many different places and backgrounds, so it is impossible to be quite sure if every single one of them has fully honest intentions. Walking alone at night has never been a good idea for any place in the world and college campus are not the exception. Always invite a trusted friend to join you on your night walks back to your dorm. Aside from experiencing potential danger outside, indoor crime can be serious as well, both for you and your possessions. Let locking the doors and closing the windows while you are asleep or out become a trustworthy habit. This can spare you from burglaries, assaults, or even sex crimes. Most campuses have specific emergency systems and emergency points; be informed on where they are located and how to access them. Furthermore, get to know your campus well. Walk around the campus frequently and get to know paths, shortcuts and hiding spots.

Additional Tips

Parties will probably be an avoidable part of your college life, and even though they are seemingly harmless, try attending with at least one friend that’s going to stick around with you. Don’t allow yourself to get too lost in all of the madness happening there. Taking self-defense or martial art classes can also be beneficial if you are ever in an unforeseen situation; even carrying a simple pepper spray can be advantageous. No one is 100% safe anytime, anywhere, so with this in mind be sure you have taken necessary precautions in case you encounter a precarious situation.

What safety measures does your campus have in place?  

Interact with Dogs: Child Safety

Dog experts will agree that some dogs bite and some dogs don’t, but all dog bites are preventable. Unfortunately, children are at a high risk of receiving a bite from a dog. In Canada and the United States, between 1982 and 2014, of all the reported dog bite cases, 81% of the victims were children. Additionally, between 2010 and 2012, 359,223 children were bitten by a dog and while many people assume that dog bites are received from strange dogs, about 61% of dog bites occur within the home or in a familiar place.

While there is often controversy as to where the responsibility falls when a dog bite occurs (some blame the owners, others blame the victim) parents can help decrease the risk of a dog bite by teaching their child how to responsibly and safely interact with dogs.

Adult Supervision Around Dogs

Although it’s important that children are taught how to behave around dogs, either familiar or unfamiliar, adults are also responsible for supervising children around dogs. If an adult is around, particularly the owner of the dog, the dog is less likely to attack. If an attack does occur, adult intervention can help reduce the severity of the attack (ie. fatal attack). Similarly, if a child is left alone with a dog and the dog does attack, the child is less likely to free him or herself from the attack than if an adult was present. Not only are adults responsible for supervising a dog’s behavior, unsupervised children are more likely to wander off into a potentially dangerous situation.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

This is an important question to answer, especially for people who assume that dogs are always at fault. First off, there is no one reason why dogs bite, but here are a few:

  • Dogs are Pack Animals: By nature, dogs are pack animals and much of their behavior is based on such instincts. Since children are typically smaller than most dogs, some dogs may consider themselves as superior or alpha. Additionally, a dog may display protective behavior for a territory or person (which is also instinctive behavior).
  • Boundaries are Compromised: Many dogs are territorial and have boundaries in which they feel comfortable and safe. Children, on the hand, do not understand boundaries. An overly protective dog can feel threatened when his or her boundaries are crossed.
  • Too Much Physical Contact: Most dogs like affection and are eager to receive it, but if a tail or ear is pulled by an overly affectionate child, a bite may occur as a warning to “back off”.

Show and Tell Your Child How to Interact with Dogs

While dog owners have a great responsibility to teach their dogs not to bite and to recognize a potentially dangerous situation (ie. meeting strangers or too much stimulation in public), parents can only control how their child acts around dogs (or how the family dog acts). Here are some tips to teaching your child how to act around dogs:

  • When approaching a dog (and his or her owner) always walk slowly and quietly
  • Always ask the owner if you can pet his or her dog, never assume
  • If the owner says “yes”, slowly extend your hand to let the dog sniff the back of it (not the palm)
  • Pet a dog’s shoulder or chest, not the head

 

Additionally, if a child is in a dangerous situation with a dog, he or she should:

  • Never run, but give the dog a jacket, backpack, or something not attached to them
  • Avoid direct eye contact and stand like a tree with arms at their sides
  • Remain quiet and curled up in the fetal position if the dog knocks him or her down

Airbnb: Preparing Your Home

Becoming an Airbnb host is a great way to generate some extra income for that spare bedroom in your home or for the whole space when you are off visiting family and friends over holiday break. Before you take pictures of your home, set a price and post on the Airbnb site, you need to make sure your home is ready to be rented out short term by complete strangers.

Is it Legal to Rent Out Your Space?

Many Airbnb hosts, eager to keep up with rent payments while visiting friends states away, are unaware that it may be illegal to rent out their space for a day or two. Whether you rent an apartment or own a home, you need to check out the laws in your city or your rental agreement. Even if your landlord is never around and you’re only renting out your place for a night or two, you could be violating your lease and you could return home from your own trip with an eviction notice. Know all of the legalities before you decide to host, it’s not worth the risk.

Get Your Home Ready as an Airbnb Host

If you’re given the “go ahead” to be an Airbnb host, congratulations, but you will need to do a little prep work before you rent your space for your own safety and the safety and comfort of your potential renters.

  • Keep it Clean: If you have the extra funds to hire a professional cleaner, go ahead and splurge, otherwise clean your space as you see fit. The cleaner the space, the better ratings you’re likely to get. Additionally, if you don’t take the time to clean, you really can’t expect much in return from your renters. If your home is prone to dust, animal dander, or even mold, you should definitely mention something in your description.
  • Fix Up Your Space: Just as you would with a long term renter or guest, you’d make sure to fix any hazardous areas in your home, such as a loose railing, broken step, or unsafe electrical. In the event of a guest injury in your home, Airbnb offers insurance, but you also want to talk to your insurance provider and make sure what’s covered.
  • Communicate Everything: If, for some reason, something breaks right before a renter is due, make sure you communicate any potential dangers. A responsible and successful Airbnb host communicates everything. You should make all directions and expectations completely clear, as well as the inventory or space that is available. This can be something as simple as how to use the coffeepot or television remote to using the washing machine. Don’t leave any surprises for your guests or advertise that you provide one thing when you don’t have it.
  • Keep Your Valuables Safe: Whether you’re a regular host or an every-now-and-then, it’s important to keep your valuables safe from the strangers who live among your possessions. If you have an extra room, you could store important documents or heirlooms in the room and restrict access. A fireproof safe, with a combination lock or key, is also a good idea. If you are too worried about having your stuff looked at or handled, you probably should reconsider becoming an Airbnb host.