Just Because You Take Risks, Doesn’t Mean It’s Your Fault

There is an assumption about motorcyclists: because they have chosen to ride a bike, it’s on them if something bad happens. This is, of course, wrong. When people ride roller coasters and there’s an accident, no one claims it is on the riders of the ride, even though they did take the extra risk themselves.

This is true across the board with most activities, except for when we reach into the world of “extreme.” In that case, it’s often seen that skiers, skateboarders, rock climbers, and others in the extreme sports community are “asking for it” by doing these activities.

It seems the cutoff line is less about which activities are necessarily more dangerous than others (driving a car is probably more dangerous than parachuting out of a plane) and more about what activities the average person would be willing to do. Those activities that seem or feel more extreme than this median limit are considered too dangerous and therefore anyone performing those acts has no right to complain when things go wrong.

Consider a simple example. We already know no one blames the rollercoaster riders when an accident occurs, but what about a bungee jumper? Bungee jumping is performed by experts using quality equipment, yet if there is an accident, just watch the lack of sympathy. Are the two activities that different? Change the rollercoaster to one of the rides that raise you up and drops you. Now we’re experiencing almost the same thing, yet the reaction to it will be extremely different.

It is important, therefore, to push back against this narrative. Not only are these activities not all that different, the levels of danger are often not that different. Even if they are, that does not mean a person deserves the suffering of injury or even worse, death, because of this life choice.

This isn’t just an ethical point, legally, wrongful deaths can happen to motorcyclists just like they can to car drivers. In fact, wrongful death is more likely often not because of the motorcyclist but because of the drivers of other vehicles, who often do not show enough concern for the motorcyclists on the road by switching lanes and turning without looking.

This lack of concern may, again, tie back to the assumption deeply ingrained in many that those who choose to ride motorcycles deserve whatever happens and that no one should accommodate their recklessness.

There is no real difference between some discouraged behaviors and others that are considered perfectly reasonable in terms of danger. But, just as we might all go eat fast food and still look down on smokers, people will engage in behavior that is just as reckless in terms of statistical danger and still point the finger at others just for looking like they are doing something more dangerous.

These uninformed assumptions should stop. Anyone who is hurt or killed wrongfully deserves sympathy. How it happened should not matter.

Read More

Fact and Fiction: The importance of helmets

Many Americans dream of one day owning their very own motorcycle so they can travel the vast open roads and feel intimately connected to this beautiful country. It is a beautiful thought, but motorcycles are incredibly dangerous. Any traffic accident is magnified in severity when it involves a biker, so it is important to take all proper safety precautions, especially when there are so few. Many bikers refuse to wear helmets, claiming that they actually increase the risk of spinal injury, but that is just not the case.

According to this article on Medscape from this past May, a review study conducted over five years shows that the rate of severe cervical injuries decreases with helmet use. The primary author of the study, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, admits that the mechanisms are not explained by this study, but the correlation is a strong one. This review study was done because of push-back against mandatory helmet laws. Opponents claim that helmets restrict visibility, hearing, and overall freedom of movement of the wearer. There is also the claim that they increase spinal injuries, which this study aimed to address. A study conducted in 1986 claims that past a certain speed, there is a trade-off where helmets can cause more damage than their worth. Out of the 1064 patients in the review study, 10.8% of those who were not wearing helmets sustained major spinal injuries, compared to 4.3% who were, which is statistically significant. In addition, it was found that unhelmeted riders had longer hospital stays and the severity of their injuries was worse overall. The authors of this study conclude that wearing a helmet leads to decreased time in the ICU and the hospital in general and lowers mortality rate.

Given the evidence, there is no reason why a biker should ever refuse to wear a helmet. Especially since motorcyclists are difficult to spot and are often in accidents with distracted drivers, it is important that they are protected. According to, Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C there are lawyers in the Milwaukee area that focus on helping bikers get compensation when they are in an accident that is not their fault, but it would be impossible to make use of this help yourself if you die in the ICU. Bikers ought to support legislation that will keep them safe.

Even though the study in question is simply a correlational study, it clearly shows that wearing a helmet is better than not wearing one. A government mandate is tricky since many people might assume that a more hands-off approach that does not infringe on personal rights is the better way to go, but such a mandate could save countless lives. It would even free up hospital resources so they can assist other patients. This way, every American who dreams of owning a bike will have one less thing to worry about and will be able to feel at ease on the open road.

Read More

Preparing for a Hurricane

Everyone is not entirely safe of hurricanes, especially because of rising sea levels and climate change, and how these things help in the formation of more devastating storms. For this reason, everyone should be well-prepared in the event of a hurricane disaster, both for the safety of their selves and families.

Before

Preparing before the hurricane itself is arguably the most important, because it can make or break your safety during the event. Below are some of the things you can do:

  • Prepare a safety kit, including food, water, and other supplies you may need, especially if an evacuation has been announced
  • Secure communication devices, such as mobile phones to talk to your loved ones and radios and batteries to stay updated to local authorities
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank
  • Bring inside the items outside the house that can be taken by the wind, such as bicycles
  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices

During

Staying alert during the hurricane is the most crucial part of your safety in the event of a hurricane. Below are some of the things you can do to maximize alertness:

  • Avoid getting out of the house or traveling, unless local authorities have commanded an evacuation
  • Always have the radio on to know what is currently happening in your area
  • Turn off utilities, such as electricity and gas, to avoid accidents
  • Store water into your bathtub, so you have water just in case it is cut off

After

Even though the danger of the hurricane is already gone, there may still be hazards around you. Below are some of the things you can do to ensure your safety:

  • Avoid using tap water because of possible contamination
  • If you evacuated, do not go back into the house unless local authorities have said that it is safe
  • Look for structural damages in the house, especially in the walls and wooden parts
  • Take pictures to document the destruction

Documenting is particularly important for those with insurance, to make their claim stronger. According to the website of K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, there may also be times where insurance companies don’t really give their clients what they truly deserve, so you have that to watch out for as well.

Read More

General Effects of Divorce on Children

General Effects of Divorce on Children

Divorce is not just about you and your partner, because it is also about your children. No matter their ages, they are going to be emotionally and psychologically affected if their parents go their separate ways because of family issues. This is especially true if the divorce process or the reason behind the divorce is controversial, like when domestic violence or infidelity has been involved.

People may have different reactions to the same things, and divorce is no exception. Children will have different responses, but these responses can be generalized.

For example, young children need both mother and father for attention and care. Divorce may compromise this need and the children’s development may be affected. There are known instances where young children whose parents have divorced have regressed in terms of development, like wetting the bed again even if they have already outgrown that behavior.

If the children involved are a little older, like adolescents, things become more complicated, because their individualism makes it harder to create a generalization on how they will react to their parents’ divorce.

But typically, it is known that boys rely on aggressive and rebellious tendencies, like not wanting to obey his parents, while girls rely on their emotionally withdrawn tendencies, like not wanting to talk to her parents. These, however, can be reversed, where boys become emotionally withdrawn and girls become aggressive and rebellious.

If there is something common about all the children involved in divorce, it is a negative feeling. This negative feeling, again, will depend according to the reason behind the divorce and the children’s personality. The most common feelings include anger, bitterness, jealousy, lack of self-confidence, lack of self-worth, and stress.

These feelings may lead to destructive behaviors, such as overeating, oversleeping, under-performing in school, and refusing to form relationships, such as friendships, in fear of getting rejected. Those who are older may be prone to substance abuse, sexual engagement, and worst, suicide.

Read More

The Deal with Dog Bites

Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but without proper training they can become a liability or even a danger to themselves and those around them. From Schnauzers to Shiatzus, dogs can appear perfectly tame until the moment they attack. Victims and owners of canines that attack are both at serious risk. With the number of households containing dogs in the millions, 56.7 according to the National Pet Owners Survey, there has never been a more important time to understand the legal repercussions of a dog attack.

When we purchase a pooch to bring home with us, the last thing we expect is that our new friend will attack a human. Spending money on food and training is one thing, but did you know that dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year? Also, in 2015, 35 Americans were killed by dogs, down from 42 the prior year. If your dog attacks someone, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself.

First, locate your dog’s medical records. These can be important in proving you had no prior knowledge that your pet was dangerous. This is important to prove as, according to the Benton Law Firm, Texas abides by a “one bite rule,” which only holds the dog’s owner accountable for injuries their dog causes if the owner knew that the dog was likely to cause that type of injury.

Next, contact your insurance company. Many insurance plans include dog liability options. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance it is likely, but not guaranteed, that your insurance will be able to assist you financially in the aftermath of the attack.

Finally, keep in mind that honesty is the best policy. These situations can be terrifying, especially for dog lovers fearing for the lives of their pets. Lying can lead to criminal charges and disrupt the investigation process.

Read More

Myths About Car Accidents

Car accidents happen all the time. We often hear about them in the news. These incidents can have various consequences ranging from serious injuries to even death. There are often misconceptions about car accidents which often become the reason for people not being able to get the compensation they deserve. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, the consequences of car accidents are mostly serious. Here are some common myths about car accidents:

1. If You Are Not Hurt Right Away, You Cannot Sue Later

Injuries such as whiplash can only develop within weeks or even months after the accident. Claims are covered by statute of limitations. Even if you are not hurt right, seeking medical attention is the safe thing to do.

2. The Other Driver and I Can Work It Out

Admitting fault is one of the major challenges of car accident claims. These types of collisions are a complicated process that may require legal assistance. It involves more than just exchange of insurance information and contact numbers.

3. The Police Will Determine The At-Fault Party

If there is significant damage or injury after the accident, you may need to call a police to write an accident report. But then again it is not the police who will determine who is at-fault. It is still up to the court to determine that. Still, the police report can be a valuable piece of evidence during the hearing.

4. I Don’t Need The Help Of An Attorney

If the accident is minor, an attorney may not be necessary. However, if there are disputes as to who is responsible for an accident, recovering damages, or enforcing payment, it will be good to have a lawyer by your side. Even if planning for an out-of-court settlement, an attorney will still come in handy.

5. My insurance rates will go up if I file a claim

Your insurance rates will not go up when filing a claim. In fact, state laws prohibit raising insurance rates if you are not at fault in the accident and filed a claim.

Read More

The Deadly Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl, which is an extremely potent opioid painkiller that is up to 100 times greater in strength than morphine, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of late-stage breakthrough pain in adults cancer patients who are opioid tolerant or who have developed a tolerance for opioid medications.

Cancer patients would definitely be familiar with some fentanyl-containing medications, like: Duragesic, which is in the form of a skin patch; Actiq, which is in lozenge form; Abstral, a sublingual tablet or a tablet that goes under the tongue; Fentora, a tablet that is placed between the gum and the cheek; and, Subsys, a sublingual spray.

Subsys, a federally controlled substance (CII), is the first and only sublingual prescription pain medication that contains fentanyl; it is also the latest fentanyl-containing medication that is under legal spotlight due to allegations that Insys Therapeutics, Inc., its manufacturer, has illegally marketed this drug by promoting it for off-label use (promoting a drug for off-label use may be done by doctors but never by drug manufacturers).

Though acknowledged as effective, use of Subsys, like all other fentanyl-containing drugs, has been proven as posing great risk due to the possibility of its abuse, misuse, addiction and overdose. Besides its fatal effects in children, the drug can prove deadly too in used in patients who do are not opioid tolerant cancer patients.

The risks presented by Subsys has made its acquisition possible only by registering with the Transmucosal Immediate-Release Fentanyl (TIRF) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Access program, a restricted program of the FDA.

The risks, the more than 250 deaths linked to Subsys use (since its introduction in 2012), plus Insys Therapeutics’ illegal promotion or marketing of Subsys has landed this drug in the “drugs of concern” list held by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General.

Patients who have been inappropriately prescribed with this powerful opioid medication, Subsys, may find it necessary to seek legal assistance from a highly-skilled attorney, for help in filing a Fentanyl oral spray lawsuit,which may enable him/her pursue justice and the compensation from the liable party.

Read More

Why Criminal Defense Lawyers Do What They Do

According to one criminal defense lawyer, there are always reasons why people do what they do. These include protecting the rights of those accused of a serious crime, such as murder, sexual abuse, child molestation, robbery, a drug-related crime, and so forth.

Some may debate about it and disagree but, as clearly pointed out by the Nashville criminal lawyers at Horst Law Firm, “Protecting the rights of the guilty as well as the innocent is essential to maintaining liberty.”

Well, ask yourself, if you were the one charged with a serious crime, would you not need the a good and strong defense to protect your rights and interests, and prove your innocence?

Still according to the Horst Law firm, not all individuals who are charged with crimes by the government are guilty. Rarely does the “system” intentionally arrest and charge an innocent person but false allegations by vindictive spouses, business partners, angry family members, or others with a motive to make false allegations are sometimes made. Also, sometimes a person just finds himself/herself in the wrong circumstances which, at first appearance, make him/her look guilty of a crime, such as having that one glass of wine with dinner and, when stopped on the way home, the cop smells the odor of alcohol.

Being accused of a crime can result to serious damages to one’s professional and personal reputation. A conviction, however, will affect all other professional and personal concerns, despite having spent time behind bars and paying costly fines.

Those who have been convicted of a crime, even after they are released, seldom get the chance to live the kind of worry-free lives that they once enjoyed. For no matter how great the punishments they have undergone for the crimes that they have been convicted of, the accusation and conviction will be a mark that will: hinder employers from hiring them; prevent landlords from leasing to them a place to live in; never earn for them government permission to travel internationally; deny them child custody and probably even visitation rights; and, cause in them many other forms of limitations and inconveniences.

Criminal defense lawyers are fully aware of the psychological burden suffered by those convicted of a crime. They know how the accused person’s relationships in the workplace and in the community can suddenly change. Simply put, any criminal charge can ruin a person’s future.

Getting charged with a very serious crime necessitates only the most competitive and experienced criminal defense lawyer who would be ready with evidences (products of weeks of deeper investigation regarding the case) that will help prove the innocence of the accused, counter-arguments and an effective tactic that will depose witnesses from the opposing side. Not all lawyers have the same competitive leverage; thus, it is necessary that the accused finds only a defense lawyer who could provide him/her with the kind of representation that he/she needs.

Read More

The Effect of Expensive Insurance Policies to Millions of Drivers in the U.S.

According to the Insurance Research Council, an independent, nonprofit research organization, more than 29 million drivers and car owners in the U.S. continue to drive without insurance. This translates to one in every eight drivers on U.S. roads and highways. Car liability insurance is a document that drivers need to show whenever they renew their driver’s license, re-register their car, get pulled over by a traffic officer or when they cause an accident. Failure to prove that they are covered can result to suspension of their driver’s license and driving privileges and may be required by the court to file an SR-22, a certification of their purchase of a car insurance policy which, this time, will cost more expensive (the SR-22, by the way, usually lasts for three years and require an additional fee on top of the insurance premiums that drivers need to pay).

Carrying car liability insurance is mandated in all U.S. states (except in the state of New Hampshire where drivers may instead deposit securities or money with the state treasurer). If being insured is truly a mandate, however, then how is it that millions of uninsured drivers are able to renew their license and car registration?

What many of these drivers usually do is purchase a policy, but only for the purpose of re-registering their car and license. After having done these, they stop paying the premium which they consider is too costly to maintain. Auto insurance firms, on their part, will, of course, neither hesitate nor delay in canceling the coverage due to non-payment.

Well, affirming that insurance policies are expensive is not deviating from the truth. Millions of drivers and car owners are paying premiums that are actually twice as much as they need to pay. Despite the unnecessarily expensive coverage, no one from the insurance firm will voluntarily tell drivers about the possible reductions in their premium unless they ask.

Drivers and car owners, however, do not have to pay for a costly car insurance coverage and still get all their insurance needs. According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., free online car insurance quotes allow drivers to compare as many as a dozen quotes all at once.

Read More

Importance of Workers’ Compensation

While not every job requires its employees to use automobiles, many do. Unfortunately, this condition may raise the risk of an employee being associated with a car accident by a considerable amount. As the harms that often appear from car accidents might be quite serious and, therefore, expensive to treat, it is important that employees who have to use automobiles for their jobs are alert to the workers’ compensation benefits which they might qualify for if they take part in a car accident while performing job-related tasks.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, any company employing one or more workers, whether full or part-time, are expected to possess some types of workers compensation. This is mandatory so that workers who are hurt while carrying out their regular job responsibilities possess a way to obtain financial protection in the event that they can’t get back to work or incur costs that over-extend their financial abilities. With regards to the automobile injury, a worker can find themselves facing fiscal consequences and tremendously burdensome bodily harms. In cases such as this, workers’ compensation rewards may not be dispensable, as they frequently provide fiscal stability and security.

Injuries from Automobile Mishaps

Some are noticed more frequently than others, although the harms that may occur from vehicle accidents are widely varied. For example, one of the more commonly reported injuries in the USA that arise from work-related automobile accidents are:

  • Broken bones / brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Back / neck and fractures
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal-cord injuries

Vehicle accidents might be hugely pricey and daunting, especially when they result in an individual to suffer from these or other injuries. Should you or a person you know be engaged in a car accident while on the job, contact a skilled injury lawyer today to discuss obtaining compensation for your friend or yourself. Vehicle accidents could be frightening and very expensive, particularly when they result in an individual enduring additional injuries.

Read More