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Where Are Dog Bite Attacks And Injuries Most Common In The United States?

Perhaps it isn’t all that surprising that California ranks as the number one state in both frequency and occurrence of dog bite claims. At least it shouldn’t be surprising since California has more people (and more dogs) than any other state in the country. There are about 4.7 million dog bites every year in the U.S., which means you have about a 1 in 69 chance of being bitten each year. It also means that you’ll almost certainly be attacked at some point in your life.

But while that might seem pretty bad, there’s a lot of hidden information that goes into those statistics that you might not be aware of.

For starters, most bites are minor and occur right at home. Even though bites are so frequent, someone has only got a 1 in 112,400 chance of losing their life due to a dog bite. To put it into perspective, you have a much bigger chance of being killed by a firearm in a given year: 1 in 6,905. The reason for that is probably simpler than you think. 

When dogs “attack,” they’re not really trying to hurt you. They don’t want an altercation. They’re just trying to tell you they need more space. This is the number one reason why kids are the primary targets of dog bites. Kids are the least likely to understand when a boundary has been crossed. Kids are also the most likely to suffer serious injuries because their necks and faces are more likely to be about eye-level with some dogs.

Most dog bites also occurred when dogs were not spayed or neutered.

You’re most likely to get a bite from a Chihuahua than any other dog. But also high on the list are bulldogs, pit bulls, German Shepherds, and Australian Shepherds. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog is at fault for the aggressive behavior. Usually owners will seek out a breed of dog because of stereotypes. Dogs are dogs. They act the way they act based on the type of training they receive from their humans. 

Here’s another important statistic you’ll want to keep close to the chest: insurance companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars every year due to dog bites. That means if you were bitten by a neighbor’s dog, you might be entitled to compensation. You should call a personal injury attorney right away — and keep track of all your medical records.

Will California Make Medical Malpractice Laws More Progressive?

California is a state known for being one of the most progressive places to live in the United States of America, but oddly enough its medical malpractice laws hardly reflect it at all. That could all change when a new law hits the ballot box as soon as 2020. The purpose? Eliminating a hard cap on how much a court can award a victim in damages.

The 10-page proposal comes from the Zuckerman & Rowley Law Firm and Consumer Watchdog. It would essentially remake California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) into something entirely different.

Right now MICRA prevents victims from receiving any more than $250,000 in damages. 

This kind of cap prevents attorneys from using pricing structures that work in the best interests of both the law firm and their clients, which in turn sometimes reduces the chances that someone living in poverty will bother with a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit they do not have a strong chance of winning.

Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog said, “We are the most progressive state in the country with the most regressive medical malpractice laws in the country.”

The law technically does not raise the cap, but instead adjusts it for inflation and ensures it remains tied to the rate of future inflation. That would increase the damages cap to $1.2 million. It would continue to be readjusted each year the new law remains in effect. In cases of extreme negligence, catastrophic injury, or death, courts would still be allowed to award victims damages and punitive damages above the aforementioned threshold.

Perhaps even more importantly than that, the new law would also prevent a defendant’s attorneys from arguing that the plaintiff is already receiving compensation through other means, like insurance payouts. 

Although attorneys rarely take on what they consider to be “frivolous” lawsuits, the proposed law is amended from the old one to reduce the number entered into the court system. Plaintiffs’ attorneys must prove beyond reasonable doubt that there is a reasonable basis to make the medical malpractice claim. 

Unfortunately the only way to do this is through a third-party health care provider — and opponents of the new law say that could actually reduce the number of legitimate cases as well, because practitioners might feel compelled to stick together in combating medical malpractice cases that could lead to the destruction of their health care practices. 

Opponents of MICRA tried to overturn the law once before in 2014 with another proposition that ultimately failed. Whether or not the 2020 initiative will succeed is a question for later.

Artificial Intelligence Works To Reduce Construction-Related Deaths: And It’s A Huge Market

The construction industry is growing all over the world, and with it the market for artificial intelligence forecasting. What does this mean? Right now, AI is increasingly used not just to simulate potential scenarios that could lead to injuries at a construction site, but also how to reduce construction costs in other ways. Should current trends continue as expected, the market for this AI forecasting will reach an astounding $4.51 billion by 2026.

While the new technologies are great for almost all construction operations, the highest growth rates are expected of smaller and medium-sized outfits. These will enjoy a growth rate of over 35 percent by 2026 as construction firms scramble to implement the cost-cutting tech.

The technology will undoubtedly lead to a disruption in the industry as productivity is increased substantially and risks are mitigated. 

In 2018, the United States and Canada made up about 29 percent of global demand for the growing market, in part due to government spending on development and infrastructure. Big tech firms have also spent a pretty penny on the forecasting services, which is another reason why they are growing so fast.

Even though these trends are speeding up, it should be noted that the construction industry has actually been one of the slowest to jump on the artificial intelligence bandwagon. Healthcare, automotive, tourism, and more have all adapted much faster and will continue to do so.

Many companies that are investing heavily in the forecasting tech will be familiar to onlookers. They include players like IBM, Microsoft, SmarTVid.Io, Doxel, Bentley Systems, Darktrace, Askporter, and many more. These companies are attempting to grow their share of the market by assimilating or buying out smaller ones or merging with larger ones. 

One approach used by these organizations is called Building Information Modeling (or BIM). This process allows many of the individuals or organizations involved in construction to easily pool data and interpret it through machine learning algorithms. The AI can even autonomously make simple decisions without the need for human input.

It is estimated by McKinsey that the majority of costs for most construction projects are undercut by waste amounting to about 33 percent. These costs are expected to be significantly reduced in the coming years.

The new technologies won’t just be used by architects, operators, or workers — they’ll also be used by stakeholders to help them make important investment decisions for the company to which they’re bound financially.

Were you injured on the job at a construction site? Contact us for a free personal injury case consultation today!

Do African Americans Have A Case For Slavery Reparations?

Restitution is a legal word to describe repayment of damages. These damages can be both criminal and civil, which means restitution can become quite expensive even for a small crime. But you’ve probably heard of the debate revolving around reparations for slavery, a practice which ended around the same time of the Civil War. Is there a strong case?

Say an assault perpetrator punched you in the face, and the resulting injury was great enough to land you in urgent care. Although the injury is relatively inexpensive to treat with insurance, you can also ask for restitution in the form of pain and suffering — it’s impossible to put a dollar amount on this facet of the case, which means it will ultimately be up to the prosecutor or even the judge overseeing the case as to whether or not you receive the funds.

However, let’s say you have no insurance. Suddenly your injuries are much more expensive. You could seek restitution for the full amount even when Obamacare’s insurance mandate was in place. Meaning even if you broke the law by going without insurance, you can still ask of the perpetrator for whatever you were forced to pay.

How does this compare when offered into the debate of slavery reparations? Obviously no one who was enslaved by our ancestors is still alive.

But good lawyers can still prove that the racism, prejudice, indentured servitude, and maybe even epigenetic factors will continue to keep African American citizens whose forefathers were slaves at the lowest rung of society. The key is determining who is most at fault — our ancestors who inspired in many of us these racial prejudices, the Caucasian majority that continues to in one way or another subjugate the African American minority, or the African Americans who have failed to find a way to wiggle out from the marginalized lives they lead?

Based on the aforementioned examples of restitution, African Americans are not at fault — even in spite of mistakes they may have made in the day to day living of their lives — as long as the Caucasian majority continues to treat them as second-class citizens through blatant discrimination. 

Part of the problem is that the United States government promised reparations to former slaves when the practice of slavery was abolished, and then went back on that promise when Lincoln was assassinated. This is why the argument of Black restitution is so persuasive. It’s more an argument about following through on what was promised than simply providing reparations, and the case is a strong one.

Can I Get Compensation After Hit & Run Perpetrator Escapes?

Sadly, Florida is one of the most dangerous places for a pedestrian to walk the streets. All of us know that if we’re hit, though, we have legal avenues available to compensate us financially for any injuries we incur. But it’s not always so simple. Take this example: a driver turns a corner too fast and doesn’t see you walking, then runs into you at a high speed. Later you find out you’ll need a half-dozen surgeries to make everything work right again. After that you’re looking at months, if not years, of physical therapy before you might be made whole again.

Even then, it’s not a certainty.

Normally we would sue the driver for any medical bills that resulted from the accident. In addition we might sue for any predictable medical bills that might arise in the future. We might sue for overall pain and suffering and emotional trauma. We might even sue for any wages we lost during our time in the hospital, or any diminished earning potential in the future.

But what happens when you get injured after being struck by someone who then fled the scene of the accident? What happens if that person is never found? Is there a way to find compensation?

There’s some good news.

If you own a vehicle yourself, then you probably (and hopefully) have car insurance. When the driver of a hit and run remains unidentified, you can still use the underinsured or uninsured motorists clause of your own insurance to cover all forms of compensation previously listed.

If you don’t own a vehicle, then things get a little bit more complicated. There’s still a shot to get reimbursed depending on where the accident occurred. For example, workers’ compensation should cover costs if the hit and run occurred on the job.

If you’re the family member of someone killed in a hit and run, then you also might be able to file suit against the perpetrator or find financial relief from the deceased’s insurance. Not only can you find compensation for all the aforementioned issues, but you can also collect for the deceased’s pain and suffering.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you can be covered through insurance after being injured in a hit and run where the driver was identified or not, then it works in your favor to find an experienced personal injury lawyer with whom to discuss your case. If you can make a claim, you’ll know it soon enough. Before you go, gather any relevant medical and billing information in addition to the documentation of any insurance you own.

Who Is Liable For An Injury On A Cruise Ship?

One of the highlights of Miami is the fact that is a port for many cruise lines. And while for most, a cruise in a relaxing vacation, on rare occasions accidents do happen. The biggest causes of injury on cruise ships include slip and fall accidents including falling overboard, fallen objects during rocky seas, swimming pool accidents,  and medical malpractice from the resident first-aid station.

Maritime laws are complicated and state laws do not apply. The only way a cruise ship can be held liable for an accident if it can be proven that the ship’s operator knew or should have known about the unsafe condition of the ship.

In order to protect themselves from lawsuit, many cruise lines have specific conditions within their tickets that limit the statute of limitations of filing a lawsuit. Passengers can sometimes have as little as 180 days to bring about a claim and then a year later file a lawsuit. It is important that if you believe that you were injured due to the negligence of the cruise line that you bring about your claim as quickly as possible and hire a personal injury attorney.

Specifically, when it comes to passengers falling overboard or disappearing from cruises (a sad but true reality), a family might be able to bring about a civil lawsuit. They can sue for economic and non-economic damages such as funeral expenses, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has recently been a cruise sailing out of the port of Miami and have been injured in an accident on the cruise ship or during excursions, then contact our Miami personal injury law firm for a free consultation. Remember, we don’t get paid unless you do so there is absolutely no risk to you by contacting us now.

Is The Government Liable For Crumbling Infrastructure?

In a day and age during which an unheard of amount of money is spent on bolstering the U.S. military, and the government is experiencing a partial shutdown because no one wants to give Trump the $5 billion he wants for his wall, it should come as little surprise that we’re still not investing much money into the future. Our infrastructure is outdated, inefficient, and much of it is crumbling before our eyes. Is our government liable?

Sometimes. The biggest problem is that they’re not liable until something goes wrong. So much is going wrong, though, that we can hope legislators wake up to the need for more investment soon enough.

Flint, Michigan residents filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan–something normally impossible. The usual course of action is filing suit against the Court of Claims. This process usually saves the state a lot of money, and prevents legal entities from using tax dollars to form a fund for compensation. Residents have also filed lawsuits against Governor Snyder, the city’s emergency management agencies, engineers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to prevent the crisis.

If your car is damaged or you are injured because of a pothole or other road conditions that you can prove are negligent, then you can file a lawsuit against the local municipality or government in charge of maintenance. It’s not easy to prove negligence in court. It’s easier to make a case if there are other factors in play, such as bad street signage or debris in the road from construction. Sadly, there are also limits to how much you can sue the government for this type of injury or damage.

A lawsuit has been lodged against the FCC by two dozen cities and counties in order to complain about rules for the construction of 5G wireless equipment, a process that is still ongoing. In particular, the local governments in question are upset over FCC regulations that place limits on how much a phone company will have to pay when building their new equipment on public property. In addition, they contend that local municipalities aren’t being given enough time to review the equipment applications.

While these lawsuits seem fair on the surface, they also bring to light the problem that the government can be sued when they are trying to get certain types of infrastructure up and running as quickly as possible.

What Kind Of Complications Can Result From A Dog Bite?

Any bite wound raises concerns. It doesn’t help that medical complications after a dog bite can become serious–or even deadly–after the emotional hurt you’re probably already feeling. Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend! But sometimes we misread their intentions or get in the way of an altercation when we shouldn’t. These are a few of the complications that can result from a dog bite.

  1. Your smallest concern is probably rabies. Chances are you were bitten by a family dog or a neighbor’s pet. Whether the animal is stray or not, you should seek medical attention right away. You’ll receive treatment for every possibility.
  2. Infection is among the most common complications. These can result in only a matter of hours. If you notice pain, inflammation, or swelling around the bite, then you might be in a bit of trouble. Infection results in up to 15 percent of dog bites. You’ve probably heard how filthy dog mouths are, so it might surprise you to hear that this number skyrockets to about 50 percent after a cat bite!
  3. Zoonotic diseases are those animal diseases contracted by a human after a bite. These include pasteurella multocida and staphylococcus aureus (a form of staph infection). Both are extremely dangerous. The former can result in septic arthritis or even death.
  4. Children under the age of ten are highly susceptible to death by blood loss. That’s because they haven’t grown high enough to escape the dog’s lunge and bite, which often occur on or around the head or neck. These injuries usually present as avulsions, punctures, or lacerations. See a doctor right away!
  5. If you haven’t been vaccinated, you might come down with tetanus. This bacterial disease attacks the nervous system. You’re more likely to come down with this disease if the bite broke the skin.

If you find that you no longer have mobility of the appendage where the bite occurred, then you should seek immediate medical attention. The same goes if you come down with fever, or incur symptoms of fatigue, night sweats, trouble breathing, tremors, or swollen lymph nodes. After a bite occurs, be sure to wash the wound with soap and water. Watch out for fractured bones or wounds that may be deeper than you thought.

When Can You Get Compensation For A Burn Injury?

It’s not unnatural to fear fire. It’s a chemical reaction over which man has learned to exercise some control, but often that control gets away from us. People get hurt. Homes are destroyed. Lives are uprooted. What is natural is wanting to be compensated for the pain and suffering we must endure because of someone else’s negligence or an act of arson. When can you get compensation for a fire injury? It depends on the circumstances of your injuries.

In circumstances where there is the potential for a fire–no matter how small–there must be safety precautions. Many burn injuries occur in workplaces where employers haven’t taken the appropriate safety measures. In such cases, workers compensation might kick in before you get the chance to file a lawsuit. In other cases, a workplace employment agreement might try to prevent you from filing a lawsuit by forcing arbitration.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have options. You should explore them with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as you get hurt. Do this before the internal investigation is complete.

In order to have a good claim, you may need to prove the negligence of your employer or the defendant responsible for your injuries. If that person or persons can, in turn, prove that you were partially or wholly to blame, then your chances for compensation will only diminish. Be sure not to discuss any of the details of the case with anyone but legal counsel, and don’t sign anything. Don’t admit fault, even if you think you’re responsible for what happened.

If fire or explosion is predictable, and employees haven’t been provided with adequate training, staffing, and safety equipment, then the employer hasn’t done its job to protect the well-being of its employees.

If you’re the victim of arson, wildfire, or a neighbor’s negligence, or manufacturer’s defect, you might still receive compensation. Health insurance and homeowners insurance might help, but each individual case is different and you should still provide a full accounting to your lawyer in order to find out exactly what kind of compensation you might qualify for.

WARNING: This video is not for the faint of heart

WAS THE UNIVERSITY BRIDGE COLLAPSE A CRIME?

Six people died when a brand-new bridge on the campus of Florida International University collapsed.

A brand-new bridge, which apparently had some structural problems. Some photos were taken of the bridge a couple of days before the collapse happened, and very large chasmic cracks were appearing.  Clearly there was something wrong in the engineering and construction, but there are questions about the photos the cracks, and whether the collapse could have been prevented.

It comes down to – who knew, what did they know, and when did they know it?

Was it possible that the bridge could have been shut down before the collapse and prevented six deaths? Did the people who could have shut it down been informed? And was the construction just misconduct and negligence, or was it something even more sinister?

The collapse happened in March, but only recently was there a “secret” meeting (not much of a secret though) where several stakeholders got together to discuss the collapse and what could have been done, fi anything. A local newspaper in Miami had to go to court to request notes and information from the meeting but there was conjecture that part of the discussion involved these photos that were taken, who took them and who saw them prior to the collapse, if anyone did?

It is telling that the Florida Department of Transportation, which oversaw the bridge construction project, has been stonewalling the press about the meeting, meaning that a presumption could be made that the department, or someone in it, may have known about the photos and did nothing. Orit could come down to the timing of when the photos were shown and did the department not see them until after the collapse?

Also, who took the photos? Was it a resident? An FLDOT worker or official? Someone from a company who competed for the bid and lost it? Was it someone else entirely who had a vested interest in the project?

Another setoff questions have to deal with the autopsy of the collapse itself. Was this poor workmanship? Did the contractor use low-quality materials to save costs? Was it a rush job? Was the engineering bad from the start? Many of these questions still have to be answered a good five to six months after the collapse, especially the questions of whether the collapse could have been prevented – or whether those six deaths could have been had the right people been notified and went into action.

Deaths are tragic, and especially ones that could have been avoided. These are the deaths that we all hope will have some value to them because they will help in promoting changes to fix whatever failures contributed to these senseless deaths.