Greater Risk of Child Pedestrian Accidents

The state of Arizona is a great place and to explore the sights by walking. However, as a pedestrian, you need to take more caution as there were some shocking new statistics that have revealed how dangerous this state is when it comes to people on foot. Young adults and children are especially vulnerable to being the victim of a pedestrian accident. As a result, it’s up to their parents to teach them road safety tips as early as they can.

Recent Statistics Regarding Pedestrian Accidents in Arizona

In reference to a report that was created by the Governors Highway Association, the state of Arizona is the one with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths for each resident. This same report also indicated that the total number of pedestrian deaths increased from 11 percent up to 15 percent from the years of 2006 and 2015.

What this means is that pedestrians in this state are much more likely to be struck by a car than in any of the other states in the U.S. This also means that when a pedestrian accident or collision does occur, it is much more likely to result in a fatality.

Another organization that collects information on crashes in Arizona is the Arizona Department of Transportation. This includes the ones that involve a pedestrian. According to information from AZDOT, there were a total of 1,637 total accidents that involved pedestrians in the year 2016 alone, with 1,448 suffering injuries and 197 being killed.

The Greater Risk Posed to Children

Children are particularly at risk when they are walking. There are a number of reasons for this.

One of the issues is that children aren’t aware of all the “rules of the road.” This is especially the case for younger children. Young kids may try to cross the street without even looking to make sure that there are no vehicles coming. They may also have a false sense of security if they are actually walking in a group. The fact is, groups are often distracting, and can result in children not paying attention to what is going on around them.

Another factor that may prevent a child from seeing what is going on nearby is their height. Their size makes it more difficult for drivers to see them. If a vehicle happens to collide with a small child, the head, along with other sensitive areas of their body may be particularly vulnerable to suffering an injury.

One of the main reasons children are commonly involved in a pedestrian accident is because walking is their primary form of getting from place to place. Because children aren’t able to drive, they often have to walk to school, to the park, or anywhere else they want to go.

Safety Tips for Children who are Walking

It doesn’t matter if you are a child’s parent, a relative, the babysitter, a teacher or anyone else, it’s important that you explain all the rules of walking and the road rules in general before they head out. Make sure to walk with them through crosswalks, signs, traffic lights, and remind them how important it is to look both ways before they cross. It’s also a good idea for adults to be a good example when walking with a child. They can do this by:

  • Practicing stopping, looking, and listening before they attempt to cross the road.
  • Never use a phone or another device while walking.
  • Discuss different sized vehicles and how quickly they travel.

When you are walking, it’s important for an adult to bend down to the child’s height. This will help you better understand what it is that they are seeing, as well as what they can’t see. It’s also a good idea to walk on roads that don’t have as much traffic and allow children to make smart decisions on how to be safe. This will help ensure they are safer on busier roads.

It’s Impossible to Prevent All Pedestrian Accidents

If your child is injured as a pedestrian, they likely have serious injuries. These types of injuries can reduce their overall quality of life, and it can be expensive to get the medical treatment that is needed. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim against the person who hit your child.

You should not try to do this on your own. If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, then it is a good idea to contact an attorney for help. Hastings & Hastings is here to help.

Increase in Springtime Motorcycle Accidents

With the weather in Phoenix getting warmer, more people are getting back on their motorcycles and hitting the road. Unfortunately, this uptick in motorcycle riders also means there are bound to be more motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

The Correlation Between Age and Motorcycle Accidents

Even though the NHTSA only covers motorcycle accidents that are fatal, their study did reveal that the majority of motorcycle riders are highly likely to be 30 years old or younger. However, this is trend is changing.

In 2007, the same organization discovered that approximately 30.5 percent of all motorcycle related fatalities involved at least one person under 30 years old, which was more than any other age groups. Then in 2016, motorcycle riders who were over the age of 50 became much more likely to die due to a motorcycle crash. In fact, this age group accounted for approximately 36.7 percent of all fatalities, and riders under the age of 30 only accounted for 28.1 percent.

Up to 38 percent of Motorcycle Accidents Occur at Night

Even thought many motorcycle riders only get on the road during the day, there are numerous crashes that occur at night. In fact, the III found that 38 percent of all motorcycle accidents that resulted in a fatality or injury to someone involved in the year 2015 occurred between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM.

Leg Injuries and Motorcycle Crashes

The most common injury a motorcycle rider is likely to suffer is a leg injury. That’s likely no surprise to most riders, as they understand that due to the lack of protection for their lower body, the possibility of direct impact is high. What may surprise some riders is the associated costs with this type of injury. In fact, according to findings from the NHTSA, the median hospital bill for a motorcyclist with a single injury to their lower extremities was over $20,000.

Motorcycle Crashes Featuring No Other Vehicle are Minimal

There’s a common misconception that the majority of motorcycle accidents are only going to involve the rider. This is the belief that all motorcyclists are daredevils that cause the injuries and accidents they are involved in. However, the truth of the matter is, the facts show this isn’t the case. Only about 34 percent of all accidents involve just the motorcyclists. As a result, the majority involve another vehicle.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else on the road, then hiring an attorney is the best thing you can do, as they can help you recover the compensation you deserve. At Hastings & Hastings, we are here to help. Contact us today.

Learning the Basics of Slip and falls

Here at Hastings & Hastings, we are committed to defending the rights of accident victims. We know that experiencing an accident and suffering an injury can be one of the most difficult things an individual will go through in their life.

Accident victims need someone by their side who can guide them through the complex matters surrounding personal injury cases. They need someone who will fight for them and help them receive the financial compensation they deserve for suffering through their hardship.

Often, the primary thing keeping someone from pursuing a personal injury case is that they do not know they have a case on their hands. Although this is not always the case, in incidents like car accidents, it is sometimes quite easy to establish fault. This is often much more difficult in accidents such as slip and falls.

After suffering a slip and fall, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Here at Hastings & Hastings, we have been in the business of defending accident victims for over 35 years. Our team has 150 years of combined legal experience. In today’s blog, we will cover the basics of a slip and fall case.

Why is a Slip and Fall a Personal Injury Matter?

This is a question we hear frequently. Often, people will begin a conversation by asking, “Don’t slip and falls just happen? Why would this be a legal matter?”

This issue comes down to one of liability. Liability is defined as, “the state of being responsible for something, especially by law.”

And there we go! The question in determining if a slip and fall is a personal injury matter comes down to an issue of responsibility. Typically, if you are pursuing a slip and fall case, the accident will have happened at a business or in someone’s residence. In short, someone must be responsible for the location in which you are walking/traveling through. It is going to be difficult or even impossible to hold someone responsible if you are travelling through a public place, although these situations do occur.

A slip and fall is a personal injury matter when the responsible party:

  • Caused the surface to become unsafe. This could be by spilling a liquid, leaving an item underfoot or not properly maintaining the surface.
  • Should have “reasonably” done something about a slippery location/worn surface/dangerous area, yet declined to do so.
  • Should have known/did know about a spill/worn surface/dangerous area and ignored it

You will notice the term “reasonable” was used above. This is regarded as a subjective term and is thus one of the primary reasons it is important to employ an experienced personal injury attorney in any slip and fall accident. They will have the ability to establish and prove what is “reasonable.”

 

Examples of Slip and Falls

Now that we know why a slip and fall should be considered a personal injury matter, we will look at some examples of slip and fall injury cases. Of course, every incident is different. There could be countless factors involved in even a simple slip and fall accident.

  • Anthony is walking through a popular retail store on a busy Saturday afternoon. As he turns a corner, he trips over something and falls. He notices the carpeting at the corner is ripped, torn, and frayed. In fact, he notices that the carpet throughout the store is in poor condition. In this incident, the owners of the store could be held responsible for neglecting a hazard.
  • David is waiting for a train at a station owned by the city. When his train finally arrives, he moves forward to board. He slips on a patch of ice and falls, breaking his ankle. In this case, the city could be held responsible, for it is their duty to ensure that the train station is a safe environment.
  • Jennifer is walking through the grocery store to shop for produce. She trips over a bag of potatoes which has fallen from a display, breaking her wrist. The bags of potatoes were stacked too high on the display, creating a hazardous situation.

Of course, there are situations in which an individual’s carelessness may have contributed to a slip or a fall. We will provide one such example:

  • Bradley is walking through the grocery store shopping for produce. He can’t find the fresh dill he is looking for. He notices a door to the back of the store that is clearly marked “dangerous: employees only.” He goes through the door to the back. He walks around briefly, looking for an employee before slipping and falling on a wet patch of floor. In this incident, Bradley was in a location he should not have been, after clearly being warned.

But wait! Bradley may still have a case. For instance, why wasn’t the door to the back locked or secured in any way? Was the sign clearly displayed and legible? Any of these factors could have contributed to Bradley’s accident

As you can see, slip and falls can be very complex matters. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced legal professional following an accident. They will help you explore your options and help you decide if you have a case on your hands.

What Will My Attorney Do?

A personal injury attorney representing in a slip and fall case will have two primary goals:

  1. Proving Liability

It will be the job of your personal injury attorney to clearly prove that the defendant was negligent or liable for the accident. They will establish how your accident happened, why it happened, and in what way the defendant was liable.

  1. Proving Damages

It will also be the job of your personal injury attorney to clearly illustrate the full extent of your damages. Documentation is crucial. You may need medical bills, pay stubs, tax forms and more to fully establish the extend of your damages. A good personal injury attorney will coordinate all of these things.

If you have any further questions regarding slip and falls, or if you have experienced an accident yourself, you should contact Hastings & Hastings at your earliest convenience.

Begin your free consultation with Hastings & Hastings, where our Discount Fee means more money for YOU.

City of Tempe Passes Texting and Driving Law

In the city of Tempe, Arizona, the texting and driving laws have become stricter. In a unanimous decision, the Tempe City Council decided to approve a harsher law that bans a driver from using a handheld device while behind the wheel.

The city of Tempe was the first in Arizona to pass any type of distracted driving ordinance all the way back in 2015. This ordinance made it illegal to talk or text on the phone while driving, but only if the police were able to prove the person caught in the act posed some type of risk to other people or to themselves, and it was considered a secondary offense.

With this law in place, officers can actually stop Tempe drivers if they notice they are holding any type of mobile device in their hand while behind the wheel. This is true regardless of if the person is talking into it or typing on it. It is also now considered a primary offense, which means officers can stop a driver if they even see them holding a device.

It is permissible to use your mobile device if you are hands-free, if you have stopped at a red light, or if you have parked off the road. The law is not exactly clear regarding if a driver is allowed to touch their device while it is mounted or if it is sitting in their lap.

According to some people in the city, this law may be subject to some level of interpretation. According to the language of the statue, it’s referring to the manual operation of the device. As a result, it would mean any time a driver used their hands, but it also refers to typing. As a result, that too would be covered by the ordinance and would be banned. If it is just a single swipe though, and that is all that is being done, then this may be an exception. Other exceptions would apply to a driver responding to some type of medical emergency, emergency responders, safety hazard situations, or any criminal activity situations.

Now, more cities are starting to pass their own laws regarding texting and driving since there is still not a statewide ban in place in Arizona.

Even if a state law were to be put in place it would not go into effect until the year 2021, which is quite a while away. As a result, the city decided to take matters into their own hands and make a commonsense law and then when the state adopts one in the future, the laws will be aligned.

The city is clearly pushing to encourage those in Tempe to be safer while on the roads. In fact, the city council also introduced this particular proposal as a larger national initiative to help reduce the total number of serious and fatal auto accidents.

Around the nation, approximately 10 percent of the 35,000 people who passed away in a car accident during the year 2015 died due to a distracted driver. Even locally this has been a factor, as a tribal police officer in Salt River was struck and killed by someone driving and looking down at their phone.

It’s important to note, the state of Arizona does prohibit any texting and driving for teen drivers; however, there’s no prohibition statewide on hand held phone usage.

If you are ever in a situation where you have been injured in any way due to the actions of a distracted driver then you need to protect your rights. Hiring an attorney is the best way to do this. The attorneys at Hastings & Hastings will review your case, gather evidence, and help you recover compensation for the damages and injuries you have suffered. This is the best way to help ensure you receive justice for the actions of distracted driver.

What Counts as Aggressive Driving?

There is absolutely no question that auto accidents can result in serious physical damage, not only to the vehicles involved, but also to those inside the vehicles, as well as pedestrians or cyclists who happen to be close to the site. While virtually all car accidents have the potential to be destructive, accidents that are the result of aggressive driving can be particularly devastating due to the excessive speeds and violent motions that are usually involved.

What you may wonder, though, is what exactly is aggressive driving? Are there any aggressive driving laws in the state of Arizona? Also, perhaps most importantly for those who are a victim of this type of accident, are the people who are labeled as aggressive drivers liable for any damages that are caused by their behavior while on the road? What types of damages are able to be recovered? Learn the answers to these questions here.

Aggressive Driving in Arizona: Definitions and Laws

In most cases, you are going to know if you have encountered an aggressive driver while on the road. But, do you know how aggressive driving is really defined according to the law?

The bad news is, there are many states that still don’t have any type of aggressive driving legislation in place. However, Arizona is one of the few states that does have a law. According to law, a driver is considered to be driving aggressively when they create any type of immediate hazard to another vehicle or person and the following:

  • The individual has violated the law by speeding or speeding excessively while also doing a minimum of two of the following things:
    • Ignoring road signs, traffic control devices, and traffic lights.
    • Passing or overtaking another vehicle on the right side by going off the pavement.
    • Making any type of unsafe lane change, including not signaling.
    • Following a vehicle too closely – tailgating.
    • Not yielding to the right-of-way.

With the definitions above in mind, it is crucial to understand that excessive speeding actually has several meanings based on the setting in which the speeding took place. According to Arizona law, excessive speeding is defined as being:

  • Any speed over 35 miles per hour when you are approaching a school or school crossing.
  • Going more than 20 miles per hour over the posted limit in business districts or residential areas. This will increase to 45 miles per hour if no speed limit is posted.
  • A speed of more than 85 miles per hour in any other location.

How Does Aggressive Driving Affect Car Accident Liability?

Aggressive driving is considered a type of unacceptable behavior that poses a serious risk to the well-being and safety of any and all other pedestrians and motorists who are sharing the road. The state of Arizona has even criminalized aggressive driving, and it is now considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and the punishment is up to six months in jail, as well as a fine of up to $2,500. It’s important to note that the Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious of all of them and if you are convicted of aggressive driving, you also have to attend and complete traffic school sessions. According to the law, your driving privileges can also be suspended for up to 30 days.

Drivers are typically liable for any injury they cause if they did not act as a careful person would in the same situation. Some damages that are recoverable include property damage, lost wages, medical bills, loss of the enjoyment of life, pain and suffering and more. If the accident occurred and the other driver knew their actions caused the risk of harm to someone else, then punitive damages may be recovered. This is something that you need to discuss with your attorney to see if this is possible.

If you are the victim of an aggressive driver, we urge you to contact Hastings & Hastings today. Our experienced team of attorneys will review your case and protect your rights, getting you the just compensation you deserve.

How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

Social media is the place where people tend to “tell all” about themselves. From what they’re eating to where they’re vacationing and, in general, how they might be feeling that day, people post both personal and impersonal posts about their lives on social media. While this may seem harmless in most circumstances, when it comes to any kind of accident you may be involved in, posting about that accident and a personal injury claim on social media could come back to haunt you.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and are filing a personal injury claim, it is best to keep this to yourself and avoid any social media posts pertaining to the accident and claim. Why? Because anything you post, no matter how innocent it may appear, can be used against your personal injury claim. At Hastings & Hastings, we always urge our clients to refrain from social media posts that could influence the outcome of a claim. Read on to learn some tips and suggestions that you can follow when it comes to social media and your personal injury claim.

Privacy Rights and Social Media

Did you know that anything you post on social media can be used in a court of law? Because social media posts are considered public despite any privacy settings you may have implemented, they can still be accessed through various ways. For example, a person could use a fake identity to access your posts. In other cases, the insurance adjuster can request access to your social media posts in order to build a case against your claim. For this reason, we recommend refraining from social media while going through a personal injury claim.

How Can Social Media Damage my Personal Injury Claim?

Once you submit a personal injury claim, the insurance adjuster starts to do his job. This means he intends to prove that you were responsible for the accident and/or your injuries are not present or are not as serious as you claim. They will try to use any social media posts to verify their findings against you. In general, the insurance adjuster will look for the following types of social media posts to prove their case. These include:

Pictures: If you’ve claimed an injury, the insurance adjuster will look for any posts that contradict this. These types of posts include your being active, such as playing a sport with friends, going for a jog, dancing at a party, and more. Even a simple picture of you smiling and looking happy than ever can be used against you.

Videos: Any videos you post that give the appearance you’re feeling just fine can seriously weaken your claim. Any video that contradicts your injury claim or shows that you could be exaggerating your claim can be used against you in court.

Comments: If you’ve posted about your accident and injuries, the insurance adjuster will take the time to read through any comments you have made. This information, which is typically considered privileged between you and your attorney, can easily give the insurance adjuster a heads up about your case. Furthermore, the insurance adjuster may even go back years through your social media accounts to look for any other personal injury claims you may have made in the past with a focus on finding deceptive claims.

How can I Protect Myself on Social Media?

During a personal injury claim, the best way to protect yourself is to stay away from social media altogether. This may seem like a tall order, especially since many individuals rely on social media to stay in touch with others and to even run their businesses. However, if getting off of social media is not an option for you, then we recommend you follow these three tips.

Adjust privacy settings: Be sure your privacy settings are set to only friends and family being allowed to view your posts. As stated above, this is not a flawless plan, but will help you to maintain a certain degree of privacy.

Think before you post: Before posting anything on social media, try to think like the insurance adjuster. Would he be able to use this post against you? If your answer is yes or even if you’re not really sure, don’t post it. Never post anything about your claim or the events that led to it.

Alert friends and family: Give your friends and family a call and let them know what is happening. Ask them not to discuss your case on social media at all because the insurance adjuster can use any of this information against you.

To learn more about protecting yourself on social media during the claim process, contact Hastings & Hastings today at 480-706-1100 today.

Why Car Accidents Increase During the Holidays

The holidays are usually known as a happy and exciting time, but unfortunately, this time of the year is also recognized for reasons that are less than jolly. The sad truth is that the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s are among the deadliest in the country as far as traffic is concerned, and the numerous vehicle accidents that do not result in a fatality often still come with lasting repercussions. But just why do car accidents increase during the holidays in the first place? By recognizing the most common causes of auto collisions during this time of the year, you can better understand what types of claim you may be able to file in the event that you are the victim of one. And of course, knowing the risks will also help decrease your chances of getting into a new accident.

Traffic Increases During the Holidays

Many people are quick to point the finger at careless driving or getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (which we’ll go into momentarily), but the truth is that sometimes the cause is very simple. The holiday season equates to more vehicles or traffic volume on the road, which of course just increases the risk of collision. It is therefore important that you take certain precautions, such as allowing yourself extra time to reach your destination and leaving as much room between yourself and other drivers.

Holiday Gatherings Often Involve Alcohol

Many people enjoy a cup of spiked eggnog or holiday punch at parties and other gatherings throughout December, though of course there are plenty of other alcoholic beverages going around as well. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun with friends and family and enjoying a drink or too, but there is a problem when drunk driving is involved. In fact, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis has found that almost 40 percent of all accidents during the week of Christmas resulted from at least one of the drivers being under the influence of alcohol while operating the vehicle. So for those planning on drinking during the holidays, it’s important to be responsible and keep alcohol limited and/or have a reliable designated driver lined up.

Keeping Vehicles Maintained Is Not a Priority

Many of us often are not as on top of vehicle maintenance as we should be, but the truth is that it tends to fall even more to the wayside when holidays like Christmas are swiftly approaching. After all, why spend all your money on new brake pads or replacement tires when you have gifts and decorations to buy instead? But while it can seem like the prudent choice at the time, making sure you have enough funds for holiday spending by skimping on vehicle maintenance can prove to be a deadly decision. After all, many of us live in areas where the weather is more difficult to drive in this time of year, and again, the roads are also more congested with general traffic and drivers who may already be making unsafe decisions. You can drive as carefully as you like, but the fact is that not investing in proper vehicle maintenance can leave you with a car that is unresponsive when and where you need it to be.

Holiday Stress is Very Real

The holidays are fun and all, but let’s face it– most of us are also very stressed out over a lot of things during this time. There are presents to buy, cooking to be done, things to finish at work, events to attend (or host) and for many people, traveling to do. It’s all a lot to deal with, and it’s imperative to take time for yourself to de-stress and calm down before you get on the road. If you find that this is hard to do, try doing some slow breathing techniques or even squeezing a stress ball before you start the engine.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes accidents still happen despite precautions being taken. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. This is particularly true when you are the victim, as you may be entitled to compensation. While nothing can take back the accident from happening, your attorney will be there to help you navigate what happens next. In the meantime, stay safe this holiday season!

Common Accidents During the Holidays and How to Avoid Them

The holidays are for friends and family to kick back and enjoy time together, but it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Unfortunately, accidents during the holidays are all too common, and there’s nothing that can kill the holiday spirit faster. The good news is that you can take steps to avoid such incidents, and it all starts with recognizing the risks. Our legal experts have worked through plenty of holiday seasons, and we have long noticed a pattern in the types of claims that result from the days surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s. Here’s what you need to know in order to stay safe and avoid common accidents this holiday season:

Vehicle Accidents Rise this Time of Year

With so many people traveling, it’s only natural that the rate of car accidents ticks up during December. People also tend to be more stressed around this time, and this combined with the fact that alcohol is often plentiful during holiday events just creates a recipe for disaster. It also doesn’t help that people have other costs this time of year thanks to traveling and giving gifts, and so vehicle maintenance tends to not be a top priority. You can help lower your own risk though by staying off the roads as much as possible, making sure your car is in good shape, driving with awareness (and when you’re not fatigued) and of course avoiding driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol-Related Incidents Are All Too Common

It’s no secret that alcohol consumption often rises around the holidays. After all, many of us are attending parties and gatherings during the evenings, and it’s only natural that alcohol be involved. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not drink in moderation, and this can lead to unsafe or careless behavior not just on the roads but while we’re on our feet. Alcohol-related incidents can happen both inside and outside of the home, and they can be anything from a car accident to someone slipping and falling in a living room. The best way to avoid such incidents is of course to moderate alcohol consumption, but additional precautions (like making sure a space is clean and safe before a party) can be taken as well.

People Suffer From Product Injuries

Many people celebrate by putting up holiday decorations, and new products in general are often abundant thanks to gifts and parties. However, product-related injuries are also abundant (though the good news is that you may actually be entitled to a liability claim in these cases), and there’s no faster way to ruin a holiday than with a trip to the hospital. Nevertheless, you can do what you can to avoid product injuries by always reading and following instructions as well as keeping them away from children.

Cooking Accidents Rise

Who doesn’t like eating all the great food and treats that come with the holidays? Unfortunately, more time spent in the kitchen combined with the regular distractions that come with the holidays means a greater risk for cooking-related incidents. It is imperative that proper safety methods always be practiced in the kitchen like putting away utensils and equipment once they are no longer needed, cleaning thoroughly and frequently, and making sure that there are not too many people in the kitchen at once.

Holiday Fatigue and Stress Affect Even the Best of Us

Let’s face it— the holidays are fun, but they sure can be tiring. After all, there are presents to be purchased and wrapped, special foods to be made, work to finish before days off and family and friends to see in the middle of all of it. Even those who are the most excited for them often find themselves having to contend with long lists of things that need to get done. But while it can be easy to brush holiday fatigue and stress aside as just minor annoyances, the truth is that the situation can be pretty serious. When our bodies are stressed out and / or lacking in sleep, we become more prone to making errors and getting into accidents. It is therefore crucial to make rest a priority during the holidays, and potentially dangerous activities that require focus (like driving and cooking) should be avoided when fatigue sets in. For those who just can’t seem to stop being busy, it is always a good idea to ask others for help as needed.

Know Who to Call If Accidents Happen

Sometimes accidents still happen even when we do take careful measures to avoid them. But instead of panicking, the best thing you can do next is to take control of the situation. Making sure you have the right legal assistance lined up will help you file any necessary claims with ease. When you’re ready, please feel to contact us for more information. If you or a loved one have already been involved in a holiday-related accident, we’re here to help you get any compensation you may be entitled to.

Prevent Dog Bites By Knowing the Signs

With the large number of households that have dogs as a pet, it’s important for families to understand the risks that come along with pet ownership. One of those is injuries due to dob bites, which can lead to a lawsuit if the dog bites a visitor in your home or can cause a lot of heartache if your beloved pet bites a family member living in the home. It’s important to note dogs of any breed can bite and cause significant harm. The good news is most dogs give off warning signs before a bite occurs. This means if you’re aware of what to watch for and can teach your children to do the same, you can significantly reduce the risk of a serious injury or even worse.

Stress

One of the first signs a dog may be getting ready to strike show the dog is feeling stressed. You are likely to notice the dog’s ears lie flat back and they may begin panting. They may also crouch close to the ground and keep their tail pointed down and still. One sign that is less evident is dilated pupils. If you do notice any of these signs, it’s best to remove yourself and anyone else from the situation, providing a safe place for your dog to unwind and return to a more relaxed state.

Fear and Anxiety

Another major reason dogs may bite is due to feelings of fear and anxiety. If your dog feels threatened, biting is their only means of defense and their instincts will kick in, which means there’s little chance of stopping the bite once it reaches that point. Therefore, it’s critical to know what to look for to identify these feelings so you can provide a source of comfort to your pet instead. Once again, the dog is likely to crouch close to the ground, keeping its tail down and its ears laid back against its head. A dog who is worried or anxious may also avoid eye contact or may even lick or paw at the air.

Aggression

Some dogs are naturally dominant and will show warning signs that indicate they may be aggressive, which can lead to damaging bites. A dominant dog may curl back its lips and bare its teeth, which can also cause its snout to wrinkle. It will often stand stiffly with its hackles raised. The tail may also bristle and stand straight. However, if the dog is aggressive due to fear, they will show some slightly different symptoms. These dogs are more likely to growl as a warning sign they are about to strike, although the other signs are similar to those of a dominant dog.

Avoiding the Bite

Whenever you identify your dog may be uncomfortable and about to attack, it’s important to take the right steps to avoid an attack in the first place. Separating your dog from anyone else in the area is one of the best things you can do. Because it may be dangerous to approach the dog or interact with it, it’s typically best to remove yourself and any others from the situation instead. Once you have given your dog space and they have calmed down again, which will be evident by a change in their demeanor and the absence of the above warning signs, you can resume safely interacting with your dog.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths Increase

The United States is a country dependent upon cars to get around. However, many communities across the nation are trying to encourage and implement more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. With the help of the US Department of Transportation, these communities push for residents to choose walking, biking, and using public transport instead of relying on a car for transportation. Unfortunately, pedestrians and cyclists make up 16 percent of transportation fatalities in the United States and the numbers appear to be rising.

What’s the Problem?

Roads are built to limit the amount of traffic a city or town experiences. Governments build numerous driving lanes and install traffic lights. However, this design does pose risk to those who choose to walk or bike to get around because there just isn’t enough room to fit all the cars plus the cyclists and walkers. While pedestrians can utilize a sidewalk to stay safe, cyclists can not. They are also not allowed to ride in car lanes. However, the number of bike lanes available throughout the country are few and are, in fact, beginning to disappear. Traffic lights are not pedestrian and cyclist friendly either. This is because the person only has few seconds to cross the road before the light turns green.

Although there are indeed cities that have implemented cost-effective strategies to protect pedestrians and cyclists, cars still remain a big risk. Here are a few statistics supporting this:

  • Approximately 80 cyclists die every year in the US
  • One-third of cyclist fatalities is linked to drunk driving
  • California has the highest amount of cyclist deaths per year

Even as pedestrian and cycling deaths increase, many people still choose walking and bicycling over driving. Why? Because choosing these alternative methods of transportation prove cost effective, decrease the carbon footprint, provide exercise, and even reduces stress.

Are You the Victim of a Pedestrian of Cyclist Accident?

If you have been involved in an accident with a car where you were the pedestrian or cyclist, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately. Get compensated for the accident and the results you experienced, such as medical bills, loss of income, and more. Contact Hastings & Hastings who serve Phoenix and the surrounding areas at 800-975-0080.