Motorcycle Insurance Coverage – Don’t Ask Why, Ask How Much is Enough

Like cars and trucks, motorcycles travel on public roads. As a result, they fall in the same category of required insurance coverage, regardless of the size of the motorcycle and how fast it might go. That insurance can range from a bare minimum to a full comprehensive package. At a minimum, every state requires a motorcycle to be insured with a basic minimum coverage to protect other drivers on the road in terms of liability. The amount of that coverage varies from state to state, but it basically provides two categories of protection: medical cost coverage and property recovery.

Risk Comparisons With Reality

Interestingly, motorcycles have lower costs for insurance but have a higher rate of accident frequency and, in serious cases, fatalities. Many of the accident statistics are due to the fact that motorcycles have no protection to speak of in an impact, so the rider is fully exposed to harm. Secondly, other drivers generally don’t see motorcycles on the roads with them; numerous accidents involve car drivers who never saw the motorcycle, even when it was in their direct sight – they are simply too small to notice consistently.

Choosing the Right Coverage as a Rider

The bottom line, however, is that the insurance plan a rider chooses can really impact the outcome of an accident. Clearly, minimum coverage plans meet basic requirements in a given state, but they do very little to help recovery. At the other end of the spectrum, comprehensive plans cover far more than just the road. For example, if the motorcycle gets stolen or damaged while parked, a full plan will help get a rider back on the road. The big component that matters, however, is personal injury protection, or PIP. This is the coverage element that helps a rider get back up on his or her feet after an injury the most. With minimal or no medical coverage, a rider is really taking a chance on the road. Because of the typical severity of motorcycle accidents, it’s rare for a rider to come out of an impact unscathed.

There’s no question that the more coverage that is included in a plan, the better off a rider will be. That said, most folks are on a budget and don’t want to overpay for a risk that never happens. Ideally, comprehensive is best, but it’s also possible to work up to a better plan over time. However, riders should never go without coverage at all. There’s simply too many chances of being hit or making a mistake on a motorcycle and it turns into something serious every day. Coverage isn’t a question of whether to have it or not; it’s a metric of how much can be applied.

New Washington Law Initiates Job Posting Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2023, employers in Washington with 15 or more employees will be required to disclose the wage scale, salary range, and a general description of benefits and compensation offered when posting job openings. This new law was signed on March 30, 2022, and is a revision of a 2019 amendment to the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act which required employers to disclose the wage scale and salary range only if requested by an applicant. The applicant’s request is no longer needed under the new law. The information is automatically provided as part of the application process.

The 2019 amendment is not changed by the new law when transfers and promotions of current employees are transacted. The employer only provides the required compensation information when the current employee makes the request. A portion of the 2019 amendment was removed by the legislature that stated that if there was no wage scale or salary range, the employer is only required to give a minimum wage or salary expectation before posting the position or making the internal transfer or promotion.

Creating job postings is not what the new law requires employers to do. The posting obligations are imposed on those that the employer chooses to create. Posting, according to the law, is defined as “any solicitation intended to recruit job applicants for a specific available position…” This is either through the employer or a third party, whether electronic or hard copy. Based on the definition of posting, a Help Wanted sign will not trigger a posting requirement. The law does not make it clear whether employers will be liable for any noncompliance by third-party posting boards. This includes third-party internet search engines.

New positions or promotions that will trigger the posting obligations are not defined by the law. If an aggressive approach is followed by Washington, a new position can be created by changing an employee’s job title. Employers who are considering reorganization or restructuring can avoid uncertainties by implementing these changes before January 1, 2023. General descriptions are required by the new law that includes benefits and compensation. Violation of the new law may result in the same consequences as any other violation of the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act.

Why Attorneys Can Help With Car Accident Claims

Nobody likes being involved in a car accident, but unfortunately, they do happen. However, knowing what to do afterward can save you a lot of headaches, and having an attorney can help.

Most people are aware that they should exchange insurance information with the other driver after an accident, but what many people don’t realize is that this is just the beginning. If you’ve been injured in the accident, you will likely have to deal with insurance adjusters who will try to minimize the amount of money that you receive for your injuries.

Additionally, if the other driver was at fault, their insurance company may try to place some of the blame on you in order to avoid paying out a large settlement. An experienced car accident attorney can help you deal with all of this. With more than three million injuries every year from car-related crashes, it’s important to have this information at-hand.

Auto Accident Attorneys Have The Right Knowledge

The last thing you want is to be held accountable for something you didn’t do or to receive less money than you deserve because the insurance company took advantage of you. Additionally, if your case does go to court, having an attorney by your side who knows the ins and outs of personal injury is always in your best interests. If you are due for monetary compensation, they can help you get it.

More Payout For Damages

These individuals can help you understand all the elements of your case that you may make a claim for should it go to court, as well as any settlements you may negotiate.

For example, you may be able to include the following in your claim:

  • Lost wages from time taken off work
  • Property damage
  • Medical bills
  • Emotional trauma

Every case is different, but having someone who has training and experience in the legal system by your side can help ensure that you are fairly compensated for car damage and personal injuries. Trying to get an insurance payout on your own or even being successful in a trial without an attorney is possible, but is certainly more difficult. If you have involvement in a car accident, the best thing to do is seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

Washington State Employers Required To Provide Salary Info In 2023

In the past, a typical job listing did not have to include salary info. However, Washington state has taken steps to rectify this. The new change will take effect beginning in 2023 and will apply to companies that employ 15 or more individuals.

Washington EPOA

The Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act, otherwise known as EPOA, passed an amendment in 2019 stating that employers had to provide salary information if an applicant asked for it prior to accepting a job. On March 30, 2022, this amendment was updated. As a result, starting on January 1, 2023, employers in Washington state have to disclose both the salary range and pay scale of any position they are hiring for. They also have to let potential employees know details about any other compensation that comes with the job, including benefits. This information must be disclosed in every job ad a company posts.

There are times when a specific job does not have a salary range or wage scale. Part of the update to the 2019 amendment states that in these cases, companies have to disclose the minimum amount a job pays. This applies to ads for jobs being fulfilled by outside candidates, as well as promotions granted to those already working for a company.

The amendment does not require employers to include this information on something as simple as a “help wanted” sign. According to Washington state law, anything stating that a company needs to fill a specific position is required to mention the pieces of information discussed above.

The Effect On Job Candidates

What this means for job candidates is that they can expect listings to include details about any bonuses offered by the company, as well as information on retirement benefits, health insurance and paid time off. However, it should be noted that employers are not permitted to include certain words in job ads. These include words like insurance, and bonuses.

The penalties will remain the same for any company that violates the EPOA in any way, allowing employees to pursue legal action if the terms of a job are misrepresented.

Tips on Getting Through a Domestic Violence Case

Every year, about 10 million people in the US are victims of domestic violence. One in every four women and one in every ten men experience a form of domestic abuse. Anyone who has gone through a domestic violence case will tell you that it can be stressful and emotionally draining. When you face these charges, not only do you have a case to deal with, but you can also be alienated by society. If this happens to you, here are some tips to help you get through it.

Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney

Even when a domestic violence charge seems minor, such as disorderly conduct, hire a domestic violence attorney. Being convicted of such an offense can affect your reputation or even your earning capacity. A lawyer will fight for your rights and ensure that the case is resolved quickly without causing much damage.

Understand Your Rights

In every case, the defendant has several rights. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you have the right to get a witness to testify in your favor, evaluate the evidence by state, present your evidence, etc. Having a lawyer by your side can ensure you have a clear grasp of your rights.

Go for Therapy if You Are Going Through a Hard Time Emotionally

While therapy is important for victims of domestic abuse, it can also help someone accused of this crime. Going through such a case can be stressful. A few sessions will help keep your emotions in check and allow you to rebuild relationships with loved ones. Plus, proof that you are going to counseling can have a positive effect on your case.

Do Not Pick Up New Arrests

The fact that domestic violence is the main cause of any injuries to women means that these are cases taken seriously. So the worst thing you can do in your case is get arrested for something new while your case is still going on. The court will not be very kind in your case. Try and stay away from trouble. A domestic case can last even two years. Avoid new arrests and stay focused until the case is resolved.

A domestic violence case can be overwhelming. But if you follow these tips, you will be in a better position to manage the situation.

4 Essential Qualities to Look for In a Personal Injury Attorney

When you’re getting ready to take someone to court for a personal injury, you need a lawyer on your side that is truly on your side. Personal injuries are traumatic – the last thing you want is to feel re-victimized by the person who is supposed to be helping you. Though you can never be absolutely sure, there are some qualities that can help ensure a positive outcome.

They Are Experienced and Have a Quality Reputation

You want an attorney that knows how to handle your case, so the first step is to find one experienced in personal injuries. You also want someone who is respected by their clients. The best way to find a lawyer that fits both is to ask around. Friends, family, and coworkers are often good sources. Community pages on social media can be a good place to ask. Also, don’t forget to take a look at their Google reviews, as these can be very telling.

They’re Honest From the Start

You need to know the truth about your case. You don’t need to be strung along just so your attorney can make more money. A good attorney will be honest with you from the first meeting. They’ll be truthful about your chances of winning, tell you if they think it’s a losing battle, and be transparent about how much they’ll charge you.

They Treat You Like a Human – Not a Paycheck

Everyone goes to work to get paid – and your lawyer is no different. However, they should treat you like you’re more than a job. You’ve been through a trauma, and your lawyer should understand and respect that. They don’t have to hug you and literally hold your hand, but they should have compassion. And they should be happy to walk you through the process and do their part to reduce the burden you carry.

They Communicate In a Way You Can Understand

Legal terminology is their specialty – not yours. You shouldn’t be expected to understand everything they mean. If a lawyer cannot speak to you in a normal manner or answer your questions in a way you can understand, they’re probably not the partner for you.

A personal injury is not fun to deal with – neither is a court case. Having a good attorney on your side, however, can make the entire process a bit less stressful, so take the time to find one with the qualities mentioned above.

Judge Grants Injunction to Keep Animal Researchers’ Names Anonymous

A judge has granted representatives at the University of Washington the right to keep their names confidential while participating in animal research.

The injunction was granted after a filing by the committee members. They say that they have been targeted by animal rights activists, who are protesting the university’s use of animal subjects in research.

The activists have spent more than a year attempting to access the name of committee members, saying that the research is illegal. The protests have spread beyond the university campus, with picketers showing up at members’ homes.

The participants, who filed the lawsuit anonymously, are part of the University of Washington Animal Care and Use Committee. While they are permitted to use animal testing, they are legally bound to operate under the Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Care and Use Committee or IACUC exists to monitor the use of animals in the university’s research. This includes ensuring that the use is warranted and that all protocols are observed.

The IACUC includes 70 members, including veterinarians, research scientists, medical professionals, and others. By law, non-scientists such as ethicists or members of the clergy must be included.

Activists from PETA say that the IACUC has brought its actions under suspicion because it does not have an ethicist among its members. They also say that there is no member on staff that fits the requirements of being unaffiliated with the university or animal research entities.

These claims were first brought up by Lisa Jones-Engel. Jones-Engel served on the IACUC between 2017 and 2019 and now works as a senior science advisor at PETA.

Jones-Engel says that the lack of such persons on the IACUC staff causes a conflict of interest, leading to unjustified animal research that could violate the Animal Welfare Act.

She petitioned for the publication of the names, which the university originally agreed to. But the members of the IACUC anonymously filed a restraining order, citing harassment and intimidation both on campus and at their homes.

The intimidation incidents, they say, include leaving threatening voicemails and drawing comparisons to Nazi experimentation during the Second World War.

The judge’s decision has halted the publication of names, though this may be rescinded in a higher court as time goes on.

Columbia Riverkeeper and Weyerhaeuser Timber Firm to Settle Over Pollution Claims at Longview Timber Mill

The Washington State Department of Ecology has announced that Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. will pay $600,000 in fines to fund environmental cleanup, remediation of pollution, and upgrade at its Longview timber mill in Longview, WA.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement signed on Friday, Weyerhaeuser will:

  • Aerate ponds at its Longview site;
  • Reroute its storm water pipe;
  • Install monitoring devices and filters;
  • Find better onsite procedures for effective bark debris and wood management; and
  • Pay $5,000 in penalties and fines for any future violations occurring between 2023 and 2025

The proposal is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Justice and must be signed by the federal judge before it unconditionally takes effect.

This settlement ends a legal battle between the Seattle-based timber giant, operating since the 1930s, and Columbia Riverkeeper (CRK), a local non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Columbia River watershed.

CRK first sued Weyerhaeuser Timber Firm on March 7 for allegedly discharging harmful levels of wastewater into the Columbia River without proper treatment. The wastes include sawdust, sludge, elm, bark dust, and other wood products that contain potential toxins like arsenic and chromium. CRK alleges that these wastes can hurt the Columbia River’s aqua life by reducing oxygen levels and enhancing the growth of harmful bacteria.

According to Ecology officials, Weyerhaeuser’s Longview mill has an extensive history of discharging harmful run-offs into local waterways without proper treatment. Between 2019 and 2020, Weyerhaeuser’s Longview mill and two of its immediate neighbors, Nipon Dynawave and North Pacific Paper Corporation, were cited for dozens of violations of the Clean Water Act.

Nippon and North Pacific were once part of the larger Weyerhaeuser Timber Firm, which spanned 700 acres before their fallouts in 2016. The trio still shares infrastructure.

In a statement released by the Department of Ecology, Water Resources Director Laura Watson said: “This settlement will ensure that Weyerhaeuser protects human health and the environment through better stormwater management.” Further, Simone Anter, the CRK’s staff attorney, asserted that an agreement of that magnitude clearly shows that no corporation should flout the Clean Water Act, no matter how big it is. He revealed that CRK will continue the fight, keeping an eye on more complex cases in the future.

School Abuse Case in Seattle. Do You Know What Your Kids are Doing at School?

When we send our children to school, we do so thinking they are in a safe environment, conducive to learning. These days, there are many issues that parents need to be concerned about.

According to EducationWeek.com, there were 34 school shootings in 2021, of which 24 occurred after August 1st. Sexual abuse cases are also on the rise. Our trusted teachers, coaches, teachers’ aides, and mentors now need to be scrutinized to be sure they are safe for our children to be around.

 

Ballad High School Abuse Case:

One high-profile case occurred at Ballard High School, part of the Seattle school district. This case is especially difficult to comprehend because the soccer and basketball coach accused of sexual abuse crimes was already known as a danger to her students.

In 2018, Meghan Miller, a former University of Kansas goalkeeper, was hired for a position at Ballard High School, though it was aware of previous molestation accusations. Miller started at Ballard High as a teacher’s aide, then soccer coach.

Miller’s victim was 14 years old at the time the molestation began in 2016. She is now 17.

 

Looking for Easy Prey:

According to reports, Miller began a relationship with the student, who had been struggling with social and emotional issues. What started as a friendship, morphed over the next couple of years into a sexual relationship.

The coach became a central part of the student’s life. She acted as a confidant, walked her to classes, visited with her before and after school, and had steady communication throughout the day by text messaging. Many of these messages were sexual. Encounters would take place in city parks, in Miller’s office, and locker rooms.

Miller was charged with third-degree molestation and sexual misconduct with a minor. She was asked to surrender but declined through her lawyer. A $100,000 bond was issued for her arrest, and she was later booked into the King County Jail.

 

Due-Diligence:

Parents have a tough job these days. From homeschooling during COVID-19 to making sure children are protected when they are outside the home. It is a never-ending battle to know who children are spending time with and whether they are safe from harm and predators.

In the Miller case, the abuse came to light after the student expressed her desire for someone else her age, after which Miller broke down and cried.

The student told a friend about the clandestine relationship, who then alerted a staff member, who shared the information with administrators.

Redmond, Washington Reaches Settlement in Fatal Police Shooting

The city of Redmond, Washington recently announced that it had settled with the family of a woman who was shot by police officers in her own apartment after calling 911 for help. In September of 2020, Andrea Thomas Churna called 911 to ask for police to come to her apartment for assistance. She told the 911 operators that she thought someone was trying to kill her. There was an audio recording of the 911 call. She had recently had a bad experience with her ex-boyfriend, and she was concerned.

When police arrived at the scene, they saw Churna climbing up a balcony. She told police that she had a mental health history and that she was concerned it might be playing a role. The police then asked Churna if she had a firearm. She did, and she retrieved it. While the handgun was jammed and inoperable, Churna was later shot and killed by the police. Officer Daniel Mendoza fired the fatal shot.

The Chief of the Redmond Police Department, Darrell Lowe, stated that Churna was unarmed when she was shot. Lowe admitted to the mistake, apologized to Churna’s family, and stated that the news release also contained an error. The initial report stated that Churna had confronted the officers with a handgun. That turned out to be false. The original press release also stated that multiple shots had been fired, which was also false. While there is an inquest going on, more details cannot be provided until it is concluded.

Fortunately for Ms. Churna’s family, a settlement has been reached which should provide some closure. The attorney representing Churna’s family, Kim Zak, announced that the city had reached a settlement of $7.5 million with the city of Redmond. The family and their attorney were prepared to show the multitude of errors that the city had made in handling the call of their loved one. While the settlement may provide some closure, it also has to lead to meaningful change that can prevent an issue like this from happening again. It will be interesting to see if the police department makes changes in how it receives and responds to 911 calls, particularly involving people with a history of mental health concerns.