Feb 22 2010

Rape Statistics

The United States National Crime Victimization commission of 1999 reported that only 39% of all sexual assaults and rapes were reported to law enforcements agencies. For instances of male rape, that number was less than 10%. The survey bypassed all instances of female-female and female-male rape, altogether- since the number of reported incidents is negligible. The primary reason cited for the low percentage of reported rapes is the perception that rape is a “private affair” or a fear of further attack from the person who committed the rape. A study published in Great Britain (2007) noted that it is estimated that 75% – 95% of all rapes are never brought to the attention of the authorities.

Reporting to Police
Different rape advocacy groups have suggested various means for increasing the percentage of rapes that are reported to the police. These methods can involve dealing with the subsequent trauma suffered in the rape. For example, many law enforcement agencies will take the step of assigning a female officer to head a rape investigation that involves a woman victim.

False Rape Accusation
The advocacy groups also insist on preserving the anonymity of the victim during legal proceedings. However, this approach has come under fire as it may lead to a false rape accusation. Advocacy groups have also pushed for the category of female-male “educational” sexual encounters to be re-defined as cases of rape, as well. The statistics of female-female and female-male rape are rarely considered, as some jurisdictions have no laws to address these forms of encounters. It may even be thought, in some jurisdictions, that female-male rape is impossible.

Percentage of Women
With current data available, a Canadian research specialist came to the conclusion that 1/3 of sexual offenses, in general, involve women perpetrators. Yet, it was also noted that out of 4545 convictions of sexual offenses in 1997, only 0.4% of those convicted and imprisoned were women.

The Effect of Culture
Cultural mores will also play a part in the reluctance of female-male rape victims to report a crime. It is perceived by the general public (and the victim, as well) that there was a conscious choice on the part of the male to willingly participate in the encounter – even if the encounter was coerced by threats (such as loss of employment).

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

For more information, contact Attorney Michael Lowe located in the Dallas, Texas area.

Feb 17 2010

Car Accident Claims: What Can Be Recovered

One of the best ways to estimate one’s injury claims after a car accident is by looking at insurance reports. Often, the insurance provider is the first to see and evaluate vehicle damage, and consequently, determine how much this damage is worth. The types of damage one can recover can vary largely from case to case, but typically include the following:

Property damage
Property damage is often the quickest to assess because the vehicle has a determined value, and because the physical damage is apparent. The owner’s degree of fault is usually taken into account; that is, if he or she is 30% at fault, the property damage claim is likewise reduced by 30%.

Medical expenses
Insurers typically cover the cost of treating injuries caused by the accident, including emergency room expenses, physical therapy, and medical devices such as braces or crutches. One can also file claims for future medical expenses relating to the injury, such as rehabilitation and continued medication. However, examinations done for litigation purposes are usually not covered.

Pain and suffering
Victims can also file claims for physical pain resulting from car accident injuries. Working with medical professionals, the jury will then determine the severity and duration of the pain and declare a corresponding damage amount.

Mental anguish
Damages can be claimed for mental or emotional difficulties that arise from the victim’s injuries. These include anxiety, grief, shock, humiliation, fear and nervousness. Mental suffering is also common among victims who have been disfigured from the accident.

Lost wages and earning capacity
If a person is unable to work as a result of the accident, he or she can recover the wages that would have been paid during the period. In case of lost earning capacity, wherein one’s ability to make money is reduced by his injuries, the jury may take into account past earnings and the amount that the person might have earned otherwise.

Loss of consortium
A victim and/or his spouse can file for loss of consortium, or the loss of sexual relations and other benefits of married life as a result of the injuries. However, this claim can only be awarded if the injured spouse recovers damages as well. To prove and assess the claim, the jury takes into account the life expectancy of each spouse, the stability of the marriage, and how much of the said benefits were lost.

This article is not intended as legal advice.

Additional website: For more information about car accident claims, visit The Barber Law Firm. Serving clients in Dallas, TX.