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Top 5 Worst Dog Attacks in Montana History

While Montana is certainly known for its wild animals—bears, wolves, and even the occasional angry moose—common dog attacks remain a problem in the Big Sky Country. Indeed, the state of Montana sees hundreds of dog bites each and every year. Many people may find it hard to believe but dogs remain a greater threat in Montana than any other type of animal. With so many dogs running about, dog bites are a continued health risk for all Montanans. Here are the top 5 dog attacks in Montana history:

#5. Livingston Dog Bite, Montana, 2013

aggressive barking dog behind fence guarding garden

One restaurant employee got a nasty surprise when he decided to return to work late one night. After grabbing a drink at a bar after a long shift, a local Livingston man returned to the restaurant he worked at to grab his laptop before returning home. After preparing a late-night salad, the man came face to muzzle with a trained police dog. The man attempted to assuage the dog by greeting it with, “Hey, puppy.” But the K-9 unit attacked anyway, biting down on the man’s thigh. When he tried to pull the dog off of him, the dog bit down on his wrists. After the dog’s partner determined the man wasn’t a dangerous burglar attempting to thieve away croutons in the middle of the night, the man was rushed to the hospital. Remarkably, the police department refused to apologize for the excessive use of force. It’s no wonder that the man soon filed a lawsuit against the police department after being discharged from the hospital.

#4. Missoula Dog Attack, Montana, 2017

Every once in a while, police officers are the ones who suffer a dog bite while on the job. Late one night in 2017, two Missoula police officers noticed a man stumbling drunkenly toward his car. When the inebriated man got behind the wheel of his car and fired up the engine, the officers had no choice but to act. After requesting that the man get out of the vehicle, the man instead stomped on the gas, colliding with the car parked in front of him. When one of the officers attempted to physically remove the man, he was attacked by the man’s dog. The officer involved in the dog attack was bitten twice by the dog and treated at a local hospital. The drunken man fared far worse as he was charged with a felony and several misdemeanors.

#3. Dog Bite in Kalispell, Montana, 2016

A 9-year old girl was bitten by a mix-breed Labrador after mistakenly throwing a ball into a neighbor’s yard. The girl hopped the fence to recover the ball from the dog’s maw, politely asking the animal to drop it. The dog proceeded to drop the ball, but only so it could bite the young girl’s face. The girl was rushed to a local hospital where she was given over 40 stitches to repair her face. Remarkably, the city of Kalispell did not require the dog’s owner to put the animal to sleep, despite the animal leaving the girl with permanent disabilities.

#2. Dog Attack in Bozeman, Montana, 2017

Two pit bull dogs attacked an elderly Bozeman woman in 2017 in an attack that left her brain dead before ultimately taking her life. The victim was one Melissa Barnes, 65, who was bitten by dogs belonging to her neighbor and tenant. Police investigators believe the dogs were likely playing with Barnes when she fell over. The dogs were then triggered and began to attack the woman. Barnes spent several days in a coma before eventually succumbing to her injuries. The dogs in question were euthanized shortly after the attack and the owner was cited for violating the county’s dog control regulations. The story made headlines due to the rarity of dog attack deaths.

#1. Ulm Dog Attack, Montana, 2006

By far the most tragic dog attack in the history of Montana happened in the tiny town of Ulm. A 4-year old toddler named Dominic alone in his relative’s back yard when one of his uncle’s Rottweilers attacked the boy. The boy’s mother checked on him after a few minutes and found one of the Rottweilers standing over his mauled body. The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, but it was too little, too late. The boy soon passed away. The dog was euthanized after the attack at the request of the family.

2020 Montana Car Accident Statistics

2020 Montana Car Accident Facts

Unfortunately, car accidents are all too common in Montana. From drunk driving to distracted drivers, a car crash can occur when you least expect it. Indeed, each year in the United States there are upwards of 6 million car crashes. While Montana sees but a fraction of these crashes, suffering an injury due to a car accident remains a very real threat for motorists in the Big Sky state. The Advocates have compiled the above statistics to help inform Montana drivers and passengers of the risk they face on the state’s roads and highways. The best practices a motorist can implement whenever they get behind the wheel is to drive defensively, never drink and drive, and to always buckle your seatbelt. Stay safe, Montana.

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Symptoms of PTSD After a Serious Collision

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may be at risk of developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Research shows that nearly 10% of accident victims experience symptoms of PTSD at some point in their lives.

PTSD is a mental health condition that drastically alters your perception of a traumatic situation and can increase your fear of specific activities, such as driving. Take a few minutes to understand the risks of developing PTSD, the most common symptoms of PTSD, and how you can effectively receive treatment or compensation for your pain and suffering after your collision.

Causes of PTSD After a Collision

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological and emotional disorder that develops when a person experiences or witnesses a frightening, or sometimes prolonged, traumatic event. In short, PTSD is the triggered response to a situation or memory that remind trauma victims of the tragic event.

When people experience a tragedy, such as being in a violent collision, those vivid details from the incident are automatically stored in the brain. Unfortunately, the brain can allow these memories to surface at any time, especially when a situation or person reminds them of the event. Accident victims with PTSD might often recall the feeling of being in a crash just by hearing the sound of a horn or a loud car door slam.

Risks of PTSD From a Car Crash – Jackson

Auto accidents can be traumatizing experiences. Almost 3 million people are injured in auto accidents each year in the United States. And while serious collisions are one of the top causes of PTSD in trauma victims, it’s important to note that not everyone will develop PTSD from their crash. In recent years, a team of medical experts have concluded that the following risk factors can heavily influence the likelihood of developing PTSD:

-Experienced a traumatic event in the past

-Lost a loved one in the accident

-History of mental illness in the family

-Amount of support received after the accident

-Suppression of any thoughts related to the collision

-Was the car accident life-threatening or not

If you are an accident victim, other determining factors you should consider are dissociation (which is the total lack of awareness) you experienced during your car accident, feelings of worthlessness or shame due to the crash, or excessively high levels of anxiety while riding in an auto vehicle. These factors have been increasingly known to be a strong indicator of PTSD in car accident victims.

Common Symptoms of PTSD After a Collision

If you have fallen victim to a serious car accident, you may be wondering if you have PTSD. It’s very common for accident victims who have developed PTSD to experience any number of the following symptoms:

-Nervousness while driving or being overwhelmed inside the vehicle; some accident victims who develop PTSD experience tightness in the chest, heavy breathing, or racing thoughts while being in the car

-Having frequent anxiety or paranoid thoughts while being in a car (“What if I get in an accident on my way to work?”)

-Increased awareness of other drivers on the road, such as excessively braking when other drivers are close or driving far below the required speed limit

-Avoiding driving in general; some accident victims with PTSD experience, such as anxiety, avoid the complications of driving altogether

Oftentimes, trauma victims see memories from their accident in the form of nightmares, flashbacks or panic attacks. The best way to recover or work through these anxieties from your crash is to speak with a mental health expert. If you need help finding a counselor, call an Advocate today and we can help you find the assistance you need.

When to Seek Treatment for Symptoms of PTSD

Because symptoms of PTSD can develop months to years after your accident, it’s important to at least speak with a therapist or counselor almost immediately after the crash. This way, if you do begin to develop symptoms of PTSD from the accident, a mental health professional will be able to guide you and help you conquer your anxieties.

Having PTSD from an accident can be debilitating and make it extremely difficult for you to process your fears and trauma on your own. There are numerous types of counseling options for accident victims to benefit from. The following types of therapy treatment have not only been proven successful but have also been known to work exceptionally well for car accident victims with PTSD:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment method designed to help trauma patients, such as car accident victims, reduce their symptoms of PTSD and change their negative thought patterns involving the situation or the traumatic event.
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy: prolonged exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that allows trauma victims to gradually approach and address trauma-related memories, feelings or situations that remind the victim of the tragic event.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EDMR is a fairly new and non-traditional method of treatment that works well for auto accident victims. While the other methods of treatment rely on talk therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing focuses heavily on the individual’s rapid, rhythmic eye movements, whichphysically works victims through their trauma.

Therapy is one of the most common types of treatment methods for trauma victims. The goal for therapy is to help relieve trauma patients of their symptoms of PTSD with the intent to eliminate the disorder altogether.

Your doctor can help you determine what will likely work best for you in the long run.

How a Wyoming Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You

Psychological injuries are classified as injuries to a person’s psyche or mind. While you may not be able to see injuries to the mind, damage to the psyche can be just as exhausting and emotionally painful as physical injuries. By taking early steps, such as seeking out therapy or speaking to a personal injury attorney about your pain and suffering, you can overcome the effects of your automobile accident.

Here at The Wyoming Advocates, we will make your recovery process our top priority. If you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your pain and suffering, don’t wait. Call an Advocate today at (307) 466-0003 or speak with an injury lawyer on our Live Chat right now.

Ways to Prevent Coronavirus in Wyoming

Doctor comforts patient with hand on shoulder


How Best to Stop the Coronavirus (Covid 19) From Spreading in Wyoming

As the novel coronavirus, known also as Covid-19, continues to spread across the United States, people in Wyoming are beginning to worry about how they can help stop an outbreak in their community. The best way to get ahead of the Coronavirus is to get ahead of it as much as possible. Thankfully, the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) has provided detailed instructions about how you and your family can help stop the spread of the highly contagious virus. Below are the top 10 most effective ways to prevent further spread of the coronavirus from The Advocates law firm:

#1. Wash Your Hands…and Wash Them Some More

Now is the best time to pick up the habit of frequently washing your hands. According to the CDC, you should “wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.” This includes whenever you visit a public place, after you sneeze or cough, or if you have physical contact with other people or with a potentially contaminated surface, such as a countertop or a table. A helpful rule of thumb to remember is to vigorously wash your hands for as long as it take to sing the song Happy Birthday, which is roughly 20-30 seconds. Reports indicate that coronavirus can live on a surface for up to a week or possibly longer so routinely washing your hands is the best way to prevent infection.

#2. Don’t Talk to (or Touch) Strangers

During the pandemic you should, obviously, avoid encountering anyone, friends or family members, who are sick or show symptoms of the virus. But you should also strongly consider avoiding strangers completely until the curve of outbreak has flattened. Granted, such advice may prove difficult for those living in Casper or if you work in an office around people. In all honesty, however, you do not know if the strangers around you are infected with the virus or not. So for the time being, practicing social distancing measures by maintaining 6 feet of space between yourself and others is a practical way to remain healthy until the virus is finally contained.

#3. Too Much of a Good Thing? Not When it Comes to Sanitizer

If you find yourself with a bar of soap nearby, hand sanitizer is the next best solution. When you choose a sanitizer, though, make sure you pick up a brand offering an absolute minimum of 60% alcohol. Completely cover your hands with the sanitizer, rubbing them together until they are dry again. You can also use the sanitizer on any surfaces you believe might be infected, so be sure to buy the biggest bottle possible.

#4. Touching Your Face is Bad

On average, a normal person touches their face up to 23 times every hour. Most people aren’t aware of this fact, but face touching is one of the most common practices people do automatically. Once you know you’re a face-toucher, breaking the habit is more than a little difficult. Even professional healthcare workers find it difficult to break the habit, so don’t feel bad if you struggle at first. Here are a few tricks you can use to keep your fingers away from your face:

  • Keep your hands occupied with a stress ball or even a rubber band
  • Wear a bracelet or a ring to help remind you not to touch your face
  • Break other bad habits like fingernail biting or anything to do with your nose
  • Deploy the buddy system by having someone point out each time you touch your face

#5. Scrub It Down! Scrub It All Down!

As of today, the CDC believes that the coronavirus can live on virtually any common surface for up to weeks at a time. This includes not only your own skin but also kitchen counters, bathroom surfaces, blankets and bedding, and even in carpet fibers. While many people focus on cleansing their bodies, they neglect all the other surfaces the coronavirus can infect. You may not be able to clean everything in your home or office. But you can certainly focus on the more heavily-touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, desks, phones, toilets, sink faucets, and keyboards and mice. Most over-the-counter disinfectants work, but you can also dilute bleach in warm water if you prefer. A basic rule of thumb is 5 tablespoons of bleach per every gallon of water.

#6. Get Help If You Experience Covid Symptoms

Shot of a doctor showing a patient some information on a digital tablet

Now is not the time to sleep on a trip to the doctor. If you feel ill at all, you should seek out medical assistance ASAP. According to the CDC, symptoms of a coronavirus infection begin to manifest after just 2 days following exposure. Below are the relevant symptoms you should be on the lookout for:

  • A persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • A fever

If you experience the above symptoms, you should follow the advice of the CDC and “restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.” You should also restrict your contact with any pets as well. While human-to-animal transmission of the coronavirus hasn’t been discovered as of yet, contagion remains in the realm of possibility. Nobody wants to see their faithful companion fall ill with the coronavirus when they could have been quarantined.

#7. Contain Your Coughs and Sneezes, Too

Even if you do not believe you are sick with the coronavirus, you should cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze. The coronavirus thrives in saliva and nasal projectiles. So even if you are merely suffering an allergy attack, pay the favor forward by covering your face before sneezing. Your efforts could help contain an outbreak.

#8. Face Masks Aren’t Just For Superheroes

Real talk: You probably don’t need to wear a face mask. While the news is full of stories about price gouging on Amazon and retailers like Wal-Mart running out of face masks, you really only need a face mask if you are already sick or plan to be in close proximity to a person who is sick with the coronavirus. If you simply follow the the above steps, your chances of avoiding contracting the virus are about the same as they are if you wore a mask 24/7. If you are healthy, push aside the urge to stock up on face masks which would be better used by a medical professional or someone who is infected and needs to keep their germs under lock and key.

#9. How to Self-Quarantine Like a Pro

If you feel ill and your job allows it, you should strongly consider self-quarantining in your home until you feel better. Coronavirus spreads most easily by direct human-to-human contact, so quarantining yourself until your immune system destroys the virus completely is the most effective way to halt the virus’ spread. If you do decide to self-quarantine, be sure to stock up on groceries, paperback novels, and toilet paper beforehand. You’re going to need it.

#10. Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3?

As of today, March of 2020, coronavirus testing kits are not readily available to the public for a variety of reasons. Hopefully, more tests will be available as the virus continues to spread across the country over the next few weeks. When they do become available, however, you should definitely get tested if you think you might have contracted the virus. Ignorance may be bliss, but not when it comes to your health and well-being. Stay safe out there, Wyoming.

The Most Dangerous Roads in South Dakota

Semi-truck driving in the right lane on a desert highway.

Home to expansive prairie grasslands and the iconic Mount Rushmore, there are quite a few jaw-dropping scenes in South Dakota to explore. However, if you’re traveling through the Midwest for the first time, you should consider the most dangerous roads in South Dakota before venturing into the natural beauty of this state.

According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, traffic fatalities as a total have recently increased to 129 deaths in 2017, which is up 13 percent from the previous year. Even in sparsely populated regions such as this one, every state has its grim history with car accidents. See the following most dangerous roads in South Dakota provided by the car accident attorneys with The Advocates.

What are the 5 Most Dangerous Roads in South Dakota?

While South Dakota is a jewel for obscure rock formations and home to one of the nation’s oldest national parks, there are some routes that should only be traveled with the utmost caution. No matter the season, roads in this state can be tricky and difficult to navigate at times, especially the ones leading up to the national parks. Majority of them are not well-lit and have serpentine curves that will put you through a whirl.

Iron Mountain Road

A uniquely designed route that showcases the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road is a true white-knuckle drive. Hugging closely to the rocky edges of Custer State Park, this highway is on our list of most dangerous roads in South Dakota for its hairpin turns and snaking course through natural rock tunnels and pigtail bridges.

Risk Factors:

  • 314 sharp curves throughout the entire drive
  • Rapid-climbing lengths of roadway
  • Limited access during winter months
  • Minimal shoulder space to park and view scenery
  • Watch out for speeding drivers trying to pass

With over 300 winding curves, 14 switchbacks and 3 tunnels, Iron Mountain Road is worth trekking as long as you take your time. Plus, it’s the only route that passes through Custer State Park and offers a view of Mount Rushmore without a fee station.

Needles Highway

Locally known as Needles Highway, Highway 87 is a 37-mile route through the southwestern portion of South Dakota that traverses through the Black Hills. Deemed impossible to build in the early 20th century, the road came to fruition by 1922 after workers blasted through several solid granite “needles” on its course.

Risk Factors:

  • Dangerously sharp turns
  • Narrow tunnels through rock formations
  • Unsafe travel during winter months
  • Proceed with caution if roadway is wet

Considered one of the most epic routes in South Dakota for sightseers and nature-lovers, be prepared to experience the rugged hills and wicked turns of this roadway. Don’t turn a blind eye to the road, of course!


Catron Boulevard and Highway 16 Intersection

Nestled in the shadow of Black Elk Peak, Rapid City is a frequented western hub for vacation activities and summer travel. However, with several national parks right around the corner (Badlands, Devils Tower, Jewel Cave and Crazy Horse Mountain), it’s important to note which travel routes are the most dangerous.

One of the most common drives to the Black Hills National Forest from Rapid City is Highway 16. Unfortunately, the intersection where Catron Boulevard meets the freeway is considered the most dangerous in the state. With countless injuries and fatal crashes, only turn onto this highway with the most precaution.

Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway

A trip through pine-covered hills and rolling prairies doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, the reason this scenic byway is on our list of most dangerous roads in South Dakota has little to do with the road itself. Instead of worrying about deer leaping across the highway, you must prepare for something much larger: bison.

The Wildlife Loop certainly lives up to its name, but drivers are cautioned to not only traverse the route at the appropriate speed limit (25 mph or slower), you should also stay in your car and avoid approaching the bison too closely. These animals can charge at any moment, with intentions to harm anything in their way. Be courteous and safe on this several hour loop and you’ll have a grand ole time.

Interstate 90

A transcontinental freeway stretching from Boston to Seattle, Interstate 90 is the deadliest stretch of highway in South Dakota. Known as the longest Interstate Highway in the U.S, I-90 has seen nearly 40 traffic fatalities between 2015 and 2017. Unlike the other dangerous roads on our list, this highway is a major travel route even during the winter months.

Snowy road in the Montana Rockies

Risk Factors:

  • Frequent speeding along this route
  • Black ice, slush, mixed rain during winter
  • Distracted driving plays a deadly factor
  • Constant weather advisory warnings/closures

Driving on any major highway can be deadly. However, northern freeways such as I-90 require extra caution during the wintertime. This roadway can see up to 30 inches of snow in a year. Drive carefully and always be prepared for an emergency.

There are plenty of reasons to visit the Mount Rushmore State: uninterrupted sky views, colossal monuments and wildly unique rock formations. Knowing the most dangerous roads in South Dakota can help pave a safer pathway for your next trip through all its stunning vistas.

When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer – The Advocates

If you or a loved one were recently injured in an accident, we understand how difficult this time may be for you and your family. The car accident attorneys with The Advocates are here to guide you through the aftermath of a collision and help you get the compensation you are rightfully owed. Working with one of our personal injury lawyers can play a huge factor for you in your recovery process.

While you focus on healing, The Advocates will take care of the rest. Our goal is to help you retrieve lost wages, negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf and build you a winning legal claim. Your car accident lawyer will communicate with you each step of the way. Call The Advocates today at 307-466-0003 or click on our Live Chat to speak with an attorney right away. You deserve an Advocate!

The 5 Most Dangerous Roads in Maine

Maine is the crown jewel of the northeast. Roughly the same size as the other 5 states in the region and is steeped in a rich history with breathtaking natural beauty. The rocky and mountainous shoreline is littered with open beaches, blowholes and caves to explore. Acadia National Park is the only national park in the northeast and lies offshore on Desert Island featuring Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the east coast.

From slick, foggy conditions on the coast to wandering moose on the rural stretches, Maine highways pose their own unique hazards. Winters this far north are especially brutal on the driving conditions as well as deluges of summer drivers on vacation. Here is The Advocates list of 5 of the most dangerous roads in Maine to help make your trip a safe one.

Here are the most dangerous roads in Maine: 

United States Route 1

Winding up the craggy Atlantic coastline before turning north along the St. Croix river separating Maine from Canada is U.S. Route 1. From the storied Maritime Museum in Bath to the Portland Head Lighthouse or Acadia National Park, there is no shortage of amazing things to see and do along this route. Maine boasts over 5,000 miles of shoreline and U.S. Route 1 is the main access for all of it.

Risk Factors

  • Fog and slippery conditions are possible year around
  • Infamous northeast winters bring hazardous road conditions
  • Moose and other wild animals live near this route
  • Summer traffic from the flood of beach goers pack this route

Maine does have the largest Moose population in the United States and with over 90% of the state blanketed in forests, they are not the only animals you have to watch out for. Stay alert during rural stretches and scan off to the sides of the road as well what is up ahead. Pulling over to enjoy sightseeing gives the driver a chance to take in the vistas while keeping everyone safe.

Interstate 95

Generally following a northeastern path through the state, I-95 is the main highway running from the southern tip across from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to the Canadian border at Houlton. As a busy highway connecting Portland to the largest non-coastal city of Bangor and beyond, I-95 sees heavy commercial traffic. Explore the lush forests to the west or check out the northern end of the famed Appalachian Trail at Baxter State Park.

Risk Factors

  • Heavy commercial and commuter traffic causes congestion
  • Moose and other wild animals are common in the rural stretches
  • Road is rutted North of Argyle and in need of repair
  • Intersections in Augusta and West Gardiner are the most dangerous in the state

Use caution where busy I-95 intersects with roads in the cities as these are well-known hot-spots for traffic accidents. Black ice is also a common hazard in winter and I-95 routinely racks up quite a few multi-car pileups every year. Busy traffic and hazardous intersections make this route one of the most dangerous roads in Maine.

Interstate 295

While only 53 miles long, this stretch of highway from Scarborough to West Gardiner is a very busy alternative to I-95. As a more direct and toll-free route from Portland to the capital of Augusta, I-295 is an important traffic thoroughfare for both commuters and commercial traffic.

Risk Factors

  • Congestion commonly slows down traffic
  • Short lanes for on and off ramps disrupt traffic flow
  • Has reputation for drivers navigating at excessive speeds

The well-known deficiencies of the on and off ramps being too short for safe merging is a problem the state has acknowledged. The top speed of 70, heavy traffic and dangerously short merge lanes together make this one of the most dangerous stretches for traffic accidents in the state.

State Route 15

From the small fishing village of Stonington, SR 15 traverses northwest across the state to tiny Jackman near the border of Canada. From the bastions of stone and lobster deep into moose territory, this route is famous for its scenic beauty and access to the rugged wilderness of the Maine Highlands.

Risk Factors

  • Northern section of road in disrepair with potholes, buckling and ruts being common
  • The rural sections are dark, narrow and offer little in the way of guard rails
  • Moose and other large animals are common especially near dawn or dusk

Conditions are so bad up north it recently won the dubious honor of being voted as having the worst road conditions in the entire state, hence being on our list of most dangerous roads in Maine. Don’t let the conditions keep you from enjoying the amazing sights along this road but consider leaving the town-car at home for this trip in favor of an SUV.

United States Route 201

Large Elk Crossing the road in Wyoming

Nicknamed “Moose Alley”, US 201 stretches north from Brunswick near the coast to the Canadian border. Following the Kennebec River that connects to Dead Rivers at the Forks, Maine’s best whitewater rafting is here. This interconnected river passage was famously used by Benedict Arnold to lay siege to Quebec during the Revolutionary War.

Risk Factors

  • With a nickname like “Moose Alley”, stay alert for wild animals on or near the road
  • Some stretches have fallen into disrepair so look out for potholes and ruts
  • Elevation changes can make slick or wintry road conditions worse

Slide-offs are a major cause of serious accidents across Maine, more so in these routes cutting through the wilderness as they often offer little to no protection in the way of guard rails and dividers. Even with no traffic to slow you down, stay vigilant and use caution on these roads through the wilds as help could be slow in arriving.

When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer – The Advocates

Regardless of how careful a driver you are, car accidents unfortunately can strike anyone, anywhere. If you or a family member has been injured in a traffic accident through no fault of your own, hiring an experienced Wyoming car accident lawyer is an important first step in securing the compensation you deserve.

As a leading personal injury law firm in Wyoming, our professional staff here at The Advocates is ready to fight for your rights. We’ll stand up to the insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum settlement for your case. Let us deal with the claim’s adjusters, hospital bills and legal paperwork while you focus on recovery. Call The Advocates today at 307-466-0003 or discuss your case confidentially online here. You deserve an Advocate!

Most Dangerous Animals in California

Not only is California the most populous state, with close to 40 million people as of today, but it also has the richest biodiversity in the entire United States. Indeed, the Golden State is so bio-diverse, due to its wild and varied landscape, that it even surpasses the diversity of entire countries.

With so many animals, birds, and insects living side by side with 40 million Californians, problematic encounters are bound to happen between humans and wildlife populations. The following is the definitive list of the 10 most dangerous animals in the great state of California:

#10: Sharks

Despite their vicious portrayal in Hollywood movies, shark attacks, particularly in California, are incredibly rare. In fact, the last reported shark attack in California was all the way back in 2012 when a surfer was bitten by a Great White. The victim, Francisco Solorio, died shortly after being bitten in his upper torso. Considering how sharks almost exclusively attack surfers and body boarders, mistaking them for seals, sharks are certainly frightening to behold. But, in reality, the actual threat of an attack remains little more than Hollywood fear mongering.

#9 Black Bears

While black bear attacks are even more rare than that of sharks, the furry mammals get the higher spot solely due to the better odds of encountering one in California. Thanks in part to California’s changing climate and endless seasons of forest fires, black bears are more frequently on the move in search of shelter and food. So, if you’re hiking out in one of California’s astounding national parks, be wary of bumping into any black bears. They may seem cute and cuddly from afar, but when you see one crashing through the tree line, claws thrashing and teeth bared, you better hope you know what to do to protect yourself.

#8 Mountain Lions

Whether you know them as mountain lions, pumas or cougars, these cats are ubiquitous throughout the western United States. Similar to shark attacks, mountain lion victims are usually mistaken for another type of prey: deer. Bicyclists, hikers, and even skiers are the most common victims of these elusive cats. In fact, the last known Californian to be killed by a mountain lion was attacked as he was repairing the chain on his bicycle in the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

#7 Rattle Snakes

Anyone who has visited the renowned Joshua Tree National Park knows rattlesnakes are a danger for the sandal clad who make it a habit to not look down often. Named for its characteristic rattle, rattlesnakes are fairly common in California, with 6 species calling the Golden State home. On average, a total of 221 people are bitten by rattlesnakes each year in the Golden State. Considering how all 6 of these species are venomous, campers, hikers, and nature-enthusiasts should at least consider packing an anti-venom kit during their expeditions into what many Californian locals consider to be “rattlesnake country.”

#6 Black Widow and Recluse Spiders

While there are over 60 species of spider to be found in California, you should do all you can to avoid these two extremely venomous spiders. Black Widows and recluse spiders (Brown and Chilean) can be deadly to children, the elderly, and the sick if not treated both immediately and properly. Luckily, these spiders are rare in California, but you should be wary nonetheless, especially when it comes to black widows since they tend to live in closer proximity to humans.

#5 Hornets, Wasps, Bees

You may think these flying insects are more of a pest than a swooping aerial terror of doom and destruction. Unfortunately for too many people this assumption is wrong. Gram by gram, these winged insects are the deadliest creatures many Californians face each year. Whereas snake bites kill around 6-8 people annually, flying insects killed a total of 1,109 people between the years 2000 and 2017 for an average of 62 deaths each year. Granted, most of these deaths are due to allergies, but you shouldn’t let this diminish the risk. Many people don’t know they’re allergic until it’s too late. Also, being stung is rather painful, so it’s best just to avoid these winged scourges.

Below are a few of the symptoms to watch out for if you are suffering an allergic reaction:


  • Discoloration of the skin, white or red
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hives
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden unconsciousness
  • Shock

#4 Horses and Cows

For anyone who hasn’t worked on a farm or around cattle, this may seem a rather surprising entry. But, to those in the know, horses and cattle have a rather dangerous reputation. Despite appearing to be slow and docile, cows can be deadly once they begin to stampede and they will surely stampede if they are provoked. If you are a jogger or bicyclist who ventures out into the countryside, be sure to keep your distance from any cattle roaming in the road. And maybe leave your dog at home, too. Dogs tend to spook cattle since they often mistake them for their more predatory cousins, wolves.

As far as horses are concerned…well, the threat they pose is already well documented.

#3 Deer

Deer may be another surprising entry for a lot of readers, given their reputation for being gentle and peaceful. The truth is that they are one of the biggest threats to commuters who live in the countryside. Deer cause so many automobile crashes in California they cost the state upward of $300 million each year. Indeed, statistics show that you are far more likely to die at the hooves of a deer than from the bite of a shark. Some states have even adopted sterilization programs to reduce the number of deer out on the roads. If you still aren’t convinced of the threat posed by the Bambis of the world just pray you never encounter a full-sized buck in the rut. Also, don’t keep an eye out for the ever-present dangers of zombie deer.

#2 Dogs

Yes, yes, we know. Humanity’s best friend. Yada, yada, yada. But the simple fact is that your lovable, furry friend is extremely dangerous for a host of reasons. Data provided by the Center for Disease Control estimates that there are nearly 5 million dog bites every year in the United States. This statistic translates into 1 bite for every 70 Americans. What’s even more disturbing is that 20% of these bites are so severe that the victims require immediate medical attention. So, the next time you feel the need to pet a fluffy little critter on a leash remember that 1/3 of all dog bites become infected. It might be wiser to simply admire Fido from afar than to risk a virulent encounter with a Campylobacter infection.

#1 Humans

Was there ever any doubt that humans would top this list? Just look at the numbers below if you have a quibble about our #1 Dangerous Animal in California:

  • 118,077 Assaults
  • 188,304 Burglaries
  • 54,789 Robberies
  • 174,796 Violent Crimes
  • 1,930 Homicides

What makes these numbers even more harrowing is that they all took place in the year 2016. These statistics not good enough for you? How about 1.25 million people dead from road crashes each year? Or even the 20-50 million people who are injured in car accidents? The plain fact is that, by an incredibly wide margin, you are most likely to be injured or even killed by anoth


er human being than any other animal on this list. Combined. And, honestly, it’s not even close. Not that this is any new revelation for those who has spent time in the company of humans.

Thank you for reading our list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Animals in all of California. If you are ever in need a personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to call The Advocates for a free consultation. You deserve an Advocate!


Top 5 Most Dangerous Roads in Minnesota

Minnesota has some of the nicest people in all of the United States, so much so that the state’s reputation for courtesy even has its own reputation: Minnesota Nice. Driving around the North Star State though can, at times, be far from nice. Many of the roads and highways can be dangerous to travel upon due to reckless motorists, inclement weather, and blind intersections. Here are the top 5 most dangerous roads and highways in all of Minnesota:

Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #5: US Highway 10

US Highway 10 is a 275-mile stretch of road that runs east-west across Minnesota from North Dakota through Minneapolis onward to Wisconsin. While recent projects have gone a long way in improving the safety of US 10, the highway still sees multiple fatalities each year. In the last few years, alone, Minnesota police have seen upwards of 14 automobile-related deaths along the stretch of road. Like most roadways in Minnesota, ice and snow can cause hazardous conditions that can be dangerous for commuters. So, if you find yourself cruising along US 10 during a snowstorm, remember to slow down and keep your eyes on the road.

Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #4: Interstate 94

From October blizzards to sudden flooding to runaway turkeys, Interstate 94 has seen it all. I-94 stretches close to 260 miles directly across Minnesota and is routinely closed due to dangerous winter weather. During the colder months of the year, no one is safe on I-94. Over the years, the interstate has seen numerous fatal crashes involving semi-trucks, multi-car pileups, and even bears. Each year, Minnesota sees close to 400 traffic fatalities on its roads and highways and Interstate 94 is ground zero for many of these tragic deaths.

Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #3: US Highway 14

If one were to compile a list of hazards that make a road dangerous then US Highway 14 would check virtually every box. From sharp turns, non-existent shoulders, a total lack of lane dividers, and one blind intersection after another, US 14 is well-known as a deathtrap to Minnesotans. There are so many deaths on the southern highway that one person dies every couple of months traveling along its blacktop pavement. US Highway 14 commuters beware. Driving on the highway may seem like off-roading at times.

Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #2: US Highway 12

Many people consider US Highway 12, which stretches from Minneapolis to the South Dakota state line, the deadliest roadway in all of Minnesota. Indeed, during this decade alone the highway has seen nearly two dozen auto-related deaths. Despite being the shortest entry on this list, a mere 38 Minnesota miles, US 12 is certainly a killer. With its narrow, white-knuckle lanes, poorly lit expanses of road, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them intersections, US 12 has caused hundreds of car accidents over the years. Just in the last five years, an astounding 820 crashes have been reported to Minnesota State Police. Experts believe the highway’s lack of renovation is to blame for the mayhem. “We have metro levels of traffic on a road,” says Police Chief Gary Kroells, “that’s been left — with a few minor exceptions — unimproved for 35 to 45 years, maybe as far back as the 1960s.” Until the state legislature opens up the purse strings for some much-needed roadway improvements, the chaos on US Highway 12 will continue unabated.

Most Dangerous Minnesota Road #1: US Highway 169

Without a doubt, the most dangerous road in all of Minnesota is the infamous US Highway 169. The highway is so perilous that an average of 6 people die in car accidents on this road each and every year. Running north out of Iowa, US 169 cuts Minnesota neatly in half for just under 200 miles, eventually terminating in the tiny town of Virginia, not far from Duluth. Over the years, US 169 has seen its fair share of road construction closures, blizzards, and even mudslides. US 169’s biggest problems are due to the endless congestion drivers face. As more and more people move into southern Minnesota, US 169 simply cannot bear the additional traffic. And where there’s traffic there’s bound to be accidents. Thankfully, the state government has taken the initiative and begun renovations on the troubled highway, expanding its lanes and addressing some of its more troublesome spots. Minnesota has also started cracking down on distracted drivers with a strict “No Texting” law that went into effect this year. Only time will tell if US Highway 169’s havoc is tempered in the years to come. But as of today, the highway is a risk best not taken if you can find an alternative route.

The 5 Most Dangerous Roads in Colorado

Most people associate Colorado with the high snow-capped mountains of the Rockies. However, it’s difficult to fathom just how densely populated the peaks of Colorado are. Over 75 percent of all land above 10,000 ft. in the entire United States is contained within the Centennial State, making some of the most dangerous roads in Colorado a hazardous nightmare.

Despite its extreme altitude, the state issued America’s very first license plate for a motor vehicle in 1908. And while it is home to widely diverse terrain, Colorado remains most renowned for its famous skiing and opulent alpine villages. Navigating the state’s trademark terrain via car, however, is no easy task and why you should consider avoiding the following most dangerous roads in Colorado.

Here are the most dangerous roads in Colorado:

1. Denver Beltway

Surprisingly, not all dangers on Colorado roads are up high in the mountains. The southwestern portion of the Denver Beltway circling the metro area is State Highway 470. Although a relatively brief ride of only 27 miles, it unfortunately is a magnet for car accidents.

Passing along the Front Range between Alameda and Jewell, SH 470 travels through some very steep terrain. Some say the lack of guardrails heavily contributes to the dangerous environment. In a 2-year period between 2009 and 2010, over 175 people were injured while driving on this road. Heavy traffic coupled with several perilous interchanges also plague this section of the beltway with frequent car accidents.

2. Southern Passage

coloradoEntering the state near the Four Corners Monument and skirting across southern Colorado to the Kansas state line is U.S. Highway 160. This east-west national highway passes over the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Pass at an elevation of 10,857 ft. During the winter months any of the passes can present difficulties and Wolf Creek is no exception.

Although the drive is mostly arid terrain, this southern route poses other types of hazards. In a 6-year period, 80 fatal accidents were recorded. Ranking 32nd nationally for DUI fatalities and 28th for high emergency service times combine to give this road its unsavory reputation.

3. Front Range Corridor

Interstate 25 is a north-south highway bisecting the state. This busy thoroughfare starts north of Fort Collins before heading down to Denver and on through Santa Fe. The Front Range Corridor it passes through is home to over 80% of the state’s population. As the main traffic artery, congestion is always heavy regardless of the date or time of day.

Sadly, in just one 4-year period, almost 200 fatalities were recorded. Some maintain that the 75-mph speed limit is too high for the number of vehicles on the road, likening it to a Nascar race with amateur drivers. Colorado State Patrol blames congestion as well as excessive speed and driver behavior as factors leading to many of the car accidents that occur on this highway.

4. Resort Gateway

Connecting Grand Junction to Denver is Interstate 70 that passes over the continental divide via Loveland Pass at an altitude of 11,990 ft. This is the highest point anywhere in the U.S. interstate highway system. The route is known for stretches of steep grades, twisting turns and treacherous winter conditions. The specter of altitude sickness going over the numerous passes poses a hazard as well. Add in heavy traffic laden with out-of-state drivers all headed to the ski resorts and it’s easy to see why car accidents are common.

As the main access from Denver to the famed resorts like Vail and Aspen, this route is notorious for large-scale congestion during the ski season. A route that is 90 minutes in summer can turn into a frustrating 3-4 hours snarled in bumper to bumper traffic. In 2008 alone over 1,900 accidents were reported in the corridor. It has gotten so bad the locals have a saying, “Friends don’t let friends drive I-70.”

5. The Million Dollar Highway

Built in the late 1930s and stretching north to south across western Colorado is U.S. 550. Originally a toll road, the origins of its colorful nickname remain a bit of a mystery. Although often applied to the entire highway, the Million Dollar portion is specifically the 25-mile passage from Ouray to Silverton. This stretch climbs over three mountain passes all at elevations over 10,000 ft. Don’t be tempted by the astonishing views to take your eyes off the road. This treacherous passage is filled with hairpin corners, steep switchbacks and vertigo-inducing drop offs that can make driving through here a real white-knuckle-affair .

The perennial heavy snows that must be removed via snowplow prevent the use of guardrails, despite a narrow shoulder and dizzying cliff sides. Earlier this year the road was closed for 3 weeks after an avalanche buried it under 60 ft. of debris.  Factor in heavy RV and semi-truck traffic, and it’s easy to see why the speed limit often drops to 10 mph. In spite of the weather, of the 412 car accidents over a 15-year period, most were in dry conditions and involved only one car. Miraculously, there were only 8 fatalities over this span. However, regardless of road conditions, this is a challenging route and not to be taken lightly.

Wyoming Car Accident Lawyers – The Advocates Casper

If you’re planning a trip through Colorado, take extra precautions to be ready for the extreme terrain and changing road conditions. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, it’s vital to have the right legal representation. An experienced personal injury attorney can fight on your behalf, ensuring you receive all the compensation you’re entitled to.

As a premier personal injury law firm in Wyoming, the Advocates will assist you through the entire process of filing your claim. Having an attorney who specializes in car accidents takes the worry out of dealing with insurance companies, claims adjusters and hospital bills so you can focus on getting back on your feet. Don’t wait, call us today at 307-240-5317 or feel free to chat today confidentially with an attorney on our home page. You deserve an Advocate!

The Scene of a Car Accident: Do’s and Don’ts

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience for anyone. Because these incidents can happen in seconds without any warning, it’s perfectly normal for people to feel at a loss for what to do in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

However, these are some of the most crucial moments for you. The things you do or don’t do in this time period can affect your financial compensation options, how the car insurance will handle your case, and the way a car accident lawyer and the courts will examine your incident. Because of that, knowing the do’s and don’ts of an accident scene can make all the difference.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

After a crash has occurred, it’s important to act quickly but above all, keep a calm head. There are going to be many things happening at once. Not only will you have to deal with your own disorientation and the possibility of injury or pain, but other people may also be involved, whether they’re well-meaning bystanders or the occupants of the other vehicle.

There are some steps you can take directly after you regain your bearings. In order, after assessing your own personal injuries, you should do the following:

  • Turn the hazard lights on and get out of the way of other vehicles if it’s possible to do so safely
  • Contact the police
  • Document the damages through notes and pictures
  • Exchange information with the other driver in order to deal with insurance later

It can feel like a lot to keep track of in the moment, but these are all crucial steps for handling matters of compensation later on. This is especially true concerning the documentation of the accident. You will want to have as much evidence as possible in order to support your claims. In some cases, sources even suggest interviewing bystanders at the scene to collect statements and information. However, your top priority should be to keep yourself safe and prevent further damage from happening to your car or person.

You should try to maintain a calm and polite demeanor throughout the interaction. Both you and the other driver will likely be stressed, agitated, and upset. This can lead to arguments if the tension boils over, which will likely only aggravate the situation. Deal with the other driver calmly, and interact with any police officers who show up on the scene in a respectful way as well.

What Should You Avoid Doing After a Car Accident?Roadside emergency sign show drivers there is a car on the shoulder

There are a number of things to avoid doing. In terms of behavior, this includes getting aggressive with the opposing driver or acting antagonistically toward law enforcement. You should also avoid inspecting your car in detail on the spot; leave that for a later time and place. You may want to contact your car accident lawyer or insurance company quickly, but you won’t want to have an in-depth conversation at the scene.

However, the biggest thing you should never do is leave the scene of the accident. Even if you feel like it’s taking a long time for the crash to be documented, you should always remain on-site. Leaving the scene of a crash can open you up for the possibility of being accused of a hit-and-run, even if you do not find yourself to be responsible.

It should be noted that you can be accused of a hit-and-run if you leave before the investigation is officially finished, even if you do remain at the crash for some time. It’s of key importance to ask police when you can leave and ensure that everything has been wrapped up before you do.

Finally, you can face additional penalties for leaving the scene even if you aren’t responsible for the accident. It could even jeopardize your chances of seeking compensation.

Hit-and-Run Penalties in Wyoming

Similarly, hit-and-run charges in Wyoming can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalties can be severe depending on the specific charges that are brought up against you:

  • Jail time: Wyoming can meter out a year in prison for hit-and-runs, depending on the level of injury sustained.
  • Fines: Wyoming may fine you up to $5,000 if convicted
  • License penalties: Your license can be either revoked or suspended. The period can range from six months upward, all the way to a lifetime revocation depending on the circumstances.
  • Financial penalties: This comes in two different forms: civil consequences and having to deal with insurance. Insurance companies will often cancel the policies of anyone who is convicted of a hit-and-run. Civil consequences relate to any court expenses that will be accrued as a result, as it’s highly possible you may be sued for damages. Note that while a jury may award $10,000 in damages, it isn’t uncommon for judges to triple the amount due to the reckless nature of hit-and-run accidents.

Additionally, car insurance companies will not cover damages wrought by hit-and-run crashes if you are accused of being the cause. This means that all of the expenses will need to be covered out of pocket, which can be a hefty chunk of money.

Should You Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?

It’s never a bad idea to contact a car accident lawyer after getting into an accident regardless of the circumstances behind it. Attorneys can act as your allies when you’re facing your insurance companies or if you have to take the other party to court in order to get the compensation you deserve.

The immediate aftermath of an accident is hectic, but that chaos can last for a long time after the fact. You’ll likely be dealing with plenty of expenses, from car damages to hospital costs and perhaps even lost wages if you need to take time off work for recovery. Dealing with these legal issues on top of convalescence can be stressful and hectic for just about anyone, which is why having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can be of such crucial importance.

You can contact The Wyoming Advocates here or by phone at 307-466-0003 at any time to speak to an attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Your full recovery is the Wyoming Advocates first priority. You deserve an Advocate!