The Bystander Effect

The bystander effect is a phenomenon involving an individual’s failure to act due to the presence of other individuals. This psychological concept gained traction following the tragic death of Kitty Genovese

The heinous crime occurred outside Genovese’s New York City apartment in 1964. Her piercing screams alerted several individuals to the lurid event occurring around them. Still, they failed to intervene. It was not apathy or lack of concern that sparked their inaction. Though they may have had their best interest in mind, their inactivity did not stem from self-preservation. Instead, the presence of other individuals is to blame for their negligence. These individuals transferred responsibility to other people, rather than claiming it for themselves. They were under the notion that somebody would call the police or intervene in some way; therefore, the individual himself did not have to act. Since everybody shared that opinion, no action was taken. Moreover, social influences also affected their behaviors. It is human nature to imitate the behaviors of others. From an evolutionary perspective, such mirroring can be vital for survival. In this instance, however, it led to the death of an individual. Unfortunately, the bystander effect continues to occur every single day. Indeed, it extends to other emergencies.

In severe cases, an individual that is hurt in an accident is no longer capable of helping himself or herself. From a humanitarian perspective, it is the social responsibility of an individual to intervene in this emergency whether or not he or she witnessed the accident. Sadly, this is not always the case due to the bystander effect. Luckily, there are several ways to overcome this effect. The most important thing an individual can do is to claim rather than transfer responsibility. The individual can offer his or her assistance rather than assuming others will take action.

read more

Non revenue water (NRW) is clean, treated drinking water that is delivered to the distribution system but cannot billed to customers because this water never actually reaches them; this water is instead lost. Loss can either be apparent losses, which are due to metering inaccuracies or theft, or real losses or physical losses, which are due to leaks.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States losses about seven billion gallons of non-revenue water everyday. The American Water Works Association, however, estimates lost water to be closer to two trillion gallons daily. Only through leak detection can the water distribution system be made to comply with water conservation mandates.

In the U.S., where water supply systems are provided by municipalities to urban communities or cities, these municipalities become directly responsible for the safety, health and welfare of residents and may be held liable if residents suffer damages and losses due to acts of negligence.

Three very important municipal service are to ensure the continuous flow of clear drinking water, locate and repair leaks where these exist. Even what starts as a small puncture in a main pipe line can easily become a huge break that would spill thousands of gallons of water which could damage private commercial properties, furniture and other equipment in ground floors of buildings, sidewalks, and vehicles in parking lots and streets. Obviously, leaks that are never repaired immediately can result in very costly damages.

Due to the aging pipelines and water supplies in so many municipalities, it cannot be denied that leaks have become more costly and frequent. To help municipalities solve emergency leak problems, especially if water has gushed out continuously and has surfaced, are private firms which provide fast and effective municipal leak detection service through the use of state-of-the-art equipment capable of electronically locating leaks.

Besides helping solve emergency problems, these firms also help municipalities save cost on labor, time, materials and equipment.

read more

Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal fractures, and account for more than 40% of spinal injuries every year. Any sort of injury to the neck or spine can be highly debilitating and stressful, and according to William Kherkher, these injuries can cause extensive medical bills and other expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability, and major lifestyle and family-life changes. Understanding the different types of these sorts of injuries is an important step to take if you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing symptoms in your neck or spine.

A spinal fracture is essentially what happens when vertebra in the spine cause bone fragments to pinch, damaging the spinal nerves or cord. The extent of the injury can vary from mild ligaments and strains to debilitating spinal cord damage. Some of the most common neck and spine injuries after a car incident are:

  • Whiplash: Hyperextension of the neck or rapid back and forth motion of the head cause muscles and ligaments in the neck to be pushed beyond their normal range of motion.
  • Spine instability: A result of excessive motion between vertebrae most often from torn ligaments or broken bone. More often than not requires surgery for realignment.
  • Herniated Disk: Occurs when the soft, jelly-like inside of a spinal disk pushes through the more non-permeable exterior it is encased in through a crack in that exterior, irritating nearby nerves. Pain often felt in an arm or leg; sometimes no pain is felt at all and x-rays must be taken.

Any sort of injury to the neck or spine can be highly debilitating and stressful, and according to William Kherkher, These injuries can cause extensive medical bills and other expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability, and major lifestyle and family-life changes.

read more

Salmonella infection is considered one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the country. There are many types of salmonella bacteria, and salmonella contamination usually occurs more often during summer than in any other seasons. Although salmonella infection could be less serious for healthy individuals, those in vulnerable groups may develop complications that can be life-threatening.

Infants, children and older adults are more prone to develop severe symptoms. Pregnant women, those with weak immune system, and those who are under immunosuppressant medications may also develop serious complications. Due to its seriousness, it is important that people should be mindful if the food they are consuming is contaminated with potentially possibly deadly salmonella bacteria.

According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, salmonella infection could be a result of defectively manufactured food products released in the market. A food that has been mishandled during the processing, packaging, and delivery could pose threat of contamination.

Another possible cause of salmonella infection is unsanitary food handling. Lawyers from the Abel Firm say on their website that restaurant owners and staff who are negligent of the salmonella threat could pose risk of contamination to their customers.

Foods prepared at home are also not safe from salmonella contamination. So, to prevent salmonellosis (salmonella disease) in your own kitchen, always remember these safety tips:

  • Meat products should be washed thoroughly. Salmonella bacteria breeds in animal intestine and feces, and a meat that hasn’t been washed carefully might carry the pathogen.
  • Wash vegetables well, especially if they will be eaten raw.
  • Do not let salmonella bacteria hitchhike on your dirty utensils. To avoid cross-contamination, wash knives, chopping boards, and other utensils in between use while cooking.
  • Raw meats and undercooked eggs can be good salmonella carriers. Remember to cook them well before serving.
  • Finally, utensils used for raw food items should NEVER be used for cooked and ready-to-eat foods to avoid contamination.

read more

Tires are among the most important components of a vehicle. It comes in direct contact with the road, which means a simple tire defect could trigger life-changing car accidents. According to a Rhinelander personal injury lawyer at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, several cases of injurious car-related accidents have been attributed to defectively manufactured tires. But apart from negligent tire manufacturers, drivers who fail to properly maintain their tires could also be driving cars that make U.S. roads dangerous.

A Massachusetts car accident attorney will probably have seen how life-changing a car accident can be for all the parties involved. That’s why it is very important to always check your tires for safety before hitting the road. Before you exit your driveway, check for PAT:


Many tire-related car crashes have been associated with an overinflated or underinflated tire. When a tire is underinflated, the driver would find it difficult to control the steering wheel, making him and his occupants more vulnerable to road crash. On the other hand, too much pressure inside the tire because of over inflation could generate too much heat, making them more prone to blowouts. Check your car specs for proper tire pressure.


When a car is toed in or out, chances are it will wear of unevenly on either side. This could make your tires more prone to blowouts. Also, a tire that’s poorly aligned could also be more difficult to control, making it more prone to car-related accidents. Regularly check your alignment by visiting your auto mechanic.


The grooves on the surface of your tires act as an irrigation to expel water when driving in wet roads. Without these grooves, your tires may lose traction, causing it to hydroplane and go out of control. A tire with worn-out treads should be replaced immediately. Also, always put the best treaded set of tires at the rear axle for better control.

read more

In recent years, U.S. media has been flaunting high-profile domestic violence cases in which big personalities are involved. Some sports icon, Hollywood actors, and even state and federal politicians have been heavily criticized by various women’s rights group for violating women’s right by committing domestic abuse. While the campaign against domestic abuse is a great leap forward for gender equality and justice against violence, some participants leverage such charges to gain upper hand in promoting their self-interest.

According to the website of Flaherty Defense Firm, there have, in fact, been cases in which plaintiffs have fabricated incidents of domestic abuse to ensure that they will gain an advantage during proceedings of divorce, legal separation, or child custody. Here are the ways on how a false domestic abuse could affect an accused person:

Affects the person liberty through court orders

A person charged with domestic violence could be issued a restraining order, which can profoundly limit his freedom. A person charged with domestic abuse while in a divorce or legal separation may also be barred from contacting the victim and those close to him, which can definitely affect him emotionally. Finally, a person ordered by the court not to get near his divorcing spouse might be excluded from his place of residence. In some cases, the accused person is excluded from the property even if it is jointly owned by the divorcing couple.

Affects child custody proceedings

During child custody proceedings, the court tries to determine a parent’s capacity to take care of the children. According to the website of Daniel Jensen, Attorney at law, a domestic violence charge may limit, sometimes even waive, an accused person’s child custody rights. Visitations may also be limited and restricted.

Affects his civil liberties

In some cases, a person accused of domestic violence might be barred from owning a firearm. Also, a person accused of domestic violence might be required by the court to undergo anger management therapies, which could cost him time and money.

Of course, accusers in domestic violence situations should always be treated as if they’re being genuinely honest. It can be difficult or impossible to prove or deny such claims, but it is not fair to call the victim of a long-term, physical and psychological domestic crime a liar.

read more

Swimming pool could be the best gift that you can give to your kids and your guests this coming summer. There is no better way to enjoy the heat than by spending it with your loved ones in your own swimming pool. However, swimming pools could also be the most dangerous part of your house. In fact, the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm says that a large number of premises liability cases have been associated with swimming pool injuries.

As a homeowner who has (or wanting to have) a swimming pool in their own home, it is important to know the degree of duty of care you have with your occupants. According to, your duty of care largely depends on how the court would classify the injured occupant:


Invitees are people who have expressly or implicitly invited into your premises, usually for your own benefit. Tenants, invited friends, and contractors rendering services for you are all regarded as invitees. Because premises owners have the highest degree of duty to invitees, you are expected to eliminate all hazards that may trigger a swimming pool incident. Failure to do so could make you liable for all the damages an invitee might incur.


Licensees are those who are not expressly or implicitly invited into your premises, but are otherwise allowed to enter your property. A neighbor who frequents your house could be a licensee. As a pool owner, you have the obligation to warn the licensee about the inherent dangers of your pool, and accidents arising out of your failure to warn of danger could make you liable.


Although according to the law, premises owners usually don’t have any duty of care to those who are not allowed by law to enter someone else’s premise, this could not be the case if the trespasser is a child. Children have additional rights in place to protect them. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, your failure to secure an inherently dangerous attraction (in this case, the swimming pool), could make you liable for any injuries a child-trespasser may incur.

read more

Deciding to buy your own house could be the biggest choice you can make. Real estate is considered the most expensive high-value asset a person might buy in his entire lifetime. And so choosing to take out a mortgage loan for your house is definitely a huge decision that requires foresight and careful planning. A single mistake could mean a financial disaster. In some cases, it may ultimately lead to foreclosure.

According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., having your single most valuable property foreclosed can be a traumatic experience. That’s why to avoid being deprived of a place you call home and to avoid damaging your financial standing, it is always wise to seek professional help when facing the threat of foreclosure.

In an article posted at, foreclosure defense attorneys said a foreclosure could be wrong if the creditor failed to disclose pertinent information needed by the debtor in order to come up with an informed decision. A lender who fails to disclose all needed information related to the loan could be in violation of the Truth in Lending Act.

The Truth in Lending Act’s main purpose is to prevent borrowers from predatory practices of some creditors. These practices may cause the borrower to be stuck in an arrangement that would sooner or later make it impossible for him/her to repay the debt. Under this law, creditors are required to disclose its own identity, the amount of loan, and the total payment.

This law also requires them to disclose the loan’s annual percentage rate, and all information related to it, such as variable rates. Borrowers also have the right to know the total number of times s/he needs to make a payment to fully settle the loan. S/he also has the right to know any existing and possible financing charges and other penalties, such as for late payments.

read more