Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog

November 25, 2014

How to Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving this Year

Turkey.jpgMany of the people who call Phoenix home did not start out here but rather chose this part of the Valley to live. Regardless if you were born here or whether you moved here later in life, though, chances are good that you must commute on a regular basis to get to work, to school, or to other places you frequent, leading to a larger amount of driving. Holiday weekends make the hours we drive all the more apparent as nearly 50 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving this year - you and your family might be among them.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be grateful for the year and for all you have in your life, but few things can take away your joy quite like being involved in a car accident while on your way to or from a celebration. The word "accident" often hides the truth that the majority of the collisions that occur are due to an error or a mistake on the part of one or more drivers involved and often constitute negligent conduct. When a crash happens, victims who are injured may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses, but the best option is always to prevent a collision whenever possible.

To increase your odds of a safe Thanksgiving, consider the following tips if you will be driving:

- Avoid traffic congestion: If you have lived in Phoenix for any length of time, this may seem like an obvious tip. Traffic can back up in many parts of the Valley at several different times every day. But Thanksgiving weekend is primed to see even more vehicles on the road as the AAA anticipates an increase of more than four percent from last year's traffic. Greater traffic means greater congestion and an increased possibility of a collision taking place. While you may not be able to drive as the only car on a highway, planning your trip ahead of time can help you avoid many of the backups that will likely result in crashes this weekend.

- Travel during daylight hours if possible: Your plans may require you to drive at night, but if your schedule is flexible, consider taking to the roads during the daylight hours. Visibility is increased when the sun is up and many motorists have better vision during the daytime than they do at night. Scheduling your drive to coincide with daytime may help you reduce the risk of an accident and also may make the drive a little more enjoyable.

- Never drink and drive: If you plan to drink this Thanksgiving, do not drive. Use a designated driver or make plans to stay with family or friends. It is a crime in Arizona to drive under the influence of alcohol and doing so can lead to criminal charges, traffic citations, and even civil liability for any damages you cause if a collision takes place. Remember, there is never a good reason to drink and drive, so make sure it is not part of your holiday plans.

- Obey all local traffic laws: It may sound simple but traffic rules and regulations exist for a reason. The safest conditions result when every driver obeys traffic laws, including following the speed limit, and you can do your part this weekend. Do not follow too closely to a vehicle in front of you, stop for red lights and stop signs, and make sure you yield the right-of-way. These simply actions can prevent thousands of Arizona car accidents every year, some of which will occur over Thanksgiving.

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November 24, 2014

Motorcyclist Injured after 3 Vehicle Crash on Loop 202

112414%282%29.jpgIf you ride a motorcycle in Arizona, you are probably used to exercising a little more caution than other drivers. You may hesitate a moment longer before proceeding when a traffic light turns green or you may wait to make sure that opposing traffic comes to a stop before proceeding at a four way intersection.

No matter what steps you take, though, motorcyclists are still at a risk for being involved in a collision in the Phoenix area. Motorcycle accidents often cause personal injuries to those involved and the damages tend to be greater to motorcyclists than to drivers of automobiles because bikes offer little to no protection to their riders.

Victims of collisions may not know their legal options or where to turn for help, but if your accident occurred in Arizona, you should know that relief may be possible. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand the implications of your crash, whether a responsible driver can be held liable, and whether any other types of relief exist. As these claims turn on the specific facts of a collision, a skilled lawyer with experience representing motorcycle victims is the best person to speak with to learn about your rights.

On Saturday evening, three vehicles collided and left at least one person in serious condition. Local police responded to the crash and determined that the incident began when one vehicle attempted to avoid a second stopped car on the Loop 202 eastbound near 52nd Street. The swerving vehicle struck another car and a motorcycle in the area, causing all three vehicles to crash.

The operator of the motorcycle was seriously injured in the crash and was taken by ambulance to an area hospital with undisclosed injuries. A passenger on the bike was also hurt but was believed to have sustained minor injuries only and is expected to make a full recovery. It did not appear that anyone in the two cars involved was hurt in the accident but authorities were still investigating.

At this time, it appears that the stopped vehicle that led to the initial swerve had stopped because it ran out of gas but authorities have not confirmed whether the vehicle stopped in a lane of traffic on the Loop 202 or whether that vehicle pulled over onto the shoulder.

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November 21, 2014

Truck Driver Impaired, Asleep when Fatal Phoenix Crash Occurred

112114.jpgRecent decades have seen an increased focus on the effects of fatigue and tiredness among drivers on American roads and the dangers they pose. While it may surprise many, studies have revealed fatigue to be a danger along the levels of texting while driving. Tired drivers behind the wheel are a danger to themselves and to others on the roads of Phoenix and the rest of the Valley of the Sun, but despite the risks, many drivers admit to operating when they are tired. Some even admit to falling asleep behind the wheel.

These dangerous drivers are even more deadly when they operate a truck because of the large and heavy nature of a truck's typical load. Often, truck accidents occur in Phoenix and cause disproportionately large injuries to the victims in other vehicles. Accident victims and their family members who are directly affected may be entitled to legal relief through the use of a civil claim for damages due to several Arizona laws that protect victims' rights, but these cases can be complex, so speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your options if you have been hurt.

A Wednesday collision involving four vehicles on I-17 in Phoenix is now being blamed on the driver of a semi-truck who allegedly admitted to authorities that he took a muscle relaxant and fell asleep before the impact happened. The truck driver, a 54-year-old male, was arrested and charged with suspicion of second degree murder.

The incident took place on I-17 near Bell Road in the morning hours. Traffic was congested and officials have stated that the truck driver, hauling concrete pavers, rear-ended four vehicles that were stopped in traffic. The semi-truck continued and struck a concrete barrier which caused it to spill much of its load onto the road's surface. At least one of the vehicles involved in the crash burst into flames, leaving a 22-year-old man dead and another person in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. Three other victims were taken to area hospitals for undisclosed injuries and several other people sustained minor injuries but did not need immediate medical assistance.

Following the impact, officials spoke with the driver of the truck who allegedly admitted that he often became tired while driving in the dark and that he fell asleep behind the wheel before the collision occurred. Further, the driver reportedly stated that he took a muscle relaxant the night before, a fact some officers on the scene said was supported by the fact that the driver had glassy, bloodshot eyes and was slurring his speech. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor at this time.

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November 17, 2014

Weekend Car Accident in Chandler Leaves 3 Injured

111814.jpgIf you are looking to buy a new car, you might consider the availability of its safety features before you make a decision. The presence or absence of air bags, antilock brakes, and crumple zones and becoming persuasive in the minds of most automobile shoppers who desire to keep themselves and their families safe. Of course, regardless of the safety features in your car, the best way to stay safe is to avoid a car accident all together. Unfortunately, Arizona experiences more than 100,000 car crashes every year and many of those take place in Phoenix and the rest of the Valley of the Sun.

While you may think about your own actions and their role in causing or preventing a crash, you may fail to consider the actions of other drives on the road. Yet the part played by other motorists cannot be overstated as many of the Phoenix-area crashes that occur involved more than one vehicle, and often, one vehicle is full of innocent victims. When a driver makes a mistake or acts in a negligent manner, that driver not only threatens his own safety but the safety of all others in the area. These collisions may cause victims to become injured and in need of medical attention in addition to causing other financial damages ranging from lost wages to pain and suffering. While these crashes cannot be undone, Arizona law entitles injury victims to seek relief for their losses and for their damages through the use of a civil claim. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Phoenix area may help you understand your legal rights and options if a crash has caused you to suffer.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, a collision in Chandler occurred involving two vehicles near Ray Road and Hartford Street. While the investigation into this incident is ongoing, police believe that a passenger vehicle attempted a left hand turn in the area in front of a second oncoming car, causing a t-bone crash that seriously injured three people. At least some involved in the crash may have been ejected upon impact but the nature and extent of the injuries sustained has not been disclosed. It is also not clear whether victims were from both vehicles or simply the vehicle that was traveling straight.

Authorities responded on the scene and evaluated all the injured with medical crews taking the hurt to area hospitals. There is no word yet on whether any driver involved will be cited in this incident but a decision is anticipated soon.

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November 13, 2014

Bike Lane Crash Leaves Phoenix Cyclist Dead

111414.jpgBicyclists are at a disadvantage when traffic accidents occur because they tend to take up less space and have less protection than other vehicles involved. If that weren't bad enough, though, cyclists are at an increased risk for collisions because they may be involved in all the same types of crashes facing cars but also in some bicycle-specific collisions. In addition to crashes caused by failures to yield or by speeding, a dooring incident may lead to a bicycle accident. Dooring occurs when a driver or a passenger in a vehicle opens a door into the oncoming path of a cyclist, causing the biker to strike the opened door. This is just one example of a type of crash that poses a threat to bicyclists but not to drivers of cars.

Where can a bicyclist turn once a collision occurs? This is a question often asked in Arizona and in Phoenix because many riders do not understand their rights, including whether they have a valid claim for relief. In many cases, victims of these collisions can bring a civil claim for their financial damages and can recover for any and all losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The laws can be complex so speaking with a personal injury lawyer can be beneficial in understanding your rights if you have been involved in a collision or if your loved one has been injured or killed.

Earlier this week, a crash occurred in Phoenix between a car and a bicycle, leaving the cyclist's rider dead. The incident occurred near Pecos and 17th Avenue in the westbound lanes. Police have confirmed that prior to the impact, the bicyclist was in a marked lane for bicycle-only traffic when the collision occurred. Their investigation is ongoing at this time and officials are still trying to determine why the two vehicles collided, and whether either party involved erred prior to the crash.

It is not clear whether the driver of the car was injured or whether any citations will be issued as a result of this incident.

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November 12, 2014

Car Accident in Phoenix Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured

111314.jpgOne of the most dangerous aspects of driving occurs when motorists merge from one lane into another, either voluntarily to change lanes for the driver's preference or due to necessity because a lane is ending. Often, other traffic may be difficult to see due to a car's blind spots on the rear sides of most vehicles, meaning that if a motorist is not extremely careful, it is possible to believe a merge is safe when it fact another car is present in the intended lane.

These instances often result in side-swipe car accidents and can cause serious damage to vehicles, both of a potential at-fault driver and of any other motorist involved. But in addition to the physical damage done, injuries may result and may require medical assistance by the victims of a crash. If you have ever been involved in an accident, you may be aware that crash-related medical treatment can be very expensive and can financially harm a driver or a passenger who did nothing wrong before the crash occurred. Fortunately, the laws in Phoenix and in Arizona recognize that it is unfair to ask victims to bear these costs and instead allow victims the right to seek financial relief for their damages against an at-fault driver, an owner, a municipality, or an insurance company, among others. The facts surrounding a crash determine the availability of these claims so victims should consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer to learn about their options and to make sure their rights are protected.

Police in Phoenix have confirmed that a driver involved in a Wednesday morning accident lost his life due to injuries. At this time, they are still investigating and reviewing all relevant information.

The crash occurred near the Loop 101 and the exit ramp to 19th Avenue and involved two separate vehicles. Officials believe that a driver exiting the Loop 101 at 19th Avenue collided with a vehicle that was traveling on 19th but they are not sure what caused the two drivers to crash, including whether either driver acted negligently before the impact. The driver of the exiting vehicle was transported to an area hospital in critical condition but his injuries were too severe and he died a short time thereafter. The driver of the second vehicle also sustained injuries but was believed to be in better condition than the first. That second driver also was taken to a hospital where the driver is expected to recover, though the nature and extent of any injuries have not been disclosed.

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November 11, 2014

Semi-Truck Strikes, Kills Bicyclist in Phoenix

111114%282%29.jpgHow do you choose to get around the Valley? Do you drive most of the time, preferring to control your own schedule and your own route as you drive? Do you prefer to take the bus or the light rail, finding public transportation to be easier and more affordable than driving yourself? If you are like a growing number of residents in the Valley, including those in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Chandler, you may ride a bicycle occasionally or regularly as you travel. Bike transit can be easy, efficient, and cost effective to many adults and children in the Valley, explaining some of its rise in popularity in recent years.

Yet with the increase in bicycle riders has unfortunately come a large number of bicycle accidents in Phoenix, many of which result in injuries or even death. These incidents can be complicated and the way they are treated by the law complex, leaving many victims wondering if they have any rights or whether there is anything they can do to obtain relief for their damages. Victims and their family members may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer in the Phoenix area to learn about what options may exist after a crash occurs, including whether a civil claim for monetary damages may be possible. In many bicycle crashes, relief is available if a victim seeks it within a time period specified by Arizona law.

Last week, a 23-year-old man was riding a bicycle on a sidewalk near the intersection of 59th Avenue and Roosevelt in Phoenix when a crash occurred. At this time, police believe the cyclist attempted to cross Roosevelt when a semi-truck in the area attempted to turn, crossing the intersection where the cyclist was riding. The truck struck the rider and knocked over the victim, trapping him under the truck and dragging him for a short distance before the victim became dislodged. At that time, it was apparent that the cyclists was critically injured and emergency crews ensured he was transported to an area hospital for help. Though doctors tended to him, the victim's injuries were too severe and he died as a result of the bike crash.

Authorities are still reviewing all the relevant information in this incident to try and determine what caused the collision between the semi-truck and the cyclist, including whether either or both individuals involved erred prior to impact. It is not clear at this time whether any traffic citations will result from the collision or whether any charges will be brought.

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November 10, 2014

Taxi Cab Accident in Phoenix Leaves Passenger Dead, Another Critically Injured

111014%282%29.jpgStreet traffic in Phoenix can be frustrating and slow, even to those residents who are wise to rush hour patterns and may know which roads to take to avoid some of the heaviest traffic conditions. But there is no way to completely keep yourself safe from the threat posed by automobiles in the Phoenix area, as the more than 100,000 annual car accidents in the state will attest.

Some people, including many who are visiting the Valley, choose to trust those more familiar with the area by taking a taxi cab around town. Many passengers feel that they are making the wise choice and that by utilizing a taxi, they can focus on areas other than traffic, like talking to a friend, using a cell phone, or reading. But unfortunately, not all of these passengers will make it to their intended destinations without issue as multiple Phoenix-area taxi cab accidents happen every year, some of which leave the passengers involved with injuries.

Fortunately, Arizona laws recognize that a taxi passenger is not at-fault for an accident and therefore should not be forced to bear the financial burden caused by those collisions. Rather, the law places the onus on an at-fault driver, whether that is the driver of a cab or another driver of a car, truck, or bus, to bear the damages caused by a crash. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand whether you have a valid claim for your losses, including your medical expenses, if an accident has affected your life or injured your loved one.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, a taxi cab with two passengers on board was involved in a serious accident when the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and then struck a utility pole. Reports indicate that the crash took place as the taxi exited I-10 near 40th Street in Phoenix and that no other vehicles were involved.

Police have confirmed that two passengers, a 70-year-old woman and a man in his 70s, were in the cab at the time of the crash. The woman lost her life due to her injuries and the man was left in critical condition following the accident, leading authorities to transport him to an area hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries. The driver of the cab, a female in her 30s, was also critically injured and in need of medical assistance.

Police are still investigating what led to this Phoenix car accident and are trying to determine why the driver lost control. Based upon their investigation, charges may or may not be issued in this case.

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November 7, 2014

Heavy Traffic, Congestion Expected in Phoenix this Weekend

110714%282%29.jpgIf you drive in the Phoenix area on occasion, you probably are used to rush hour traffic, congestion, and traffic flow issues. As the population in Arizona continues to increase and the number of licensed drivers continue to grow, traffic problems become more apparent and place a strain on many drivers.

Most of these issues are worst during morning and evening commutes but can vary depending on where you are in the Valley and which roads or highways you will take. The Loop 101 and 202 are notorious for back-up related issues and for stop and go traffic but many local roads face the same problems. While traffic simply is an annoyance to most commuters, it can cause more than headaches when a car accident occurs. Heavy traffic means that rear-end crashes are very likely and so are collisions that occur due to vehicles merging into and out of various lanes.

When a car accident occurs due to traffic, it is usually caused in fact by an error or a mistake on the part of one or more drivers involved. Regardless of how congested a road may be, motorists should be able to traverse it safely without incident if all drivers act responsibly. Failing to drive in a safe and reasonable manner may have significant consequences ranging from a possible traffic ticket to a criminal charge. Additionally, the victims of Phoenix-area car accident may be able to make a financial recovery for their damages if a collision has left them hurt, and that can extent liability on the part of an at-fault driver. If you have been involved in a crash or if your loved one was injured or killed, you might get the answers you need about your legal options by speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Valley.

Much is happening in the Phoenix area this weekend so officials are warning drivers now that streets may become congested, leading to an increased risk of a collision. The Arizona Department of Transportation believes that the West Valley may be most at risk for increased traffic but it will not be the only place. If you are attending the Arizona Cardinals game on Sunday or the Nascar event, be warned that both are expected to end at approximately the same time with those motorists using many of the same roads to exit the area. In addition to patrons of special events, those in the Valley for other purposes, like shopping, likely will experience some slowdowns due to the anticipated traffic.

While traffic is expected to be heavy on both Saturday and Sunday, it appears that Sunday will be the worst of the two at this point in time. Officials encourage motorists to plan ahead and leave extra time to get to where they are going, monitor traffic reports for current conditions, and consider alternative routes that may be less crowded. Additional information can be found on ADOT's Twitter account.

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November 6, 2014

Phoenix Car Accident Sends Victim to Hospital

110614%282%29.jpgIf you are like most drivers in Phoenix, you get in your car, buckle your seat belt, and begin driving to your destination while following the laws of the road. You probably operate in a manner that is safe for those in your vehicle and for others in the area and you probably refrain from risking behaviors, like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When surveyed, more than 80 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be better than the average driver. Yet with so may people claiming that they are safe behind the wheel and that they are good drivers, it may be surprising to realize that more than 100,000 car accidents occur in Arizona every year with many of these collisions taking place in the greater Phoenix area.

It is true that most drivers know basic traffic rules and that these drivers follow most of these rules, most of the time. But even the safest driver may become momentarily distracted while behind the wheel and may lose focus, leading to a potentially dangerous situation that can include a car crash. Victims of these accidents often are left with injuries ranging from the minor to the severe and may need help in their recoveries. Under Arizona laws, those drivers who are responsible for causing an accident are also responsible for the damages that ensue, whether those damages take the form of medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix may help you understand your options for relief, including whether you are entitled to financial compensation for your damages, if you or your loved one has been involved in a collision.

Shortly before 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night, two vehicles collided near the area of Thomas Road and 35th Avenue. It appears that one vehicle was entering Thomas Road when a second car, driving on Thomas, struck the first, causing a collision that left at least one person in need of medical help. While officials are still reviewing relevant facts, they believe that both speed and impairment may have played a role and the second driver was arrested at the scene as a result. Charges are believed to be pending though authorities have not disclosed the nature of those charges at this time.

Emergency crews responded to the scene of the accident and assessed the conditions of those involved. The driver in the first vehicle that was entering Thomas Road was injured and was taken to an area hospital for treatment of unknown injuries where his present condition is not clear.

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November 5, 2014

Chandler Police Officer Killed by Suspected Impaired Driver

photo%203%20%283%290514.jpgIn recent decades, drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs has been a significant problem in the greater Phoenix area with numerous drunk driving accidents taking place every year. Often, these collisions cause injuries to those involved, whether they are in the same vehicle as a drunk driver, another vehicle, or simply a pedestrian in the area. These collisions can enact a significant toll on victims, whether that toll is financial, physical, or emotional.

While nothing can erase the damage done by a drunk driver, victims may be entitled to seek financial relief to help them return to their pre-injury state. Compensation may be possible and may enable someone who is hurt to get the medical treatment they need as well as provide for their families financially if they are forced to miss work due to a crash. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in the Phoenix area may help you understand your rights if your life has been affected by a crash or if your loved one was injured or killed.

A traffic crash has claimed the life of a second Chandler police officer in under a week, according to local authorities. The second accident occurred on Friday morning near the intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Dobson Road at approximately 1:00 a.m.

Though early in their investigation, authorities believe that a 37-year-old male police officer was stopped at a red light at the intersection while riding a motorcycle. A vehicle driven by a 31-year-old man approached the officer and failed to stop, striking the rear of the officer's bike and causing a serious crash. Initially, the 31-year-old left the scene but reportedly stopped a short distance later where officials apprehended the man. At this time, authorities believe that the at-fault driver may have been intoxicated and was driving on a license that was suspended due to a prior drunk driving conviction.

Emergency crews responded and transported the officer to an area hospital but his injuries were too severe and he died as a result of the crash. It is not clear whether the suspected at-fault driver was hurt but officials confirmed that the man had an 11-month-old child in his vehicle who was unharmed. Police have not revealed what charges are pending at this time.

Coworkers described the officer who lost his life as dedicated to the enforcement of drunk driving laws, a loyal officer, a husband and father, and a member of the National Guard.

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November 3, 2014

Halloween Accident Injures 5 Pedestrians while Trick-or-Treating in Phoenix

110314%283%29.jpgOne of the most dangerous nights of the year to be a pedestrian is on Halloween, especially once darkness falls. With a large number of children and adults walking in most neighborhoods as they trick-or-treat among houses, some people may believe that safety for these walkers is high due to an increased visibility of the pedestrians. Unfortunately, though, the presence of cars and other vehicles in the same area as these pedestrians means there is a high risk for a pedestrian accident to occur.

Pedestrians who are struck by vehicles are hurt in the majority of collisions because there is nothing to protect them from the metal of a car or the pavement if they strike the ground. In the worst cases, a walker may be killed in a crash even if that pedestrian did nothing wrong. When a collision occurs and someone is hurt in the Phoenix area, those victims may be forced to deal with the resulting injuries, but they do not have to do so without relief. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your options, including whether you have a valid claim for your losses, if a pedestrian accident has affected your life.

A tragic collision occurred on Friday evening when a 75-year-old man struck 5 pedestrians who were trick-or-treating in Phoenix. Officials responded to the scene and spoke to the driver who allegedly said he did not see the pedestrians crossing the street in the area of 41st Avenue and Bethany Home Road. The collision involved a 25-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman, a 10-year-old girl, a 2-year-old boy, and a fifth victim whose age has not been disclosed. The four victims with disclosed ages were all left in critical condition following the impact.

One witness described seeing two children laying in the middle of the road and referred to it as very upsetting. Another described a mangled wheelchair left in the middle of the road, reportedly used by the 23-year-old female victim prior to the impact. Local police have not confirmed whether any traffic tickets will be issued or criminal charges brought in this instance but they have confirmed that their investigation into the incident is still ongoing at this time.

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