Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog

Common Car Seat Mistakes Made by Arizona Parents

September 11, 2015

91115.jpgEach year, one week in September is designated as Child Passenger Safety Week and this year it falls from September 13th through the 19th. In conjunction with this safety week, Saturday, September 19, 2015 is National Car Seat Check Saturday, a reminder for parents in the Valley and across the nation to review their children's safety seats and to verify that they are installed and used in an appropriate manner.

In anticipation of these coming events, AAA of Arizona has released a list of some of the common mistakes that Phoenix parents make when it comes to purchasing, installing, and using car seats and ways to avoid those errors. Some common mistakes on AAA's list include the following:

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Back to School Safety Tips in Phoenix

September 2, 2015

9215%282%29.jpgIn most areas of the Valley, children are back in school, learning new things and exploring new subjects. Some schools have been in session for a month already while others only a week or two. Yet regardless of when the first day of classes took place, school is still fresh for most students and the back-to-school atmosphere is still thriving.

With kids returning to school across Phoenix, it is a good idea to think about the safety of those children and to be reminded to put safety first. Whether you have school-aged children or not, safety should be a concern for all those in Arizona and therefore all adults and drivers should consider the following:

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16-Year-Old Killed by Van while Jogging

September 24, 2014

IMG_0236.jpgThe City of Phoenix has nearly 1.5 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the nation. When combined with the surrounding areas, including Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Mesa, the numbers swell substantially. The makeup of the Valley includes people of all ages from the very young to the elderly, making the greater Phoenix area a diverse place to live and work.

Many of those who call the Valley home are children and minors. Unfortunately, children are some of the most vulnerable citizens when it comes to being injured in an accident. Accidents involving children and minors often occur when a child is riding a bicycle, on a skateboard, riding a scooter, walking as a pedestrian, swimming in a pool, or even riding in a car. Regardless of the nature of the accident, the results are devastating when a child is hurt by the actions of another. The damage affects not only the child but also his or her entire family, friends, neighbors, and classmates. While nothing can remove these injuries once they occur, the injured child and his or her family may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their damages. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer who has experience representing minors may help you understand your legal options if your family has been affected by an accident.

A call to 911 triggered an investigation into a collision between a 16-year-old jogger and a van in San Tan Valley on Tuesday morning. Officials have confirmed that the teen was jogging along West Combs Road at approximately 5:00 a.m. when he was hit by a van driven by a 43-year-old man. The driver of the van allegedly claimed that he did not see the teen prior to the collision but that he felt the impact, leading him to stop his vehicle and investigate the area. When he saw the teen lying on the ground, he placed a call to 911 for help.

Emergency medical crews responded to the scene to help the teen but unfortunately his injuries were too severe and the teen died as a result of the crash.

Police also responded to the scene and spoke with witnesses, including the driver of the van. At this time, no charges are pending against the driver but authorities have indicated that their investigation is still ongoing.

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Arizona School Bus Accident Injures 2 Children, 1 Adult

September 11, 2014

464.jpgWhen parents are rushing in the mornings to pack lunches, dress kids, and get them ready for school, most do not consider the fact that their children's safety may be threatened before the first bell of the day rings. But in fact, an average of two school bus accidents occur in Arizona every day; many of the annual collisions take place in Maricopa County, including the greater Phoenix area. Fortunately, many of these instances are minor and do not cause the children involved to be injured, but that is not the case with every incident. In some collisions and in many instances involving a child boarding or disembarking from a bus, injuries result and necessitate medical treatment.

Damages to a child who is harmed in a school bus collision can range from the minor to the severe but what often remains as a constant is that negligence on the part of one or more individuals involved caused the crash. Without that negligence, the child likely would never have been injured. The laws in Phoenix recognize that an innocent child and his or her family should not have to bear the financial burden caused by these collisions and therefore the laws enable these victims to seek compensation for their damages. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who represents children and minors, particularly those who have been injured in school bus accidents, may help you understand your legal options if your child was hurt.

Eight children and one driver were on board a school bus in Paulden on Tuesday morning when the bus collided with a semi-truck for reasons that are not yet clear. The incident occurred on Highway 89 and resulted in significant damage to both the truck and the bus. Emergency crews responded to the scene and evaluated all those who were involved, including two injured children from the bus. Those two children were transported to area hospitals with injuries that have not been disclosed but that are believed to be minor. All other children and the driver of the bus appeared to sustain no injuries in the incident.

The driver of the semi-truck was seriously hurt in the collision and taken to a hospital in a nearby town. Police have stated that the investigation into this incident is ongoing at this time and there have been no reports as to whether any traffic citations or other charges will be issued as a result of the crash.

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Cause Unclear in Ahwatukee School Bus Accident

September 3, 2014

466.jpgParents rely on others to care for their children from time to time. Whether it is a child's education, daily care, or transportation, parents need help and they place their trust in officials to make sure that their children's safety is of the utmost importance. Across the country, millions of parents use school buses every day to transport their children to and from class and they trust that the drivers and operators of those buses to act responsibly.

Unfortunately, school bus accidents occur every year. Some of them cause the children on board to suffer injuries, and in the worst crashes, it may cost a child his or her life. No family should have to endure the suffering that follows a school bus accident, but if your family is faced with such a tragedy, know that it may be possible for you or for your child to obtain financial relief. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you realize what options exist in your case if your child has been injured.

A school bus with children on board was traveling in Ahwatukee yesterday morning when it collided with a vehicle for reasons that are not yet clear. Nine children were reportedly on the bus when the crash occurred though none were believed to have sustained serious injuries. Police officials confirmed a crash between the bus and a second vehicle which then led to the bus jumping a concrete median and striking a pole.

At this time, authorities are still investigating the incident. They have confirmed that the bus driver has not received a citation in the incident; it is not clear whether the other driver involved was cited or whether any charges may be issued in the days to come.

After authorities came to the scene, another bus arrived and transported all the uninjured children to school.

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Police Searching for Hit-And-Run Driver that Injured Child in Phoenix

July 28, 2014

photo%202%20%282%29.jpg Children should not have to suffer from the negligence or mistakes of adults, but when it comes to car accidents in Phoenix, that is often exactly what happens, Children who are passengers in a vehicle, riding their bicycles, or even walking as pedestrians are injured every year in traffic accidents and some even lose their lives.

These children unwittingly become victims when adults err or otherwise act egregiously while driving. Injuries to children and minors can lead to medical bills incurred and potentially no means for parents to pay for them. Fortunately, the laws in Arizona enable these families to seek relief against those who have caused the harm, including a responsible driver or the owner of an at-fault vehicle. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix or across the rest of the Valley may help you understand the legal implications if your child has been injured in an accident, including whether you and your child have valid claims for relief.

A tragic incident in Phoenix last week that left a four-year-old child seriously injured. The four-year-old boy was holding his stepfather's hand as the pair crossed the street near Broadway and 48th Street. A car in the area approached the two and the stepfather had just cleared the area when the car reportedly accelerated and struck the child, running over him and dragging the boy for a few feet before the child broke free. The driver involved in the incident allegedly did not stop at the scene to see if the child was hurt and instead fled the scene before police had an opportunity to arrive.

A witness drove the child and his stepfather to an area hospital where the child was in critical condition. He spent a week in the hospital recovering from his injuries which include a broken pelvis, broken legs, multiple lacerations, broken teeth, and an open head injury. Though he is at home with his family, the victim is in a wheelchair with casts on both legs and still is experiencing a lot of pain.

Police have not yet identified the driver involved in the crash and they are asking anyone with information to step forward and provide any relevant knowledge.

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Mesa Truck Crash Leaves 5-Year-Old Dead

July 14, 2014

439.jpg The safety of their children is the primary concern of every parent across the nation. Whether they are watching as a child rides a bicycle or walking a kid to school, parents take on the role of defender seriously, ensuring the greatest protection to their children as possible.

But parents can only do so much to keep their children safe, and when others act in a negligent manner, injuries to children and minors may result. Whether the cause of the injury is a car accident, bus accident, pedestrian accident, or other type of incident, if the accident was caused by negligence, the child and his or her family may be entitled to financial relief. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Valley who has experience representing children who have been harmed may help you understand the legal implications of your child's accident, including whether your family may be entitled to financial relief.

Police in Mesa have confirmed the death of a five-year-old child who was hurt in a traffic accident, marking the second traffic-related death of a minor in the area in a week. Police have reported that a five-year-old girl was crossing the street near Gilbert Road and Main Street with her family at a mid-block crosswalk. A truck driven by a 43-year-old female approached the area and reportedly did not see the child, leading to a collision between the two. The girl was killed at the scene, according to local authorities, who are still investigating the cause of the crash and determining the factors that led to the impact.

The driver of the truck has been questioned in the incident. Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to have been a factor but it is not clear whether the woman will face any other charges related to the accident. Police have noted that they are still working on this case at this time.

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Phoenix Crash Leaves 8-Year-Old Bicyclist Dead

July 11, 2014

402.jpg Across Arizona, many kids are out of school right now on summer break. With free time during the day, kids are going to friends' houses, swimming, and participating in summer camps. Often, children in Phoenix are getting around by riding bicycles with their friends or even with their families.

Most of the time, bikes are a great way for children to get around. Unfortunately, though, bicycle accidents involving children happen every year in the Valley and many of these crashes result in serious injuries or even death. When an accident with a car, truck, or bus occurs and it is caused in whole or in part by the negligence of a driver involved, the victim of that crash, including a minor and/or the minor's family, may be entitled to seek relief for their loses. Medical bills, pain and suffering, and even permanency of injuries can be compensated through the use of a civil claim. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options if your child has been injured in a collision.

Police in Phoenix responded to the scene of an accident between an 8-year-old boy and a vehicle on Wednesday night around 9:00 pm. The child, who was on a bicycle at the time, was reportedly riding near the intersection of Broadway and 27th Avenue when a driver in her 30s allegedly struck the boy with her car.

Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and transported the boy to Phoenix Children's Hospital in extremely critical condition. Doctors attended to the boy through the night but unfortunately the extent of his injuries was too severe and the child died on Thursday morning.

Police spoke with the driver while still at the scene of the accident. Though the investigation is still ongoing, police believe that the child may not have stopped at a stop sign before entering the intersection, leading to the collision with the vehicle. It is not clear whether anyone involved will be ticketed in the crash.

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Phoenix ATV Accident Leaves 2 Girls Injured

April 21, 2014

1109243_48414517.jpg When children play, accidents happen and sometimes result in injuries. A fall from a bike or a stumble on the playground might require a trip to the doctor's office for treatment. But not all injuries that happen to children are the result of an unintentional accident; some are due to the negligence of others in the area. Thousands of children are injured in car accidents, swimming pool accidents, or bicycle accidents with cars every year.

When a child is injured, the effect on the child and the entire family can be drastic. Medical bills may pile up and the child may have to endure pain and suffering. That is why the laws in Phoenix allow children the right to seek relief after they have been injured by another. Through the use of a civil claim for damages, a child and the child's parent or guardian may be able to recover for actual expenses incurred as well as future expenses, like additional medical bills, that will be incurred at a later date. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who has the experience representing children hurt in an accident may help you understand your legal options and your legal rights.

Police in Phoenix have confirmed that two young girls were involved in an ATV accident on Sunday. Though they are still investigating, officials believe that a 16-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl were riding on the ATV together and attempting to take a photograph of themselves. As they rode near the intersection of 36th Avenue and Minnezona Avenue, the girl driving the ATV lost control and struck a parked car, injuring both passengers. The 12-year-old was transported to an area hospital where she was treated and released a short time later but the 16-year-old's injuries were severe. At this time, she remains in critical condition.

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Possible Impaired Driver Hits and Kills Toddler in Stroller

March 21, 2014

IMG_6175.jpg Car accidents occur every day in Phoenix and many of them result in injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. Though some collisions may be unavoidable, the majority of them are due to the negligence or reckless of one or more individuals involved. Often, crashes of this type may lead to traffic tickets, criminal charges, or other penalties levied by the State of Arizona against those responsible. In addition to any charges by the state, though, an at-fault driver may also be held legally liable to the victims of the crash for the damages they sustained. In many cases, this can include medical bills incurred and likely to be incurred in the future, lost wages, and less tangible damages like pain and suffering.

But people in automobiles are not the only ones at risk when a driver acts in a negligent manner. In fact, anyone in the area of the driver, including bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians may be at risk for involvement in a crash and may suffer injuries as a result. The same laws that allow victims inside cars to recover for their damages allow anyone involved in an accident with the potential right to seek recovery for their injuries. Speaking with a lawyer who handles car accident cases may help you understand if your incident entitles to you relief.

Unfortunately, in some accidents, children are injured or even killed. Injuries to children and minors are always tragic and can never be undone, However, the children and their parents or legal guardians may be entitled to legal relief that can help pay for expenses for a child's injuries or for the losses sustained when a child is killed, though no relief can ever properly compensate a family for the loss of a child's life.

In what officials have described as a horrifying scene, a three-year-old child was killed after being struck by a car in Phoenix yesterday afternoon. Police in Phoenix responded to the scene of the incident which occurred near a Walmart parking lot. They determined that a 22-year-old individual was operating a car in the area and approached a babysitter pushing the child in a stroller. The driver reportedly stopped at a stop sign and then continued forward towards the sitter and child reportedly without slowing or stopping, thereby causing a collisions with the stroller in which the child was riding. The driver allegedly continued for a short distance and then stopped when the driver realized a collision occurred. When police responded, they determined that the driver may have been under the influence and that marijuana may have been present in the car, leading to the driver's arrest and an investigation into the driver's actions.

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3-Year-Old in Crosswalk Hit and Killed by Impaired Driver

December 9, 2013

439.jpg Too often in Phoenix, drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs decide to risk the safety of everyone and drive while impaired. This is not only a crime in Arizona but it is a decision that can lead to an accident, many of which result in serious injuries or even death to someone other than the impaired driver.

Injury lawyers hate to hear about any accident that was caused by one person's negligence or recklessness, especially when another has to suffer the consequences of such a decision. Yet in many cases where a child is involved, the results are catastrophic and devastating.

Accidents that lead to injured children may result in criminal charges against a drunk driver but they may also lead to a civil claim by the child or the child's family against the responsible driver. These civil claims are separate from any charges levied by the State of Arizona and may provide a victim with a financial recovery to pay for any losses incurred, including medical bills and pain and suffering.

In the worst accidents, though, it is clear that money will never be enough to compensate a family for what they lost. This is the case in a tragic Phoenix accident on Wednesday night involving a family out for a walk and a driver who was possibly under the influence of drugs.

Police have reported that a mother, grandmother, and the mother's three children were walking near 20th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. The group began to cross the intersection with the right of way and within the crosswalk when a 26-year-old individual driving a truck approached the intersection as well. It appears that the truck's driver failed to yield to the pedestrians and instead began turning left, putting the truck and the family in the same spot at the same time. One of the children, a 3-year-old boy, was in a stroller and was being pushed by his 10-year-old sister. It appears that the truck struck the stroller containing the boy and leaving him with critical injuries.

Two witnesses, one of them a doctor, attempted to perform life saving procedures on the young boy while waiting for an ambulance to arrive but in the end, the 3-year-old's injuries were too severe and he died.

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SUV Runs Stop Sign, Hits School Bus

November 8, 2013

463.jpg Arizona roads are governed by a set of rules or laws that instruct drivers when to stop, when to go, where to turn, and how fast to drive. These laws are in place to keep traffic moving while keeping everyone as safe as possible, ideally limiting the number of collisions that take place and in turn, decreasing the number of injuries caused by accidents in the state.

Failing to follow these laws in Phoenix or in the valley may leave a driver in legal trouble and in need of a lawyer to represent the driver in court. Yet if the driver causes an accident, the legal troubles may be more significant and can even lead to a civil claim by any injury victims against a driver. Car accident lawyers in the area understand that in some cases, these civil claims for damages can be much more severe than any citations issued by the State of Arizona, and often can be brought even when a driver faces no charges at all by the state.

It appears that this could be the case after a Thursday morning collision left two children injured when their school bus was struck by an SUV. Police in Prescott Valley have stated that a 58-year-old male driver failed to stop at a stop sign an entered an intersection when he did not have the right-of-way. He collided with a school bus carrying approximately 44 young children, causing a collision that left at least two of those kids injured and in need of medical treatment.

The injured children were aboard a Humboldt Unified School District bus and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Authorities have said only that the injured included a 6-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.

The male driver of the SUV was also hurt though the nature and extent of his injuries remain unknown at this time. Police have reported that the man was cited for failing to stop at the stop sign which caused a collision and that impairment is not suspected in this matter.

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Driver Sentenced to 7 Years for Hit-And-Run that Killed Chandler Boy

October 22, 2013

402.jpg It is always a tragedy when a child is injured or killed through the negligence of an adult who should have been paying attention to the safety of the child, but these events often seem worse when an adult fails to get help for that child after an accident occurs. Unfortunately personal injury lawyers see this too often in the case of a hit-and-run automobile collision that injuries or kills a child who was walking, riding a bicycle, or was riding in a car.

When an accident causes a child to become injured or even to die, the child's parents or guardians may be entitled to bring a claim for damages on behalf of that child or for their own losses in the event of death. These claims are usually brought against a responsible party, whether that is a driver of a car, owner of a vehicle, or even a company that owns a building or land that produced an accident. Arizona law allows victims to recover by this means but claims must be filed within a statutory time period or they will be void, which is why it is always a good idea to speak with an accident attorney after your child is injured.

Negligent drivers may face much more than just a civil claim for damages if they are involved in a collision that injures a child, though. The State of Arizona may bring traffic or criminal charges against a driver that can result in serious jail time.

Following a summer crash that left an 11-year-old Chandler boy dead, a male defendant was sentenced this week to seven years in prison for his part in the collision that killed the boy, who was riding his bicycle at the time. Chandler police and prosecutors alleged that the man hit the boy with a truck as the boy rode across Arizona Avenue earlier this summer. Instead of stopping, the man fled the scene without checking to see if the boy was hurt and without alerting police.

The defendant returned to the scene some time later with his father, a retired Chandler police officer, and was arrested and charged for leaving the scene of a fatal crash. He was also sentenced this week to an additional five years on an unrelated drug charge.

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Babysitter's Dogs Maul 2-Year-Old Boy

September 27, 2013

untitled-501044-m.jpg A Gilbert boy lost his life after being mauled by three pit bull dogs owned by his babysitter recently. He was just two years old.

Police have reported that a 28-year-old woman was watching the boy and his four siblings in her home as she had done on previous occasions. The woman began babysitting for the family about 10 years ago and knew the children, though most of the time she watched the kids in the family's home. All five of the children reportedly had special needs and were adopted by a couple who wanted to provide them with a good home.

The children were in the babysitter's home when something happened and the babysitter's dogs began to attack. There were four pit bull mixes in the house and three of them began to maul the two-year-old boy who was unable to defend himself. The babysitter attempted to break up the attack and was seriously injured herself during the fight. She called 911 for help and responding officers performed CPR on the young child but unfortunately his injuries were too severe and he died.

The babysitter underwent surgery to repair her injuries and when she awoke, she consented to have the three dogs that attacked the child euthanized. The fourth dog was not involved and is currently being held by Animal Control but will be returned to the woman upon her release from the hospital.

This is a tragic example of dogs turning on small children when there is no indication that the dogs had been aggressive in the past. But the past behavior of a dog is never a guarantee of how the dog will act in the future.

Arizona law makes dog owners responsible for the injuries caused by their dogs regardless of where an attack occurs and whether the dog has been aggressive in the past. This means that even if a dog bites someone once, the owner of that dog can be immediately liable to the victim. This can include financial liability for any medical bills incurred or in the tragic case where a victim is killed, the loss of a loved one's life as provided to surviving family members.

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Teenage Driver Hits 3 Children Waiting for School Bus

September 11, 2013

382.jpg Police were called to investigate a crash on Tuesday morning between a car and three children who were waiting for a school bus. At this time, the police believe that the 18-year-old female driver may have been distracted behind the wheel, causing her not to see the children and causing a collision.

The incident occurred in Buckeye near the intersection of 309th Avenue and Lynwood, shortly after 7:00 a.m. The woman was reportedly driving eastbound on Lynwood with six children on the west side of the intersection waiting to be picked up by a school bus. The driver allegedly did not see any of the children and struck three of them with her car, a Ford Taurus. She remained at the scene and spoke with police but at this time, she has not received any traffic citations.

The three children who were hit have been reported as males ages 6, 7, and 13. All three were transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital for treatment but are expected to make full recoveries. Some initial reports indicated that the children all faced life threatening injuries while others described the accident as resulting mostly in bumps and bruises, but at this time, all three boys have been released from the hospital.

It is every parent's nightmare to learn that their child has been involved in an accident and has been injured. Unfortunately, over 184,000 children are seriously injured in auto accidents every year in the United States and 1,300 children under the age of 14 are killed. Many parents believe that their children will be safe while waiting for a school bus in the morning but as this crash illustrates, that is not always the case.

Police believe that the driver in this accident may have been distracted at the time of the crash. Arizona law makes it illegal to drive while distracted and also makes it a legal violation to risk the safety of others while driving. Yet here, a relatively young driver claims she did not see six children and struck three of them. If these allegations are proved to be correct, it might prove that something was keeping the driver's attention from the road.

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3-Year-Old Killed in Phoenix Car Crash

August 5, 2013

20130725_130105.jpg A three-year-old boy is dead following a Saturday afternoon car crash in Phoenix and several other people in the same car were injured. Phoenix police responded to the accident and stated that the boy was not wearing a seat belt or otherwise restrained in the crash and was ejected upon impact.

The three-year-old was riding in a minivan driven by a 26-year-old female. Also in the van were a five-year-old, seven-year-old, and 15-year-old children. Authorities report that the driver of the van ran a red light near Broadway Road and Central Avenue in Phoenix and entered the intersection when cross traffic had the right of way. The minivan entered the path of travel of a pickup truck which struck the minivan and caused it to roll over onto its roof. Upon impact, the three-year-old was ejected from the vehicle through a window and landed on the ground.

Police have reported that the female driver and at least two of the four children in the car were not wearing seat belts in the crash and it is not clear if any other occupants sustained injuries. No one in the truck was hurt in the accident and everyone in the truck was wearing a seat belt. It is also not clear if the driver of the minivan has been charged in connection with the crash but police state that their investigation is ongoing.

One of the most common reasons car accidents occurs is that one driver fails to yield the right of way to another. Whether it occurs at a stop sign, a red light, or while attempting to merge, accidents that occur because one driver failed to yield can be deadly. This is more likely to be the case when both vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed like at an intersection where neither vehicles slows before impact. The greater the speed, the greater the force of the impact and the more likely that injuries or death will result.

Many times, drivers who are stopped after running a red light claim that the light just turned yellow or just turned red and that the driver thought it was not a big deal. In actuality, the traffic lights in any city are timed with specificity to increase safety at intersections. Failing to abide by the local laws and ignoring these lights is not only a crime but also a serious threat to the safety of everyone on the road.

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New Dummy Minimizing Injury Child Injury Risks in Phoenix and Elsewhere

March 16, 2012

Hey dummy!

No. Not you. We're talking about the new child dummy that's going to help keep your kid safe in the event of a car accident in Phoenix. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there's a brand new kid dummy that was recently unveiled. This little dummy is going to help test our car seats and booster seats that were created for child who weight more than 65 pounds and less than 80 pounds. The new "10-year-old kid" dummy is the latest addition to the family of NHTSA test dummies. It's now considered to be the best tool out there that can measure the risks of injury for children who use higher-weight car seats in the event of an accident

As car seat manufacturer's work to create more specific car seats to meet the needs of consumers and their children, it is getting tougher and tougher to test each seat thoroughly because there are so many kinds available. The new dummy is helping researchers to tackle these new child car seats with the new weight requirements.

Our Phoenix child injury attorneys understand that car accidents are the leading cause of death for those aged 3- to 14-years-old. According to the NHTSA, there were nearly 1,500 children of this young age group who were killed in car accidents across the nation in 2009. In addition to these fatalities, there were another 200,000 young passengers who were injured in these types of incidents. This means that about 4 kids were killed and another 490 were injured in these crashes every single day. A large number of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented if these children were properly buckled into an appropriate car seat. Parents, it's up to you to make sure these little ones are securely fastened during every car ride. Without you, their chances for surviving a car accident are minimal, at best.

"It's good news that manufacturers are making more car seats and boosters than ever before designed to keep older and heavier children safer on our roadways," said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

The new dummy was created by researchers to help keep up with the new car seat requirements released from the NHTSA. The new dummy is helping researchers to look at the risk of injuries using head and knee excursions, in addition to chest acceleration. The NHTSA recently announced a final rule to include kid car seats and booster seats for heavier children. The new rule amends with the currently federal child car seat standard.

If you're having trouble determining which car seat your child should ride in, visit the NHTSA's Car Seat Recommendations for Children web page.

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New Website Helping Parents to Protect Children in Car Accidents in Phoenix, Nation

January 25, 2012

A new website, "Car Seat Safety for Kids," recently went live and replaced the "Keeping Kids Safe During Crashes" site. This website is hosted by the Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) and helps parents to reduce the risks of injury to children in Phoenix and elsewhere. This website serves as a one-stop shop for information regarding child passenger safety (CPS). Through this website, new videos are offered to help parents stay up-to-date with the latest child car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

“This site brings together research expertise and practical experience,” says Suzanne Hill, director of Advocacy and Outreach at CIRP.

Our Phoenix car accident lawyers understand that this website is a beneficial tool in helping current parents and expectant parents prepare and better protect child passengers. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 3- to 14-years-old. Statistics reveal that nearly 9,000 lives were saved because of child restraints from 1975 to 2008. As we stated before, there were nearly 37,500 people killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2008. Of these fatalities, children under the age of 14 accounted for nearly 5 percent. It's it our responsibility as safe drivers, parents and guardians to ensure that our young passengers are properly buckled up during every car ride.

In 2008 in Arizona, there were nearly 35 children under the age of 14 who were killed in car crashes.

For every child who dies in a motor-vehicle accident, another 400 children are treated for injuries. Using the proper safety seat can help to reduce these alarming risks.

Car Seat Recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

-Children under the age of 1: These young passengers should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.

-Children ages 1- to 3-years-old: Children should remain in a rear-racing car seat for as long as possible. When they reach the rear-facing seat's height and weight requirement, it's time to graduate them to a front-facing car seat with a harness.

-Children ages 4- to 7- years-old: These children should ride in a forward-facing car seat for as long as they can (until they reach the seat's height and weight requirements). When they exceed the seat's requirements, it's time to put them in a booster seat.

-Children ages 8- to 12-years-old: These children should remain in a booster seat for as long as possible. When they outgrow their booster seat, it's time to let them ride like a grownup. When placing them in an adult seat with a seat belt, make sure that the seat belt lies snugly across their upper thighs and that the shoulder portion lies snug across the shoulder and chest area, not the neck.

It's important to keep children in the back seat for as long as possible. Children are safer in the back seat away from the air bag. Their little bodies can't sustain impact from the airbags like adult bodies can.

Parents are urged to visit the new "Car Seat Safety for Kids" website and to stay well-informed of the latest child seat safety news and technology. Education is the best way to help reduce the risks of injury in the event of an accident for your young riders.

Continue reading "New Website Helping Parents to Protect Children in Car Accidents in Phoenix, Nation" »

Students injured in Phoenix area school bus crash

October 6, 2011

An Arizona school bus vs. dump truck accident last week has resulted in injuries to four kids and a bus driver, according to ABC news. The collision occurred at approximately 6:50 AM on Monday as the school bus was stopped to load children in the area of 56th and Missouri avenues in Glendale.

At the time of impact, two girls were getting on the bus and two children and the bus driver were already on board, according to Glendale police. The two kids boarding the bus were seriously injured. All five were taken by ambulance to an area hospital. None of the injuries are reportedly life-threatening.

The bus was stopped in the roadway in the right lane of Missouri Avenue. Witnesses to the incident say that the school bus had its stop sign raised. Police did not know why the dump truck failed to stop.

A spokesperson from the Glendale Police Department used the accident as an opportunity to remind the public to use extra caution in the area of school buses, further stating that it is against the law to pass a school bus when it's octagon stop sign is out, and that under Arizona law motorists on both sides of the street must come to a stop and can only resume driving when the bus starts to move.

According to, more than 23 million students travel to school on school buses. The website gives many safety tips to avoid collisions with students and school buses, such as:

When exiting your driveway be on the lookout for kids walking or bicycling to school;

Use extra caution when traveling through school zone areas;

Be on the lookout for kids walking in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks; and

Slow down when in the area of children waiting and playing at bus stops.

Phoenix injury lawyers at our office are currently working on two separate school bus accident cases. Children involved in this type of collision are very susceptible to injury, as they are typically not seat belted and can be thrown around during impact.

Continue reading "Students injured in Phoenix area school bus crash" »

Basic suggestions to reduce the likelihood of injury in a Phoenix auto accident

September 23, 2011

Drivers can take a few easy actions while driving to reduce the risk of injury or death in an Arizona car crash. Sometimes it's just as easy is remembering to wear your seat belt and making sure that your kids do the same.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported that some of the old and true methods of safety are still more significant than the advancements of technology in new cars. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers agree that buckling up is one of the biggest safety factors in the event of a collision. In 2009, more than 12,700 lives were spared when people took the time to put on their seat belts. Tragically, research shows that around 3700 lives of children ages 4 and above could have been saved if seat belts were used. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in the year 2009 more than 32,000 people nationwide lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions.

On a positive note, the rate of people buckling up has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Safety advocates believe this improvement is due to law enforcement actions and a greater number of states passing seat belt laws. In 2010 it is estimated that approximately 85% of drivers are buckling up.

"Primary seat belt laws" that have been passed make it permissive for police to stop a motorist for not wearing his or her seatbelt. Over 30 states now have this type of law in place. Unfortunately, Arizona does not yet have a primary law in place for all motorists.

Arizona is currently still a "secondary enforcement" state. Police can issue a seat belt citation during a traffic stop for another violation, but they cannot pull a driver over solely for a seat belt violation.

Adults can help prevent child fatalities by properly seat belting them during all driving trips. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed some of its recommendations regarding child safety belt use. They recommend that children be placed in rear facing car seats until the age of two, or until they've reached the height and weight limitations of the car seat. Once the child has exceeded the limitations, they recommend to switch them to a front facing child seat.

Properly installing a car seat is unfortunately not easy. It is estimated that more than 70% of parents are misusing their child's safety seat. is a good site to visit for reviews on car seats and they also provide instructions on how to properly install the seat in a vehicle. If unsure if the seat is properly installed, most local fire departments and/or police departments have officers available to take a look at your car seat and see if it was properly installed. After the child has outgrown a front facing safety seat, the next step to put them into a booster seat.

It should still be noted that some of the best safety measures for child passengers rests in the hands of their adult drivers. Motorists should operate their vehicles in a safe manner and concentrate while at the wheel with no distractions. Proper safety restraints and good driving habits can help keep child passengers safe in the event of a collision.

Continue reading "Basic suggestions to reduce the likelihood of injury in a Phoenix auto accident" »

2 toddlers killed in separate Arizona pedestrian accidents

June 19, 2011

Two different Arizona car accidents, one in Phoenix and the other in Tucson, have recently claimed the lives of two children, Reuters is reporting.

In Phoenix a two-year-old girl was killed after a pickup truck being driven by her father rolled over her while backing out of the driveway. The incident occurred at the family's home on Tuesday morning, May 31.

The girl had been playing with her brother in the front yard of their house, which is located in the area of Thunderbird Road and 35th Ave. around 10:30 AM. The father had been watching the kids at the time.

The mother then came home, and the father then mistakenly thought mom was watching the kids. The father then backed his vehicle down the driveway to go run errands, and in doing so struck his daughter, according to

The child was rushed to Phoenix Children's Hospital where she passed away from injuries sustained in the accident.

The Phoenix Police Department handled the crash investigation, and no criminal charges are expected to be filed, police saying that this was a tragic accident.

In a second Arizona pedestrian accident that resulted in the death of a toddler, a 25-year-old mother allegedly struck her four-year-old son with a vehicle on May 30th in Tucson. The child was taken by ambulance to University Medical Center where he died a short time later.

Police are stating they believe the mother was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She has since been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and child abuse.

While our condolences go out to both families, tragic cases such as these serve as an important reminder for drivers to use extreme caution around homes with children.

Backing out of residential driveways can be especially hazardous. Even when a driver is being cautious, sometimes smaller children can't be seen through a rear view mirror.

When my own mother was a toddler, she sustained a badly fractured leg when a milk truck driver backed over her. After the incident, the driver was so disturbed by the accident that he refused to return to the house and was put on new route.

The addition of rear view cameras and sensors on many vehicles will hopefully reduce the number of these accidents. According to, the Department of Transportation has proposed a new mandate to require all new cars sold in the USA weighing under 10,000 pounds to have rear view cameras by September, 2014.

The NHTSA states that on average there are 292 deaths and 18,000 injuries per year from back-over collisions.

Hospital official says Phoenix accident season has arrived

June 7, 2011

The Memorial Day holiday marked the beginning of accident season for children, according to CBS news. They report that, according to the medical director at Maricopa Medical Center, there is a 10 to 15% increase in child injury cases over the summer.

The director said that the hospital sometimes sees severe head injuries where children end up having operations with a neurosurgeons. Unfortunately, he said they also see child fatalities.

ATV accidents are one of the types of injury cases they handle. Hospital physicians treated 14 kids ages 14 and under for injuries sustained in ATV crashes in 2010 alone.

The article went on to interview an ATV accident victim. The child had borrowed a neighbor's ATV without permission. She went for a ride without a helmet, lost control and flipped over. She sustained two fractures in her jaw and also had more than 30 stitches to repair a laceration on the side of her head. Nine months later she still has scars, and she regrets not wearing a helmet.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reminds us that one way to reduce injuries to children would be to buckle up your kids in the car. Statistically, every hour someone loses their life in the United States because they didn't wear a seat belt.

DPS states that Parents who don't use a seat belt are sending the wrong message to children. Research shows that when a motorist fails to buckle up, children riding in that vehicle will also be unbelted 70% of the time.

If your child has been hurt in an Arizona accident, contact an injury attorney at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call 602-819-5191 to speak to a lawyer now.

Arizona car accidents a leading cause of death among children

November 2, 2010

A Sunrise, Arizona car accident injured two children over the weekend after police say a Camaro ran a red light and struck the Tahoe in which they were riding.

Our Phoenix injury attorneys frequently write about the dangers faced by teenagers on the road. But there is no less risk for younger children: The fact remains that car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14 nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as teenagers of driving age.

CBS5 reported that a woman driving the Camaro may have ran a red light at Cactus and Bullard on Saturday and hit the Chevy Tahoe in the intersection. The woman driving the Tahoe and her two children were injured. Both a 16-year-old girls and an infant boy were ejected from the vehicle.

They were flown to an area hospital with serious injuries. Their mother was transported by ground ambulance. The driver of the Camaro was not injured, according to police.

The federal government reports that 1,314 children under the age of 14 were killed in traffic accidents last year. More than 179,000 were injured. Those statistics mean an average of 4 children are killed and 490 are injured in traffic accidents each day.

Government figures show child safety seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. Last year, Arizona car accidents killed 44 children under the age of 14. Seventeen of those victims were under the age of 3.

A recent government report also found that SUV's were more prone to rollover accidents in Arizona and elsewhere, which often leads to the ejection of passengers. Fifty-eight percent of those killed in SUV accidents were involved in rollover accidents, compared to 48 percent for pickups, 35 percent for vans and 25 percent for passenger cars.

Nationwide, about one-third of all traffic fatalities result from rollover accidents.

Vuelco de accidente de auto en Arizona hiere críticamente a dos niños

November 2, 2010

Dos niños han resultadó gravemente heridos en un choque de carro en el área de Phoenix que ocurrió el sábado por la mañana, según las noticias de Fox. Una camioneta se dio vuelta en el accidente y ninguno de los niños heridós llevaba un cinturón de seguridad.

El choque ocurrió en Cactus Road y Bullard Avenue, en Surprise, Arizona. La policía indica que un Chevrolet Camaro o el conductor de la camioneta se pasó una luz roja. El choque todavía esta bajo investigación.

Dos menores de edad, un niño de 18 meses de edad y una chica de16 años de edad, fueron expulsados de un Chevy Tahoe cuando se dio vuelta. Ambos sostuvieron heridas graves en la cabeza y fueron en helicóptero a un hospital del área en condición crítica.

El conductor del SUV, de 35 años, fue trasladado por ambulancia a un hospital con heridas no-amenazantes de vida. El conductor del Camaro, una mujer de 69 años de edad, no resultó gravemente herida y no fue hospitalizada.

Las drogas o el alcohol no tuvierón que ver con el choque.

Una vez que abogados de accidentes en Arizona se meten en el caso, es más probable que ellos traten el caso como una disputa de obligación. En mi experiencia, la mayoria de los casos de luz roja terminan con ambos conductores señalando con el dedo uno al otro. Ojala, haigá testigos independientes al accidente que observó quien corrio la luz roja. De todos modos, los menores fueron pasajeros que resultaron heridos, ellos no causaron el accidente, y ellos tendrán una demanda civil viable.

Arizona rollover auto accident critically injures two children

November 1, 2010

Two kids have been seriously injured in a Phoenix area car crash that occurred on Saturday morning, according to Fox news. An SUV rolled over in the accident and neither injured child was wearing a seatbelt.

The collision occurred in the area Cactus Road and Bullard Avenue in Surprise, Arizona. Police are stating that a Chevrolet Camaro or the driver of the SUV ran a red light. The crash is still under investigation.

Two minors, an 18-month-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, were ejected from a Chevy Tahoe when it rolled over. Both sustained serious head injuries and were helicoptered to an area hospital in critical condition.

The SUV driver, age 35, was taken by ambulance to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Camaro, a 69-year-old woman, was not seriously injured and not hospitalized.

Drugs or alcohol reportedly did not play a role in the crash.

Once Arizona personal injury lawyers get involved in the case, they will most likely be dealing with a disputed liability claim. In my experience, most red light cases end up with both drivers pointing the finger at each other. Hopefully, there will be independent witnesses to the accident that observed who ran a red light. Either way, the injured minors were passengers, they did not cause the accident, and they will have a viable civil claim.

Click here to read the story as reported by ABC news and CBS news.

Phoenix area bike accident critically injures 11-year-old boy

October 22, 2010

An 11-year-old child is been seriously injured after being involved in an Arizona SUV vs. bicycle accident, according to The collision took place in Maricopa just after 1 PM on Wednesday in the Rancho El Dorado subdivision.

When Maricopa police officers responded to the accident, they located the boy sitting on the side of the road with his bicycle. A witness at the scene saw the child get hit by the SUV as he was crossing the street.

Around 10 minutes after police arrived the child started showing signs of trauma and head injuries. He was taken by ambulance to Maricopa Medical Center. Upon arrival at the hospital treating physicians discovered internal bleeding in his head and emergency surgery was performed. The child reportedly is still in critical condition.

It was not reported if the bicyclist crossed in the middle of a block or at an intersection.

It has also not been reported if a Phoenix bicycle accident attorney is involved in the case yet. With injuries this serious, it is likely that the boy's family will have an Arizona injury lawyer investigate a possible civil claim.

5 injured in Phoenix car crash

October 7, 2010

CBS news in Phoenix is reporting that a multi-vehicle Arizona car accident at a red light intersection on Sunday morning has hurt five people involved. The collision occurred on Buckeye road near Interstate 17.

A man driving a white pickup truck in a northerly direction on a frontage road for I-17 reportedly disobeyed a red light at Buckeye road and struck a gold pickup truck in the intersection. The impact caused the gold pickup to flip over and then collide with a third pickup truck and a minivan.

After a police investigation, the driver that ran a red light was ticketed for disobeying the signal. Drugs or alcohol reportedly did not play a factor in the accident.

Due to the collision, a total of five people were taken by ambulance to local hospitals. One person injured was a young girl. The most seriously injured was an elderly woman that was a passenger in a white pickup truck, but none of the injuries are supposed to be life-threatening.

It was not reported if there is a Phoenix car accident lawyer involved in the case yet. Sometimes red light cases can be difficult for attorneys to prosecute, especially if there are only two vehicles involved and no independent witnesses. These types of accidents often turn into "he said she said" disputes as to who ran a red light. In this case, the Arizona injury attorney that gets involved shouldn't have that problem due to the fact that there were multiple parties involved.

Another issue that can arise when multiple parties are injured in accident is whether the at fault driver has enough insurance to cover the loss. Currently, the minimum requirements for Arizona auto insurance is only $15,000 per person/$30,000 per occurrence. If the defendant does not have enough insurance, the Phoenix accident lawyer involved will explore the possibility of setting up an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim.

Mom and three kids injured in Phoenix car crash – at fault driver may have been DUI

October 5, 2010

CBS news in Phoenix is reporting that alcohol may have played a role in a Arizona car accident that occurred early Monday morning. A mother and three children were injured in the crash.

Police are stating that the woman was headed northbound on 19th Ave. somewhere between lower Buckeye and Broadway when her car crossed the median and hit a brick wall around 3 AM. All three kids were in the backseat of the car, according to

The 28-year-old woman and her kids, ages 9,8 and 5 were taken by ambulance to area hospitals in serious to critical condition. A portion of 19th Ave. had to be closed for a period of time after the accident, according to the Arizona Republic.

The Phoenix Police Department is handling the crash investigation. It is not been reported what evidence the police have obtained to indicate alcohol was a factor.

Two-year-old boy seriously injured in Arizona accident

September 21, 2010

A golf cart accident in Prescott Arizona has seriously injured a two-year-old child, according to the Daily Courier. Two other relatives were hurt in the incident as well.

The Arizona golf cart crash occurred when the child's 62-year-old grandfather who was driving the cart loss control in the 1400 block of Lucky Draw Lane. His wife and three grandchildren were on board with them.

The Prescott Valley Police Department is reporting that after he lost control the golf car flipped over. The boy was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital after the accident. While the injuries are serious, they are not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver's wife, age 61, and the two other grandchildren, both age 4, were taken to Yavapai Regional Medical Center West Campus. Their injuries were also non-life-threatening.

There was reportedly some indication that the scene that there may have been a mechanical failure on the golf part.

The police department is continuing their investigation, and it is believed that drugs and/or alcohol did not play a role in the accident.

Click here to read about the accident at

Mesa, Arizona car crash injures 2 children

September 19, 2010

A Mesa car accident on Saturday morning has hurt two children, according to the Arizona Republic. A total of 7 people and one police officer were involved.

The accident occurred when a truck hit an SUV that was occupied by two adults and two children at McKellips Road and Country Club Drive around 10 a.m. An 11 year old girl suffered a loss of consciousness and was taken by ambulance to Maricopa Medical Center. The exact cause of the crash was not reported. The truck driver and 2 adults in the SUV were reportedly not injured.

After the accident, Mesa police were called to the scene. An officer responding to the call was rear-ended by another vehicle. There were no injuries reported in that second collision.

Click here to read the story as reported by ABC News.

In my experience as a Phoenix car accident lawyer, sometimes people involved in motor vehicle collisions that are initially reported not injured end up in pain a short time later and seek medical treatment. I have found this most common with back and neck injuries. In an accident like this one, where the impact was significant enough for someone to get knocked out, there is a good possibility that the adults involved were feeling pain the next day.

Phoenix bike accident lawyers sign on to represent nine-year-old injured bicyclist

September 17, 2010

Arizona bicycle accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have entered into an agreement to represent a nine-year-old bicycle rider who was injured in a parking lot when he was struck by a car. The accident happened back on July 19, 2010 Chicago, Illinois in the parking lot small food store at the intersection of Austin and Division.

The child was traveling eastbound when the at fault driver swiftly pulled into the parking lot from the street and did not see the bicyclist. The vehicle struck the bike, knocking the boy to the ground.

The nine-year-old had bilateral leg pain and back pain right after the accident. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. At the ER, x-rays did not show any broken bones and he was examined by physicians.

The bicycle rider's pain did not go away over the next few days. The child's mother took him for follow-up treatment with a medical doctor. He has had ongoing medical treatment since July.

As the weather starts to slowly cool off in the Phoenix area, there will be more and more bicycle riders on the road. Earlier this year Tucson, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona were all listed in the 20 most bicycle friendly cities in the United States.

Motorists have to keep a proper lookout for, and be careful around Arizona bicycle riders. Sometimes even low impact bicycle vs. car accidents can cause serious injuries.

If you have been hurt in a Phoenix bike accident, contact the Arizona injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for free consultation. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak directly to a lawyer now.

Child safety seats one issue that can endanger children involved in Phoenix car accidents

September 16, 2010

CBS 5 reports that Arizona is one of 21 states that do not meet federal guidelines for booster seat safety, which can increase the risk of serious or fatal injury as the result of a Phoenix car accident.

Some 15 years ago, the National Transportation Safety Board called for child restraint laws that protected all children up to eight years old. Current Arizona law only covers children up to the age of 4.

"While we heartily applaud the eight states that enacted or upgraded child restraint laws in the past year," said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "21 states and two territories still lack robust booster seat laws. This means that millions of children remain at risk of injury or fatality every day on our highways."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 to be Child Passenger Safety Week, culminating in National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 25. Our Phoenix injury lawyers encourage parents to make it a point to have their child safety seats inspected; even when you think you are in compliance, issues like the purchase of a new vehicle can change the effectiveness of a child safety seat.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently rated 72 car seats based on how well they fit 4- to 8-year-olds and how well they fit various automobiles. Twenty-one seats rated "Best Bets" while eight seats were not recommended.

"Unlike the top performers, consumers can't assume boosters in the in-between group will work in every family vehicle," said the Institute's Anne McCartt. "Some may be fine, but parents still need to try them out to see if the lap and shoulder belts fit their kids correctly."

Another danger in Arizona is leaving a child in a hot car. So far this year, 43 children have died as a result of being left inside a hot car, up sharply from the 33 deaths reported during all of 2009, according to San Francisco State University. Two of those deaths have been reported in Arizona, while Florida and Texas have led the nation.

Other dangers posed to children in an around vehicles include backover accidents, power window accidents, vehicle rollaways, seat belt entanglement and trunk entrapment.

Continue reading "Child safety seats one issue that can endanger children involved in Phoenix car accidents" »

Phoenix car accident injures 10 teenagers after rollover SUV crash

August 9, 2010

Ten teenagers were injured in a Phoenix car accident when their SUV struck a brick wall and rolled over before colliding with another vehicle, AZ Family reported.

Serious injuries were reported among the teenagers, who range in age from 13 to 16. One of the teenagers was reported in extremely critical condition. The accident happened at 28th Street, just south of Thomas Road.

All of the teens were riding in a white SUV; an unknown number were ejected from the vehicle during the crash.

Channel 13 News has since reported that two of the teenage boys were killed and eight others remain hospitalized. The station also reported that the accident involved another vehicle.

The two adults in the second SUV were not hurt.

Rarely a week goes by when our Phoenix injury lawyers do not report on the dangers young drivers face on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that 62 passengers under the age of 20 were killed in traffic accidents in 2008. A total of 2,816 passengers ages 15 to 19 were injured. Twenty-eight young drivers were killed and 3,533 were injured.

Arizona authorities confuse identities of teens involved in fatal Phoenix car accident; families want answers -- officials blame each other

July 28, 2010

The authorities who confused the identities of two teens involved in a Phoenix car accident will never be able to right the injustice done to the families.

News 9 reports the girl and four of her friends had gone to Disneyland last weekend and were driving back to Phoenix when a tire blew and their vehicle rolled over. The family was told she was seriously injured but did survive the crash.

The Arizona Republic reported that the girl's family stayed by her bedside for six days, while the family of a close friend planned a funeral for their daughter who was killed in the accident. But authorities had mixed up the identities of the girls. Officials from the Arizona Department of Public Safety admitted they had made the most horrific mistake imaginable.

One family got word that the funeral was off -- their daughter was alive and recovering at the hospital. The family at that teen's bedside was given the news that their daughter had died a week ago.

Officials are passing the blame back and forth among themselves. DPS reports that its officials struggled to identify the woman who died and requested an additional examination of the body be conducted by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office. That did not occur for another five days. Officials at the hospital said they never checked fingerprints or dental records.

During the confusion, a 20-year-old passenger died as a result of his injuries and family and friends of the survivors have attended his funeral.

Not one of the officials responsible has been in touch with the grieving families, the Arizona Republic reported, even as the case has made news around the world.

"All I want is answers right now," the girl's father said. An aunt agreed.

"We would like someone to look into this situation and find out how it happened and make sure this never happens again to anyone," she said.

Teen drivers at high risk for Phoenix car accidents during long summer break

July 5, 2010

Nine teenagers a day die in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We continue to report the high risk of serious and fatal Phoenix car accidents faced by teen drivers during the summer months. Our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog recently reported the death of three motorists in a car full of teenagers; authorities believe the accident may have been caused by street racing.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports a total of 119,588 crashes killed 842 motorists and injured more than 37,000 people in 2008. Drivers under the ages of 24 accounted for 114 fatalities and more than 9,000 injuries.

In all, motorists under the age of 20 accounted for 114 fatalities and more than 11,000 injuries. Those statistics mean that nearly one-third of all injury accidents in Arizona involved someone under the age of 20.

The USA Today recently reported that teenagers face the highest risk during the summer months. Not surprisingly, less parental supervision, more free time, more night driving, more driving with friends and fewer curfew restrictions were identified as leading causes.

"Driving with your buddies to find a party at 10 p.m. is very different from driving to school at 7 a.m. on a weekday," said Justin McNaull, state relations director for AAA. "There's a very different environment both outside and inside the vehicle."

Over the course of the year, 10 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays are the deadliest times for teens on the road. But that is a distinction that blurs during the summer, when every day is a weekend day.

The National Safety Council is offering a free download of its Family Guide to Teen Driving Safety.

AAA has issued its 10 Teen Driving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them:

Risk Taking: Don't let risky behavior impact the rest of your life or the life of someone else on the road. Accidents don't just affect you, they affect passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, children and families.

Unbuckled Belts: Wear your seat belt and insist that all passengers wear their seat belts.

Speeding: Don't speed and don't drive faster than conditions permit. Speeding is a leading cause of teen car accidents -- one-third of teen fatalities involve speeding.

Rowdy Passengers: Young drivers riding with a passenger increase their risk of a car accident by 50 percent. Riding with two or more passengers, the risk of an accident increases fivefold.

Cellphones: Don't use a cell phone or text message while driving. Studies show that teens are at the highest risk of a distracted driving car accident.

CD Players: Adjusting the radio is the most common distraction for drivers ages 16 to 20.

Nighttime Driving: Crash rates for teen drivers from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. are twice as high as they are during the day.

Drinking and Driving: One-sixth of 16- and 17-year-olds killed in crashes were legally intoxicated.

Peer Pressure: Make good decisions about when and with whom you choose to ride. Don't ride with a driver you don't trust and never ride with an impaired driver or in an unsafe vehicle. Never ride in a vehicle with more passengers than it can safety accommodate.

Overconfidence: Inexperience and overconfidence frequently lead to crashes when new drivers encounter unexpected or unfamiliar situations.

Continue reading "Teen drivers at high risk for Phoenix car accidents during long summer break" »

Four teens killed in weekend Phoenix car accidents

June 21, 2010

A Phoenix car accident killed two motorists and injured four others on Sunday night, Channel 13 News reported.

Police report the driver of a car carrying six people lost control and slammed into a tree on Thomas Avenue in west Phoenix. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and four others were ejected from the vehicle and transported to area hospitals in serious or critical condition.

Authorities report they are also looking for a black pickup truck that may have played a role in the accident. The victims range in age from 3 to 18. The 3-year-old was in critical condition.

AZ Family reports the fatal accident may have started as a street race. According to that report, police content a Ford Mustang and the Chevy pickup were traveling westbound on Thomas Road at a high rate of speed. The accident happened just before 10 p.m. when the driver of the Mustang reportedly lost control and slammed into a tree in the median.

The road was closed until after 6 a.m. Monday. The truck fled the scene and is being sought by authorities. It is described as a newer-model, two-door Chevy pickup truck and may have rear-end damage. It was last seen driving at a high rate of speed westbound on Thomas.

As our Phoenix injury attorneys have been reporting, summer is a particularly dangerous time for young drivers and their passengers. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The risk of young drivers being involved in a serious or fatal traffic accident increases as school lets out for summer.

Please visit out most recent teen safe driving post on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog and speak with your young drivers about safe driving habits.

Two other young motorists died in a Phoenix crash on Saturday, ABC 15 reported. That accident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on I-17 northbound between Black Canyon City and Cordes Junction. Authorities report the driver of a pickup lost control after a tire blew out, causing the vehicle to roll several times.

Five passengers were riding in the cab of the truck and three were traveling in the bed. They were part of a youth group from My Friend's House Family Worship Center in Phoenix, according to the media report. The female driver, who was reportedly the mother of at least two of the passengers, was thrown from the truck and seriously injured.

Two young men in the bed of the truck were killed and a third was critically injured.

It is legal for passengers to ride in the bed of a truck as long as the cab is filled, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Phoenix car accident injures grandmother, six children, after crash with Valley Metro bus

May 22, 2010

A grandmother and six children were injured a week ago Thursday, along with several bus passengers, after a Phoenix car accident involving a Valley Metro bus, ABC15 reported.

The Phoenix fire department reported that the accident happened at the end of the off ramp from northbound Interstate 17 at Rose Garden Lane. A 54-year-old woman and her six grandchildren -- including two infants and children ages 2,3,6 and 9 -- were all injured after the van rolled onto its side.

Cause of the accident is under investigation. Several passengers on the bus were also injured and were treated at the scene. The Arizona Republic reported the woman and children were wearing their seat belts and are expected to recover from their injuries.

The accident closed southbound I-17 at the Rose Garden ramp and Eastbound Rose Garden at 27th Avenue.

A total of 1,020 Arizona bus accidents occurred in 2008, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Seven people were killed 207 were injured.

As we reported last month on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, six people were killed in an Arizona bus accident in March. An investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety found numerous safety and maintenance violations could have been partially to blame. The driver was also believed to have been speeding at the time of the accident and may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Phoenix area car accident injures 6 teens

May 18, 2010

An Arizona car crash has caused injuries to six teenagers in Avondale on Tuesday, according to the Arizona Republic. The accident involved 2 cars and occurred at Indian School Road and 99th Ave. The teens were reportedly in serious condition.

According to fire and rescue officials, a silver car t-boned a black car at around 12:15 p.m and there was heavy damage to the vehicles. The 6 teens were all taken to area hospitals. Four of the injured went to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and the other two went to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, also in Phoenix.

The Arizona car accident is being investigated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The cause of the collision, or whether any tickets were issued, has not yet been reported.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, in the year 2008 alone 28 teen drivers were killed in Arizona motor vehicle accidents and over 3,500 were injured. During that same year, 39 teen passengers were killed and over 2,800 were injured.

Click here to read the story as reported by Fox News.

Prom safety critical to avoiding Phoenix car accidents involving teenagers

May 15, 2010

The Arizona School Boards Association and Phoenix area principals are pushing teenagers and parents to talk about prom safety, ABC 15 reported.

The Arizona car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes urge parents to help make sure teens have a safe and memorable prom season by having an open discussion about the dangers of drinking and driving and unsafe driving habits.
In Parker, Arizona, a mock crash scene was set up to illustrate the dangers of drunk driving to high school students, according to the Parker Pioneer.

A total of 1,194 people were killed in Arizona car accidents involving teen drivers in the five-year period ending in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to Arizona, states that reported more than 1,000 teen driving deaths were Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas.

MADD is also promoting "The Power of Parents: It's Your Influence" to promote safe teenage driving.

Parents can help teenagers make the right choices by:

- Establish clear rules, monitor your child's behavior, and talk to your child about the consequences of underage drinking.

- Understand that the choice to be drug and alcohol free takes courage, and is often not easy.

- If using a limo, instruct the driver to notify parents if alcohol is present.

- Permit only registered passengers to ride in a limo.

- Do not serve alcohol to an underage person.

Continue reading "Prom safety critical to avoiding Phoenix car accidents involving teenagers" »

Teens involved in Mesa car accident in front of high school

May 13, 2010

Four people, including three teenagers, were seriously injured in an Arizona car accident early last Friday morning in front of Desert Ridge High School, the Republic reported.

Teenagers are at high risk for traffic accidents; almost 1,200 young people were killed in Arizona traffic accidents involving young people during the five-year period ending in 2008. And motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In this case, the teens were not at fault; their vehicle was eastbound on Madero when it was struck by a car that ran a red light while traveling south on Crismon Road, according to the Mesa Police Department.

Two 17-year-old boys were transported to local hospitals with spinal and head injuries; one of the teens, seated in the back seat, was thrown into the front of the vehicle by the impact of the collision. A 17-year-old girl in the front passenger seat was airlifted to the county hospital with a lacerated forehead.

The adult male driver of the other vehicle was taken to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital.

In 2008, a total of 4,130 Arizona car accidents were caused by a driver who disregarded a traffic signal, including red-light runners. Another 977 were caused by stop sign violations. A total of 32 people were killed and 2,300 were injured, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.