Newcomers to the Valley were likely in for a bit of a shock yesterday as a substantial dust storm rolled into parts of the Phoenix area and affected a good portion of Maricopa County. Arriving from the south and striking yesterday evening, it was not long before the dust storm covered an area reportedly stretching from Casa Grande and Maricopa north beyond Camelback Mountain.
Officials are still determining the extent of the damage caused by the reduced visibility, wind, and rain that accompanied the storm but early reports indicate that several flights were delayed at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, several owners experienced property damage, and at least one car accident is being blamed on the conditions.
When weather plays a role in an accident, the fallout can be both complex and confusing. Is someone really responsible for your damages? Was this simply an unavoidable outcome? Do you have a valid claim for relief?
Fortunately, victims of traffic accidents and other incidents who are injured do not have to wonder through these and other quandaries on their own. Rather, they have the option of working with a personal injury attorney in Arizona to get clarification on their options and to take whatever steps are necessary to obtain relief.
The weather can complicate road conditions and sometimes, though rarely, is the sole cause for a crash. When this happens, an injured victim may or may not be covered under her own automobile insurance coverage depending on the type of coverage and the language in her policy. However, far more often, a mistake on the part of one or more drivers combines with the inclement weather to create a hazardous situation that leads to a collision. In these situations, an at-fault or negligent driver may be held liable for any damages that result, including damage to your vehicle, personal property, and personal injuries sustained by victims.
Homeowners who have personal property damaged by a storm may or may not be covered for that loss under their applicable home owners’ insurance policy. If you are covered, you may still have to pay a deductible even if the damage was not your fault. Review your policy language and talk with your insurance agent to learn about your coverage options.
Other types of victims who are hurt in a dust storm similarly may be entitled to relief. An unfortunate reality is that pedestrians face an incredibly high risk of being struck by a passing vehicle during a dust storm or other weather-related condition which limits visibility. Pedestrians still have the legal right to use sidewalks and crosswalks when a dust storm strikes and should be able to do so without placing their personal safety at risk. If a driver was operating too fast for conditions, failed to see you as a pedestrian, or failed to yield the right-of-way to you, you may have a valid legal claim against that driver to help you recover for your losses.
No matter what kind of damage or injury you suffered, if you were harmed in yesterday’s dust storm, make sure you take appropriate legal action soon as most claims are subject to a statute of limitations. Failing to act within the statute of limitations may mean that your claim will be barred forever, even if your claim otherwise would be valid.
Prior Blog Entry:
What to Do when You Are the Victim of an Uber Car Accident, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 15, 2016.
Dust storm rolls through Phoenix area, by Marissa R. Roper, The Republic/azcentral.com, published August 21, 2016.