A significant monsoon struck the greater Phoenix area yesterday and caused significant damage across much of the Valley of the Sun, stranding motorists in some areas and leaving others with limited options to get home. The rain was so strong that central Phoenix saw up to two inches of rainfall in an hour and led authorities to caution motorists to avoid driving if at all possible.
Monsoons are a part of life for many who live in Arizona during this time of year. However, though they are often anticipated, they can pop up with little warning or be much more damaging than expected, catching many off guard and leading to significant problems and damages across Maricopa County.
What if you are involved in a car accident before, during, or after a monsoon? What happens if you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, or a motorcyclist who is struck by a car and you are injured? These are all good questions to know in case your life is affected by a crash, though hopefully it will never happen to you.
The goals of Arizona laws are to hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions while allowing innocent victims to recover for their damages. The presence of a monsoon or other inclement weather condition can make this more complicated as it becomes harder to determine whether a driver truly was at-fault. In some instances, a driver does nothing wrong but a crash still happens due to the rain or the water present in an area. But despite popular belief to the contrary, this no-fault scenario happens in a minority of Phoenix monsoon crashes. Far more common on situations where motorists make a mistake or an error and find their poor judgement confounded by the bad weather.
If fault is present, even if the weather is undesirable, a victim who is injured may be entitled to relief. This scenario may present itself if a driver is following another vehicle too closely, is speeding, fails to stop for a stop sign or red light, or gets distracted while driving to name a few possibilities.
A victim’s right to seek and obtain relief is not contingent upon whether an at-fault driver received a citation or was found guilty of a traffic violation related to the crash. Rather, a personal injury claim is independent from any action taken by local authorities and can enable an typical victim to recover for things like lost wages, medical expenses incurred and to be incurred in the future, pain and suffering, and loss of a normal life.
Every collision is unique and the options available to victims can vary as a result. If you have questions about your rights, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney to learn whether you have the right to bring a claim and if so, what steps need to be taken so that your claim will be successful.
Prior Blog Entry:
Tire Blowouts and Car Accidents Expected during Hot Weather Streak, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 28, 2016.
Severe monsoon weather slams Phoenix area, by Greg Graziosi and Ryan Santistevan, The Republic, azcentral.com, published August 3, 2016.