Category: Serious Injuries

Road Debris and Hazards Must Be Fixed to Protect Motorists From Risk of Injury

Motor vehicle accidents are often caused — in whole or in part — by the presence of unexpected road debris and various other roadway hazards.  In the state of Arizona, for example, the Department of Transportation estimates that road debris alone is responsible for 1,000 crashes on an annual basis.  Road debris accidents can be particularly disastrous, as drivers may not be prepared for If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by road debris or some other roadway hazard, then you may be entitled to damages, as it the existence of the dangerous condition may be indicative of another’s negligence.  You’ll therefore want to get in touch with a Phoenix injury lawyer as soon as possible for an evaluation of your car accident claims and how best to proceed with litigation. Though the existence of a roadway hazard may not always be the fault of another party, there are many cases in which the negligence of the defendant — typically the possessor of a particular roadway (i.e., the government, or some private entity) — has contributed to the hazard at-issue.  If the defendant fails to correct the hazard or fails to warn motorists of the existence of the hazard so that it can be avoided, then liability may attach under prevailing Arizona law. Roadways Must Be Maintained in a Reasonably Safe Condition Claims arising out of injuries sustained due to road debris (or other roadway hazards) generally come under the umbrella of premises liability.  Premises liability […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Wage Loss Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, if you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another person or entity, then you may have the right to recover a range of damages to cover your losses — generally speaking, this includes lost wages. When bringing a lawsuit against the defendant, it’s important to remember that damages may vary substantially from plaintiff-to-plaintiff.  Every case is different.  In fact, it is a fundamental principle of law that the defendant be forced to “accept the victim” as “they found them.”  Stated another way, compensatory damages are not capped based on the type of accident that occurred.  If you have significant wage loss damages, you will not be prevented from recovering such damages simply because they seem excessive in comparison to the damages suffered by the average person. Wage loss recovery is actually rather straightforward to understand.  Let’s explore the basics to get a clearer picture of how it works. Wage Loss at a Glance Wage loss damages account for actual losses suffered due to an inability to work (following an injury).  Wage loss damages are somewhat different from lost earning capacity.  For example, if your injury has not resulted in time off from work but has reduced the likelihood that you will be promoted in the future, then you’ll want to claim loss of future earning capacity damages — not wage loss damages. Wage loss damages must generally be “certain” — they can be estimated, but there must be evidence that reasonably supports the numbers.  […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Recovering Damages for Injuries You Sustain in the Workplace

In Arizona, as in other states, workplace injuries (and other injuries sustained while performing one’s workplace duties, even off-site) can lead to quite a bit of confusion.  Many workers may not realize that they not only have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but that they may also have a legitimate right of action against one or more defendants. If you were delivering pizzas, for example, and you were subsequently injured in a serious car accident, then you would not only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also have other claims worth pursuing. Workplace injuries can be particularly challenging from both an emotional and financial perspective.  Still, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, it’s critical that you consult with an attorney who can evaluate the situation and determine whether you have actionable claims — workers’ compensation benefits alone may be insufficient to account for your losses. Arizona “No Fault” Workers’ Compensation Workers’ compensation in the state of Arizona is mandatory — employers are required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance that covers their employees.  As such, if you are an employee and you are injured in a job-related incident (on-site or off-site), then you are almost certainly entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Importantly, Arizona workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system.  In no-fault systems, it is irrelevant whether you contributed to your own injuries (so long as you did not intentionally cause your own injuries).  Further, it is not necessary to prove that the employer acted negligently […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Recovering for Medical Expenses in an Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, as in other states, injured plaintiffs — whether in motor vehicle accidents, or any other tortious accident caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct of a defendant — are entitled to recover damages that include both past and future medical expenses. Let’s begin with a simple example. Suppose that you are injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligent operation of a vehicle by another driver.  You suffer significant injuries to your back, neck, and limbs that require you to not only undergo diagnostic procedures and surgical treatment, but will also (for up to a year or more) require that you consistently attend rehabilitation sessions to get your strength back.  In addition to the various other losses that you may claim damages for (i.e., wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.), you may also claim damages for the medical expenses that you have already suffered, and for reasonably anticipated medical expenses in the future. Medical expenses tend to be a substantial component (and in many cases, the largest component) of a plaintiff’s overall damage claim, as the cost of medical care includes a range of services, from diagnostics to treatment, and everything in-between.  As such, medical expenses are a frequent target of criticism in the litigation context.  Depending on the medical care that you have received, the defendant may assert that the medical care you have received (or that you will receive) is not reasonably necessary. Past Medical Expenses Past medical expenses are those […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Recognizing the Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States every year. Over 50,000 of these people die as a result of their injuries. Roughly 80 percent of people who sustain TBIs seek treatment in emergency rooms. The remaining 20 percent might never even realize they’ve been seriously injured. The symptoms of TBIs are varied and not always immediately apparent to the injured party. In some cases they can take days or weeks to appear. That’s why it’s essential for people to seek treatment any time they’ve sustained a head injury, even if it doesn’t seem very serious at the time. It’s also important for people to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of TBI so that they can recognize them in the event that they or a loved one has a head injury. According to the CDC, TBI symptoms typically fall into one of four categories. Cognitive After sustaining a TBI, you may have difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. You may also have trouble retaining new information. Many people report a general feeling of mental “sluggishness” when trying to think and reason after sustaining a TBI. Physical Nausea and vomiting soon after a head injury are tell-tale signs of a TBI. Later on, headaches, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light can manifest as symptoms as well. Dizziness, balance issues and lack of energy are also fairly common physical TBI symptoms. Emotional These symptoms can be […]

Category: Serious Injuries

The Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teen Drivers

A few weeks ago, millions of Americans came together to observe Memorial Day with friends and loved ones. Burgers were grilled, pools were opened and the sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces were commemorated. In addition to being the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day marked another important annual milestone as well – the beginning of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. Statistically speaking, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the most dangerous time of year for teens to be on the road. During this period, when the weather is nice and schools are closed for the summer, teens tend to spend more time behind the wheel, increasing their risk of getting in an accident. On average, about 1,000 people die every year in accidents involving teenagers during these 100 deadliest days. The Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teen Drivers With this in mind, it’s imperative that parents of teenagers remind them about the additional risks associated with driving this time of year. According to AAA, distracted driving is the most common cause of accidents involving teen drivers. Cell phones, in particular, tend to be especially dangerous distractions for teens behind the wheel. Parents should set clear safety expectations for their teenage drivers, and do their part to practice what they preach as well. If your teenager sees you checking text messages while you drive, they’re more likely to do the same when they get behind the wheel. You can […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Should I settle or hire a lawyer?

This is a great question that should always be asked before accepting any offer made by an insurance company in a personal injury case. In fact, this is the number one question I am asked. So, how do you find the answer? Unless you have been through this before, you should call an experienced personal injury attorney. Nearly all of them offer a free consultation, which should include a ballpark evaluation of your case. When you compare the value with the adjuster’s offer you must factor in the lawyers’ fee to see if it makes sense to hire an attorney. For example, the adjuster offers you $12,000 to settle your case. As a result of the free consultation you learn your case is worth about $15,000. If the lawyer can get you the $15,000, but charges one third of the value of case, you end up with less. That’s simple arithmetic. Try to make the decision analytically based on finances rather than emotion. The settlement amount is not the only factor The amount of the settlement is not the only reason to hire a lawyer. In many cases, the lawyer will find doctors that will await payment so you don’t have to front money for your medical treatment. Also, when the case is over most lawyers will negotiate with the doctors and hospitals to reduce their bills, resulting in more money to you. I’ve even had cases where the medical bills were far more than the insurance coverage. Making sure […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Federal Study Reveals Most Dangerous Driving Distractions

We’ve all been guilty of it at some point — fiddling with the radio while we change lanes, taking our eyes off the road to gaze at the passing scenery. Even professional drivers aren’t perfect. Distractions happen, and sometimes they can be deadly. Recently, the U.S. Congress funded the Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP 2 NDS) to find out just how dangerous distracted driving is. The study was conducted by scientists from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Rather than using a controlled testing environment, data was collected from 3,500 volunteer drivers over a three year period travelling in real-world conditions. The volunteers’ vehicles were outfitted with a series of radar units, cameras and sensors that allowed the researchers to record and analyze their driving behavior. By the end of the study, the participants had been involved in more than 1600 incidents. The researchers assessed accident causation based on a number of factors including speed, fatigue, sobriety and distraction. After analyzing the data, the research team concluded that distracted driving was nearly as dangerous as drunk driving. But Which Distractions Were the Most Dangerous? Some distractions that the researchers expected to be particularly dangerous were actually fairly uncommon. These included things like applying makeup while driving, and interacting with children in the back seat. In fact, the researchers found that people tended to drive more carefully with children in the car. Other well-known distractions – texting while driving, for example – were found to be very dangerous. Generally, […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Choosing the Right Attorney for a Bodily Injury Case

Finding a personal or bodily injury attorney is not difficult. The problem is knowing if the attorney you found is a good one, or the right one for you. If you have a good case, or a “winning case”, many lawyers will be willing to help. You need to be able to choose the right lawyer who will best represent you in your accident injury case. What you should know: The attorney you choose can make a huge difference in how your case is handled. Do research on the lawyers that you are interested in working with, get referrals and seek out online reviews. Once you have narrowed your choices, set up meetings with the lawyers to get a better feel for how you are going to be represented. Pre-Planning for meeting with your lawyer Take notes that include important information about your case. Provide evidence you may have, pictures of the accident scene, injuries, as well as names of witnesses. Include a copy of the police report of the accident, medical bills, and insurance information and policies, which are extremely important to your case. Your being organized and prepared will allow the attorney to be more effective in representing your interests. Questions for the lawyer When meeting with your lawyer, you should feel comfortable with him/her. If you feel that there is no chance of having a positive relationship, find another lawyer. If you do feel comfortable with your lawyer, have some question ready for them. Such as: How […]

Category: Serious Injuries

Social Network Warning for the Injured

Do you like posting comments about your day or checking in at places you have been with friends? Most of us do, but if you’ve been injured in an accident you must be careful posting on social networks! Insurance adjusters have made it a habit to look up injured accident victims on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram and other social media sites to see if they can catch someone with injuries doing something they shouldn’t be. For example, if you are complaining about neck and back pain but show yourself on a rollercoaster – that could pose a problem, or if you are claiming your knee hurts so bad you can’t walk but brag about skateboarding this could pose a problem! Many people post things without even giving it a second thought, but you must use caution when you have an accident claim. Make sure you check your pictures! Facebook has a new privacy level so some of your photos uploaded by a mobile device (phone or tablet) AUTOMATICALLY are public unless you change the privacy option. How do you find out if this is happening to you? Go to a search engine and type in your name and see what pops up. One of the employees here at Phillips and Lyon did that and was shocked to find pictures of her daughter and her vacation from Facebook and Instagram were online for everyone to see. If your pictures show up public you just have to log onto the site […]

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