Posts Tagged ‘car accidents’
13 Jul2016Everyone understands what they need to do when they are the driver of a vehicle that was either hit by or that hit someone else, but not many people are sure where they stand as the passenger of a vehicle—especially if they are the passenger of the at-fault vehicle. Does being in the car with the at-fault driver automatically put them in a position of liability? If they suffered injuries from the accident as well, do they just have to live with them, or can they receive just compensation too? If they seek damages, against whom should they file a personal injury claim? If you were the passenger of the at-fault vehicle, understanding your rights can be difficult. At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, we can help you navigate these murky waters, and determine if and how you should file a personal injury claim. The Driver Has a Duty of Care to His or Her Passenger The driver of any motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft assumes an automatic obligation to drive carefully and safely, to prevent hitting other vehicles and obstacles in the road, and to prevent harm from happening to his or her passengers. This obligation is known as the duty of care, and should the driver fail to use due care, and should one of his or her passengers be injured or killed as a result, the passenger or the passenger’s survivors have a right to payment from the driver for injuries and losses sustained. A Passenger Cannot Be Negligent or At-Fault Additionally, the passenger of a motor vehicle is almost never at fault, and as a result, has the right to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company—even if the driver happens to be his or her friend, family member, or acquaintance. If you were recently in an accident in which your friend was the at-fault driver, and if you sustained serious injuries from that accident, it may be in your best interests to seek compensation for your injuries—especially if medical care is needed to heal. However, we understand how difficult it can be to file an insurance claim against your friend for your injuries. After all, your friend may misread the situation and assume that you are attacking them. However, the fact of the matter is that are not suing your friend, but rather, you are suing the insurance company. Your friend has insurance not only to protect him or herself, but also to provide for the injuries, deaths, and damages he or she causes, including injuries or deaths to his or her passengers. Before filing a personal injury claim, explain this to them – as well as your desire to be properly compensated for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering – and hopefully they will understand. Hire a Tucson Personal Injury Attorney At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights as the passenger of the at-fault vehicle, file a personal injury claim, and hopefully arm you with enough knowledge of personal injury law to thaw your friend in the event that they are upset with your decision to file a personal injury claim. To speak with a Tucson personal injury lawyer today about the steps you need to take to file a successful claim, call us at 1-520-797-1041 or 520-797-5674, or contact us online today.
07 Jun2016Car accidents can cause serious injuries, which sometimes are not discovered until later. For this reason, it is incredibly important to take the right steps following your personal injury or accident. In 2014 alone, the Arizona Department of Transportation reports that 31% of auto accidents that year involved injuries. When injured in a car accident, there are three important steps that should be taken to ensure the best outcome for your health and your claim.
Step #1: Seek Medical AttentionYour injuries may be worse than you realize. The shock of an auto accident may delay pain in injuries, so if you think you might have been injured, it is best to see a doctor immediately. Possible injuries to the head, neck, and back should be especially prioritized, as these are common issues following a car accident. Some common delayed symptoms, according to DMV.org, are as follows:
- Numbness, and
- General pain.
Step #2: Document and Report the AccidentCar accidents should be reported immediately to police. Obtain a copy of the accident report for your records and for use in in your claim. Take names and contact information of witnesses, as well as photos of personal injury and property damage as evidence. Do not forget to exchange insurance and contact information with any involved properties. Report the accident to your car insurance provider as soon as possible. This way, the settlement process begins, and any settlements are taken care of in a timely fashion. Review your insurance plan so your coverage options are fresh in your mind.
Step #3: Call Your Tucson Car Accident AttorneyHaving a professional review and guide you in a car accident claim, especially with personal injury, is the best thing you can do your claim and your own well-being. An experienced car accident attorney makes sure you receive the compensation and settlement owed to you following your injuries. Having an attorney at your side from start to finish makes the entire process easier to navigate, and provides you with peace of mind while you are recovering from or managing your injuries.
Car Accident Attorney in Tucson, AZHofmann Law Offices PLLC has been helping personal injury and car accident victims receive the settlements they deserve for over 20 years. We are also the only law firm to offer Seven Guarantees and a Bill of Rights to our clients in the Southern Arizona area. Our attorneys fight for the best possible outcome for each and every client, and take pride in our commitment to providing excellent service. If you have been injured in a car accident, or are seeking representation for a personal injury, call Hofmann Law Offices PLLC at 520-797-1041 or visit our website and fill out our contact form for your free consultation.
17 May2016When forming a personal injury case, medical records that detail injuries sustained and treatments are of the utmost importance. Anything that can aid in the establishing the origin of the injuries will benefit a personal injury case. To this effect, it is important for individuals pursuing a personal injury case to strictly follow his or her doctor’s orders.
TreatmentDirectly following an accident, if an individual has sustained injuries it is important to seek treatment right away. This is not only important for health and well-being concerns, but also provides a strong backing for a possible personal injury case. Judges will take into account if an individual sought treatment directly after an accident, or if he or she only went on the advice of an attorney. If the individual did not seek treatment immediately, it may make linking the injury to the accident that caused it more difficult. This also provides the defense with the option to argue the injury was part of a pre-existing condition, and was not sustained during the accident.
Follow-upInitial treatment is just part of a comprehensive treatment of personal injuries. Many symptoms do not show up until a few days or more after an accident has occurred, and many immediate injuries require sustained treatment. In this regard, it is important to properly document not just initial treatment received immediately after a car accident, but to also keep detailed records of any and all ongoing treatments. It is important for an individual pursuing a personal injury case to follow their doctor’s orders, as this lends credibility to the individual’s case. If an individual is not following their doctor’s orders and keeping up with treatment, this may lead to the conclusion that he or she had been lying about whether or not he or she was actually injured.
DocumentationDetailed medical records are a key factor in any personal injury case. It is important for any and all medical documents to clearly detail the date, the patient’s statements, and any clearly visible injuries the doctor may notice. An individual should always be upfront with their doctor, and should ask for the medical records to be detailed, including all these pieces of information.
MiscommunicationWhen collecting detailed records for a personal injury case, avoiding any possible miscommunications can benefit an individual’s efforts greatly. A personal injury lawyer can act as an important representative for the client. When provided with permission from the client, and with the correct contacts, a personal injury lawyer may discuss records and treatment with the doctor, ensuring that he or she:
- Records all relevant information, and
- Has not lost information in translation.
07 Apr2016From Arizona to Florida, there is a growing problem of drivers going the wrong direction on major highways. Some believe this may be due to poor engineering and increasingly complicated roadways. However, a recent accident in Tucson underscores the underlying DUI problem in America. Two people were killed in the early morning hours of March 19, 2016, when Stephanie Perez was travelling the wrong way down I-10 and collided with another vehicle. Police have not ruled out intoxication as a cause of the accident. Perez and the other driver were killed in the accident. As with many of these crashes, two more accidents were caused when other drivers could not avoid the crash scene. Five more drivers were injured in subsequent impacts, but none have died from their injuries. Wrong-way Driving a National Problem Wrong-way driving accidents are upwards of 30 times more likely to cause a fatality than other accidents, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 2012. That same report identified that nationally, although accounting for just 3% of all automobile accidents, wrong-way driving accounts for a disproportionate number of fatalities, mostly due to head-on collisions on high-speed roadways, such as interstates and major highways. Alcohol the Leading Cause It should come as no surprise that alcohol was by and large the greatest factor contributing to wrong-way driving accidents, with seven out of nine individuals investigated by the NTSB research study had BAC levels of 0.15 or higher at the time of their accidents. Of the 1,566 wrong-way driving accidents recorded between 2004 and 2009, 60% of them were classified as “drinking” and driving accidents. Compare this to only 22% of all accidents recorded nationally. When you add drugs, the number grows only slightly. Therefore, alcohol, more than drugs or any other contributing factor, is the biggest reason for these terrible crashes. Age a Contributing Factor While impaired driving is certainly the biggest reason for wrong-way collisions, states have reported that age also plays a significant role in risk. In North Carolina, approximately 17% of wrong-way drivers were over 65, while in Texas the number was closer to 13%. The NTSB reports that in the same period (2004-2009), roughly 15% of all wrong-way driving accidents were caused by drivers 70 or older. Wrong-way Driving Injuries When a driver goes against traffic at high rates of speed, it is very likely the person is either impaired or otherwise not thinking clearly. This act is highly reckless and puts the general public at great risk of injury and death. Arizona law allows you to be compensated when someone else carelessly and negligently causes you injuries. In some instances, serious and reckless conduct like wrong-way driving can create a presumption in your favor. If a wrong-way driver in Arizona has seriously injured you or someone you care about, you deserve the best legal team you can get. Know your rights. Contact the Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC for a free consultation today.
18 Feb2016When someone is injured in an auto accident in Arizona, one of the first things he or she must do is seek medical attention. Often, this means a trip to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic. What about the treatment plan? Especially in smaller accidents, people sometimes make the mistake of thinking they do not need to follow-up on prescriptions and other treatment instructions. Once they go home, they may not return to the doctor who treated them ever again. Even once a victim does get to see his or her primary care doctor, records from the first treating doctor may not be requested. Perhaps the injuries seem minor or feel as though they are going away. Whatever the reasons, people sometimes just fail to follow up on their treatment plans. Nevertheless, it is absolutely imperative to follow medical instructions closely. Here are a few considerations. Why did you stop taking your medication without asking your doctor? If your physician orders medication to be taken, you should continue taking it until instructed otherwise. If you have negative side effects or do not feel you need it anymore, consult your physician. Remember, you do not have to do everything a doctor says. It is your body, and you have a right to make those decisions. If you do not like your doctor or want a second opinion, it is always a good idea to go elsewhere. However, if you just stop taking prescribed medications without discussing it with your doctor, you make it look as though the injuries are not serious. You would be better if not for your failure to follow doctor’s orders. If your case is tried in court, a jury must determine whether your injuries were directly caused by the negligence of the other party. If someone causes your injury, but you make it worse due to ignoring helpful medical advice, it might be difficult for a jury to separate how much your actual injury should be compensated, as opposed to your current condition. A Prime Example Consider a patient who has knee surgery following an auto accident. After the surgery, the doctor instructs him to stay off his leg for at least two weeks and not attempt to walk on it until after he is seen for a follow-up appointment. The patient ignores the instructions and tries to put weight on the leg two days after the operation, causing him to stumble. Although the fall re-injures his knee, he also suffers a hip fracture, several torn ligaments, and permanent nerve damage. Although he should be compensated for the original injury, a jury may have a difficult time awarding significant compensation for his injuries, especially since it is difficult to separate how much of his pain and suffering is due to the original injury as opposed to the newly incurred complications. How a Lawyer Can Help Many injury victims fear the unknown. They worry that if they follow a doctor’s instructions, they may improve and no longer be eligible for compensation. On the other hand, some people worry that they will not be able to pay for extended medical treatment following an accident. Finally, some people simply have no health insurance and fear that they will be required to pay all of their bills with cash. The best way to understand your rights and make sure you get the compensation you deserve is to speak with an experienced Arizona injury lawyer. Licensed in California and Arizona, Hofmann Law Offices represents injury victims throughout Tucson and the surrounding areas. Call today for a free consultation.