Posts Tagged ‘personal injury’

Who Is Liable When Poor Road Conditions Cause a Car Accident?

When two or more vehicles are involved in a car accident in Tucson, it is fairly simple to determine liability and who is responsible for paying for damages. However, when a driver hits a pothole, pops a tire, swerves into oncoming traffic, and runs head first into an oncoming vehicle, is the accident really the driver’s fault, or is it the pothole’s fault? Poor road conditions can cause any number of accidents, ranging from popped tires to full-on collisions and pileups. Because of this, it is the job of the Arizona government to maintain roadways and keep them relatively safe ( But where does the State’s liability begin, and where does it end? Arizona’s Liability for Poor Road Conditions According to ARS 12-820.03, neither a public entity nor its employers shall be held liable for any injuries sustained as a result of a poor plan or design for road construction, maintenance, or improvement to highways, roads, streets, bridges, or rights-of-way if the plan was prepared in accordance with the most up-to-date engineering and design standards. However, the State may be liable if it fails to provide adequate warning to drivers of road construction or any other dangerous hazards that lay ahead. Poor road conditions, or “dangerous hazards,” may include:
  • Confusing, damaged, or missing signs;
  • Unsalted or unplowed roads during the winter time;
  • Blind curves and poorly banked roads;
  • Missing or poorly placed traffic signals;
  • Uneven shoulders or improperly graded curves;
  • Vision obstructions, such as poor landscaping;
  • Overly bright street lights;
  • Unclear or missing road markings;
  • Wrong road materials;
  • Low bridges or incorrect measurement markings; and
  • Broken guardrails.
It is important to note that while the state and city governments are responsible for maintaining safe road conditions, they can and do subcontract out a majority of the roadwork. In the event that they do, both the government agency and the agency that was hired to build or maintain the roads may be held liable. Bringing a Personal Injury Claim Against a Government Agency It can be extremely difficult to bring a claim against the government, which is why we recommend hiring a Tucson personal injury lawyer to help you. At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, our experienced attorneys understand the laws protecting government entities, and regularly help clients navigate those laws so that may file a claim and achieve a successful outcome despite any immunity that the government agency should have. When it comes to personal injuries sustained as a result of poor road conditions, most government agencies have immunity from lawsuits, meaning that they cannot be sued. However, those same agencies have exceptions to their immunity laws, and allow themselves to be sued if certain conditions are met. Most states and cities consider gross negligence to be an exception. In order to prove that your accident was the result of gross negligence, you must be able to submit evidence proving the following:
  • The roadway hazard was unreasonably dangerous and posed an unreasonable risk of harm;
  • It was obvious that the roadway hazard would lead to an accident;
  • The city or state government agency was informed of this hazard, or had prior knowledge of it and still failed to remedy it; and
  • The defect or hazard was the direct cause of the accident.
If you can prove each of the above following circumstances, you may have a successful personal injury claim on your hands. However, because you are dealing with a government agency, you must adhere to strict statutes of limitations, which, according to ARS, is 180 days after “the cause of action accrues.” Or in other words, “when the plaintiff discovers or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered that he or she has been injured by a particular defendant’s negligent conduct.” Additionally, filing a claim against a government entity requires much more diligence and jumping through hoops than filing a typical personal injury claim in Tucson. For instance, a notice-of-claim must be hand-delivered to the proper recipient, be it an employee, officer, group, or body (ARS Consult a Tucson Personal Injury Attorney At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, we can help you file a successful claim against the state or government agency that was responsible for your car accident and personal injury. Our Tucson car accident attorneys can review your case and determine what evidence is necessary to prove gross negligence by the state, as well as adhere to the stringent guidelines for suing a government agency. If you have recently been involved in a car accident that was the direct result of poor road conditions, contact our Tucson personal injury law firm at 520-797-1041 to schedule a private consultation today.

Understanding Your Rights as the Passenger of the At-Fault Vehicle

Everyone 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.

What Do I Do After a Personal Injury From a Car Accident?

Car 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 Attention

Your 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, are as follows:
  • Dizziness,
  • Numbness, and
  • General pain.
If the injuries are serious, an immediate trip to the hospital may be inevitable. However, in most cases, car accident victims should see a doctor right after documenting the accident, taking photos, and exchanging information with the other involved parties if possible.

Step #2: Document and Report the Accident

Car 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 Attorney

Having 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, AZ

Hofmann 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.

Why Follow Doctor’s Orders for Personal Injury Cases?

When 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.


Directly 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.


Initial 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.


Detailed 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.


When 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.
This can commonly occur if a medical assistant has not properly transcribed a doctor’s notes during their evaluation of a patient. A personal injury lawyer, such as the experienced attorneys at Hofmann Law Offices PLLC, knows how to handle these situations. Tucson, AZ Personal Injury Lawyer Hofmann 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 are the victim of a personal injury or are seeking representation for a car accident claim, call Hofmann Law Office PLLC at 520-797-1041 or visit our website and fill out our contact form for your free consultation.

Why Following Your Doctor’s Recommendations is Important in a Personal Injury Case

When 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.


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