Posts Tagged ‘Tucson personal injury lawyer’

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.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse, Part 1: Recognizing Bedsores

With over 15,000 nursing homes in America and 1.4 million residents, long-term skilled nursing care is big business. And the numbers are only growing as baby boomers live longer due to outstanding advances in healthcare. However, as with any business, there are those who are motivated by greed more than compassion. Every year, hundreds of thousands of innocent seniors are afflicted with painful and dangerous bedsores. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that nearly 159,000 seniors suffered from bedsores in 2004 alone. Arizona has emerged as one of the hottest retirement destinations in the U.S., and for good reason. Arizona has a moderate and dry climate, wonderful nightlife and entertainment, and it can boast a tremendous outdoors lifestyle 12 months of the year. It is no wonder so many people choose to retire in Arizona. However, with the influx of retirees comes the necessary increase in hospital and skilled nursing beds. Unfortunately, even nursing homes that appear otherwise beautiful at first inspection may have serious staffing and training problems. Thus, family members who have loved ones in nursing homes or preparing for nursing home residency should pay close attention to certain warning signs of abuse and neglect.

What is a bedsore?

A bedsore is really anything but a sore. It is really a wound. The medical term for a bedsore is a decubitus ulcer, also referred to as a pressure ulcer. Everyone has several layers of skin that cover their muscle, bone, and underlying fatty tissue. When a person is active and mobile, the tissue gets adequate oxygen from healthy blood supply. However, once a person – even a healthy person – becomes bed bound or immobile, things change. First, the bones begin to rest against the fatty tissue internally and create pressure on the underlying tissue. Second, this pressure creates what is best described as bruising. Finally, with time, if the person is not repositioned and adequately bathed, fed, and hydrated, the bruising will become worse, leading to skin breakdown. Ultimately, if not properly treated, that tiny wound can quickly become a horrible, open and infected wound. And yes, they can be fatal.

Bedsore Stages

Bedsores come in 4 varieties. Each of the “stages,” as they are called, is simply a step in the progression of an ulcer. Stage I includes small red marks where underlying tissue begins to bruise and become compromised. On the surface, you will likely only see redness, or it might appear like a small bruise. Quickly, those small stage I sores can progress to Stage II, which will appear more like a blister. The underlying tissue is now becoming damaged and beginning to rupture toward the surface. If not aggressively treated, Stage III will occur. Once at this point, the wound typically will begin to open, exposing underlying tissue. Dead skin will begin to appear, and this will be quite obvious, even to an untrained eye.  Finally, if not properly treated, the wound will deteriorate to Stage IV, which includes complete necrosis of the skin and underlying tissue becomes visible, such as muscle and even bone. Skin will actually turn a grey or yellowish color and begin to fall off (also known as slough). It is at this stage that serious infections often also occur. If the person becomes septic, death will typically occur very rapidly. Aggressive treatment must start. For elderly patients with other health problems, antibiotics and other treatments may be limited.

What to do

Medicare defines bedsores as a “never-event,” meaning they should never happen in a healthcare setting. Likewise, research proves time and again that 95% of bedsores are completely preventable. Ultimately, do not sign any waivers. Do not allow the nursing home to prevent you from seeing your loved one. And most importantly, call an experienced Tucson personal injury lawyer who can help you advocate for the resident’s rights.

Back to the Basics – Do I Need an Attorney?

The process of seeing a case from start to finish requires that many difficult decisions be made.  Having an attorney to guide you through the process and represent you throughout the pendency of your case is one of the biggest benefits to hiring counsel.   It is ironic then, that when faced with a situation where their rights or liberty have been challenged,  some clients have a hard time deciding whether or not they need to hire an attorney in the first place. If you are considering hiring an attorney, and are not sure whether you should reach out, here are some points to consider. The Protections Afforded to you by the Law are Expansive In its truest form, the law is designed to protect the people.  Most individuals are aware of their rights when it comes to things like car accidents.  If you are involved in a car accident, and the other party is to blame, you know that you are entitled to some form of recompense.  Similarly, most people are aware that if you slip and fall in a grocery store, you may want to speak to an attorney.  But what about situations that are a bit more convoluted? For example, you might think that signing a waiver upon engaging in certain activities precludes you from any sort of compensation if you are injured while engaging in said activities.  This is not necessarily true.  Depending on the circumstances of your injury, an attorney may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries. The law is complex.  Do not let someone bully you into thinking that your situation is hopeless.  Speaking to a practitioner of the law –even when you doubt that you might have a case- is your best bet of understanding your rights. Time is of the Essence The adage “The early bird gets the worm” applies to the majority of legal cases for two.  The more technical reason is that most claims are limited by what is called the statute of limitations.  What this means, essentially, is that you only have a specific window of time to file your claim before you lose the right to do so.  Failure to consult with a lawyer in time could result in you losing on a claim before you even get the chance to file. From a practical standpoint, filing sooner than later also results in an earlier resolution of any potential claim.  The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner you can receive the relief to which you are entitled. What do you Stand to Lose? One of the most important things to remember is that there is nothing that you can do to worsen a situation by speaking to a lawyer.  A good number of Tucson personal injury lawyers are willing to offer a free consultation to potential clients.  During this consultation session, an attorney will hear your issue, and assess any potential claims or defenses that you might have.  This helps to ensure that you are aware of the true benefits of securing representation, and allows you to weigh them against any potential costs. What may initially seem to be inconsequential, can quickly grow into something more.  Make sure that you know your options, and have time to discuss them with a qualified advocate before any decisions have to be made. Reach Out Today If you are considering reaching out to an attorney, it is likely that you think you may have something to lose, and need help protecting your interests.  The team at the Hofmann Law Offices has years of experience in dealing with matters ranging from medical malpractice to criminal defense.  We believe in the importance of honesty in dealing with our clients, and are dedicated to the idea that each client is an individual, requiring treatment specific to their individual needs.  If you have questions, reach out to our offices today.  We offer free initial consultations, and our 7 Personal Injury Guarantees ensure that you will receive the representation to which you are entitled.   Contact our offices, and let our team provide you with the representation that you deserve.

Drowsy Driving is Dangerous Driving. Get Off the Road and Get Some Sleep

You know about the dangers of drinking and driving. Victims of drunk drivers make up approximately one third of all traffic deaths in the United States every year. In recent years, the dangers of using a cell phone while driving have also been highlighted and compared with the dangers of drunk driving. But there is another category of drivers that put other motorists and pedestrians in danger when they drive: exhausted drivers. The greatest danger of tired driving is the lack of a metric against which to measure a driver’s level of drowsiness. When an individual drinks alcohol, his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) rises. This can be measured with a Breathalyzer test. If a driver was on his or her phone when an accident occurred, this can be verified by checking his or her phone record. But there is no way to tell how tired an individual felt when he or she was involved in a car accident. Without a standard for knowing how tired is too tired to drive, many drivers opt to get behind the wheel without considering the dangers of driving without adequate sleep. If you are injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you might be entitled to file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for your damages.

Symptoms of Drowsy Driving

When individuals are tired, they often experience the following:
  • Increased irritability and aggression
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Impaired vision
  • Inhibited judgment abilities
  • Lowered ability to perceive and react to obstacles
These symptoms are not unlike the symptoms experienced by drunk drivers.

Tips for Staying Safe and Alert

You can considerably reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident by making sure that you are always completely alert and aware every time you drive. Keep the following tips in mind next time you drive to avoid a Tucson personal injury:
  • If you can, avoid driving when you would normally be sleeping. Your body follows a circadian rhythm, which is your sleep cycle. If you are normally asleep between the hours of midnight and 6 AM, driving during this time could put you at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.
  • If you plan to drive a long distance after eating a meal, be sure to consume an adequate amount of protein with your meal. Protein provides energy and can be found in foods like beans, eggs, and meat. Steer clear of large amounts of starchy foods like pasta and rice, which give short bursts of energy followed by a “carbohydrate crash.”
  • Listen to music while you are driving or carry on a conversation with your passenger. The aural stimulation of the radio or a conversation can actually help you stay focused on driving by keeping you alert.
  • Drink caffeinated beverages before and during your drive. This can include coffee, tea, or soda. Avoid alcohol, which can make you more tired and impair your driving ability.

Tucson Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in a car accident and want to seek monetary compensation for your expenses, contact Hofmann Law Offices PLLC to schedule your legal consultation with a Tucson personal injury lawyer at our firm. We are a team of skilled personal injury attorneys who can guide you through the claims process and help you get the money you deserve.

The Dangers of Texting While Driving

As technology marches on, new dangers enter our lives and change the ways we previously lived, worked, and moved through our world. One prominent example of this is the increasing popularity of cell phones. As of 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone. In 2000, only 28.3% of American adults reported that they owned cell phones. Most users do more than talk on their phones. They text message, browse the internet, and use apps like GPS programs while driving. All of these activities can be incredibly dangerous for the driver as well as other motorists and pedestrians. Recent studies have shown that cell phone use while driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk. If a driver was on their cell phone when a car accident occurred, it is almost guaranteed that they will be found responsible for the accident. Currently, Arizona does not have a statewide ban on cell phone use while driving. In Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff, drivers are barred from text messaging and face fines of up to $250 if they cause an accident while texting.

Keeping Yourself Distraction-Free While Driving

When you drive, it is important that you eliminate all possible distractions to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. One of the easiest distractions to remove is your cell phone. If you need to talk on the phone while driving, consider using a Bluetooth headset. This headset eliminates the need to use your hands to operate your phone allowing you to keep both hands on the wheel. If you are driving with a passenger, ask him or her to take on all cell phone duties while you drive. He or she can look up directions and answer any calls or messages that come through for you. Put your phone out of reach when you are driving if you know you can not resist using it. Put it in your glove compartment or in the back seat to make it impossible to reach. You can also set it to silent when you do this to further eliminate the distraction it provides. If you need to use your phone’s GPS while driving, plug in the address before you leave your origin and do not touch the phone again until you reach your destination. Turn on the narration to have your phone verbally direct you toward your destination.

Tucson Personal Injury Lawyer

Cell phone use is ubiquitous on American roadways. If you have been injured in a car accident, regardless of whether you or the other driver was using a cell phone when it occurred, contact Hofmann Law Offices PLLC to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury claim and recovering monetary compensation for your damages. Our Tucson personal injury lawyers are here to answer any questions you have and give you expert legal advice and representation as you work through the personal injury claim process. Do not wait to contact Hofmann Law Offices to schedule your initial legal consultation.


(520) 797-1041

Street Address
7440 N. Oracle Rd. Bldg. 5
Tucson, AZ 85704

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