Legal Blog

When Are Car Accidents Most Likely to Happen?

When Are Car Accidents Most Likely to Happen?

Unfortunately, car accidents are common in Arizona.  According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), nearly 110,000 traffic accidents occurred statewide in 2014 alone – a number that averages out to approximately 300 accidents each day, or about 12.5 accidents per hour.  As car accident lawyer Jerrold Mayro will examine in this article, some of the key factors which contribute to the occurrence of auto accidents are the setting, the weather, the time of year, and even the specific time of day. 2014 Arizona Car Accident Statistics: Deaths and Injuries Each year, the Arizona DOT publishes an extensive report analyzing the annual “Motor Vehicle Crash Facts for the State of Arizona.”  The 2014 report found the following data. Among the 109,554 total accidents which occurred, the vast majority resulted in only property damage (74,395).  Another 34,451 resulted in injury, while 708 accidents resulted in death.  In other words: Property Damage Only – Nearly 70% of all accidents Personal Injury – About 31.5% of all accidents Death – 0.64% of all accidents Some of these numbers represent an increase from 2013, while others represent a decline.  While 75 fewer deaths occurred in 2014 (decreasing from 849 to 774, or a -8.83% change), the total number of accidents actually increased by 1.93%, rising from 107,477 the previous year.  The number of injuries also increased, rising from 50,389 in 2013 to 50,890 in 2014, an increase of 0.99%.  Notice the number of injuries is greater than the number of accidents resulting in injuries, as many accidents result in multiple injuries (e.g. broken bones, lacerations) to one or more vehicle occupants. Needless to say, human factors like speeding, tailgating, failure to signal, failure to...
What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

Auto accidents rank among the leading causes of death and injury in the United States.  However, studies have shown that typical injuries resulting from car accidents vary widely depending on factors like age, gender, and type of accident.  If you were seriously injured in a car accident in Arizona, personal injury lawyer Jerrold Mayro may be able to help you get compensated for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries. DOT Reports on 2013 Arizona Car Accident Statistics A report titled “2013 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts for the State of Arizona” compiled by the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) reports the following statistics: Total crashes – 107,348 Crashes resulting in property damage only – 72,524 Crashes resulting in injury – 34,047 Fatal crashes – 777 If you were to distribute these numbers evenly across the course of the year, you would find an average of about 8,945 accidents per month, or almost 300 accidents each day. The majority of fatal crashes (472 accidents) involved multiple vehicles, while approximately one third of fatal accidents (245) were alcohol-related. The study also found that some types of vehicles were more statistically likely to be involved in auto accidents, as the following numbers demonstrate: Motorcycle accidents – 3,081 Bicycle accidents – 2,039 Pedestrian accidents – 1,596 Single-vehicle accidents – 19,053 Multi-vehicle accidents – 88,295 As these statistics make amply clear, automotive accidents are all too common in the state of Arizona.  While fatal crashes were relatively rare, comprising only about 0.72% of all crashes reported in 2013, a much larger portion of accidents resulted in injuries: an alarming 31.72%, or about one in three people. ...
Who is Liable to Pay for Car Accidents?

Who is Liable to Pay for Car Accidents?

After you’ve been in a serious car accident, there are dozens of questions racing through your mind: how long will it take to recover from your injuries?  How much is medical treatment going to cost?  How expensive will it be to repair or replace your damaged vehicle?  Can you file a lawsuit?  Yet there is one underlying question that goes to the heart of all of these concerns: the question of who pays.  In other words, who takes financial responsibility for the accident?  You, or the other driver?  Is liability all-or-nothing, or will it be divided between both parties?  It can be a complicated issue to tackle — particularly when you’re already busy juggling medical bills, insurance paperwork, and absences from work.  In this article, car accident lawyer Jerrold Mayro will go over the basics of how car accident liability works in Arizona. Fault vs. No-Fault You’ve probably heard the term “no-fault” but what does it mean? No-Fault auto insurance often refers to state law requiring one’s own auto insurance company to pay its own insured’s medical bills as a result of a car accident.  This is not the case in every state. Two categories of how states handle who pays your medical bills caused by a motor vehicle accident include: fault states (which represent the majority), and no-fault states (which represent the minority).  Arizona is a fault state — but what does that mean for accident victims?  What’s the difference between these two systems? Let’s compare Arizona to Pennsylvania. Under Arizona law, if the other driver has fault, that other driver’s insurance is responsible to pay for the value of your medical bills.  The...
Do Car Accidents Need to Be Reported to the Police?

Do Car Accidents Need to Be Reported to the Police?

Your car has just collided with another vehicle.  You’re out on the back roads of a small Arizona town, miles away from civilization.  The only people who witnessed the accident are you and the other driver.  You exchange your information, take photos of the wreckage, and call a car accident lawyer – but what should you do about the police?  You  feel pain.  Do they need to be notified about the accident, too? Do the police have to make a report?  And how can plaintiffs benefit from filing (and obtaining a copy of) the police report? Notifying the Police is Mandatory for Car Accidents with Injuries As we’ve covered in a previous article, state law requires Arizona drivers to take three steps after appropriately stopping and remaining after a car accident. The first step includes calling 911 or otherwise obtaining medical assistance for anyone who was injured in the crash.  The second step is sharing your name, address, and vehicle registration number – otherwise you may be charged with a crime.  The third step is showing the other driver your license upon request.  (You can read about these laws in detail at A.R.S. § 28-661, A.R.S. § 28-662, and A.R.S. § 28-663, three statutes which address Arizona’s laws for drivers following auto accidents.) But what about notifying the police? If the accident resulted in injury to any party, including non-vehicle occupants like nearby pedestrians or cyclists, you are required by law to report the accident to law enforcement.  Reporting injuries is absolutely mandatory, not a choice.  In accordance with A.R.S. § 28-666, “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting...
You’ve Been Told You Have “Full Coverage” Under Your AZ Auto Policy. Big Problem?

You’ve Been Told You Have “Full Coverage” Under Your AZ Auto Policy. Big Problem?

A potential new client calls: “I’ve just been rear-ended in a vehicle crash.  I am injured. The other driver said he has no insurance.” I then ask the question: “Do you have uninsured motorist coverage on the policy covering your vehicle?” I get THE answer: “Yes, I have ‘full coverage.’ ” (Attorney Note:  Determining all coverages under all policies in existence at the time of the crash is a must!) Does “Full Coverage” mean you have “Uninsured Motorist Coverage?” You have been told you have “full coverage.”  You may not have uninsured motorist coverage.  Uninsured motorist coverage is not legally required.  Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional coverage.  Uninsured motorist coverage is relatively inexpensive.  If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, trouble may be on the way. Example: You’re on the I-10, driving without a care in the world. Wham! Rear ended. The other driver gives you his insurance company and policy number covering his car. You are in pain. You go home. You call his insurance. Bad news. They never heard of him. They never heard of the vehicle he owned. The at-fault driver has no insurance. You know you have “full coverage.” You’ve been told you have “full coverage.” You say, “Okay, fine, I’ll go under my uninsured motorist coverage–it pays for the same bodily injury losses.” Worse news. You find out you have no uninsured motorist coverage. “Full coverage” does not necessarily mean you have uninsured motorist coverage. You find out “full does not mean full.” You have a problem. “Uninsured motorist coverage” is your protection against an uninsured at-fault driver. When you’ve been told you have...
What Counts as Aggressive Driving?

What Counts as Aggressive Driving?

It goes without saying that auto accidents can cause tremendous physical damage, not only to the vehicles themselves, but also to the vehicle occupants and any cyclists or pedestrians near the site. While all car accidents can be destructive, accidents caused by aggressive driving can be especially devastating because of the violent motions and excessive speeds which are often involved. But what, exactly, is aggressive driving?  Does Arizona have aggressive driving laws?  And, perhaps most importantly for auto accident victims, are aggressive drivers liable for  damages resulting from their behavior on the road?  What kinds of damages are available?  Car accident lawyer Jerrold Mayro explains the basics. Arizona Aggressive Driving Laws and Definitions You know an aggressive driver when you encounter one on the road — but how is aggressive driving actually defined by law? Unfortunately, many states have not formally enacted any aggressive driving legislation at all. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report of July 2015, notes only 15 states have addressed aggressive driving laws, among which only 11 actually passed laws specifically defining aggressive driving behaviors. Arizona is among these 11.  In accordance with A.R.S. § 28-695(A)(1), a motorist engages in aggressive driving when he or she creates an “immediate hazard to another person or vehicle” and: Either (1) violates A.R.S. § 28-701(A) by speeding on a highway, or (2) violates A.R.S. § 28-701.02 by speeding by excessive speed, and also engages in at least two of the following actions: Disregarding traffic lights, road signs, and other “traffic control devices.” “Overtaking and passing another vehicle on the right by driving off the pavement. …” Making an “unsafe lane change,” such as failing to signal. Tailgating (“following a vehicle too closely”). Failing to yield right-of-way. With regard...
Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident: Driver Responsibilities

Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident: Driver Responsibilities

After a car accident, most people will remain on the scene to share their contact information because they feel it’s simply the right thing to do.  But staying at the accident scene is more than just courteous: it’s required by law.  Should you ever find yourself in a crash or collision with another vehicle, do not panic and flee from the accident – criminal charges may result.  In this article, car accident lawyer Jerrold Mayro explains Arizona’s hit and run laws, including driver responsibilities, criminal penalties, and compensation for victims. Arizona Requirements for Drivers After a Car Accident The truth is, it’s impossible to predict how you’ll react to the trauma of a serious car accident.  Some people “freeze up,” others become emotional, and others describe entering a numb state of shock.  However you initially react, it is absolutely critical that you stifle and resist any temptation to flee the scene.  As countless hit and run defendants have learned the hard way, prematurely leaving the scene of an accident will not help you remain anonymous, will not help you avoid fines and payments, and will not prevent you from facing criminal charges.  On the contrary, fleeing the scene will simply make your financial and legal situation worse. Arizona’s hit and run laws are set forth in three different statutes as follows: A.R.S. § 28-661  – Accidents involving death or physical injuries; … A.R.S. § 28-662 – Accidents involving damage to vehicle; … A.R.S. § 28-663 – Duty to give information and assistance; …  (This statute applies to both accidents causing vehicle damage and accidents causing death or injury) Before we examine the criminal consequences of committing a hit and run,...
The “Unhappy Client Of The Large Law Firm” Phone Call

The “Unhappy Client Of The Large Law Firm” Phone Call

It happened again. I received a call from a dissatisfied client of a large law firm. His name was David. He wanted to switch attorneys. David felt the attorney who had been handling his injury case was not responsive enough nor knowledgeable enough. Initially, David had thought his case was going to be handled by that friendly, knowledgeable looking head of the firm appearing in the advertisement; little did he know that his case was destined to be delegated. Of course, this is not to say that a case will be delegated simply because a large law firm or any law firm is hired or that if delegated, the eventual attorney handling it will be less knowledgeable; but it is important to know who will be handling your file before you hire a law firm. An experienced attorney can make a difference. An experienced attorney may be able spot legal issues that may help increase the value of your case or help resolve it more quickly. For example, in an car crash injury case: Is the other driver’s insurance policy limit reachable as damages, thereby causing that insurance company to have to consider that its own driver and possibly that driver’s family members may be personally responsible for amounts over the limit? Are there potential punitive damages claims not payable under the insurance policy? Has there been an unreasonable delay in evaluating your claims for uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist benefits, thereby potentially causing a bad faith claim? Apart from the attorney’s level of knowledge, is he or she responsive to you? Is he or she respectful of you and...
Automobile Accident Statistics

Automobile Accident Statistics

In the Phoenix area, there are two major interstates (I-17 and I-10), several state highways, and numerous city and county roads. One of the things these roads have in common is the chance for an automobile accident to occur. And, in a city of over one million people with a large tourism base, there is certainly no shortage of automobiles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest statistics, in 2008 there were 583 fatalities caused by automobile accidents in Arizona. Thousands more suffered severe injuries. Fortunately, fatalities have declined from previous years due to a combination of better safety technology, driver awareness, and enforcement. Nationwide, the number of car accident related fatalities hovered around 42,000 for years and recently dipped to a little over 37,000. The statistics don’t mention the family members left behind. They don’t show the thousands of people who wind up paying thousands in doctor bills or figuring out new ways to navigate their lives after a life altering injury sustained in an automobile accident. While the decline in fatalities is good in the abstract, whenever I meet with a client who has lost a loved one or who has suffered a severe injury, I realize this is about more than statistics – much more. What is worse, I know that many of these accidents should never have happened. The statistics show that nearly a third of the fatalities may have been avoided had someone involved not been drinking. Another third might have survived had they worn their seatbelts. And what about distracted drivers who are texting or talking on their cell phones. That...
Truck Accidents and Driver Fatigue

Truck Accidents and Driver Fatigue

It is estimated that around 5,000 people are killed and around 150,000 are injured in the US each year as a result of truck accidents. Some of these accidents may involve drugs or alcohol, but driver fatigue is an even bigger factor. Driver fatigue is thought to play a role in nearly 40% of all truck accidents. Truck driver fatigue can be directly linked to the long hours and stressful schedules required by the trucking companies. In a rush to deliver their goods, truck drivers will often skip sleep, take drugs to stay awake, or simply ignore the maximum hours of service regulations. Unfortunately, this puts the rest of us in danger. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are maximum driving regulations for truck drivers. The following apply to a property carrying commercial motor vehicle where the employing carrier operates them not every day of the week, subject to exceptions. These driving regulations are: No more than 11 cumulative hours in a 14 hour period following ten consecutive hours off duty No more driving after 60 hours of being on duty in a seven consecutive day period. A seven consecutive day period may end with the beginning of 34 consecutive hours off duty These rules were put into place to address concerns of the number of truck accidents as the result of driver fatigue. Fatigue significantly increases the chance for a truck accident, which often results in severe injuries and multiple vehicle pileups. It is inexcusable for a truck driver to drive to the point of exhaustion, since it places all the lives of those who...