Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a very stressful situation as you try to recover from your injuries and resolve financial issues. The stress is compounded if the driver who is at fault for the accident does not have insurance or only carries the minimum coverage, which does not cover your costs.

To put yourself in the best position possible, you should add as much Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage to your insurance as you can afford.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage was designed to provide a source of recovery when a driver without any insurance causes harm. UM coverage is paid by your insurance company to cover the costs incurred due to the accident.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage will protect you if the at-fault driver has insurance that isn’t sufficient to cover your costs. With UIM coverage, your insurance company pays you the damages that you would have recovered had the other driver carried full coverage.

There are thousands of drivers on the road who are uninsured or underinsured and they cannot cover your losses. Medical bills, hospital stays, medications, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injuries will all be covered, subject to the policy limit.

Your attorney will need to present evidence proving the other driver was at fault and that the insurance policy does not cover the complete costs of the injuries sustained. Technically, you are filing a claim against your own insurance policy. While this may sound strange, just remember that you paid for this coverage to protect you in precisely these types of situations.

In some cases, your insurance company will attempt to deny at UM/UIM claim. It is always best to be represented by an attorney from the very beginning of your case. The Law Office of Thomas Grier has successfully litigated UM/UIM coverage matters.

If you have additional questions about UM/UIM coverage, please call us at 480-788-5293.

A gap in treatment is a period of time when there is no documented medical treatment. For example, if you are involved in an accident and do not seek medical attention for over 30 days, there is a 30-day gap in treatment. A second type of gap can occur if you take an extended break between treatments. If you’ve been receiving consistent treatment and then stop for four months before making another appointment, this is also considered a gap in treatment.

Can a gap in treatment hurt my personal injury claim?

A gap in treatment can suggest different things. In the first example, the gap in treatment would imply that you are not severely hurt. In the second example, the gap may suggest that you have recovered and any treatment after the gap is due to another cause. Either type of gap will negatively impact your settlement.

Any gap in treatment will create doubt about the severity of your injuries or your credibility. Even if you can justify your delay in treatment, your reasons will never eliminate the doubt in the minds of those charged with making decisions about your case.

See a nurse practitioner or secondary therapist who may have more time f your doctor or therapist cannot fit you into their schedule in a timely manner. It is important to be proactive in your personal injury case. Being flexible and proactive will protect your health and your claim as you recover. Call The Law Office of Thomas Grier today to discuss the details of your case.

After an accident, one of the hardest parts about collecting on your claim is proving the damage to your vehicle to the insurance company. Damage cause by the accident could be misconstrued as preexisting damage. Damage caused to your engine may result in engine failure…but if your engine had over 100,000 miles on it, does the insurance company owe you a brand new engine? Situations such as these are where insurance companies can get stubborn.

Proof of property damage should include photos of your vehicle from before and after the accident, any invoices proving upgrades such as new tires or engine repairs, and the testimony of mechanics.

By law, insurance companies are requires to pay you the reasonable market valued of a totaled vehicle or to repair your vehicle to its “pre-accident” condition. However, insurance companies will commonly make low ball offers on totaled vehicles or try using after-markets parts in the repair of your damaged vehicle. If your insurance company is acting unreasonably, your last option may be taking your claim to court.

At The Law Office of Thomas Grier, we know what tricks the insurance companies may try in an effort to pay you as little as possible. Let us handle your claim with the insurance company to make sure you get fair compensation for your property damage.

Rear end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents, but these accidents are easy to prevent with a few basic precautions.

When Following Another Car

  • Leave plenty of space between your car and the one you are following to give yourself a safety cushion. Be aware when the distance between your car and the one ahead starts to shrink, this is a warning sign to slow down to maintain your cushion.
  • Be aware of possible problems that may develop for the driver ahead. Knowing what the other driver will encounter will give you more time to react in the event of an emergency.
  • If the driver ahead is planning to make a left turn, slow down and be prepared to stop if needed.
  • Never drive when you are tired, dizzy, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These factors can slow your reaction time and make a rear end collision more likely.

When Another Car is Following You

Although the tailgating driver is usually found liable in a rear end collision, there are ways you can help to prevent these types of accidents.

  • Check your mirrors often, at least every five to eight seconds. Be especially cautious at traffic lights and stop signs, as these are common spots for rear end collisions.
  • Be aware of a possible emergency escape route, such as a left turn lane, shoulder, or sidewalk.
  • Try to avoid braking suddenly, as this may not give the driver behind you enough time to react.

Rear end collisions often result in whiplash, which can cause long term pain. If you or someone you know has been injured in a rear end collision, contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier to help you get the compensation you are entitled for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses.

Many accidents that happen in the East Valley could have easily been prevented if drivers had simply shown more caution and care. Parking lots are one place where accidents can be easily avoided. Here are a few tips to keep yourself, and others, safe when parking.

  1. Expect other drivers to behave horribly
    Always expect the unexpected. Drivers will be distracted by their cell phones, music, or passengers. Being extra vigilant in your driving can save you the headache of a car accident.
  2. Slow down
    A shopping center isn’t the right place to practice for Nascar. Make a conscious effort to slow down. Limiting your speed through a parking lot will increase your perspective as you watch for hazards.
  3. Always be looking for pedestrians
    Even if you don’t visibly see any pedestrians, drive as if someone could jump out in front of your car at any minute. Whether it’s a young child or a careless adult, its easy for pedestrians to lower their guard as they walk through parking lots…so its best to increase yours!
  4. Exercise safe driving protocol
    Turn your music down (or off) and end conversations with passengers to increase your concentration. Using your signals to indicate your intentions is just as important in parking lots as it is out on the road. Consistently be checking blind spots to be fully aware of your surroundings.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident in a parking lot (or elsewhere), contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier to discuss your case and seek compensation.

As if getting into a car accident isn’t bad enough, many injured drivers face the risk of losing valuable time from work. If you have suffered injuries from an auto accident and are unable to work for any period of time, you may be entitled to recover damages for lost wages. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the amount of time missed from work, you may also be able to seek compensation for pensions, bonuses, commissions, and increases in salary tied to changes in the cost of living.

From the moment of your accident, it is important to begin collecting documentation. Doctor’s notes, pay stubs, and employer’s notes to show time missed from work as well as lost wages are important to your case. (If you are self-employed, getting proper documentation may be more difficult but a skilled attorney can help you through the process.)

Even if you are able to return to work after your accident, whether in a reduced capacity or diminished hours, you can still make a claim for lost wages. Getting into a car accident can be financially difficult and recovering your lost wages can seem overwhelming. Let an experienced attorney help you every step of the way. Contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier today for a consultation.

Dealing with an insurance company is something everyone seems to dread. Here are a few tips to help your next communication with your insurance company a little easier.

  1. Don’t trust your insurance agent blindly!
    Insurance agents are often hired because of their charisma and ability to charm customers, not necessarily on their knowledge. Make sure you do your own research in determining which policy is right for your needs.
  2. Keep notes on your policy!
    Write down everything your agent tells you and keep any promotional material you are given when you sign for a new insurance policy. If you ever feel that your agent is misleading you, either intentionally or not, refer back to your notes to get what was actually promised to you.
  3. Read everything in entirety!
    Insist on getting copies of your final application and policy and read through it thoroughly. Pay special attention to the policy’s exclusions and do not hesitate to ask questions about anything you do not understand.
  4. Be honest and careful when making a claim!
    Never lie or exaggerate on your claim. This can lead to forfeiture of payment from your insurance company and you could end up with nothing. Consulting a personal injury attorney before settling on a payment amount will ensure you are getting a fair settlement.
  5. Remember its just a game to them!
    The insurance company’s job is to pay you as little as possible. Keep this in mind when dealing with them and know your rights if you feel you are being offered less than you deserve.

These five tips will hopefully make your next experience with your insurance company a little smoother. If you feel you are being mistreated or aren’t able to negotiate a fair settlement, The Law Office of Thomas Grier can help. We have years of experience dealing with the insurance companies and know how to get you the full compensation that you deserve.

Riding a bicycle anywhere in Arizona can be risky. Bikes are particularly susceptible to accidents caused by road hazards. Because of the relative instability of bikes and thin tires, unexpected changes to the road surface can cause even experienced cyclists to lose control, fall, or veer into the path of a car.

Common road hazards that can lead to a bicycle crash or injury include:
• Sewer grates
• Potholes
• Railroad tracks
• Other road obstacles

ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY POTHOLES

Potholes generally occur for one of two reasons: shoddy temporary fixes that sink or crack soon after completion, or long-term wear and tear on the road causes surface breaks. If the pothole is a result of shoddy road work, the public entity performing the roadwork may be held responsible, depending on whether sufficient warning of the hazard was given. If the pothole is a result of long-term wear and tear, determining fault becomes a question of whether the roadway agency was negligent and how long the pothole has been present.

ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY SEWER GRATES

Sewer grates can be a very serious danger to cyclists. Due to many outspoken bicyclists, many cities and counties have changed the shape or direction of sewer grates to make them safer for cyclists. But many dangerous grates will exist on public roadways. If a cyclist is injured in an accident caused by a sewer grate, an argument may be presented that bikers have a right to ride on a safe road and unsafe sewer grates can present an unexpected hazard.

ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY RAILROAD TRACKS

The public entity’s liability for a bike accident caused by railroad tracks depends on two parts:

First, what is the rail position? Tracks that run in the direction of traffic or cross on a curve are dangerous to cyclists. Tracks that are perpendicular to the road are not particularly dangerous. Second, what has been done by the public entity to reduce the hazard? Could they be removed or covered up if no longer in use? Did the public entity provide sufficient warning to the cyclists?

If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident caused by road hazards, contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier to discuss your case and review your options.

When driving, there is an expectation that the roads will be safe and well maintained. State and local authorities are responsible for maintaining the conditions of the road, but if they are negligent in doing so it can be dangerous for drivers who need to travel on those roads.

Safe road design requires that road users must have sufficient time to be able to see, process, and react to information. These standards are even more critical for motorcyclists as errors can have more severe consequences. When a necessary design element is overlooked or not used properly, road conditions become dangerous for even the most cautious driver. Some of the types of defective designs that can lead to serious injuries in a crash include:

•Faulty traffic lights
•Lack of stoplights or signs
•Dangerous speed limits
•Inadequate shoulder areas
•Dangerous barricades
•Inadequate lighting
•Overly narrow lanes
•Missing or defective guardrails
•Inadequate water drainage
•Potholes
•Vegetation overgrowth
•Structural problems
•and more

If you are involved in an accident due to any type of road defect, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. The Law Office of Thomas Grier has the experience and resources to handle your case and is here to help you.

Any car accident, from catastrophic collisions to simple fender-benders, is a traumatic event. The force involved when a vehicle hits (or is hit by) something can be intense. When people are involved in a car accident that seems minor, injury symptoms will often go unnoticed for a variety of reasons. Seeking medical care immediately after a car accident in important for not only your well-being but also to protect your rights in your case, so it is important to monitor your injuries following any car accident.

Adrenaline Rush
Car accidents can be exciting…not “exciting” in the fun sense, but definitely exciting from a physiological perspective. Your body will produce extra adrenaline and endorphins, which will increase your energy level, strengthen your body, and can even block the pain. Just because you feel fine immediately following a car accident, it doesn’t mean you really are fine. Once the extra release of chemicals in your body subside, the pain from unseen injuries will begin to set in.

Soft Tissue Injuries
A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts other than bone…muscles, ligaments, and tendons are all considered soft tissue. The most common damage to soft tissue to car accidents in “whiplash”, an injury to your neck muscles caused by the head suddenly, and forcefully, being thrown forward and then back. Soft tissue damage could take days, even weeks, to fully manifest.

Concussions
Your brain is well-protected by your skull, but during the impact of a car accident your brain could kit the inner portion of your skull with great force, resulting in a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion do not show up immediately and can include forgetfulness, loss of concentration, clouded thinking, blurry vision, nausea, and lack of energy.

After a car accident, it is important to see a doctor right away, even if you believe you are uninjured. Your doctor will be able to determine whether any serious injuries incurred as well as give you advice on monitoring symptoms of potential injuries that may show up later. Documenting your injuries is a crucial aspect of your personal injury claim. The Law Office of Thomas Grier can help you through the claims process, allowing you to focus on your health instead of dealing with the insurance company on your own.