In 2013, 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving is any activity that may divert a driver’s attention away from the task of driving, including eating, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, and texting. Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most distracting. Knowing of this danger, here are a few tips to help you focus more on your driving and less on your phone.

  1. Plan Ahead
    Before you start the car, think about all necessary texts that need to be sent. Doing this before you start your trip will allow you to focus on driving and not on your phone.
  2. Designated Texter
    If messages need to be sent during your trip, assign a passenger in the car to send texts for you while you are behind the wheel.
  3. Put It Away
    Out of sight, out of mind…put your phone somewhere you can’t peek at it. Try keeping it in your purse, glove compartment, or even the back seat.
  4. Silence Notifications
    By turning off the sounds you will be less tempted to check your phone. If necessary, turn your phone completely off while you are in the car.
  5. Practice Patience
    Before reaching for your phone while you are behind the wheel, consider whether that text is worth risking your safety and the safety of others in your car.
  6. Pull Over
    If you absolutely cannot wait, pull over safely. Once your car is safely parked, you can check your phone.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to distracted driving, contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier to discuss how to get the compensation you deserve.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that road rage “involved a criminal act of violence, whereas aggressive driving can range from tailgating to speeding to running red lights.” The NHTSA estimates that aggressive driving may account for about one-third of all crashes and about two-thirds of the resulting fatalities. The following precautions should be taken by all motorists to avoid any type of “road rage” incidents on Arizona’s roads.

1. Be well rested.
We all know how cranky we get without enough sleep…it can make us prone to feelings about annoyance, resentments, and even anger.

2. Plan ahead.
If you are rushing through traffic trying to make up time while on the road, you are more likely to get angry with a driver who is too slow or inadvertently cuts you off. If you add 10 minutes to your expected travel time, you’ll have time to navigate roads and traffic safely.

3. Turn down the bass.
Listening to more relaxing music on our drive can help drown out stressful traffic noise and reduce stress.

4. Keep cool.
When other motorists are driving poorly, it can be really irritating to others…especially those who are already having a bad day. Try remaining calm and don’t let your emotions impact your driving.

5. Give them space.
If another driver seems aggressive, the first decision you make should be to get out of the way. Even if you technically have the right of way, you should yield the road to the driver to ensure your own safety.

We are all bound to lose our cool at some point, but by following these key tips, you can put your safety first. If you are dealing with the aftermath of a serious crash, consult The Law Office of Thomas Grier to get the full compensation you deserve.

After an auto accident, you file a claim through your insurance company, counting on the money from that claim to help pay medical bills and other costs. Unfortunately, things don’t always happen that way and your claim may be denied. When this happens, it is important to understand why your claim was denied. Each situation is different, but there are some common reasons why insurers will deny claims.

When your claim is submitted and denied, it could be for one of the following reasons:

1. The accidents was avoidable
If you could have avoided the accident, or if you did something to cause the accident, your insurance claim may be denied. This can include things such as drunk driving or letting an unlicensed driver use your car.

2. There was no complaint or treatment at the time of the injury
It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you wish to claim injury as a direct result of the car accident. If you have proof that treatment was sought immediately after the accident and had injuries diagnosed, you will have a much stronger case than if you wait to seek medical care.

3. Medical records don’t indicate pain or injury
If you do not have any medical records that prove you actually suffered an injury, your claim will likely be denied since you cannot prove that you are entitled to damages.

4. Pre-existing condition
Your insurer may argue that your pre-existing condition is what is causing your injury/pain, not the accident. If your condition was worsened because of the accident, you may still be able to get some compensation, but it can be tricky to prove what was caused by the accident and what was pre-existing.

When your insurance claim is denied or undervalued, it is important to understand that this doesn’t mean there is no further action to be taken. Insurance companies increase their profits by denying and underpaying claims, which puts you at a disadvantage. While you are trying to recover from your injuries caused by an auto accident, it is helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side to give you an advantage. The Law Office of Thomas Grier will negotiate with your insurance company and make sure you get the full compensation that you deserve.

Like all states, Arizona has a law known as “statute of limitations” that sets a time limit on bringing injury cases to court. If your claim is not filed within this time period, you forfeit any further right to bring legal action and recover any monetary damages. The law regarding statutes of limitation is complex and can change from time to time; a personal injury attorney will be able to properly advise you regarding any statute of limitation issues in your case and assure your case is filed within the proper time frame.

Personal injury cases in Arizona have a statute of limitations of 2 years. If you or someone you know if injured in an accident or suffer from medical malpractice, the clock starts ticking the day the injury occurred. However, if you suffer a hidden injury that isn’t discovered until later, your two-year time limit may start on the date you discover the injury, rather than the date of the accident. If your claim is against a city, county, or the State of Arizona, you are limited to filing within one year rather than two.

The facts of your case will determine the exact amount of time you have to file before your time is up. If you or a loved one have a past personal injury claim and are unsure of the statute of limitations on your specific case, contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier for a consultation to help you receive just compensation for your injuries.

Emergency rooms see, on average, one dog bite injury every 40 seconds – that’s 800,000 injuries each year nationwide. Most attacks happen to children and many involve a neighbor or a friend’s dog, making some people reluctant to report it. The damage sustained in a dog attack can be serious, possibly causing long term scarring and emotional trauma.

If the dog’s owner is found liable for the bite, he or she must compensate you accordingly. Depending on the circumstances, the owner may be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, therapy, torn clothing, and pain and suffering.

Arizona Revised Statutes § 11-1025 states that a dog’s owner is liable for any damages related to dog bites that occur in public or private locations, as long as the victim of the bite is not in a private location illegally when the bite occurs. This means that dog owners can even be held liable for dog bites that occur in their own home, regardless of whether the dog showed signs of viciousness in the past.

Arizona also has leash laws that require owners to keep vicious dogs and female dogs in heat on a leash. In public parks and schools, all dogs must be kept on a leash, in a car, or in a cage.

Arizona law does allow lawsuits against dog owners, but filing a claim immediately isn’t always the best course of action. In some cases, you may be able to contact the dog owner and negotiate. Discuss the full details of the incident, explain all the expenses you have had as a result of the incident, and request payment. If the dog owner is unable or unwilling to pay the requested amount, you can file a lawsuit and seek compensation through the courts.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite or attack, you need a skilled lawyer to help you get the full compensation. Contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier today to review your case.

According to The Arizona Department of Transportation, there were a total of 107,348 crashes in 2013. Among those, 50,284 people were injured and 844 were killed. While we often think drunk driving is the cause behind most accidents, there are other types of accidents that pose higher risks.

Type of Accident Injured Killed
Alcohol Related Accidents 3,480 262
Speed Related Accidents 19,015 226
Urban Crashes 40,843 443
Rural Crashes 9,441 401
Drivers Under 24 Years 7,718 92

 

Arizona’s roadways may also play a role in car accidents. A combination of traffic density, less than ideal road conditions, and irresponsible driving and pedestrian habits can result in increased accidents. But drivers cannot expect ideal road and traffic conditions each time they get behind the wheel. Knowing and following the laws of the road, and being aware of all surroundings, is something that drivers can control.

If you have suffered a seriously car crash injury, or if a loved one died in a wrongful death in a serious car accident, contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier about the compensation you need from the insurance company.

The short answer: NO!

The long answer:

The insurance company wants to reduce the amount that they have to pay out in claims and they will be looking for any reason to deny your claim. You should never give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the person who hit you…it will only be used against you.

Inconsistencies: In the days, weeks, months following the accident, you have spoken with police officers, lawyers, maybe given a deposition. You may want to be helpful by giving the insurance company a recorded statement, but they will use that statement and compare it with every other statement you have made. It is common for there to be some inconsistencies in your multiple statements, this happens when someone tells the story of an accident more than once sometimes weeks and months apart. However, the insurance company will highlight these minor inconsistencies and claim that you lied as a reason to deny your claim.

Tricky Questions: The insurance company will ask you a lot of questions, questions that are specifically worked in such a way to trick you into giving a response that will hurt your claim.

You have the right to say NO to the insurance company when they request a recorded statement. If they insist, consider hiring an attorney – your attorney will be more familiar with the tricks the insurance company may try to play and can walk you through the process.

Individuals face a far greater risk of serious injury or death when riding a motorcycle than when traveling in a car, truck, or other motor vehicle. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is being struck by a motorist who doesn’t see you, particularly at night.

According to the IIHS, 4,381 motorcyclists across the United States were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2013, and motorcycle fatalities accounted for 13 percent of all crash-related deaths that year.

There are ways that motorcyclists can minimize the risk of injury by being properly prepared, avoiding known hazards, and exercising caution.

Wear a Certified, Properly-Fitted Helmet and Protective Gear

Helmets are the main protective item motorcyclists must use to keep themselves safe while riding. IIHS statistics show that wearing a helmet while riding can reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by about 67 percent. Helmets are nearly 37 percent effective in reducing the risk of death to a motorcyclist.

Motorcyclists should also wear protective gear with riding, including gloves, eye protection, long sleeved jacket, full length pants, as well as closed toed shoes.

Take a Motorcycle Safety Class

Whether you are new to riding a motorcycle or you are a seasoned professional, taking a motorcycle safety class can increase your riding skills. Most classes teach basic traffic safety laws, test your riding abilities in a controlled environment, and train you how to react to emergency situations. A majority of riders find that motorcycle safety classes leave them feeling more confident in their ability to ride safely.

Conduct Routine Inspections and Perform Maintenance Regularly

Performing regular maintenance is important for all vehicles and motorcyclists should always conduct a routine inspection of their bike before taking it for a ride. Checking tires for wear and tear, and checking the working order of brakes, lights, cables, controls, and chains can prevent potentially deadly problems on the road.

Do What You Can to Avoid Rider Distractions

Any activity that causes a motorcyclist to take his or her eyes off the road, hands off the handlebars, or attention off the task of riding is a dangerous distraction. Remain alert and aware of surroundings as well as other motorists. Motorcycles are much harder to see than larger vehicles and can easily end up in another motorist’s blind spot. If a motorcyclist’s reaction time is reduced by even a few seconds, it could mean the difference between avoiding an accident and becoming a statistic.

Do Not Drive in Poor Weather Conditions

Rain, ice, or snow on roads and highways will significantly reduce a rider’s ability to control the bike. Poor weather conditions will also mean reduced visibility, for the motorcyclist as well as other drivers on the road. Slowing down will help lower chances of an accident in poor conditions, but the other way to fully eliminate the rider’s risk is to choose another form of transportation.

Most people are familiar with the dangers of driving while drunk or while using your cell phone, but an often overlooked danger, drowsy driving, can be just as fatal. Like alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgement, and increases your risk of crashing.

A CDC study revealed that 1 out of 24 American drivers have acknowledged falling asleep at the wheel. The study also showed that both men and younger adults had higher chances of driving despite feeling sleepy.

According to the CDC, there are certain drivers who are far more likely to drive drowsy. This includes: commercial truck drivers, shift workers, drivers with sleep disorders, drivers on sedating medications, and drivers who do not get adequate sleep.

Warning signs of sleepy driving are easy to recognize and include yawning, excessive blinking, drifting between lanes, and missing turns or exits. Rolling down windows, turning up the volume on the radio, and blasting the air conditioning may help keep you awake temporarily, but it does not remove the danger. The only real fix for dealing with drowsy driving is to safely pull over to rest.

Although falling asleep while driving is not illegal like drunk driving, it can still be considered negligent and a person can be held liable for injuries or damages resulting from it. If an auto accident has injured you or a family member, contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier to assist you in the process of seeking full and fair compensation.

Summer is here and that means it’s time for vacation! Whether you are headed for cooler weather, a theme park, a relaxing beach, or other exciting destination, there is one thing most people forget about when getting ready for a vacation – accidents and injuries can happen anywhere.

Surveys show that 20 percent of people get sick or injured while on a trip. You probably don’t want to think about the possibility of getting hurt when you are trying to relax and have fun, you if you really want to stay safe, it is important that you do so.

Car and bike crashes
Driving or riding around an unfamiliar area can put you in a lot of danger if you make even a simple mistake while out on the road. Locals tend to expect traffic to behave a particular way, and if you or other tourists change those expectations, a collision can result.

Swimming accidents
Whether you are at the pool, lake, or ocean, water safety is extremely important. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the area you are planning to swim in so that you know what kinds of potential hazards there are to watch out for. And always watch children around water!

Food poisoning
It probably isn’t surprising that the number one cause of injury or illness to vacationers is food poisoning. When you visit a new area, you want to get a taste of the local flavor – sometimes the places might not be completely safe, or perhaps your body reacts negatively because it isn’t used to a particular kind of diet. The best way to avoid this problem is to pace yourself and research to see if there are specific foods or places people recommend avoiding.

If you or someone you are traveling with does get sick or hurt, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. When the problem is minor, you can still find ways to enjoy your vacation as long as you remain flexible. If something serious happens due to someone else’s negligence, make sure you document everything you can and get in touch with an experienced injury law firm. Ruining your vacation is bad enough – you shouldn’t have to pay for another person’s mistake, too. Contact The Law Office of Thomas Grier, we can help.