Category: Car Accidents

Driverless Vehicles and the Future of Accident Liability

Jan 22, 2016 - Car Accidents by

Earlier this month, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk made waves in the automotive industry when he announced that his company was just two years away from releasing its first fully autonomous vehicle. Prior to this announcement, even the most optimistic industry forecasters estimated that it would be about five years before driverless cars hit the consumer market. Coming from anyone else, Musk’s estimate might sound like a desperate grab for media attention. But in light of the fact that his other company, SpaceX, just successfully landed a rocket upright after returning from orbit for the first time in history, his prediction about driverless cars doesn’t seem quite so outrageous. Whether or not Musk’s estimate will prove to be accurate, there’s little doubt that sooner or later driverless vehicles will become commonplace on America’s roadways. Once this day does come, the questions surrounding accident liability could get a whole lot more complicated. Automakers, legislators and insurance providers are already working to hammer out the details of how fault will be established in car accidents that involve autonomous vehicles. Let’s take a look at a few of the hot-button issues surrounding accident liability and driverless cars. Joint Liability Between Man and Machine At least initially, autonomous vehicles will still need to have a driver behind the wheel. In California, legislation has already been passed that requires a licensed driver behind the wheel of any partially or fully autonomous vehicle. So let’s say one of these vehicles gets in an accident. Is the […]

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Oct 23, 2015 - Car Accidents by

According to the Insurance Research Council, one in seven drivers in the United States is uninsured. At Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law, we are unable to handle a case unless there is either liability or uninsured motorist coverage. If an uninsured driver causes you injury or property damage, your recourse will be to sue them personally in order to recover your expenses. Good luck with that! A much better option is to purchase along with your mandatory liability coverage, uninsured motorist (UM) protection. In the event of an accident involving an uninsured automobile, this coverage will cover you, your passengers and anyone in your household that is a blood relative for: Medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress and lost wages. It does not cover the damage to your automobile. Collision coverage would be required in order to reimburse you for damage to your car. Uninsured motorist coverage will also cover you if you are involved in a hit and run accident or whenever the at-fault driver is unknown. This coverage can also protect you outside your car. If an uninsured motorist strikes you while walking down the street or riding your bike, you will be covered as long as you can prove the uninsured motorist was at fault. While purchasing UM, you will need to decide how much to buy. Under Arizona law, your insurance company must offer you an amount no less than your liability limits. The limits start at $15,000.00 coverage per person and can exceed $1,000,000.00 […]

10 Tips to Help You When Involved In an Accident

Jun 26, 2015 - Car Accidents by

Safety: Make sure that you and your passengers are not injured. If an injury occurred, call 911 to report the injuries. If there is serious injury or major damage, do not move the vehicles. Wait until the police arrive so they can properly document the scene. This will help the police and investigators determine who is at fault if there is any question of liability. If the accident is minor, move the vehicle to the side of the road to a safe location. Do not get out of the vehicle unless it is safe. Stay in the vehicle if you are injured or surrounded by moving traffic. What seems like a minor injury could be much worse than it seems and trying to move could make things worse. Your best bet is to stay in your vehicle with your seat belt fastened, turn on your hazards while waiting for help to arrive. Call the police: Don’t ever let anyone at the scene try to convince you otherwise. A police report will be very important alter on. Get the police report along with the name and number of the reporting officer. In some cases of minor crashes, the police will not respond unless there are serious injuries or property damage; if that is the case, you will need to file an accident report at the local police station as soon as possible. Exchanging Information: Get the other drivers name, phone number, insurance company, policy number, drivers license number, plate number, and […]

Talking to Your Children About Safe Driving

Jan 14, 2015 - Car Accidents by

There are over 3000 teen deaths per year due to car accidents. That’s an average of eighteen deaths per day due to mistakes made behind the wheel. With today’s technology, along with other distractions, it is extremely easy to get distracted while driving, which can lead to serious injuries and death. Talking to your kids about safe driving habits is one of the most important things you can do while teaching them how to drive. The number one distraction which causes accidents is of course cell phones. Talking, texting, and tweeting are among a few things that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It only takes one second to lose your concentration while driving, which can lead to serious consequences. Teach your children to not use their cell phones at all while driving. They can wait to read the text they got until they have reached their destination. No text is worth their life, or the lives of others. Other common driving distractions for teens include driving with friends. Your children will most likely have friends in the car while traveling. It is very easy to get caught up in a conversation while having friends in the car. It is important to make sure that they focus on the road; the conversation can wait until they get to a safe place. Another common distraction is music. Messing with the radio can be hazardous. Adjusting radio stations or the volume, along with choosing a song within their […]

15 Must-Have Items for Your Glove Compartment

Jun 27, 2014 - Car Accidents by

Our Phoenix Accident Law Firm Outlines the Best Items to Keep in Your Car Being in a motor vehicle accident can be scary and overwhelming. These emergency items, however, can help keep you safe and best protect your legal claim.   Critical medical information: Write down any medical conditions, medications and allergies in case you’re involved in an accident and can’t communicate to the responders. Owner’s manual and recommended maintenance schedule: This comes in very handy. It helps when a fuse goes out, or a tire needs to be changed, or a light goes on that you don’t recognize. Emergency contact numbers: Write them down, and have them listed in your cell phone and wallet as well. There is a spot in most cell phones called ICE; In case Of Emergency. These numbers can be accessed without unlocking the phone, and emergency professionals are trained to check these numbers. Pen and paper: It will come in handy if you’re in a car accident and need to take down information. Proof of insurance: It’s the law to keep proof of insurance in your car, and it comes in handy in certain situations as well. A flashlight: If something goes wrong at night, you’ll be glad you have one. Water Bottle: It gets hot in AZ, and having water is always a good thing. Napkins, travel wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer: They can be used to clean up when you need to change a tire, or make other messy repairs to your car. […]

What to Do After a Car Accident in AZ

Mar 21, 2014 - Car Accidents by

Help from a Phoenix Car Accident Law Firm: What to Do After an Accident When you’re in a car accident, it can be both confusing, and frightening. Here are some steps to take to ensure your safety, and the safety of your passengers, while protecting your legal rights. Step 1: Make sure that you and your passengers are safe, and uninjured. Do not get out of the car unless it is safe to do so. Move the cars out of the road only if it’s a minor accident. In a major accident, leave the cars where they are so that the police can properly file a report. Step 2: Call the police as soon as possible. A report will need to be filed to keep legal documentation of the accident for insurance purposes. Also call medical aid if you or your passengers are seriously injured. Remember, just because you don’t feel any pain after the accident, it doesn’t meant that you are not hurt. Your adrenaline could be high and you may not feel the pain. You could also have damage to your neck and back that won’t set in until a while after the accident, so always take the proper precautions and call an ambulance to be checked out. Step 3: Do not admit fault to the accident. To protect yourself legally, do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police and your insurance company. Never say you’re sorry. Saying your sorry could be used against you […]

How Much is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?

Feb 29, 2012 - Car Accidents by

A Look at Damages in Arizona Personal Injury Cases When considering a personal injury lawsuit a common question arises, “What is my case worth?” Each case is unique because of individual factors but the answer comes down to damages– determining what your injuries have cost you monetarily, physically, mentally, and, in some cases, whether the defendant’s actions were severe enough to warrant additional punishment. In a personal injury case, damages are paid to the injured person (known as the plaintiff) by the person or company who is found to be legally responsible (known as the defendant or insurer). Damages can be awarded in a couple of different ways: an award can be agreed upon after a settlement negotiated by the parties involved, insurance companies, or attorneys. Or, an award may be granted by a judge or jury following a court trial. Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases Most personal injury damages are considered “compensatory”. This type of damage award is meant to make the injured plaintiff “whole again” from a monetary standpoint. In some cases compensatory damages are easy to determine such as when a car is damaged in an accident, for example. But, other injuries are harder to place monetary value on, like pain and suffering or the inability to enjoy hobbies because of long-term accident-related injuries. There are many types of compensatory damages. Here is a short explanation of the more common types in a personal injury case. Medical Treatment: Personal injury cases almost always award the cost […]

Personal Injury Accidents: Preserve Evidence

Jan 23, 2012 - Car Accidents by

Our Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers Explain How to Collect Evidence After a Motor Vehicle Accident The first few days following a motor vehicle accident are critical to finding and preserving evidence of what happened- and documenting your injuries. As soon as possible you should take the following steps: Return to the Scene If the car accident occurred anywhere outside of your home you should return to the scene where the accident happened. Take some time to survey the area and look for any extenuating circumstances which may have contributed to causing the accident. You may find something that you overlooked while disoriented from the accident like a traffic light that isn’t working properly. Also, you may just get lucky and find someone there who saw the accident or has witnessed other similar accidents in the same spot. Take photographs while you are there. Be sure to take pictures from many different angles including your viewpoint from where the accident happened. This will help keep your memory fresh about the events of the accident as well as document the scene. Furthermore, this will show the insurance company later how prepared you are to get the settlement you deserve. In the event of a vehicle accident make sure and photograph the site during the same time of day and day of the week as when your accident occurred. Protect Physical Evidence Who was at fault in an accident is sometimes easily proved by a piece of physical evidence. For example, a broken […]

Proving Fault in Personal Injury Accidents: General Rules

Jan 16, 2012 - Car Accidents by

How to Decide Who is Legally at Fault for an Accident or Personal Injury in Arizona Determining who is at fault (also known as “liability”) in a personal injury case can be complicated. It is obvious to say that the person or business at fault should pay for any damages, but before that it must be determined who is legally at fault. Oftentimes, this depends on if someone was careless or “negligent”. A Phoenix Accident Attorney Explains Liability  Most accidents happen as a result of someone being careless. The basic rule of thumb in personal injury lawsuits comes down to this: if one person involved in the accident was less careful than the other one must pay some or all of the damages incurred. Legal liability is almost always decided by this rule of carelessness and by one or more of the following situations: If the injured person was somewhere they were not supposed to be the person who caused the accident may not be deemed liable because they were not expected to be careful towards the injured person. If the injured person was also careless the compensation may be lessened since both parties were partially responsible for the accident. This is known as comparative negligence. If a negligent person causes an accident while under the employ of someone else the employer may also be held legally responsible for the accident. If an accident is caused on property deemed to be dangerous because it is poorly built or not properly […]

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