Phoenix Injury Lawyer Discusses Personal Injuries from Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Arizona, you may be entitled to damages under the law. Our team here at Hirsch & Lyon can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover your losses. Contact an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer at our firm today to setup a free consultation.
Determining whether motor vehicle accident litigation is “worthwhile” is a difficult question that may ultimately depend on the severity of the injuries suffered. If you walked away from an accident with minimal injuries, you are still encouraged to consult with a personal injury lawyer because you may have sustained losses that are not immediately visible. For example, it is not uncommon for plaintiffs to experience bone and spinal degeneration in the wake of a seemingly minor accident, such as a low-speed rear-end collision.
Car Accident Injuries: Let a Phoenix Injury Lawyer Help
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries for those involved. Of course, depending on the specifics of the accident, you may encounter unique challenges and opportunities as you explore the prospect of litigation.
For example, if you are injured in a rear-end collision accident at a red light, then it may be easier to show that the defendant-driver was liable. After all, the defendant-driver should have slowed down when approaching the traffic signal and noticed that you were stopped. These facts make the defendant’s negligence clear and obvious, thus opening the path to the possibility of an early, favorable settlement.
Interested in having your claims evaluated to develop a tailored legal strategy? We encourage you to contact a Phoenix injury lawyer here at Hirsch & Lyon for guidance.
For those who have no experience with personal injury litigation, the thought of creating a viable legal strategy while you’re dealing with your injuries may be overwhelming. Let’s take a closer look at some common car accident injury scenarios to help clarify.
Consider the following.
Seatbelt use has been consistently associated with car accident safety — and for very good reason. According to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2017, seatbelt use across the country was closing in on nearly 90 percent, with an estimated 14,955 lives saved due to such use.
Still, despite the obvious safety benefits provided by seatbelt use, they can also cause injuries. This problem is especially sharpened by poor design and implementation.
For example, some seatbelts may not have enough elasticity or “give,” and may apply significant pressure to the passenger in an impact. This can lead to severe skin abrasions, fracture injuries (to the ribs, for example), and other injuries. If you’ve been injured due to a seatbelt, then you may have an actionable claim against the car manufacturer and others responsible for the design and manufacture of the seatbelt.
Car Seat Injuries
Car seats for infants are often fraught with various defects and manufacturing issues that can contribute to injuries. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- The chest clip keeping the infant in the car seat may be located in the wrong spot, thus leading to a dangerous ejection in the event of impact.
- Three-point harness seats may also feature ejection risks, as there is no portion of the seat keeping the lower body of the infant in the seat.
- Some manufacturers use low-quality, flammable materials to build their car seats, thus exposing infants to a heightened risk of burn injuries.
- Belt buckles and latches may be improperly designed or manufactured, making them easily detachable (without intervention) or too difficult to detach in an emergency.
Under Arizona product defect law, the manufacturer is responsible if they have defectively designed or manufactured the car seat. Similarly, if there is an inherent danger that they have not warned consumers about, they could be held liable. Contact a Phoenix injury lawyer at our office to discuss the specifics of your situation and learn more about your legal options.
Faulty airbags can injure drivers and passengers in a variety of ways:
- Recycled airbags may be improperly installed or may be incompatible with your vehicle, leading to a premature release (or no release at all!)
- Some airbags inflate with enough force that they can fracture facial bones, bruise and damage skin, etc.
- Airbags can deploy at inopportune times
- Airbag canisters may break, causing debris to explode and impact the occupants of the vehicle
Car manufacturers must take care to install safe airbags. Sadly, defective airbags — and airbag systems with low margins for error — are frequently used in an effort to cut down on costs. If you’ve been injured by a defective airbag, you may have an actionable claim against the manufacturer for damages.
When your head and neck are pushed suddenly in one direction during a car accident, this can cause the muscles and tendons to tear and the bones to dislocate from their place. This injury is commonly known as “whiplash.”
Whiplash can range in severity from mild to severe, with the more severe form leading to partial paralysis, chronic pain and mobility issues from which you cannot recover. This could prevent you from returning to work in the long-term, resulting in enormous life-long losses for which you can be compensated.
Whiplash can be treated in some cases through pain medication and basic physical therapy, but in other cases, you’ll have to go through surgery in an attempt to fix the damaged muscles, tendons and tissue.
Additional Common Injuries in Arizona Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are various types of injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents, ranging from minor injuries to catastrophic, life-changing injuries (i.e., paralysis). Whether you are exposed to a minor or severe injury will depend on the type of accident, unique fragilities and various other circumstantial factors.
Common injuries include:
- Nerve damage (i.e., movement impairment, paralysis, etc.)
- Burn injuries
- Laceration injuries
- Brain damage
- And more
It is worth noting that the sudden impact of a motor vehicle accident (and the effects of a severe physical injury) can also lead to emotional damages. There are many cases where the injured plaintiff experiences post-traumatic stress disorder or similar symptoms relating to their accident. Skilled attorneys understand that damages are not always obvious and they are experienced in identifying potential issues that could give rise to damages. For this reason, we encourage you to consult a Phoenix injury lawyer for guidance regarding the extent of your injuries.
There are a few types of motor vehicle accidents that are particularly dangerous, such as:
For illustrative purposes, consider sideswipe collisions. Sideswipe collisions tend to expose plaintiffs to a heightened risk of severe injury due to the fact that side airbags are not yet standard there is minimal “absorptive” material built into the sides of motor vehicles. That being the case, there is simply not enough material between the plaintiff’s vehicle and the defendant’s vehicle to absorb the impact force of the collision.
Negligence Leading to Injuries
Driver negligence is the main issue in most motor vehicle accident litigation. Driver negligence is a rather broad category and may include the following behaviors:
- Intoxicated driving
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate maintenance of vehicle
- Fatigued driving
- Driving without a license (or with an expired license)
- Violating other traffic laws
Motor vehicle accidents primarily occur due to driver negligence, but we often encounter cases where the vehicle (or a part therein) is defective, and in some instances, that defect contributed to the accident. If you were injured due to a defective motor vehicle — say, a defective airbag release or defective brakes — you can bring a claim against the manufacturer for damages.
In Arizona, as in most jurisdictions, product liability claims are unique in that they operate on a strict liability basis. In other words, you do not have to prove that the defendant was negligent in creating the defect. You need only show that the product was defective and that the defect contributed to your injuries.
Third-Party Property Owners
Sometimes, the roadway itself (or adjacent property) is filled with hazards that can contribute to a car accident. For example, a large pothole on the roadway could expose drivers to a heightened risk of injury, particularly if the pothole is placed in such a way that is not easily visible. In such cases, the individual or entity responsible for developing, inspecting and maintaining the property at issue (i.e., the roadway, the adjacent property, etc.) can be held responsible for the damages.
A Phoenix Injury Lawyer Can Provide Guidance for Seeking Medical Treatment
It is important to understand that successful personal injury litigation — in the context of motor vehicle accidents and otherwise — depends on doing the “little things” right, which includes following up with doctors and maintaining a proper treatment regimen. This is where an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer can step in and provide additional assistance. Here at Hirsch & Lyon, we work with clients from the very beginning to ensure that they are keeping up with their medical treatment in a way that will maximize their eventual claims.
If a given treatment isn’t working, for example, we work with our client to identify specialists who can offer alternative treatments. This has the added benefit of proving that you are serious about your recovery, which can help to overcome a defense strategy focused on undermining the legitimacy of your claims.
The Damages Stemming From a Phoenix Car Accident Can Vary
The damages in motor vehicle accident litigation can vary greatly. The compensation that you are owed will largely depend on the severity of your injuries (and subsequent losses/impairments). Damages may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property loss
- Mental anguish
For example, suppose that you are involved in a car accident in which you suffer a severe spinal cord injury. As a result, you experience movement-related impairments that prevent you from returning to work. This would likely give you a claim for damages that not only includes the “standard” suite of damages (i.e., medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering), but that also includes significant damages accounting for a lifetime loss of earning capacity.
Contact an Experienced Phoenix Injury Lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon to Setup a Free Consultation
Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team has decades of experience working with injured plaintiffs throughout Arizona in motor vehicle accident disputes. Unlike many of our competitors, we focus entirely on motor vehicle accident litigation. This concentration on car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, and pedestrian accident cases has a number of benefits, not the least of which is the fact that we can provide cost-efficient, high-level representation to our clients as a result.
It is important to us that the client be given all the tools they need to secure their rights under the law, and to that end, we strive to make effective legal representation accessible to the average person. We pass the savings onto the client by offering reduced contingency fees of just 25 percent for settled cases and 30 percent for cases involving litigation. This ensures that clients can keep more of the compensation that they are awarded.
Interested in speaking with a qualified Phoenix injury lawyer at our firm?
Call us at 602-535-1900 or complete an online intake form through our website to schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney here at Hirsch & Lyon. In these early conversations, we will help you identify the legal issues in your case and develop an initial strategic framework.