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Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog

PPE could limit severe injuries in construction accidents

There is an endless number of safety risks on any construction site in Arizona. Although safety authorities say almost all construction accidents are preventable, it is essential for all workers to wear the necessary personal protective equipment at all times. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires construction workers to protect themselves from suffering concussions or other traumatic brain injuries by never being on-site without hard hats.

The risks of suffering eye and ear damage on construction sites are significant. For that reason, properly fitted safety glasses and face masks when necessary are essential to prevent eye injuries that lead to permanent damage. The noise levels caused by various machines and power tools that are used on most construction sites are excessive, and unprotected workers can suffer damage and even permanent hearing loss.

Motor vehicle accidents: Teen passenger dies after rear-end crash

A police investigation is underway after a fatal accident that occurred in Maricopa County. Although there is no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in this crash, motor vehicle accidents in Arizona that involve death are typically subject to criminal investigations. Reportedly, the wreck happened shortly before 8 p.m. on a recent Monday.

A preliminary crash report indicates that a 59-year-old male driver with a 46-year-old woman and two children, ages 11 and 13, as passengers were stopped at a red traffic light at an intersection in Goodyear. A 30-year-old pickup truck driver allegedly failed to slow down as he approached the intersection, and he smashed into the rear of the stationary car. There were two young children, ages 5 and 3, with the driver in the pickup truck.

Navigating medical malpractice claims can be challenging

Victims of professional negligence by a health care provider in Arizona may have questions about their legal rights. Medical malpractice is a complicated field of the law, which offers the opportunity to recover damages for harm or injury. It typically involves substandard treatment that leads to a medical mistake involving negligence, including the failure to act when circumstances warrant action.

Doctors or medical facilities are only responsible for harm suffered by a patient if the standard of care deviated from the care that any other competent doctor or facility would provide. Typical malpractice lawsuits can involve, among others, misdiagnosis, wrong medication, wrong dosage, surgery to wrong body parts and leaving objects inside the patient's body during an operation. Negligent care can also cause bedsores and staph infections that could be fatal.

Impaired truck drivers are more common than you think

In recent years, the annual total of accidents involving tractor-trailers and other big rigs hovers around 4,000. The truck drivers in a significant percentage of fatal accidents tested positive for drugs or alcohol. This may seem astonishing to you. Even if you have no experience behind the wheel of a large truck, common sense tells you it requires considerable concentration and effort to control it.

When conditions are ideal, a fully loaded tractor-trailer may need up to 40 percent more road than a passenger vehicle to come to a complete stop. A big rig may also weigh nearly 40 tons more than a standard car. Combine this with a recent study in which 50 percent of surveyed truckers admitted to using drugs or alcohol while operating their rigs, and you have a recipe for tragedy.

More than drivers might be liable for motor vehicle accidents

Losing loved ones in crashes that are caused by negligent or impaired drivers is not something wished onto anyone. When such tragedies occur, it is only natural for the surviving family members to want to hold the drivers who caused the crashes liable for damages. However, in Arizona, other parties might carry some of the blame for drunk driving motor vehicle accidents.

This was underscored by the fine of $9,000 that the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control issued against a restaurant that served excessive volumes of alcohol to a man who caused a fatal crash in April 2017. The restaurant's liquor license was also suspended for a limited period because of allegedly selling alcohol to an already intoxicated individual. It also allegedly allowed that person to remain on the restaurant's property, and it failed to protect the safety of other patrons.

Medical malpractice: Dealing with delayed or wrong diagnosis

In the medical profession, doctors and other health care providers are held to a standard of care when they treat patients. If for example, a patient files a medical malpractice lawsuit for delayed or incorrect diagnosis, this standard would serve as a measuring tool to determine whether the physician failed to consider health conditions that might have led to a different diagnosis. In Arizona, the burden of proof in these types of civil claims is on the plaintiff.

Before the court considers compensating a plaintiff for injury or death caused by a delayed diagnosis, the plaintiff will have to prove that a patient-doctor relationship existed. It must also be shown that the physician was negligent in failing to use reasonable skill to provide competent and proper treatment, and also that this negligence led to the patient's injury or death. If these elements are established, a medical malpractice claim might be substantiated.

Construction accidents: Body recovered days after rig's collapse

It is always traumatic for any family to lose a loved one in a workplace accident. Construction accidents are often fatal, and the circumstances of one such accident in Arizona likely caused the surviving family members even more trauma. A 52-year-old construction worker lost his life, but it took several days to recover his body.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, the incident occurred on a recent Monday at Sky Harbor International Airport. A drilling rig was used to prepare the holes that would house the concrete columns to support the track for the Sky Train between the rental car area and Terminal 3. For reasons not yet determined, the hole collapsed, causing the drill rig to topple over. The operator of the rig fell into hole along with masses of soil.

Unstable scaffolds can cause devastating construction accidents

Working on scaffolding structures is nothing strange in the construction industry. Because it is so common, workers and employers become complacent, and sometimes neglect to take the necessary care. Scaffold-related construction accidents have cause many serious injuries and even some fatalities in Arizona. Safety guidelines must be followed throughout, starting when the structure is erected.

A stable and rigid footing is required, and the use of barrels, bricks or other supports must be avoided. Appropriate planking must be able to carry four times the load they will have to support. This means that the number of workers who will be on the scaffold along with the weight of tools and building materials must be determined even before the structure is built. If ropes, cables or wires support scaffolds, those materials must be strong enough to carry six times the load weight.

Uber halts autonomous car testing phase in the state

Arizona readers are likely aware that Uber was running a testing phase in the state for their autonomous car program. In March, one of their vehicles that was in the testing phase struck a pedestrian, resulting in her death. The pedestrian was not in a proper crosswalk at the time, but the car did not stop when it detected a hazard as it should have.

Like many others, you may have serious concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicles. It is a concern to many that, despite technology advancements and other measures, these vehicles will still make mistakes and errors that could cause harm to humans. This accident is an example of why many are very hesitant to trust autonomous cars.

Phoenix wrong-way motor vehicle accidents now total 13 for 2018

Wrong-way accidents can have devastating consequences, and they are particularly difficult to avoid after dark. One such Arizona crash that occurred on a recent Monday evening was reportedly the 13th wrong-way collision in and around Phoenix so far this year. Authorities say it was the first such incident in May, following two wrong-way motor vehicle accidents that occurred in April.

A report by the Arizona Department of Public Safety indicates that a 70-year-old woman was heading north in the southbound lane of SR-347 at approximately 8:30 p.m. She crashed head-on into a vehicle operated by a 26-year-old Maricopa woman who had a man and two children as passengers. Both drivers died at the crash scene, and a 4-year-old child and the man suffered injuries that were reportedly not life-threatening. They were taken to a hospital while a 1-year-old child received treatment at the crash scene.