Phoenix, AZ, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Originally a small city in the desert, it began its first period of growth in the mid to late 20th century as a destination for retirees due to its consistent climate and affordable housing.
Over the years, Phoenix has become nearly unrecognizable from those early days and is now a sprawling metropolis, home to much more than pensioners. The tech industry has pushed Phoenix into an era of high-earning professionals, seasonal residents (the old snow-bird crowd), and full-time residents who have poured in from other states due to the relatively inexpensive real estate and steady desert climate.
With all this growth, Phoenix is now a city on the rise, and with its growth comes growing pains. Phoenix needs greater infrastructure development to serve the needs of its growing population. Multi-lane highways and interstates thread through the city, connecting distant neighboring cities and suburbs. From Glendale to Mesa, Tempe to Apache Junction, the metropolitan area is home to 4.6 million people.
Accidents happen, leaving people to deal with the tragedies. When disaster strikes, you need someone on your side. A law firm with years of experience representing clients to get them the compensation they deserve is a helpful ally. Look for a top-rated car accident and personal injury firm with a reputation for fighting for its clients. Contact a personal injury lawyer today to get your consultation.
Types of accidents
Every day has its share of hazards, some of which can change your life forever. Often, these accidents are avoidable and result from someone’s negligence. This circumstance is where an attorney comes in: to help you fight for your rights and get the compensation you deserve for a tragedy caused by someone else’s negligence. Below you will find the most common types of accidents.
Cars crisscross the city every day, and it is a wonder there aren’t more accidents. In a recent year, there were 35,274 car crashes in Phoenix. Two hundred seven of these resulted in fatalities. While this number is lower than previous years—prior years averaged about 45,000 motor vehicle crashes, with about 200 fatalities—it is still significant for affected victims and families. Many of these car accidents were alcohol-related.
Every day, trucks transport freight from coast to coast, hauling raw materials out of mines and forests, shipping them to factories or shipyards for processing overseas, and even delivering the final product to your door on demand. This can lead to many types of truck accidents.
The trucking industry is highly regulated, with federal mandates on how often drivers are required to rest, the maximum weekly hours they can drive, and the training they receive before getting behind the wheel. But because of trucks’ size and weight, trucks are difficult to maneuver and cause catastrophic injuries.
All too often, truck drivers wind up in accidents due to drugs or alcohol, which they take to stay awake longer and deal with the pressures of being on the road for long hours. Trucking companies often place unsafe demands on their workers, hire inexperienced drivers, or encourage cutting corners to inflate profits. Due to the weight of a tractor-trailer, truck vs. car accidents are often horrific, leaving survivors with serious recovery challenges.
Motorcycles represent a culture of freedom, where the trappings of conventional travel don’t confine riders. They enjoy the feel of the wind on their skin and the sun on their faces, but because of their size, they are often victims of terrible accidents on the road. Without the protection of a car, they are at the mercy of their protective gear. Unfortunately, helmets, leathers, and other clothing can only do so much. The resulting injuries can be tragic and life-changing for motorcycle crash survivors.
Other personal injuries
Vehicle accidents are common, but there are other ways you can become hurt due to another’s fault.
Here are just a few examples.
- Dog bites: As populations increase, so do the number of animal bites, with dog bites being some of the most devastating. People are accountable for their dogs when they neglect to keep their dogs tethered safely, trained, or supervised.
- Slip and fall: Phoenix is not usually known for its icy weather, but it has its share of slippery conditions. Rainy days do come to Phoenix, and businesses and property owners should be prepared for this eventuality. A proprietor must provide safe passage on their property or at least mark whenever areas are slippery. Slip and fall injuries aren’t just weather related. For example, a broken jar of pickles in a grocery store or a spilled oil bottle can create a falling hazard. Slip and fall injuries are especially grievous to the elderly because of their slow reflexes and brittle bones. Larger bones, such as the femur, the pelvis, and bones in the arm, can result in debilitating injuries and even infections. Head injuries can result in death and permanent brain damage.
- Pool accidents: With more swimming pools and water parks popping up in the Phoenix area, water safety is a big issue. Drownings and accidents from diving and asphyxiation are especially tragic. Pool owners must provide proper signage, trained guards, and safety equipment to limit these injuries.
- Wrongful death: Losing a loved one due to an accident is a tragic, life-changing event. Wrongful death leaves a gaping hole in the family from which many people rarely recover. If someone else’s negligence causes the death of a loved one, the family may have legal options for compensation.
- Fire: As cities expand and drought conditions worsen yearly, seasonal wildfires, vehicle fires, and even structure fires become more commonplace. Death and injury due to fire are especially heinous, with the survivors often requiring extensive surgery and rehabilitation.
From vehicle accidents to falling on a neighbor’s property due to loose gravel, injuries are common.
Here are a few injuries that a negligent person someone might cause you.
- Lacerations and bruises: While lacerations and bruises are usually mild injuries, do not ignore them. These injuries are painful and risk infections like staph or MRSA, which can result in amputations and even death. Bruising could indicate internal bleeding and long-term damage from injury.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are common in vehicle accidents due to the intensity of the force between vehicles colliding at speed. Broken bones are also common in bicycle accidents, slip and fall injuries and diving accidents.
- Road rash: Road rash is common in motorcycle accidents and can be debilitating due to the trauma inflicted on such a large surface area. The resulting injuries can lead to infection, not to mention the extreme pain and potential of permanent disfigurement.
- Whiplash injuries: When the head’s weight is shifted suddenly by external forces due to an impact, it puts a lot of strain on the neck, surrounding muscles, spine, and other systems supporting the head. Whiplash can break bones and even result in nerve damage. Most common to rear-end collisions in motor vehicles, whiplash is also common in slip and fall injuries, diving accidents in pools, and even trampoline accidents.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A TBI happens when the brain endures a lot of force which causes bruising and even blood vessel damage within the skull. Medical procedures must often treat the resulting pressures, or else the injury can continue to cause damage over time. TBIs can result in permanent cognitive damage, loss of sight or hearing, and death.
- Burns: Burn injuries are serious, and even with successful treatment through skin grafts, surgery, and other means, burns may result in permanent disfigurement and nerve damage. Burn recovery is painful, with a high risk of infection.
- Loss of limb: Vehicle accidents are a common cause of losing a limb. Whatever the cause, losing a limb means re-learning how to function in your daily life and significant emotional healing.
- Loss of sight/hearing: Losing one’s vision or hearing is a serious injury that can haunt victims throughout their lives. If you suffer an eye or ear injury due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.
What does recovery look like?
From just a few visits to the doctor to extensive treatments, hospital stays, and physical therapy, everyone’s recovery is different depending on the severity of their injuries.
With more recovery time comes further complications, such as:
- Surgeries: From the initial trip to the ER to reconstructive surgery, these medical procedures are necessary to save your life and repair your health as before the accident. Surgeries are often painful, expensive, and psychologically draining over time.
- Rehabilitation: After surgery comes learning how to function with these changes in your life. The process is often long, painful, and frustrating. Rehabilitation can also be very expensive.
- Medical bills: As you put your life back together after an accident, the bills pile up. Medical bills can be shockingly costly and overwhelming. A lawyer can assist you in getting compensation to cover these damages.
- Lost time at work: Unfortunately, when the medical bills come flooding in, you will likely miss time at work and could lose your job. How are you supposed to pay bills if you have a significant drop in income? An attorney can help.
- Pain and suffering: While it is impossible to measure the pain and suffering you experience while recovering from an accident, the legal system attempts to compensate for these psychological and emotional effects. From mourning the life you once knew or grieving the death of a loved one, to fighting post-traumatic stress, survivor’s guilt, and any number of challenges in your mind and body, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.
What to do if you are hurt?
Here are some things to keep in mind if an accident injures you.
- Get medical help: Getting medical attention is crucial to saving your life, living quality, and future health. Call 911 to get the emergency medical care you need. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, TBIs, infections, and other injuries can show up later and be very dangerous. This is also the first part of preparing your compensation claim.
- Don’t admit fault: After an accident, you might be disoriented. Stay calm and do not admit any fault in the accident. This will be determined later by investigators, first responders, or your attorney.
- Document everything: From the police report of your accident to medical bills, your accident creates a paper trail that can support your settlement or trial. Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and the insurance information of the other drivers in the accident. Be sure to also get the contact information for any witnesses, as they can later support your claim.
- Attend your appointments: Diligently attend doctor’s appointments, follow-up surgeries, checkups, and rehabilitation plans. It is important to work towards a full recovery in your healing process, as this demonstrates to the at-fault party that you are committed to healing and that your injuries are not your fault.
- Manage pain and suffering: Pain management, rehab, counseling, and other therapies are important for your mental and physical health.
Contact an attorney
After an accident, bills stack up as you continue your recovery. An attorney can take many responsibilities off your plate, helping you move forward. The insurance company will likely fight for the fastest and cheapest way to protect their interests; going into a settlement too early could diminish the full extent of your compensation, leaving you without financial recourse down the line.
Your lawyer will fight for the compensation you deserve, considering all factors. They will help you navigate the legal process, fight for higher settlements, and take the matter to court if necessary.
Your recovery is your first priority, and an attorney can help you with the rest. Contact a personal injury lawyer near you to learn more about how to protect your rights in a personal injury case in Phoenix.