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Phoenix Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Arizona Drunk Drivers and Punitive Damages

It's common to read and hear about drunk drivers causing crashes, which can result in serious injuries and fatalities. An injured victim may have a personal injury claim for his or her medical bills, lost income, injuries caused by the crash.

When a drunk driver is at fault then it is possible that he or she may be liable for payment of punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are further intended to punish and to deter others.

The Arizona case, Olson v Walker is instructive. A driver spent time drinking at a bar, then he proceeded to drive. His vehicle was swerving, traveling 50-55 miles per hour, the speed limit was 40 miles per hour. The driver cut a witness off, then rear ended a motorcyclist.

ADOT Report Regarding Wrong-Way Drivers

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reviewed hundreds of accident reports and found the following data regarding the likely drivers, and the where and why of wrong-way crashes, and the likelihood of when wrong-way crashes are most likely to occur:

Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, you may have suffered an injury as a result. Lower back pain after an auto collision is a common injury. A noticeable symptom is a dull, sharp, or constant pain in the lower back area. However, if the accident was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Related costs include lost earnings for as long as you are unable to return to work.

What May Be the Cause of Your Back Pain?

Lower back pain is often caused by compression of the nerves or improper spinal movement. It may also be possible to pull or tear a muscle or strain or tear a ligament in the lower back. Any of these scenarios can occur when a person is jerked violently or otherwise forced to move in an unnatural manner as can happen in a car accident.

Arizona Motorcyclists' Personal Injury Claims and Helmet Nonuse

In Arizona, if a motorcyclist is injured due to the negligence of another driver, and if he or she was not wearing a helmet, the nonuse of a motorcycle helmet may be claimed by the other driver, as a reason to limit the injured party's damages.

The negligent driver must prove that the helmet was not worn, and that helmet nonuse was unreasonable, and that nonuse caused or increased injuries, that would not have occurred if a helmet had been used.

The jury may decide whether the injured party's full damages should be reduced by nonuse of the helmet.

New Utah Drunk Driving Law Will Lower Legal Blood Alcohol Limit

Utah has a newly enacted drunk driving law that lowered the blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05, making it the lowest limit in the country. The law is set to go into effect in 2018.

Alcohol level is measured by the weight of alcohol in a certain volume of blood, resulting in a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. At a BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood the risk of a crash dramatically increases. As a result of this risk, it is fairly uniform across the country that it is illegal to drive with a 0.08 BAC or higher.

The National Highway Transportation Association states that an average 160 pound man would be considered legally impaired after consuming two drinks in one hour.

Arizona Distracted Drivers Are Dangerous

Morgan Willis reports in the State Press that distracted driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Willis cites the Brain Injury Society, and further indicates that texting while driving is as dangerous as driving after consuming four beers.

A texting driver may take his or her eyes off the road, for just a few seconds, at 50 miles per hour and travel longer than the length of a football field.

NHTSA reports that in 2015 that 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Recall

Harley-Davidson Inc. is recalling about 57,000 of its motorcycles, because an oil line can become loose, and spray oil onto the path of the rear tire, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The recall includes the 2017 Electric Glide Ultra Classic, Police Electra Glide, Police Road King, Road King, Road King Special, Road Glide and Road Glide Special Motorcycles.

There had been reports of oil lines coming off bikes, causing two crashes.

Arizona Wrong Way Crashes and Drunk Drivers

Wrong way crashes in Arizona have become an all too familiar problem, sometimes with fatal consequences. The Arizona Department of Public Safety received more than 1,600 reports of wrong way drivers in 2016.

Wrong way crashes frequently occur on the Interstates and State Routes, they also occur on one way streets. Often an impaired driver is involved. Representation by an Arizona wrongful death or personal injury attorney may be necessary to assist collision victims and their families.

How Social Media Can Hurt Your Car Accident Claim

Most of us utilize social media regularly. It's how we keep up with old friends, family members who live far away, and for entertainment purposes. Unfortunately, the same social media that allows us to share our happiest moments and most flattering photos is also the same social media that can make it more challenging to get compensation from a lawsuit after a car accident. If you've been in a car accident and plan on filing a claim, you should know how social media can hurt your claim and leave you with nothing.

Distraction Can Cause Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths

A report issued by the Governor's Highway Safety Association states that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic rose 11 percent last year, to almost 6,000. That's the biggest one year increase in pedestrian fatalities. It is also the highest number in two years.

The National Safety Council has also reported that traffic deaths overall rose 6 percent nationwide in 2016.

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