Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Guía para compra la póliza de seguros

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 23, 2020 | 2 Comments

El comprar una póliza de seguros de auto te ofrece una protección contra sorpresas caras y devastadora. Te ayuda a protegerte de una demanda legal, de perdida de tu auto y cubre tus danos personales. ¿Porque proteger a otros y no si mismo?

Representing Canadians Involved in Arizona Motor Vehicle Accident Cases

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Over the years, I have represented many out-of-state clients and foreign clients in Arizona car accident cases, many of those clients have been Canadians. Once, I even had a case in which my Canadian client was involved in a car accident with another Canadian in Mesa, Arizona! I tell clients that I am half-Canadian - my mother and her family moved to Arizona from Winnipeg, Manitoba in the 1960’s. In many ways the issues involved in this representation are the same as any other case. Our office can handle case intake virtually, by telephone, video-conference, email, fax, mail, delivery or in person. Often Canadians that are “snowbirds” have a car registered and garaged here with an Arizona automobile insurance policy. Typically, the initial hospital and emergency treatment occurs in Arizona, so our work is typical of any case. However, there are some special issues that we have had to address when a Canadian is injured in Arizona:


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 07, 2020 | 0 Comments

uando una persona esta involucardo en choque de auto, lo primero que pasa es que se aturde, se enfadada o le da miedo. ¿Cómo manejas la situación? ¿Cómo mantienes la calma? El bufete de abogados Ciulla Law Firm, PLLC tiene una lista de pasos para su uso después de un accidente automovilístico cuando más lo necesita

Electric Scooter and E-bike Share Accidents Rise – Fun Transportation or Danger

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jul 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

In many urban areas, including Arizona cities, shared electronic scooters and bikes litter the sidewalks when they are not zipping by. You may have seen these scooters rented under brands Lime, Razor, Bird, Spin, Jump or Lyft. This new technology has resulted in a new set of traffic and public health problems. Those who ride these scooters and bikes believe that they are a fun and inexpensive way to get around urban areas, especially between public transportation stops, parking or Uber/Lyft drops. However, it is apparent that there are significant dangers involved.

Four Most Common Car Accidents - Be Careful Out There

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Rear-End Accidents are the most common types of two-vehicle collisions. They are generally caused by distracted driving, driving too fast, and following too closely. Their most common effects on the human body are sprain/strain of the spine, especially the cervical spine. To avoid this type of...


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

On April 18, 2019, Arizona legislators gave final approval for a comprehensive statewide ban on the use of hand-held cellphones for motorists. The bill will now travel to Governor Doug Ducey for his anticipated signature. With the passage of this bill, Arizona joins 47 other states in banning texting while driving. After the bill is signed by the governor, it will override the anti-texting ordinances of 27 Arizona cities and 2 Arizona counties and give Arizona drivers certainty on what they can and cannot do while driving. Right now, we have a hodgepodge of ordinances from town to town. I have seen this confusion in many car accident cases where texting was the cause or a contributing factor.

Bicycles Can Ride in Either Direction in the Crosswalk and Sidewalks (usually) in Arizona

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Feb 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

I am often shocked that this misunderstanding of Arizona law still routinely comes up. I am still encountering bicyclists, motorists, police, insurance adjusters and sometimes lawyers who are confused about the law in Arizona on this issue. Bicycles can lawfully ride in either direction in a crosswalk and can ride in either direction on sidewalks (except in a few cities with strange ordinances prohibiting it or limiting it) in Arizona. I first wrote about this problem, five years ago

Bikes Can Lawfully Ride in the Crosswalk!

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Aug 03, 2018 | 0 Comments

I have successfully represented too many bicyclists who were initially blamed by police or insurance companies for riding their bicycles in the crosswalk. The law in Arizona is clear – bikes can lawfully ride in the crosswalk (in either direction).


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 05, 2018 | 0 Comments

According to Arizona Governor’s Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths have increased by 27 percent between 2007 and 2016! During the same period, all other traffic fatalities decreased by 14 percent. Maricopa Country was second in the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2016 – second only to Los Angeles County. Why do we have such a high number of pedestrian fatalities?


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jan 26, 2017 | 1 Comment

Ridesharing has become an extremely popular gig or side-job for someone looking for flexible work. I have represented many Uber and Lyft drivers who were involved in car accidents in Phoenix, Arizona. Unfortunately, these cases have some unique issues. Does your auto insurance cover you while you are working for a rideshare company? Some insurance companies will cancel you if they find out that you are an Uber/Lyft driver. Other companies, will continue to cover you, but will deny the claim if you are involved in an accident while working – they cite their business use exclusions in their policies to deny coverage. However, there now several major companies that sell coverage for rideshare drivers in one form or another.

Rear-End Crashes

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Aug 04, 2016 | 2 Comments

Rear-end crashes are one of the most common scenarios that I see in my Phoenix personal injury practice. These rear-end collisions are especially egregious because they typically whip the victim’s neck back and forth, causing cervical strain/sprain, and sometimes serious injury including concussion. This happens because our necks are simply not strong enough to sustain the force of moving forward, stopping and then being forced backwards. In order to sustain forces of a rear-end crash effectively humans would basically not have a neck (See the simulated crash proof humanoid Graham – he has no neck!).


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 07, 2016 | 0 Comments

Eighty percent of success is showing up. - Woody Allen You are going to meet with your attorney for the first time after a personal injury. You are apprehensive because you have never consulted with an attorney before. You are not sure you will understand legal terms. You are not even sure you have a case. How do you prepare for this unfamiliar experience? First, it is most important that you bring yourself on time for your appointment, but after that, bring everything you have pertaining to the case, including: Arizona Crash Report (can be obtained online for free or for a small fee depending upon the police agency at Medical records or bills (if you do not have these, the names and addresses of your medical providers; take a business card every time you go to a physician) Photographs of damage to both vehicles (including the VIN and the inside of the vehicle) Photographs of your injuries (including weekly photographs while healing) Your health and automobile insurance information (Including declaration page and identification cards) Contact information from any witnesses to the accident (Do not count on the police to obtain these; if you are able, write down names and telephone numbers yourself) Record of mileage to and from related physician appointments, hospital visits and physical therapy appointments. If you do not have all this information, bring everything you have to the initial meeting, and the law office will obtain the remainder of the information, including the Arizona Crash Report and medical records and bills. You will be asked to fill out a form that requests basic information: date of accident, name of the at-fault party, location of accident, and nature of your injuries.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

You are stopped waiting for a light to change and you hear the dreaded crunch of a rear-end collision. You are T-boned by an SUV running a red light. You are struck by a careless driver exiting a private driveway to turn left. It wasn't your fault. Do your insurance rates go up if you report a claim? The short answer is NO! According to A.R.S. § 20-263(A): No insurer shall increase the motor vehicle insurance premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured. Any insurer which increases the premium as a result of accident involvement shall notify the insured of the reason for such increase.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 18, 2016 | 1 Comment

Are you aware that it is a traffic offense to drive too slowly in Arizona? Older drivers or newcomers may find it difficult to drive at the accustomed speed on our highways. When a driver cannot keep up with the speed of the other drivers on the highway, he presents a danger to himself and others. Sometimes, this results in car accidents. According to A.R.S. § 28-704(A): A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic (with stated exceptions). If you are driving on a major highway, and cars are following close to your bumper, you may decide to ignore them if you are driving at the posted speed limit and allow them to go around you. If you are going under the posted speed limit; however, you ought to speed up.

Diminished Value Property Damage Claims after Car Accidents

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

Would you pay the same price for a used car knowing that it had been in a serious collision? No, of course not! In this day and age, most educated car buyers utilize a Carfax report and/or a mechanical inspection of a used car which likely reveal significant auto body repairs due to car accidents. This concept is easy to understand from a car buyer’s perspective. After a vehicle is repaired due to a car accident, the value is often greatly diminished. This is one part of a property damage case that is often over looked and insurance companies certainly will not bring this up. Under Arizona law, property damage claims for a negligently damaged vehicle include compensation for the cost of repair, residual diminution in fair market value after repair, and loss of use. Farmers Ins. Co. v. R.B.L. Inv. Co., 138 Ariz. 562, 564-65, 675 P.2d 1381, 1383-84 (App.1983).

You Hit a Parked Car!

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

Okay. You backed into a parked car in the parking lot. What do you do now? Look around to see if there were any witnesses? Look for the owner of the car? Drive away and hope no one noticed? Leave a note on the car with your name and telephone number? The Golden Rule advises that you treat the owner of the struck car as you would want to be treated. You know how you feel when you come out of a store and find a dent, scratches or a broken taillight. You know how you feel about the person who did it and fled the scene. But the consequences of shirking your duty could result in a fine, up to 30 days in jail, and definitely higher insurance rates. Of course, the consequences of leaving the scene of an injury accident are much more serious. According to A.R.S. § 28-664, your duties upon striking an unattended vehicle are:


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Sometimes sarcastically called “murdercycles,” these fun rides can be and should be safer than they are. The fault with the high incidence of injuries and fatalities lies on both the motorcycle rider and the other motor vehicle drivers on our highways. When a crash occurs, the motorcycle rider has very little protection other than any protective clothing he may be wearing; consequently, fatalities and serious injuries are much higher among motorcycle riders. According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number of fatalities in other motor vehicles (2013).


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Few think the act of opening a car door as hazardous. Even fewer realize that Arizona Revised Statutes address the act in Title 28 – Transportation: A.R.S. § 28-905. Opening vehicle door. A person shall not open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. A person shall not leave a door open on a side of a motor vehicle exposed to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload a passenger. The door zone is a 5-foot wide area in which the bicyclist is in danger of being struck by the car door when it is opened suddenly. When a driver-side door is opened, the bicyclists either strikes the door and flips over and to the left into traffic, or the bicyclist swerves into traffic in order to avoid hitting the door. When a passenger-side door is opened, a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk is likewise struck and/or loses control of the bicycle trying to avoid being struck. We have assisted bicyclist clients who were injured by people negligently opening car doors.

Left Turn Accidents - Go Right Instead?

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

Left turn accident are one of the most dangerous types of car crashes. In many instances, it is more time consuming, but safer to make a series of right turns. Left turns at intersections are a relatively difficult driving maneuver involving many split second judgments made simultaneously. A driver must judge the speed and distance of approaching vehicles, look for pedestrians or bicyclists crossing in the crosswalk, monitor their own traffic signal and making a judgment ab:out whether it is safe to turn. Unfortunately, these are often head-on or t-bone collisions which result in high impact and serious injuries.

Man Arrested For Not Returning VHS Rental 14 Years Ago - When Corporations Write the Laws

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

A North Carolina was arrested for allegedly failing to return a 14 year old VHS rental of the 2001 dud, Freddy Got Fingered. This is a an example of the kind of frivolous cases that are pursued by corporate interests in this country every day. In Arizona, just as in state legislatures across this country, corporate money interests, such as the American Legislative Counsel and the chambers of commerce dominate the law making process and create these stupid laws. In addition, to the so-called tort-reform bills pushed by out of state insurance companies, these industries attempt to reclassify all types of civil disputes and debt collection matters, such as failure to return rental property, into criminal matters. I thought we did away with debtors prisons.

Traffic School Can Improve Your Driving

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jan 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

Here at our Phoenix law firm, we see many personal injury clients who have been hurt in car accidents. If you have not had a driving course in 3 to 5 years, you might consider attending a AAA driving course online or in person, for example: RoadWise: Designed by AAA for 55+ drivers; however, anyone can register to take the course. The course teaches you how to hone your night driving skills, the intricacies of new vehicle technology, and driving tips geared to making you a better, safer driver. The Roadwise Driver course also covers: Extending your driving career Distractions, drowsiness, aggressive driving & road rage Managing visibility, time & space Alcohol & medications Comfort and safety tips

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