Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings

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

Here at our phoenix personal injury law firm, we often bemoan the number of motor vehicle accident-injured clients we see every week. We help our clients get compensation for their pain and suffering; however, we would be happier if there was a way to avoid motor vehicle accidents and the accompanying injuries and suffering. Since 1978, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has offered 5-Star Safety Ratings to aid consumers purchase safer vehicles to better protect them on the road. NHTSA crash-tests vehicles and assigns “star” ratings on how they perform. Today, technology is advancing at a rapid rate, and NHTSA has realized that it is time to update their 5-Star Safety ratings to reflect those advances. The updated 5-Star Safety Ratings will include the following: The most advanced, human-like frontal crash test dummy in

Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Dec 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here at our Phoenix personal injury law firm, another year is winding down, and we send best wishes for safe and stress-free holiday travel. In Arizona, our winter roads and highways are subject to varying temperatures and conditions during the holidays, and planning ahead for snow, ice or desert heat is not unwarranted. We want to share these travel tips with you:


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Dec 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here at our Phoenix personal injury law office, we sometimes have cases involving school buses and city buses. Fortunately, we have not had a case in which a child has been seriously injured or killed in a bus accident. Perhaps this is because school buses are among the safest vehicles on the road. School buses weigh much more than the family vehicle, the passengers sit much higher than most other vehicles on the road, and designers have used a passive design technique called “compartmentalization.” School bus seats are placed tightly together and covered with a 4-inch-thick foam to form a protective bubble. The theory is that the child will fly against the seat in front of them, absorbing most of the impact on the foam backing.

Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Dec 02, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here at our Phoenix Personal Injury Law Firm, our clients often complain of symptoms of concussion (or Traumatic Brain Injury) after a motor vehicle accident. Even with current safety devices, occupants of a car can strike their heads against a hard surface and sustain a mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). In some cases, the person does not strike their head but the rapid acceleration/deceleration causes the injury. In fact, motor vehicle crashes were the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths (26%) during 2006-2010.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Oct 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here at our Phoenix personal injury law firm, we often represent clients who were injured on the rural roads surrounding Phoenix. In 2012, 19 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas, but rural road fatalities accounted for 54 percent of all fatalities on our nation’s highways. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration attempts to identify high risk rural roads (HRRR) and research ways to reduce fatalities. A new HRRR Special Rule was created under 23USC 148(g) that requires states to set aside a certain amount of funds for high risk rural roads if the HRRR fatality rate appears to be increasing.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Sep 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here at our Phoenix personal injury law firm, we deal with auto insurance companies and policyholders on a daily basis, and we realize that our clients are often confused about the reality of their policies. Here are some of the most common myths and the reality of what exactly your auto insurance will do for you. The longer you stay with an auto insurance, the lower the premiums.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Sep 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

In our Phoenix personal injury law firm, we work every day with insurance companies, especially car insurance companies. Their business models are often opaque, even labyrinthine. Consequently, if you think you are paying too much for car insurance, you are probably right.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

In our Phoenix personal injury law firm, we often have clients who are victims of careless drivers who do not carry motor vehicle insurance, or sometimes only a small policy. They are left with no recourse if they do not have uninsured and underinsured coverage in their own motor vehicle insurance policy; all their medical bills will have to be paid out of pocket.

Arizona's "Move Over" Traffic Law

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Jun 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

Have you heard of Arizona’s “Move Over” law? A.R.S. 28-775, or the “Move Over” law, was enacted in 2005 due to an increase in injury and fatality in police officers and emergency personnel. The motivation for this law was to ensure safety while stopped on the side of the road. A.R.S. 28-775 states: If a person who drives a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle and

Arizona Auto Booster Seat Law - Required For Most Children Ages 5 to 7

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

In our Phoenix area personal injury law firm, we see the dire consequences of motor vehicle crashes involving children all too often. In August, 2012, the Arizona child passenger safety laws were updated to include booster seat provisions. In the prior legislation, the safety laws allowed children to transition from a child safety seat to a seat belt alone when they reached 5 years of age. Most caregivers and parents would agree that trusting the safety belt to protect small passengers does not offer the safest option. The revised law requires a booster seat for children, 5-7 years old, and under 57” inches height.

Arizona Car Buying Awareness

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

Buying a car is a huge financial investment. It is important that buyers and sellers alike do their due diligence for any transaction. Schemes are all around where criminals are looking to make a quick buck by defrauding innocent buyers and sellers. Scams can be simple or elaborate. You make be dealing with a seller rolling back the odometer. There could be a sophisticated schemer who pays cash for a vehicle to have a title clear of financial liens, then obtains a duplicate title with which they receive a title loan, and finally sell the cleared title with the vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer. The innocent buyer is then left unable to properly title or register the vehicle until the lien is paid off or the lien holder may just repossess the vehicle. Sellers can be scammed by people paying cash using counterfeit money or a check from a bogus bank account. A seller could allow a buyer to test drive the vehicle alone and they never return. ADOT issued a list of precautions for buyers and sellers to take before making a transaction so innocent people do not become the victim of fraud. These tips include:

Arizona Highway Safety - Runaway Truck Ramp

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here in Arizona temperatures are creeping up and you know what that means. Summer’s on its way. Many of us will be road tripping out of the valley of the sun for summer vacation, to enjoy our amazing Arizona highways, or just to escape the heat. As you are driving the winding Arizona roads you will probably see the runaway truck or safety ramps off the side of the road. Most likely these signs do not take up much of your attention but they are surprisingly important to your safety and the progression of your drive. The Arizona Department of Transportation recently posted a video about these ramps’ vital role.

No Big Surprise - Distracted Teen Drivers Cause Car Accidents

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | May 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

In what is said to be the most comprehensive study into teen driving, the AAA Foundation has conducted research examining video footage of nearly 1700 teenage drivers in the moments leading up to car accidents. They discovered that the issue of distracted teen drivers is actually much worse than was previously estimated using police reports. In our Phoenix personal injury law office we often see cases where teen drivers’ inexperience and overconfidence leads to injury. Distracted driving is determined to be a factor in 60% of the crashes, which is actually 4 times the amount that had been estimated. The in-depth analysis found the most common distractions in ranking order were:

Seniors Support Scrutiny for Driver License Renewal

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

Seniors are supporting tougher driving laws for, well, seniors. This group also supports overall tougher driving laws such as bans on using wireless devices and ignition interlocks for those with DUIs. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that the vast majority of elders support a thorough license-renewal process for all seniors. The research found 7 out of 10 seniors supported drivers, ages 75 and older, being required to renew their license in person and nearly 80% wanted drivers, again 75 and older, to pass medical screenings to remain licensed.

The Rubber Gas Nozzles of Phoenix

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you’ve ever purchased gas in Phoenix then you have probably noticed those cumbersome rubber collars that are on the nozzles. These seals came into widespread use in 1993 to help reduce pollution per the federal Clean Air Act requirements. Phoenix has had an unacceptable level of air pollution for years that does not meet federal ozone level standards. These ‘vapor recovery’ nozzle covers are a method for reducing the amount of fuel vapors that are released into the air when gas is pumped. The plunger-looking rubber cap is built to vacuum these vapors and transport them to an underground holding tank that all gas stations in Phoenix are required to have. It may seem counter-productive to improving air quality to remove them. Newer vehicles, however, have their own built-in mechanisms that catch the gas vapors and keep them from entering the atmosphere based on automakers’ own federal air-quality regulations. These systems in vehicles and on the gas pump are redundant. Not only are they repetitive, but the systems in some vehicles compete with the rubber nozzle covers and ultimately causes both to be ineffective. As a result, the Maricopa Association of Governments has asked the EPA to let Phoenix gas stations remove the nozzles. The plan is now in place for their removal beginning in October 2016 and finish by September 2018. This will initially be an expense for the companies but, as the underground holding tanks will no longer be necessary, over time companies will ultimately save money.

168 million drove drowsy last year!

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving! According to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one-in-five (21 percent) fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. According to Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Unfortunately, drivers often underestimate this risk and overestimate their ability to combat drowsiness behind the wheel.” More attention has been paid to drowsy driving since the June 2014 accident involving a Walmart tractor-trailer and the limousine carrying well-known comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike that left one dead and the comedian seriously injured. Unfortunately, it has been an unappreciated problem for much longer.

CHILD SAFETY - Car Seat Manufacturer Paying Big

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

The car seat manufacturer Graco has just been fined $10 million in civil penalty by the Department of Transportation for failing to give a timely notification of a child safety seat defect. The Harness Buckle Recall, announced last year, is the largest ever on a child safety seat, affecting more than 4 million car seats. The issue is with the harness buckle, which may become difficult to unbuckle or stuck in the latched position. If the buckle were to stick in an emergency it becomes a hazard or life threatening. In February 2014 the company recalled defective convertible and booster seats and in June 2014 an additional 2 million rear facing infant seats.

What's In Your Hummus?

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

Have you purchased any Sabra hummus lately? The company just issued a recall on 30 thousand cases of their Classic Hummus. After a regularly scheduled inspection at a Kroger in Port Huron, MI on March 30th the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found the possible contamination of listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes are known to cause short term symptoms such as headache, fever, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea for healthy adults. The effects, however, for young children, those with weakened immune systems, and the elderly may be more serious or even fatal. Pregnant woman can potentially experience miscarriage or still birth.

Tempe, Arizona Considering Ban on Smoking in Cars with Children Present

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Tempe is considering a ban on smoking in cars with children present. Recently elected city councilman David Schapira, formerly of the state legislature, made the proposition at a recent city council meeting. Schapira attempted to pass such a law at the state level each of the three years he served but nothing ever came of it. Other states, such as California and Oregon, have a similar law on the books prohibiting smoking in a vehicle with a child passenger. If Tempe elected to pass the law it would be the first of its kind within the state of Arizona. When he proposed the bad, Schapira said “Tempe has historically been a leader in tobacco-related issues.”

Bill Against Aggressive Panhandling

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Most everyone has had the experience of someone asking for money on the street. You may be just stopping for gas or walking into a grocery store when someone approaches you and simply asks you to spare a dollar. You give your answer and move on. Maybe you dig a loose dollar out of your pocket, or you let them know you have nothing to spare. More rare, you may have a different experience where you are approached, perhaps leaving an ATM, and a simple ‘no’ is not sufficient for this pushy panhandler. They step forward into your personal space and continue on with one reason or another about why they need the money and how you would really be helping them out, while semi-impeding your ability to leave. In this situation you can feel more than uncomfortable about their persistent and forceful attitude.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Apr 03, 2015 | 0 Comments

There are many inherent dangers in driving a motorcycle. It is a small automobile, often hidden in the blind spot of larger vehicles sharing the road, manned by an entirely exposed driver. Our Phoenix based personal injury law firm often sees needless injuries that are the result of driver’s miscalculation. Motorcyclists have to be even more dutiful in following the law than your average driver in order to protect themselves. Other vehicles are always cautioned to share the road and check blind spots because of how easily an error can lead to a fatality. Unfortunately, Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld of Scottsdale resulted in tragedy for two of its riders due to negligence.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

According to Traffic Safety Facts April 2014 report, there is an upward trend of pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents nationally. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says “on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.” Our Phoenix personal injury law office has handled numerous cases of pedestrians struck by vehicles. Arizona is contributing to this statistic. Early Thursday morning on March 12th in San Tan Valley a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. This comes less than a month after a Scottsdale collision on February 18th, where a car was exiting the Loop 101 freeway and struck two pedestrians in a cross walk. Of the two, one was taken to the hospital to be treated, the other was declared deceased.

Phoenix New Addition - Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway

Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

he Valley’s freeways are soon to include a new addition, one that has been 30 years in the making. If you have lived in the Valley for a while you may have heard of the phantom South Mountain Freeway. The 22-mile long freeway project is the last leg of the Loop 101/202 system that would impact the metro-Phoenix area and improve regional mobility. In 1985 Maricopa County voters first approved the construction of a South Mountain Freeway with Proposition 300. That proposition allowed funding for the freeway as part of The Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Freeway Program. In 2004, voters approved Proposition 400 which again allotted funding through the Regional Transportation Plan. ADOT Director John Halikowski says “voters recognized the need and the benefits of this project to provide connectivity, travel reliability and route options for a growing region.” Final approval for the long-anticipated project finally came on March 5th when the Federal Highway Administration signed the Record of Decision. This final approval allows ADOT to start acquiring right of way, which will begin immediately, for the freeway’s construction.


Posted by Jay L. Ciulla | Mar 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

Commercial vehicles make up a large portion of traffic on roadways, especially highways. The sheer size of these vehicles makes them formidable to other drivers sharing the road. The Arizona Department of Public Safety implemented Operation Southern Shield 2015 on the Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 highways that aimed to reduce commercial vehicle crashes. This was a three day operation from February 24 to 26 during which officers inspected commercial vehicles and driver logs. Over 1,100 vehicles were inspected. As a result, 168 vehicles were put out of service and over 2 thousand vehicles violations were discovered. DPS officers placed 132 drivers out of service and brought to light 965 drivers’ violations. During Operation Southern Shield 2015, no commercial vehicle collision occurred.

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