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Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog

Collision avoidance technology for safer roads

As Arizona drivers know, many factors can lead to a dangerous or even deadly highway accident. Even if a driver is highly skilled, unexpected maneuvers by other drivers or sudden changes in vehicle handling can lead to a collision. The driver may be incapable of avoiding such an accident in the moment, but new automotive technology could compensate for such situations and minimize the risks involved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 28 percent of highway accidents are the result of one vehicle rear-ending another. A further 23 percent are due to being run off the road, while 9 percent are caused by drivers attempting to change lanes. These types accidents can be avoided with the use of vehicle collision avoidance systems. The NHTSA found that sport utility vehicles with collision avoidance technology installed have a risk of such accidents 70 percent lower than those without, while other cars thus protected are 40 percent less endangered. If all semi-trucks were equipped with such technology, well over 4,000 crashes could be prevented each year.

Arizona car crash kills 1, leaves 2 seriously injured

A deadly Tucson car accident has claimed the life of a 62-year-old man and seriously injured two people. The crash occurred on Nov. 10 near the intersection of South Alvernon Way and West Irvington Road. The decedent was a passenger in a sedan that reportedly made a left turn in front of two vehicles.

According to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, two vehicles, a van and a BWM SUV, were traveling north on South Alvernon Way when a Cadillac sedan headed south on the same road made a left turn in front of both cars. The van and the SUV struck the sedan on the passenger side, killing the passenger on impact.

Phoenix taxi accident leaves 1 dead and 2 critically injured

Authorities in Arizona have reported that one person was killed and two others were seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident in southeast Phoenix on Nov. 8. The investigation into the car accident is being conducted by the Phoenix Police Department with assistance from the Department of Public Safety. The cause of the wreck was not immediately clear.

According to a police report, the driver of a Toyota Prius taxi lost control of the vehicle as she proceeded westbound on Interstate 10 near South 40th Street. The taxi then left the roadway, crashed through a fence and hit a utility pole before coming to a stop.

What is shoulder dystocia?

There are a variety of different problems that could arise during birth, and unfortunately, some of these incidents are related to medical mistakes. One of the most serious emergencies experienced by doctors in Arizona is known as shoulder dystocia. This occurs after the baby's head has emerged from the birth canal during delivery. It is when the infant's shoulder becomes stuck and unable to pass through.

One of the most dangerous aspects of shoulder dystocia is oxygen deprivation. This may not seem to be a concern, as it's simply a shoulder that won't emerge, but by this point, the infant is already in the compressed birth canal. If the baby becomes stuck there, there will be pressure on the umbilical cord. In the end, this can prevent oxygen from getting to the infant's brain.

How do doctors diagnose cancer?

Patients in Arizona are usually diagnosed with cancer after a doctor takes a cell or tissue sample and looks at it under a microscope. The doctor may confirm that cancer is present by viewing the sample, or the diagnosis may be made after proteins, DNA and RNA in the sample are tested in a lab.

When a cell or tissue sample is tested in a lab, a doctor may have a better idea of what types of treatments would most benefit the cancer patient. If the patient does not have cancer, these tests could help a doctor to diagnose another disease or infection that may have caused a growth to resemble cancer.

Work truck kills Arizona pedestrian before crashing

On the morning of Oct. 31, a southbound work truck reportedly jumped a curb on Priest Drive and struck a pedestrian at the Elliot Road intersection. The driver then attempted to turn right onto Elliot Road and wound up in the wrong lane facing oncoming traffic. At that point, he crossed the median and three lanes before striking a light pole next to a covered bus stop.

Witnesses of the accident did not immediately realize that the pedestrian had been hit; officials pronounced the woman dead at the scene. The driver sustained unknown injuries, and officials transported him to a local hospital for treatment.

Phoenix-area pedestrian death

A work truck apparently went out of control while heading down a local street on Oct. 31, going on a wild and tragic ride before coming to a stop after hitting a light pole. The driver suffered unknown injuries, and one woman was killed at the scene as she stood on a sidewalk. The incident is still under investigation.

It is unknown at this time if the cause of the accident was speed, driver impairment, a problem with the vehicle or some other cause. The small flatbed truck was proceeding down a street when it jumped a curb, striking and killing the woman. It swerved back onto the street and seemed to try to make the right turn. Instead, it crossed the median, corrected and came back across the median, where it crossed all lanes and crashed into a covered bus stop and a light pole next to the stop. No one other than the driver and the pedestrian appear to have been injured.

Compensation for Arizonans with brachial plexus nerve damage

A brachial plexus injury is an often severe form of birth injury that is caused by physical trauma to the brachial plexus nerve cluster. These injuries are classified into three categories, including stretch, rupture and avulsion. These classifications describe the severity of the injury, with stretch being the most benign and avulsion being the most serious. A stretch brachial plexus injury occurs when the bundled nerve fibers at the base of the neck are stretched. These fibers run from the neck to the arm, and the stretching may range in severity from mild to serious.

Stretching injuries that leave the nerve intact are known as neurapraxia, and they generally resolve within a short amount of time. Ruptures are a more serious type of brachial plexus injury that involve at least one nerve being stretched to the point of tearing. The severity of a rupture is largely determined by whether the tearing is mild enough to repair on its own and whether the nerve sheath is intact. If the nerve sheath is damaged, healing is less likely to take place.

Pedestrian killed on Phoenix street

A woman crossing a street in Phoenix was struck and killed by a car on the night of Oct. 23, authorities stated. The driver involved in the 8 p.m. accident allegedly fled from the scene of the crash, on McDowell Road near 51st Avenue. Phoenix police eventually located and detained the driver, reportedly.

According to authorities, the woman was attempting to cross the road outside of the crosswalk when a vehicle stopped to let her pass. That is when a second vehicle purportedly swerved around the first vehicle and hit the woman. Emergency personnel transported the woman to a Phoenix hospital, where her accident-related injuries proved to be fatal.

What is Erb's palsy?

Because it is a rare birth injury, Arizona parents might not be familiar with the condition known as Erb's palsy. Also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, this condition typically results from difficult deliveries and may affect movement and feeling in an infant's arm.

The brachial plexus is located beneath each clavicle, where it is a gateway for nerves to pass from the spinal cord to each arm, hand and set of fingers. When an infant's neck is overstretched to one side, the upper nerves of the brachial plexus may suffer damage. The chances of this happening increase during exceedingly long labor as well as a breech birth.

*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization