New sign makes drivers think twice about texting

Texting:DrivingThe highways of Arizona have seen a lot of deadly accidents over the last month. At the beginning of May, an off-duty police officer was killed by a wrong-way driver. A few days later, another wrong-way driver crashed into a minivan carrying five members of the same family. An engaged couple perished in another accident on Loop 202, and yet another wrong-way driver caused an accident near New River. A woman died in Phoenix as a result of a hit-and-run, and there have been several cycling deaths.

According to the DPS, the majority of these accidents were caused by impairment. The wrong-way driver who hit and killed the engaged couple had a blood alcohol content of 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the level at which a driver is presumed to be drunk.

The directors of DPS, the Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety have been meeting to discuss strategies to curb the horrific rise in wrong-way drivers. State police have set up more DUI testing stations around the area, especially on public holidays. Knowing that there are drivers out there with such disregard for human life is a scary thought, but with the help of a personal injury lawyer, compensation can be claimed if you’ve suffered an injury.

A Scottsdale businessman has come up with a plan to ensure that drivers take more care. Dan Brasch, the owner of Desert Promotions, has produced a sign that reads “Stop Texting Just Drive”. Mr. Brasch is hoping that the sign will encourage drivers to concentrate on driving rather than checking their cell phones. After all, being distracted when behind the wheel can kill.

Mr. Brasch’s sign is modeled after the classic “Baby on Board” sign that has been popular since the 1980s. It has the same yellow background and bold black text. “We’re not obviously going to copy that, but I thought maybe we could replicate that look, and so that’s what we’ve done,” said Mr. Brasch.

Since he started distributing the stickers in late April, Mr. Brasch said that he has sold between eight and ten thousand of them. They can be found at Hallmark and Paul’s Ace Hardware stores. Mr. Brasch is also planning to ship the signs to car wash companies around the country. “It’s nice to make the sales and all that, but we’re really hoping the message gets out to the public,” he said.

WSJ study names Phoenix VA among worst performers

Veterans Medical CareA recent report from the Wall Street Journal has found that the Phoenix VA Hospital is among the bottom tier of VA hospitals across the country. The disparity of care goes well beyond the reports of patients dying while waiting for care and secret waiting lists.

For example, incidents of potentially lethal bloodstream infections from intravenous lines are more than 11 times higher in Phoenix patients than those in top-rated VA hospitals.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the Phoenix VA noted a 30-day death rate in patients admitted for acute care that was 32 percent higher than that of the top-rated VA hospitals.

The country’s worst VA medical centers were found in Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, and Dublin, according to the Wall Street Journal’s data. Boston, Minneapolis, and Cleveland were rated among the best.

The WSJ’s findings come from a non-public database known as Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL). This database tracks procedure outcomes and rates VA hospitals. Phoenix’s official ranking, which is measured from five stars downward, has not yet been announced.

SAIL looked at various data to evaluate hospital performance, including death from pneumonia and congestive heart failure, acute care death, and deaths caused by avoidable issues such as urinary tract infections or ventilator-associated pneumonia.

VA hospitals do offer the public several Internet portals where it is possible to see information about each hospital, but the SAIL database is more detailed and offers the public the opportunity to compare each hospital.

A VA spokesman said that SAIL has become a useful barometer over the past few years, but it is “still very much a work in progress” whose efficiency will improve as the agency “gains more experience with it and refines its development and use.”

Last Friday, the agency’s secretary, Eric Shinseki, fired several senior officials at the Phoenix VA hospital before tendering his resignation.

We all deserve the very best care when we go to the hospital. Patient care could be suffering for a number of different reasons, including poor hygiene, stressed staff and poor management. Nonetheless, if you end up catching an infection while you are in the hospital for another reason, you might be entitled to compensation. Losing a loved one or watching them suffer through no fault of their own can be heartbreaking. Speak to a professional personal injury lawyer to help you through the process of bringing a claim against those who have been negligent.

Accidental shot kills toddler

Payson PoliceA three-year-old boy shot his younger brother dead in a tragic accident in Payson, Arizona last Tuesday. The boy, his brother and his mother were visiting a 78-year-old neighbor’s apartment when the boys wandered off and found a loaded handgun. After taking it to another room, a shot went off accidentally just as the boys’ mother was walking into the room. She discovered that her younger son, aged 18 months, had been shot in the head.

The mother carried her injured son out into the parking lot. Payson Police Chief Donald Engler reported that at 12:10 p.m., police received several 911 calls reporting a child with a head injury in the area of Ash Street and Bonita Street. Bob Onsguard was passing by and stopped to help. “I just stopped the vehicle over there and I ran over there, a police officer ran over there, he grabbed the baby and put the baby on the ground,” he said.

The injured boy was transported to the Payson Regional Medical Center but was sadly later pronounced dead.

Chief Engler said that his department would take about a week to investigate the shooting before passing the findings onto the Gila County Attorney’s Office, who in turn will decide whether to prosecute anybody.

Engler said that the investigation is looking into whether the gun was secured. He said it was not in plain sight inside the apartment.

The accidental death or injury of a child involving guns is a devastating event that is now an all too common occurrence. Many people who are affected by these tragedies seek the counsel of a personal injury lawyer, who will work to seek compensation for those involved. Criminal prosecution can also follow if it is found that any guns involved have not been secured.

In 2013, two separate accidents took the lives of two children. In March, 11-year-old Joan Plumb was killed in Casa Grande when she and a number of friends aged between eight and 15 were handling a gun at the home of the victim’s father. The gun discharged accidentally, injuring Joan, who was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital but was later pronounced dead.

In December last year, a three-year-old Sahuarita boy accidentally shot himself in the face with his parents’ gun in the family home. The gun had been misplaced and the boy found it. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Soccer headers a new danger?

US Youth SoccerMost parents are happy when their kids decide to take up a sport because it means that they are getting healthy exercise, making friends, learning teamwork and having great fun. However, it is also vitally important that a few simple safety checks are taken into consideration in order to lessen the possibility of accidents and injuries.

If your child’s chosen sport involves wearing safety equipment, make sure it is up to date with safety regulations and kept in top condition. If your child is using a club’s safety equipment, it is vital that the club has carried out regular and thorough checks to maintain the equipment. Staff and coaches must also be up to date on safety procedures and first aid training.

With the FIFA World Cup due to start in a few weeks, soccer fever is likely to hit many kids. The sport is already very popular in the US, with United States Youth Soccer reporting more than three million members in 2013 and the National Federation of State High Schools seeing an increase of 7.4 percent in the number of children taking up soccer over the last four years.

It is great to see kids having fun, but as with any sport, playing soccer has its dangers. The state of Arizona is eager to ensure that accidents and injuries are kept to a minimum. One of the biggest dangers of playing soccer is concussions and other head injuries caused by heading the ball. During a match, the ball can be headed an average of between six and twelve times, and even more heading takes place in practice.

A new study published in Pediatrics has revealed that next to football, girl’s soccer is the sport that carries the biggest risk of concussions. Boy’s soccer came fourth on the list. Another study in the journal Brain Injury reported that older people who had suffered concussions in soccer were more likely to have problems with “conceptual thinking, reaction time and concentration” than individuals who did not play soccer.

In 2011, the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the organization that governs high school sports in the state, mandated that all athletes from its 275 member high schools must take an online test about concussions. A state law has also been passed that requires officials to remove players from a game if there is any suspicion of a head injury. The player would then need clearance from a physician or trainer before returning to play.

These laws have gone a long way toward protecting our children, but if your child has been injured during a sport and you feel that the club, trainer or coach has not adequately protected them, it is worth speaking to a personal injury lawyer to claim compensation.

Illegal cosmetic surgery procedures in Arizona

thThe FBI is on the hunt for two women who have reportedly been performing illegal buttock injections in Tucson, Arizona.

Perla Guadalupe Rubio Prado and Ivonne Clarisa Ceballos Tapia are wanted for using an illegal substance in their cosmetic surgery procedure. Polyacrylamide hydrogel is a liquid gel that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In a press release, FBI Special Agent Perryn T. Collier advised anyone who had been treated by Tapia and Prado to seek medical advice by a licensed and certified doctor.

“Polyacrylamide hydrogel is banned in the United States and should not be used in any medical procedure, including cosmetic surgical injections,” said Collier. “Those who believe they may have been patients of Ms. Tapia and/or Ms. Prado are being encouraged to come forward, not only to aid investigators, but to potentially seek advice through our Victim Witness Assistance Program.”

There have been reports of fatalities due to illegal buttock injections in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New York.

University of Arizona chemical engineering professor Dr. Ara Philipossian said there have been a number of reports of patients experiencing painful lumps and swelling on the areas where the injections were administered. “Although some studies have indicated polyacrylamide hydrogel to be a well-tolerated product, many more studies have shown that numerous adverse events occur after its use,” said Dr. Philipossian.

The obsession with obtaining the perfect body is driving more and more women to take dangerous risks with their health. Undergoing a cosmetic procedure performed by someone who is not professionally certified to carry out the job or who is using illegal ingredients is an incredibly risky move that could lead to years of pain, medical expenses, and permanent disfigurement. If you have been the victim of an illegal procedure, take the advice of a professional, understanding personal injury lawyer. They can help you to claim compensation for the pain and inconvenience caused.

Ellie Grigorian of the Body Sculpting Center in Scottsdale is aware that people are taking risks with their health. She said that some people will even leave the country in their quest to find inexpensive procedures, and she points out that many of these places are not using FDA-approved injectables.

Grigorian added that it is possible to enhance buttocks in a safe way, and there are a number of board-certified surgeons who perform these legal procedures throughout the country.

Scottsdale man recounts hit-and-run accident

BikeA Scottsdale man has described his experience of being the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Robert Marcellus was cycling near 120th Street and Rio Verde Drive in Scottsdale last Saturday when his bike was struck from behind by a red or maroon sedan.

Marcellus, who enjoys cycling on trails and roads, described the moments after he was hit:  “Basically just going black, but the feeling of flying into the air, and then I realized I had been hit, and I had to have been hit from behind.” When Marcellus was asked how far he was thrown from his bike, he guessed that it was a distance of about 50 feet. “He hit me at 55 miles an hour, so I was tossed pretty good in the air,” he said.

Marcellus suffered a broken back, neck and multiple breaks in his hands. Doctors also say that he suffered a small stroke because of the incident.

After the collision, a man came up to Marcellus and told him that he had hit him and was a doctor, but he slipped away once the paramedics arrived.

“You know I do not want to crucify him, I have no ill will, it was a mistake, but the choice to leave and not take responsibility, there is a problem with that, especially a doctor who wouldn’t check up on someone he just hit,” said Marcellus.

Robert Marcellus is now out of the hospital, but his road to recovery will be a long and hard one.

Witnesses say that the car that struck Marcellus’ bike was a red or maroon sporty type with a license plate that ended in the letters DOC. Scottsdale police said that the right side mirror was broken off and the right front of the car was damaged. The driver looked to be in his 40s or 50s.

All too often, innocent cyclists or pedestrians are injured in hit-and-run incidents in Arizona due to no fault of their own. A report this month cited the metro area of Phoenix as a particularly dangerous area of the state to walk or cycle.

If you or a member of your family is injured in this type of incident, the physical and emotional trauma can be huge, not to mention the economic effects. Medical bills and time off work can have devastating effects on a family budget, and day-to-day activities once taken for granted can now cause seemingly insurmountable problems. In this case, it is a good idea to speak to a professional personal injury lawyer who will help you through the process of seeking compensation.

DUI danger on the roads

DUIThe dangerous actions and serious consequences of driving while impaired have hit home in a big way this month in Arizona. With seven fatalities and several injuries from crashes having been linked to impairment, police officers all over the state have stepped up their campaign to stop people from driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Throughout the Memorial Day weekend, DUI checkpoints were set up all around the state and officers patrolled the highways to make sure that any driver suspected of DUI was picked up and tested. One checkpoint near Salt River was set up in honor of Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, the off-duty Mesa police officer who was killed by an impaired driver earlier in May.

The Mesa police DUI squad said that they hope those coming out to Salt River will have fun but will also remember to drive safely by not drinking at all or by electing a designated driver who won’t drink. “It’s a matter of safety,” said Mesa police sergeant Efren Carmona. “If we have to take action, we will make an apprehension for DUI. Hopefully they are getting the message,” he said.

Officers made 24 DUI arrests and 14 arrests for underage alcohol consumption after stopping 1,841 vehicles during the Memorial Day weekend enforcement operation.

However, despite the police’s best efforts, another accident left three children and three adults injured in a case that police suspect was caused by a driver’s impairment.

The crash happened on Monday afternoon just after 1:00pm at 75th and Grand Avenues in Peoria when a white SUV ran a red light and crashed into a blue Honda Pilot. The Honda flipped onto its roof and slid through the intersection. Five people were inside the Honda: two adults, a 14-year-old boy and two five-year-old girls. All were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the white SUV who caused the crash was trapped in the vehicle. Witnesses, including Dan Haveluck, tried to help: “We tried to get this guy out, the driver… he was trapped in there. We pulled him out. His car was on fire. We didn’t have any fire extinguishers or anything so we let the fire department come. He was dazed. I mean, he was responsive, but he was dazed.”

Police believe the driver was drunk.

Law-abiding citizens deserve to be safe on the roads. If you’ve been affected by the actions of a drunk driver, seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer, who can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.