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Logging Truck on Icy Winter Road

Winter Road Conditions

Logging Truck on Icy Winter Road

Northern Arizona drivers must take extra precautions when driving on icy winter roads, so not to become another statistic.

According to the National Weather Service and the Arizona Daily Sun, Northern Arizona and Flagstaff will receive its first significant snow fall starting Thursday afternoon and lasting until Saturday. The National Weather Service is predicting up to 11 inches of snow for Flagstaff, which is a welcome relief to our drought stricken region. Furthermore, many of us are looking forward to white Christmas and all the outdoor activities a good snow year will bring Flagstaff.

Safe Winter Driving

While a lot of people cannot wait to hit the slopes, the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier would like to emphasize the importance of safe winter driving. Winter weather presents dangerous and unsafe road conditions like: ice, snow and freezing weather. Combine these road conditions with drivers unfamiliar with safe winter driving and you have the perfect recipe for car accidents. Every year we hear reports of huge chain reaction car accidents severely injuring multiple people shutting down I-17 or I-40 for hours. We also see bad drivers driving too fast or following too closely because they have a 4WD car or truck. Many of our winter accidents can be prevented if drivers follow these safety tips as provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation:

Drive Carefully

  • Drive for conditions: slower speeds, slower acceleration
  • Use your headlights
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps and bridges
  • When driving behind a snowplow, stay back at least a few car lengths until it’s safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road. If you think you’re traveling too close to a plow, you probably are. Be safe and stay back!
  • If approaching an oncoming snowplow, slow down and give the plow extra room
  • Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road conditions, not winter road conditions.
  • Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually
  • Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles
  • Always comply with all posted chain requirements
  • Always carry tire chains, especially when traveling in mountain passes or typically snowy areas
  • Remember – 4-wheel-drive vehicles cannot necessarily turn or stop any better than 2-wheel-drive vehicles

Know What to Do in Collisions and Emergencies

  • Dial 9-1-1
  • If possible, move the vehicle out the travel lanes into a safe area
  • Attend to all medical needs in a safe place, if possible
  • If you are making arrangements to have your vehicle towed, do that in a safe location
  • If your vehicle becomes non-operational, raise the front hood to signal that it is disabled
  • Be alert to the hazards of moving traffic, especially on a slippery road surface
  • Do not stand anywhere in the travel lanes or close to your vehicle
  • The emergency lane or shoulder berm are not safe places to stand or park

Furthermore, winter conditions can also leave a lost driver or a driver involved in a car accident stranded because they cannot be located. Again, we have heard tragic stories of people who have gotten their cars stuck and froze to death when they tried to find help. To prevent a tragedy like this from happening, the Arizona Department of Transportation suggests that you plan ahead when traveling in areas with winter road conditions. Plan ahead:

  • Carry plenty of food and water and all necessary medications
  • Carry a fully charged cell phone
  • Visit or dial 5-1-1 to check for current road and weather conditions
  • Plan your travel route and allow for extra time to arrive at your destination
  • Notify someone of your travel route, destination and projected arrival time
  • Get plenty of rest before your trip and take breaks during your trip to stay alert
  • Carry an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle that includes blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand for traction, and hazard warning lights or reflectors

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or any other type of accident seek medical attention immediately then call the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier at (928) 774-5400. You may also email us at, or message us from our website or We handle cases inFlagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescottand other parts of the State. Our initial consultation is free and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid, unless you get paid. The goal is to settle your case with the responsible driver or his/her insurance company or employer. Should they decide not the settle, our aggressive trial attorneys will sue the responsible driver.

Many accident injury cases can be handled by our firm negotiating with the insurance company without having to file a lawsuit. We have many years of experience dealing with insurance adjusters and fighting for our clients rights. However, our car accident attorneys are also experienced trial lawyers and are able and ready to protect your rights in court. Our firm offers free consultations. In addition, we help you find the right doctors to treat your injuries.

In order to best assist us in handling your case, it is important that you have the following information: the location of the accident, the direction the vehicles were traveling, the insurance information of the person that caused the accident, your insurance information, medical treatment information, and traffic citation information. As a client, our firm will work closely with you to obtain any information you do not have, but it is important after any traffic accident to obtain as much information at the time of the crash as possible.

Man Shoveling Snow on His Property

Break Out the Snow Shovels

Man Shoveling Snow on His Property

The Law Office of Gonzales & Poirier would like to remind Flagstaff residents that they must remove snow from sidewalks bordering their property or face a city fine.

This week Flagstaff is getting more than just a dusting of snow, by the end of the week Flagstaff could receive up to 8-12 inches of snow. We just want to remind homeowners and business owners that the City of Flagstaff requires you to shovel your sidewalk within 24 hours or else you could face fines and cost of removal.

It’s Snowing, Do You Know Where Your Snow Shovel Is?

In early October we have written a previous blog post concerning premises liability and just want to remind people to shovel their sidewalks. The City of Flagstaff Ordinance 8-03-001-0004 requires the removal of snow, ice, dirt or obstructions from sidewalks bordering your building by the owner, occupant or tenant within 24 hours. Failure to abide by the City Ordinance could result in a criminal citation and a bill for the cost of removing the snow. The City Ordinance is clear in stating that businesses and residents have a duty to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snow storm.

If the City of Flagstaff Ordinance was not enough incentive to break out the shovel and clear your sidewalk, Arizona’s law on premise liability might convince you to think otherwise. A business owner could face additional liability for failing to clear their sidewalks and parking lots if one of their customers happens to slip and fall while trying to navigate a snowy sidewalk. Arizona’s premise liability law could make a business owner liable for slip and fall injuries. Arizona courts have found that a business owner “only owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to his invitees.” Walker v. Montgomery Ward, 20 Ariz. App. 255, 258 (1973). This means the premise owner has a duty to discover, correct and warn of hazards which the premise owner can reasonably foresee as endangering an invitee. See, Markowitz v. Ariz. Parks, 145 Ariz. 352 (1985). A business owner has a duty to warn, correct and discover a dangerous condition if you caused it, had actual knowledge of it or you should have known about the dangerous condition. In most circumstances, a business owner who knowingly fails to shovel a snowy sidewalk would breach their duty of care as outlined above. Business owners need to be aware that they could be slipping down the slippery slope of a lawsuit if they fail to shovel their sidewalks this winter.

The best practice to observe when dealing with a snowy sidewalks is to be a good neighbor. Business owners and residents should shovel their sidewalks as soon as reasonably possible. If you rent a space and the owner is responsible for shoveling the snow and fails to do so, you should notify the owner but be prepared to break out the parka and the shovel. Under the city ordinance both the landlord and tenant are responsible for the sidewalk. If someone slips and falls, the injured party will most likely sue the landlord and tenant and let the attorneys figure out their liability. Finally, you should shovel your sidewalk because it just makes good business sense. In today’s economy why make it more tough to get that customer in the door because the customer is too scared to walk in your door?

If you have questions or concerns about premises liability or you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400 and ask to speak with Tony or Daniel or visit our website. If you have been injured in an accident you have rights and you should contact an attorney before you speak with the insurance company. Our firm has two locations and if you have been severely injured we will visit you at your home.

woman with Neck Pain After Accident

The Do’s and Don’ts of Accidents from Flagstaff’s Personal Injury Lawyers

woman with Neck Pain After Accident

If you’ve been involved in a significant auto accident, be sure to take proper measures to protect yourself by following our Do’s and Don’ts detailed below.

What is Personal Injury? Personal injury is the legal term for an injury to a person’s body, mental state and emotions, along with property.

  • To prove that someone is responsible for such injury, the injured party must prove the following:
  • The responsible party had a duty to keep others safe from being injured.
  • The responsible party was at fault.
  • The injured party was injured as a result of the responsible party’s acts or omissions.
  • The injured party suffered damages.

What do I do after an accident and injury?

  • It is always a good idea to call 911 after an accident. Determining who was at fault is also very important because the failure to prove liability may cause an insurance company to deny liability.
  • Never leave the scene of an accident – always wait for law enforcement.
  • Do not discuss fault with the other parties involved in the accident or with bystanders. It is human nature to want to apologize – even if you are not at fault. DON’T APOLOGIZE!
  • Taking photos is also important. Most of us carry a camera in our pocket everywhere we go (camera phones). Photographs are just as important as any police report. Look for skid marks, damaged property, or other results of the accident and document them by taking pictures.
  • Look for witnesses. If you learn that there were witnesses, make sure law enforcement gets witness statements from them.
  • If you are injured, consider going to the hospital by ambulance. This decision is difficult because drivers may not have health insurance, or funds sufficient to pay for ambulance. Nevertheless, if you are injured, the first course of action is to document your injury with a medical provider. Insurance companies consistently devalue cases because the injured person waits too long before he or she seeks medical attention.
  • Get the insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident.
  • Consult an attorney. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation about the accident.

How do I do to start an injury claim?

  • Make sure you have a copy of the police report.
  • Document all medical providers that provide treatment.
  • Write down all of your injury symptoms in a daily journal (our firm gives suggests day planners to our clients to do so)
  • Do not allow gaps in treatment – go to the doctor when ordered or needed.
  • Do not give a recorded statement to insurance companies without the help of an attorney. Again, EVERYTHING YOU SAY CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU. IT IS BEST TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY MAKE THE CLAIM OR STATEMENT FOR YOU.
  • Why do I need an Injury lawyer or Injury Attorney?
  • Accident attorneys or accident law firms have vast experience in dealing with insurance companies. These accident lawyers know that insurance companies still engage in dirty tricks and unethical behavior to get you to accept less money than you are entitled to.
  • Insurance companies work to delay and deny any and all claims – having an injury attorney gives you leverage over these industry giants.

The Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier are injury lawyers who can handle any personal injury claim. Our injury attorneys are trial attorneys who have vast experience filing personal injury law suits. We are accident attorneys. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bike accident or any other type of accident, you need injury lawyers to help get you the settlement or verdict you deserve. Insurance companies do not want to pay you for your losses. In Arizona, an injured person hurt in an accident may seek recovery for the following damages:

  1. The nature, extent, and duration of the injury.
  2. The pain, discomfort, suffering, disability, disfigurement, and anxiety already experienced, and likely to be experienced in the future as a result of the injury.
  3. Reasonable expenses of necessary medical care, treatment, and services rendered, and expenses reasonably probable to be incurred in the future.
  4. Lost earnings to date and any decrease in earning power or capacity in the future.
  5. Loss of love, care, affection, companionship, or other pleasures of any relationship.
  6. Loss of enjoyment of life, that is, the participation in life’s activities to the quality and extent normally enjoyed before injury.

Just like each person is a unique individual, your case is unique is different. Therefore you need to talk to an attorney about your particular case and should not use this article as a substitute to seeking the legal advice of an attorney. If after reading this article you have any questions about your case and your rights call us at 928-774-5400. We are a plaintiff’s law firm and only represent injured people.


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