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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.

Vehicle Involved in Fatal Car Accident

Care Accident Fatalities in Arizona

Vehicle Involved in Fatal Car Accident

Unfortunately, fatal car accidents take place daily around the country. Our law office would like to remind drivers to be safe – don’t speed and wear your seatbelt at all times.

Tragedy has struck Flagstaff again. There have been two fatal car accidents in less than 12 hours. In the first case, a young woman and her family rolled their vehicle off of Interstate 40. In the second case, a Tucson man was killed on Interstate 17. Both cases were single car accidents.

Fatal Car Accident Statistics

In 2011, there were 825 fatal car accidents in Arizona. Half of these fatalities occurred in rural areas and were also single car accidents.[1] These statistics tell us that being in a small rural community does not mean that we are out of harm’s way. Motorist need to be mindful of this fact and always remember to wear their seatbelt.

The lawyers at Gonzales & Poirier have successfully represented hundreds of clients in personal injury cases. Each case is handled with extraordinary care. The client’s interests are priority, not the lawyers. We almost always cut our fee to make sure you receive as much money as possible in any settlement. Otherwise, we want you to have a good experience. Our firm handles all types of accident cases such as automobile and motorcycle accidents, truck and bus accidents, slip & fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases. We handle cases in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott and other parts of the State. Please call us today if you have any questions at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, please email us at

Auto Collision Accident in Busy Intersection

Flagstaff’s Most Dangerous Intersection

Auto Collision Accident in Busy Intersection

Some intersections around the state and country are simply more dangerous than others. As is the case with the intersection of Ponderosa Parkway and Route 66 in Flagstaff.

​Recently, the Arizona Daily Sun reported that E. Ponderosa Parkway and E. Route 66 was the most dangerous intersection in Flagstaff. Since the road was redesigend into a four way intersection, accidents have increased from 21 accidents to 47 accidents a year. According to city data, in 2011 there were 2,200 car accidents, 380 injury accidents and 5 fatality accidents.

According to the paper a majority of the accidents reported are caused by distracted driving, such as: texting, talking on the pohne, eating or driver error such as speeding, following to close or not paying attention. To read the full Arizona Daily Sun article click here.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident of any type first and foremost you must find out how severe the injuries are. If you are clearly severely injured then try to not move until ambulances arrive at the scene of the accident. Back injuries are incredibly prominent in many collisions and movement with a back injury increases the likelihood that the injuries will remain permanent.

If there are no injuries within sight then check with the other people involved in the collision and make sure that they are alright, without having physical contact with them. No matter what the circumstances are call the police to write up an accident report. Many insurance companies have begun to reject claims simply because a police report wasn’t filed. Whether or not you are at fault, calling the police will be beneficial to you when attempting to go through insurance to settle financial disputes.

intersection 2

If there are no injuries within sight then check with the other people involved in the collision and make sure that they are alright, without having physical contact with them. No matter what the circumstances are call the police to write up an accident report. Many insurance companies have begun to reject claims simply because a police report wasn’t filed. Whether or not you are at fault, calling the police will be beneficial to you when attempting to go through insurance to settle financial disputes.

Do not admit any fault until you have consulted an attorney, if needed it is completely acceptable to tell an officer you don’t know the answer to their questions. Overall exercise extraordinary care/caution on the road and when approaching intersections, as many fatalities and extreme injuries can be avoided with the right amount of attention, and by doing so know that you are helping keep the roads as a safer environment.

Here are some tips on safer driving and traveling with care provided by the Arizona Medical Association:

Tip #1: Drive with care.


  • Plan your trips ahead of time. Decide what time to leave and which roads to take. Try to avoid heavy traffic, poor weather and high-speed areas.
  • Wear your safety belt—and wear it correctly.(It should go over your shoulder and across your lap.)
  • Drive at the speed limit. It’s unsafe to drive too fast or too slow.
  • Be alert! Pay attention to traffic at all times.
  • Keep enough distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be extra careful at intersections. Use your turn signals and remember to look around you for people and other cars.
  • Check your blind spot when changing lanes or backing up.
  • Be extra careful at train tracks. Remember to look both ways for trains.
  • When you take a new medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects. Many medicines may affect your driving even when you feel fine. If your medicine makes you dizzy or drowsy, talk to your doctor to find out ways to take your medicine so it doesn’t affect your driving.


  • Never drink and drive.
  • Never drive when you feel angry or tired. If you start to feel tired, stop your car somewhere safe. Take a break until you feel more alert.
  • Never eat, drink or use a cell phone while driving.


  • If you don’t see well in the dark, try not to drive at night or during storms.
  • If you have trouble making left turns at an intersection, make three right turns instead of one left turn.
  • If you can, avoid driving in bad weather, such as during rain, sleet or snow.

Tip #2: Take care of your car.

  • Make sure you have plenty of gas in your car.
  • Have your car tuned up regularly.
  • Keep your windshields and mirrors clean.
  • Keep a cloth in your car for cleaning windows.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades when they become worn out.
  • If you are shopping for a new car, look for a car with power steering and automatic transmission.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Arizona contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400 or visit our website. Remember, The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier is first and foremost a Plaintiff’s Firm. We represent accident victims, we do not represent insurance companies. We have experience dealing with insurance companies and will not compromise your rights. We will make the insurance company understand that you are not a “file” but a person who suffered because of the negligence of their insured. If you or a loved one was injured while riding a motorcycle contact us and make an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in Flagstaff or Cottonwood.

The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier.

This article is not a substitute to consulting an attorney and does not predict or guarantee a certain result in your case.

Woman Not Paying Attention in Crosswalk

Flagstaff Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Remind You to Be Careful!

Woman Not Paying Attention in Crosswalk

As a pedestrian moving around town, it is your responsibility to be careful, especially when walking near traffic and across busy streets. Please follow our tips below to be safer.

With summer around the corner there are more people walking, biking and driving in Flagstaff. In 2012 there were 1,565 pedestrian accidents in Arizona. See 2012 Arizona Crash Facts Summary, Arizona Department of Transportation. A little less than ten percent of these accidents resulted in the death of the pedestrian. Id. In rural areas, like Flagstaff, pedestrian accidents account for eleven percent of all pedestrian accidents in Arizona, and eighteen percent of these accidents result in the death of the pedestrian.

One important factor in pedestrian accidents or pedestrian collisions is that most people involved in these types of cases are over the age of 45, and most collisions occur in the cross walk. Id.

Pedestrian Safety Tips To Consider:

  1. Always walk on the sidewalk; or there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic, so that drivers will be able to see you.
  2. When possible, cross all streets at crosswalks, signals or corners.
  3. Try to stop a safe distance from the curb, and then look and always listen for traffic.
  4. If there is a parked car is blocking your view, step to the front of the car looking left and right, and then look left again before crossing.
  5. Always push the “Pedestrian Walk” button for the “WALK” signal. It should give you more time to cross the street.
  6. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. This will ensure that they see you.
  7. If you are walking in the evening, wear reflective, bright or light-colored clothing.
Driving Safety Tips To Consider:
  1. Wear sunglasses to avoid the sun’s glare.
  2. Wash your windshield and keep the glass clean.
  3. Give pedestrians the right of way in a crosswalk
  4. Look for pedestrians stepping out from between parked cars.
  5. Look for pedestrians before you enter or exit a driveway. Pedestrians might be less alert here than when crossing streets.
  6. Use side windows to look around you before backing up. Checking mirrors is not enough.
  7. Take extra care around buses, especially school buses.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident or any other type of accident, call the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier today at (928) 774-5400. You may also email us at, or message us from our website at or We handle cases in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott and 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 party. Should they decide not the settle, our aggressive trial attorneys will sue the responsible party.

If you have been injured this article cannot substitute consulting an attorney to discuss your legal rights.


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