Nursing Home Abuse Is On the Rise in Arizona

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According to a data report analyzed by Arizona Sonora News, incidents of nursing home abuse at Medicare-approved nursing homes in Arizona are on the rise, with half of the incidents causing immediate danger to patient care.

The data report included roughly three years of state inspection details from 147 nursing facilities that rely on state and federal reimbursement to pay for care.

The report’s state inspection details describe alarming incidents of elderly residents being severely burned, escaping the nursing facilities, given the wrong medications, and left to lie in their own waste.

Experts say understaffing and under-trained caregivers account for the majority of the reported incidents. Many nursing home advocates suggest the 120-hour mandatory training for certified nursing assistants (CNA) is not enough. For example, to become a licensed cosmetologist in Arizona, one must take 1,600 hours of training—a whopping 1,480 more training hours than is required for a CNA certification.

Additionally, many CNAs are overscheduled and do not regularly receive help from registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, most of whom are oftentimes overscheduled themselves.

In order to deter nursing home abuse, some experts believe Arizona should have stricter staffing standards that can easily be enforced by state inspectors. Also, enforcing steeper fines may prove to be a deterrent to nursing home abuse as well. Currently, the maximum federal fine per day for non-immediate jeopardy is $3,000, while $10,000 is the maximum daily fine for immediate jeopardy. The maximum state fine is $500 per instance of nursing home abuse.

According to recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, there are approximately 16,000 federally certified nursing home beds in the state of Arizona. Of those, slightly more than 11,000 are currently occupied.

Arizona ranks 37th in the nation for serious nursing home violations and ranks eighth in the nation for overall care, according to one non-profit organization’s analysis of the data.

If you believe your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, it is important that you contact an experienced Arizona nursing home abuse attorney right away. At Phillips Law Group, our nursing home abuse attorneys are dedicated to protecting your elderly loved one and ensuring they receive justice for their pain and suffering. 

Contact one of the knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyers at Phillips Law Group to schedule a FREE consultation by calling 1-800-706-3000.


Utah Truck Accident: Female Cyclist Hit by Semitrailer Truck

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Falling Off BicycleA 25-year-old woman is listed in stable condition after a semi-truck collided with her bicycle as she was riding down 400 West in Salt Lake City, Utah. The accident occurred early Thursday morning at the intersection of 300 North and 400 West, near West High School.

According to witnesses, the semi-truck was turning left onto 400 West when it struck the woman, causing her to fall from her bicycle. After falling, the woman hit her head on the pavement and was dragged several feet by the semi-truck. The semi-truck driver made no attempt to stop or slow down at any time during the incident; therefore local authorities are treating the truck accident as a possible hit-and-run. However, because semi-trucks are large and often cumbersome to navigate, it is possible the driver did not even realize a collision occurred.

The semi-truck in question is described as being red with a long, flatbed trailer. The truck’s license plate number or license plate state of issue is not known. The Salt Lake City Police Department encourages anyone with information about the semi-truck to come forward. If you have any information regarding the truck accident, you can contact the Salt Lake City Police Department directly by calling 1-801-799-3000.

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 13 percent of all trucks on the road today are semi-trucks, which makes semi-truck accidents a very real and serious concern. NCSA and NHTSA have compiled the following statistics regarding semi-truck accidents in the U.S.


  • At least one fatality occurs in about 98 percent of all semi-truck accidents
  • Semi-truck accidents cost Americans over $20 billion each year; $13.1 billion of which is associated with victims’ diminished quality of life
  • For every 100 million miles driven on U.S. highways, semi-trucks are responsible for 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a semi-truck accident, you need to seek the help of an experienced and skilled truck accident attorney. Contact the dedicated truck accident lawyers at Phillips Law Group today to schedule a FREE initial consultation. Our truck accident attorneys have decades of experience making sure your rights are protected and enforced at all times.

Call 1-800-706-3000 for a FREE consultation today.

Just to Give You a “Head’s Up,” Head-Up Displays may be a Distraction

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Head-up DisplayIf you’ve ever been in a flight simulator, or know someone who has, then you’re probably already familiar with a head-up display. A head-up display (literally named, because its intention is to help drivers keep their head up while on the road) is a form of technology that projects relevant navigation instruments and information onto the windshield of a car. The head-up display projects information onto the windshield in the form of transparent, illuminated graphics that are easy for the driver to see without impairing their view. Instead of lowering their head to see the instrument panel, drivers can keep their eyes on the road while still being able to see their speed, direction of travel, and even warning alerts to help avoid a collision.

For automobile makers, the head-up display is an integral part of overall driver safety. Because drivers are no longer required to look down, there is no longer a reason for drivers to take their eyes off of the road, thus resulting in a safer driving experience. Some companies are even adding additional functionality to their head-up displays which would allow drivers to receive and respond to text messages or post to social media without having to look away from the road.

But this new technology, as safety-conscious as it may appear, is not without its critics. Jacob Nelson, the Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy for AAA, believes the new technology has the potential to be more of a distraction than a safety feature. "The risk…is that if we are projecting information on the windshield or in the forward driving environment that isn't integral to the core task of driving, then we're overloading the driver," said Nelson.

Nelson isn’t alone when it comes to concerns about head-up display distractibility. Many others feel the potential for distraction could be problematic, especially since technological advancements of any kind are known to cause distracted driving.

Despite the mixed opinions, head-up displays are already available in many car models, including those made by BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, and Cadillac.

In short, drivers are encouraged to form their own opinions about head-up displays. If a driver feels the technology is useful, they may end up driving more safely. And if a driver feels the technology is more of a distraction, they have the option to disable it at any time.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or property damage due to the carelessness of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Phillips Law Group today to schedule a FREE consultation by calling 1-800-706-3000.

Tempe Passes Strictest Texting and Driving Law in Arizona

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texting driver editOn Thursday, Sept. 24, Tempe City Council voted to adopt a new ordinance against texting and driving, which will be the strictest law of its kind in the state of Arizona. The ordinance passed with a 4-3 vote.

The law is set to go into effect at the end of October and will allow officers to fine drivers who use any kind of electronic device while driving. Tempe drivers will still be able to use their cellphone while driving, but they could face a fine if they are visibly distracted and are driving sporadically or swerving.

Although Tempe is not the first city in the state to enact a texting and driving law, other cities, like Tucson and Phoenix, find it difficult to prove that a driver was using their cellphone while driving. Tempe’s new law should make it easier for officers to prove that a driver was distracted by their device.

Arizona is one of only five states that has not passed a state-wide ban on texting and driving – 46 other states including the District of Columbia have passed some kind of texting and driving law. Fourteen states have also banned talking on the phone while behind the wheel.

Studies have shown that texting and driving is six times more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, 69 percent of drivers admit to talking on a cellphone and 31 percent admit to texting while driving in the last 30 days.

Tempe drivers could face a fine of $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense. Any additional offenses within 24 months will be a fine of $500. The penalty will be considered a class one misdemeanor.

The attorneys at Phillips Law Group have seen the devastation that can result from a testing and driving accident and encourage all Arizona drivers to put down their cellphones while driving.

If you have been injured in an accident, call 1-800-706-3000 for a free consultation.

Volkswagen Cheated Emissions Tests, Recalls 500,000 Cars

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diesel EmissionsVolkswagen (VW) vehicles once marketed as “clean diesel” have turned out to be not so clean. VW admitted last week that the automaker has cheated on diesel emissions tests in the United States for the last several years through the use of “defeat device” software.

The software enables the vehicle to know when it is in a testing environment so that it can limit the level of nitrogen oxide that the vehicle emits under those conditions. In all other driving conditions, the vehicle emits levels up to 40 times what is allowable by U.S. regulation.

The world’s largest automaker must now recall almost 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. and modify the emissions systems at its own expense. A total of 11 million vehicles with the same software are estimated to have been sold worldwide.

The German automaker could also expect fines of up to $18 billion from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company has stated that it set aside an initial $7.3 billion to cover any fines and additional expenses that may arise.

Several lawsuits have already been filed by VW owners alleging that the company utilized misleading advertising and that the value of their vehicles has now depreciated. Many car owners originally purchased the cars because of their green qualities, and have stated that they would not have purchased the cars had they known what they know now.

The vehicles being recalled include 2009-2015 Jetta, Golf, and Beetle; 2014-2015 Passat; and 2009-2015 Audi A3.

Unfortunately, this is not the first automobile related scandal this year in which a company lied to regulators and consumers. General Motors and Takata Corp. have both been fined by regulators for attempting to hide a deadly safety defect.

If you have been injured because of a defective product, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call 1-800-706-3000 today for a free consultation.

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