A tragic fatal auto accident in Arizona left one person dead. Veronica M. Vensor, 31, of Phoenix, died Sunday, June 15, 2008 after her car was hit on eastbound U.S. 60 near Greenfield Road, Arizona Department of Public Safety officers said. DPS officers said Vensor’s 1997 Saturn was hit about 6:45 p.m. by a 2005 Toyota driven by Clarence D. Corbin, 73, of Queen Creek. Vensor was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The Arizona Republic reports that, according to police, they did now know why Ms. Vensor’s car was stopped and not pulled over.
These types of crashes raise the possibility of civil or criminal penalties for a driver who caused the collision. At the time of this report, it appears that fault had not yet been determined. As Arizona is a pure comparative fault state, there can be more than one cause to an incident such as this. Why the car was broken down, how long it was broken down, and why it was still in the regular lanes of travel – as opposed to the breakdown lanes – must be examined. Why Mr. Corbin failed to see Ms. Vensor’s vehicle and why he was unable to avoid the vehicle – if he did see it – will probably require expert analysis.
Our heart goes out to Ms. Vensor’s family for this tragedy, and we feel terrible for anybody involved in such a collision and all of those who are affected. Ms. Vensor’s family has the right to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to look into this incident as well as to consider appropriate legal actions. Under Arizona law, the loss of a child, spouse, or parent is compensable under the law through an Arizona wrongful death claim when it is caused by the negligence of someone else. However, it is not compensable if nobody is proved to be at fault for the collision.
There is any number of ways this incident may have occurred. Sometimes a driver is distracted or careless. In other cases, there is simply nothing the other driver could have done to avoid the collision. The answers to these questions – which sometimes require expert reconstruction and skilled representation to determine – will determine whether Ms. Vensor’s family is entitled to compensation for this horrible loss.
It is our view that Ms. Vensor’s family should at least consult with an experienced Arizona auto accident attorney, who will thoroughly and independently investigate and evaluate the accident and look into who was at fault.
A skilled Arizona lawyer will also look into other factors that caused a crash such as another vehicle, mechanical malfunction or a dangerous road condition. There are times where the design of the roadway itself contributes to the inability of other drivers to have adequate visibility in order to avoid the collision. In those cases, the victim’s family has only 180 days to hire an attorney to obtain expert witnesses, lead the investigation, document the injuries and damages, and get the proper Notice of Claim paperwork filed with the appropriate governmental agencies. This mean that time is of the essence in these cases. It is unfair that families suffering these types of tragedies must consider whether to hire a lawyer so soon after their unspeakable loss in case there happens to be a claim against a governmental entity. However, the law provides a limited window. The failure to file the proper paperwork in the proper time frame will eliminate all legal rights. Even determining the time frame – called the Statute of Limitations – requires those considering bringing a claim to sit down with an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney as the time frame can vary dramatically depending upon the person bringing the claim, who they blame, and the type of incident.