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Mourning the Yarnell Hill Fire Tragedy

July 10, 2013

The recent loss of nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in the Yarnell Hill fire is a devastating loss for the entire state of Arizona. As we mourn this terrible tragedy, we are reminded of the substantial risks our first responders take and the courageous service they provide to our communities.

Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Service

Please join the Law Offices of Michael Córdova in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the fallen firefighters and their community of Prescott, Arizona.


In the wake of this heartbreaking event, many are questioning how they can help.  Below is a list of options for donating to the families of the firefighters who perished:

Trouble Under Water

June 14, 2013

In the wake of the tragic drowning of a 2-year-old girl in Lichtfield Park, it’s time to look at water safety in a legal context. Losing a loved one in a drowning accident can be a horrendous ordeal, but it is important to understand key aspects of the incident in order to settle any legal issues and begin the healing process.

First, understand that any entity, individual or organization, that possesses a swimming pool, has a legal responsibility to maintain a certain level of pool safety. The walls of the Paradise Valley pool are lined with notices – “lifeguard on duty”, “no running”, “no diving allowed”, etc. Individuals that own pools at their residences also have a responsibility to provide a safe place to swim. These measures are in place to ensure safety, as well as to prevent liability in case of an accident.

Liability for injury occurs if a drowning accident or any other swimming-related injury occurs. If the swimming pool was not staffed by on-duty lifeguards, or if the lifeguard was reckless in his or her actions and failed to prevent a drowning, the owner can be held liable for this accident. Liability can also be placed on a reckless swimmer if they forcefully caused an individual to drown. A drowning can also be the result of negligence of an individual that failed to provide supervision for a child in a pool.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at a pool, or if someone you know has drowned, there are a few steps you should take immediately. Try to gather any evidence possible from the situation in which the accident occurred. This includes people present at the time, the safety regulations put in place, and anything else that might be pertinent to a pending investigation.

Along with writing down all of this information, bring a camera along with you to take pictures of the scene of the accident. These can be used during a case as evidence against the person who assumes liability. Try to revisit the scene as soon as possible after the injury or drowning has occurred.

Also, if there are any non-working products or pieces of equipment at the scene, try to gather them and keep them in your possession. These can be used by an attorney at the offices of Michael Cordova as key evidence in your case. If anything has been removed from the area, attempt to get ahold of it so that no piece of evidence goes unnoticed.

This is a lot to handle in this time of grief, but don’t worry – turn to the law offices of Michael Cordova, where we specialize in wrongful death cases and can sort out the issue of legal liability in the death of your loved one. We will quickly and aggressively fight for you to ensure that the reckless actions of others don’t go unpunished. Call the offices of Michael Cordova today – we’re here to help you seek justice and keep your head above water.

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The 5 Steps after a Car Accident

June 1, 2013

No one wants to plan on the worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, sometimes that is exactly the scenario that unfolds; and when that happens, it is important to be prepared. A car accident is one such scenario. On the I-10, scraping metal, jarring impact, blaring sirens—a person is easily shaken up after an accident, whether minor or massive. Faced with such stressful circumstances, no one could expect to think clearly and make the best decisions. However, if someone is prepared, he or she won’t have to worry about what to do.
After a car accident, regardless of the damages or liability, there are several key steps to follow to guarantee a smooth resolution. Below are the most important measures for people to take to protect themselves and their car.

1. Check for Safety

First and foremost, it is important to ensure the safety of all parties. Before insurance, liability, or legal details are discussed, getting necessary medical help should be the top priority. And most importantly, remain calm. Panic is the last thing people need in the aftermath of a car accident.

2. Speak Carefully

When someone says, “I’m sorry, I should have paid better attention,” it may just be a polite apology. However, taken in legal context, even something as slight as an apology, can be considered an admission of liability. The only people with whom an individual should discuss the accident are the police, the insurance agent, and his or her attorney. Witnesses of the accident may also be able to offer their views for added information, but the police are the ones who should gather all of the details. Save the good manners for later.

3. Document the Scene

Even minor accidents have the potential to snowball into a larger legal dispute. It is important for people to document the scene of the accident to provide evidence later. Some people even recommend carrying a disposable camera in the glove compartment of the car for such a need. Pictures are vital in sorting through an auto accident. They are reliable and unchanging when compared to the testimonies of witnesses and drivers. There are even apps for your iPhone that can help you through the entire documentation process.

4. Call an Insurance Agent

To get a quote of the damages, a person needs to consult his or her insurance agent. This will be the estimated figure that will cover all damages to the cars involved, based on who is at fault. Not all quotes or companies will be the same. If the first estimate is not satisfactory, an individual should ask for outside quotes from different companies. A second opinion can often be incredibly helpful.

5. Call an Attorney

Before making any final decisions, even if a driver has decided not to pursue major legal action, it is important to discuss the car accident with an attorney. The Law Offices of Michael Cordova will be able to fully assess the situation and any settlement that has been proposed. Having legal help as back up, especially before talking to the other party’s insurance agent, will save that person from a potential future mess. Enduring a car accident is headache enough; seeking legal help from Michael Cordova, even just as support, will save a driver all the unnecessary trouble afterward.

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Better Not Bite – Dog Safety

May 18, 2013

One of the most frightening experiences for a child or adult can be facing an angry or hostile dog. Whether it’s a scared neighborhood pooch, or a lost puppy wandering around Steele Indian School Dog Park, canine’s can cause serious damage if they choose to attack. Two girls found out the hard way in Flagstaff recently when they were attacked by a pair of dogs after volunteering to help clean up equipment at a baseball field. The dogs’ owner fled the scene, shirking responsibility for her actions.

Owning a dog comes with certain responsibilities. Other than feeding it, giving it water, and walking it for exercise, a dog’s owner must ensure that it’s not a danger to society or those around it. If they cannot provide this assurance, they must keep it in a fenced area on their own property so that it cannot harm anyone. The owner is also responsible for providing an enclosure that is free of holes and that will keep the dog from escaping from the property.

But what happens if the dog escapes and causes trouble in town? You certainly can’t blame the dog, can you? That’s right, it’s difficult to place blame on an animal that can’t read the Phoenix laws on dog safety. Instead, in the event of an injury caused by a dog, the owner assumes liability.

So if you or a loved one has been bitten or injured in any other way by a dog, don’t worry – it’s not your fault! Track down the owner, call the offices of Michael Cordova and let us work on what we do best. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can expeditiously work on your case to ensure that you receive compensation for the damages caused by the aggressive canine.

This doesn’t mean you can act like the children in “the Sandlot”, though. If you’ve ever seen that classic movie, you’ve witnessed a bunch of foolish kids angering a giant dog by lobbing baseballs into its yard. If you’ve been intentionally hitting dogs with baseballs or other objects, or crawling around the neighbor’s yard trying to avoid his or her chained animal, you might be out of luck.

But if you were walking around South Mountain park, enjoying a beautiful sunset with friends or family, and were chased down and attacked by an angry dog, that’s a different story. That certainly wasn’t your fault, and we’re here to ensure that justice is served.

The first step you need to take is to monitor your wounds and make sure your life isn’t in danger. Next, call the offices of Michael Cordova. Even if you can’t track down the owner of the dogs, don’t worry. We will be here by your side every step of the way, and we will fight to find the person that’s liable and make them pay for their actions. Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Phoenix will work with you through this, and keep that dog away so you may hear its bark, but will never feel its bite.

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Life-Saving Laws of Cycling

May 5, 2013

In any sport or activity, there are certain techniques and rules in place to improve performance and ensure the safety of the participants. In the world of cycling things are no different. Before jumping onto the Arizona Canal path a new bicyclist must learn the rules if he or she is going to stay out of harm’s way.
The risks are heightened for bikers because, not only is the ground speeding by just a couple feet below them, but they are in close contact with cars. They must act like every other car on the road—except without the added protection of airbags and bumpers. Because of this great risk, it is absolutely vital for cyclists to follow the rules and learn the techniques to avoid an accident and stay safe.

The Right Gear

Protection is limited for a bicyclist, but having the proper equipment can mean the difference between life and death. Before it is important for a person to have the following:
• Helmet
Wearing a helmet is common sense. It can literally be the difference between a minor accident and a major tragedy.
• Gloves
For serious riders, padded gloves help absorb shock. But in the event of a fall, gloves will also protect a rider’s hands from being scraped up.
• Lights
Many bikers avoid riding at night altogether; most auto-on-bike accidents occur when it is dark outside. However, if a rider goes out at night it is law to be equipped with both a tail light and headlight. Without proper lights, he or she would be nearly invisible to a driver at night.
• Bright Clothing
Bikers are not known for their impeccable fashion sense—but those bright neon colors and loud patterns are not meant for the runway anyway. Being conspicuous, both day and night, is perhaps a rider’s best protection because it will prevent an accident from happening in the first place.

Obey the Laws

Bicyclists need to behave just like motorists when riding in the street. Stop signs, lighted intersections, flow-of-traffic, turn signals…riders must observe these with as much, if not more, careful attention as a motorist. And while it may seem safer to stick to the sidewalks, the risks of hurting a pedestrian or being hit by a car (who is not looking for bikers on the sidewalk) are actually greater than just following the rules of the road. Almost all accidents can be prevented by simply sticking to the laws.
The majority of car-bicycle accidents happen at intersections, when every driver is looking around for other cars coming from different directions. A small biker can become invisible in the chaos of a busy intersection—especially if he or she is trying to turn left or right. For a safe right turn, a rider is better off stopping behind a car instead of to the side of it. This way he or she will avoid being turned into or cut off on during the turn. A left turn is a little trickier. A cyclist may either signal and merge into the left-turn lane, or he or she can ride to the corner of the sidewalk and use the lit crosswalk.

Prepared for an Emergency

Sometimes a rider does all of the right things: wears a good helmet, has bright clothes, signals properly, and uses the proper lane. But when it comes down to it, bicycle safety involves two people. All it takes is one driver who isn’t paying attention. This is why, despite everything, a cyclist still needs to be prepared for an emergency.
When faced with an accident, a rider can basically do two things: brake or turn. Maintaining healthy brakes is a must and practicing a sudden-stop can save a biker’s life. On the other hand, knowing how to expertly maneuver one’s bike can also help. For a quick turn, a rider should steer the handle bars away from the direction he or she wants to go. Instead, lean into that direction. This will lead the bicyclist to then correct the lean by steering back in the direction of his or her body. A turn like this is more natural and balanced, so the cyclist will not fly off in the sudden change in direction. Standing up on the pedals can also give the rider more control.
Another part of being prepared for an emergency is knowing what to do immediately after. Cyclists deserve to be repaid for injuries and damages because they typically bear the brunt of an accident. When it comes to auto-bicycle accidents, the law offices of Michael Cordova can expertly handle any situation. Between a bike helmet and Michael Cordova, a rider will be protected both on and off the road.

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