Attorney Jennifer Fite selected as Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers

The National Trial Lawyers Announces Jennifer Fite as One of Its Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Arizona

For Immediate Release

The National Trial Lawyers is pleased to announce that Jennifer Fite of Law Office of Berin A. Fite has been selected for inclusion into its Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Arizona, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers in either civil plaintiff or criminal defense law.

The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization comprised of the premier trial lawyers from across the country who have demonstrated exceptional qualifications in criminal defense or civil plaintiff law. The National Trial Lawyers provides accreditation to these distinguished attorneys, and provides essential legal news, information, and continuing education to trial lawyers across the United States.

With the selection of Jennifer Fite by The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, she has shown that she exemplifies superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a trial lawyer. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research. As The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an essential source of networking and information for trial attorneys throughout the nation, the final result of the selection process is a credible and comprehensive list of the most outstanding trial lawyers chosen to represent their state or region.

To learn more about The National Trial Lawyers, please visit:

Jennifer Fite

Why did I receive a subrogation letter from Equian?

I received a letter from Equian, Rawlings, Optum, First Recovery Group, etc. What do I do?

Medical Bills and Letter from Equian

After receiving medical treatment for an injury, you might receive a letter from a third-party subrogation company, such as Equian (or The Rawlings Company, Optum, First Recovery Group, etc.). They may contact you on behalf of your health insurance company. Equian (or one of these other companies) is contacting you to find out how you got hurt. If you were hurt in a way that might create a personal injury claim (for example, a car accident, a work injury, a slip-and-fall accident, etc.), Equian wants to know because your health insurance company might have a right to be reimbursed out of your settlement. When you have received a letter from Equian after an Arizona car accident or personal injury, you should call our law firm immediately at 602-368-1869.

Should I respond to Equian’s letter or call them back?

Whether you have a duty to respond to Equian after receiving such a letter is going to be spelled out in your insurance policy with your health insurance company—a document you probably never read. If you weren’t hurt in any sort of accident, you’re probably safe to log onto the website mentioned in the letter to answer their questions or call and let them know. When you do that, they should stop sending you letters.

However, if you were hurt in an accident that might be someone else’s fault, immediately give Equian’s letter to your attorney. You should not be contacting Equian directly if you have a lawyer. You want your personal injury attorney to be aware of Equian’s letter, because failure to properly consider your health insurance’s lien against your settlement can have devastating consequences to both your case and your finances.

If you were hurt in an accident but don’t have an attorney, you should hire a personal injury attorney to contact Equian on your behalf. Our Arizona personal injury lawyers work on contingency and only get paid if we get you paid. We represent injured victims throughout Arizona, including Phoenix and Flagstaff, to Maricopa, and all the way to Surprise, Tonopah and Apache Junction.

What if I don’t want to sue the person who hurt me?

Equian can’t make you sue somebody if you don’t want to sue them. That said, it is still a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney before talking to Equian. You need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities regarding this accident, your treatment, and your medical bills. Our law firm offers a free consultation to injured Arizonans. That meeting can be over the phone, virtual or in person—you decide! Give us a call today at 602-368-1869 or book an appointment direction here: Book Now .

Check out our other helpful blogs:
Now What?
What to do When Your Insurance Company Won’t Pay
Insurance Company Bad Faith

Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycle Crashes by Simon Kennedy

Arizona’s near perfect weather allows year round opportunities to road trip on your motorcycle. But what can start off as fun-filled road trip can often turn into a nightmare that can affect multiple aspects of your life. Motorcycle accidents very often result in serious injury or death, especially if you’re involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle or semi-truck.

Whether you’re riding in between the major cities like Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Tucson or Flagstaff – or just taking a long trip on the highways – danger is always lurking on our Arizona roads. There are a number of things you should know about motorcycle accidents before heading out on your road trip. We will talk about them here.

  • Most recent statistics on motorcycle crashes in Arizona
  • Most common injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes in Arizona
  • What you need to know about the law
  • Tips in case you’re involved in a motorcycle crash in Arizona

Most recent statistics on motorcycle crashes in Arizona

Let’s get the numbers out of the way. In 2019, there were 2,676 motorcycle crashes. Of that amount, 171 of them resulted in fatalities and 2,105 of those crashes resulted in bodily injury. The majority of these accidents occurred in Arizona’s urban areas, like Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria, Prescott, Tucson, and Flagstaff.

There is no question that operating a motorcycle in Arizona is higher risk than driving a passenger vehicle. Incidents involving motorcycle collisions result in a significantly higher likelihood of death than a passenger vehicle crash. While fatalities occur more frequently with motorcycle collisions, the likelihood of being injured in a motorcycle crash is also significantly higher.

Being injured in a motorcycle accident often entails far more significant injuries than people injured in a motor vehicle accident. There can often be permanent scarring, permanent injuries, and the length of care for treating these injuries can take significantly more time than for someone involved in a passenger vehicle accident.

Most common injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes in Arizona

Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions. Injuries often include:

  • Neck, shoulders, and back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractured arms, legs, ribs, and potentially even spinal fractures
  • Permanent scarring to multiple parts of your body
  • Permanent disabilities, including cognitive disabilities and physical disabilities

The most common cause of an Arizona motorcycle crash is other drivers failing to observe where motorcycles are on the roadways in relation to themselves. Motorcycles are small and can move in and out of traffic fairly easily, but often it’s the other driver who is not paying attention. As a result, you are injured, your motorcycle often totaled, and you’re left with out-of-pocket medical expenses and lengthy medical treatment to get close to being back to your same position before the accident occurred.

What you need to know about the law if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash:

Non-use of helmets:
Arizona does not have a mandatory helmet law for operators 18 years and older. If you’re injured while operating your motorcycle and you were not wearing your helmet, however, your damages from an accident might be reduced if the defendant can prove with credible evidence that not wearing a helmet increased the number or severity of your injuries. In Law v. Superior Court, 157 Ariz. 142, 755 P.2d 1130 (App.1986) the Arizona Appeals Court held that the victim of a tort has a duty to exercise due care and to act diligently to protect his or her own interest….the principle that a plaintiff must undertake reasonable measures to protect his own interests is a paradigm judicial principle of historic origins.”

Although an injured party is often spoken of “having a duty” to mitigate damages, this term is misleading because there is no liability for failing to take such steps. Rather a party is merely precluded from recovering avoidable damages. West Pinal Family Health Center, Inc. v. McBryde, 785 P.2d 66, 162 Ariz. 546 (Ariz. App. Div. 2 1989). This issue was then affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court in Law v. Superior Court In and For Maricopa County, 755 P.2d 1135, 157 Ariz. 147 (Ariz. 1998) – these two cases commonly referred to as Law I and Law II.

In order to prove that the nonuse of a helmet played a role in your injuries, the at-fault driver has to prove that the non-use was unreasonable under the circumstances and that it caused injuries that would not have occurred had the helmet been used, or that the non-use was increased the severity of the injuries. See, Law I and Law II.

In addition to the potential effect of not wearing a helmet, there are a couple of things to remember when you’re riding your motorcycle in Arizona.

Side by side travel: In Arizona, it is legal for two motorcyclists to occupy the same lane and travel parallel to each other. Likewise, motorcycle operators can travel next to each other in two separate lanes, but it is often safer to travel next to each other as it is more likely that other drivers will see at least one of the motorcycles travelling side by side.

Lane Splitting: In Arizona it is not legal to drive between the lanes of traffic. While the smaller size of a motorcycle makes it easy to maneuver around traffic, lane splitting is specifically against the law in Arizona. This is different than California where it is permissible to split the lane.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents:

  • Unsafe lane changes: motorcycles can move in and around traffic much easier than a passenger car, however, while doing this, you may end up in the blind spot of another driver who is also trying to maneuver around traffic.
  • “Dooring”: when passenger vehicles park along the side of the road, their drivers can often neglect to look for oncoming hazards, or they could simply not see an oncoming hazard, in which case they open the door and you take the fall.
  • The left turn: in Arizona, the operator of a vehicle turning left shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is within the intersection or so close to the intersection as to constitute an immediate hazard. A.R.S. §28-772. Often the left hand turner does not see oncoming traffic for a number of reasons and then turns in front of you. However, if you are speeding or operating your motorcycle in a risky manner, you may share some of the responsibility for causing the accident even if a driver of a passenger vehicle turns left in front of you.
  • Driving under the influence: operators of vehicles driving under the influence are responsible for a vast number of significant injury cases. DUI drivers are also the #1 reason for wrong-way accidents. Your ability to see a wrong-way driver at night is limited to timeframe where you will likely be unable to avoid an accident.

Because of the difference in size between a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcyclist injured in an accident generally suffers far greater injuries than a typical passenger car occupant. These injuries will generally span the entire body and often include traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post accident concussions, which will significant medical treatment and therapy.

Tips if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident:

While riding your motorcycle on the Arizona roads, it pays to be vigilant to the traffic conditions around you. But if you are involved in an Arizona motorcycle accident, it also pays to be prepared. While motorcycle accident injuries are often significant, to the extent you can do any of the following, these are good general tips to help you navigate your way through an Arizona motorcycle accident injury claim:

  • If possible, get yourself out of the road to avoid being hit by another vehicle.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report the accident and to ensure a medical crew to evaluate any injuries you might have. However, you need to remember that oftentimes you will not feel the onset of injuries until hours or days after the accident and once the adrenalin leaves your system.
  • If you can move, you need to gather as much information as you can from the accident scene. This means taking photographs of both your motorcycle and the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. You also need to obtain all insurance information from all those involved in the accident.
  • Other than to obtain insurance information, do not engage in any conversations with any of the other drivers. Especially avoid any altercation between yourself and other drivers.
  • Remember to give as much information as you can to the investigating officer. But also remember that officers cannot evaluate you for injuries and so while you may feel you avoided injuries immediately after an accident, also tell the investigating officer you need to be evaluated by medical crews and be sure to follow up with emergency care treatment as soon as possible after an accident happens.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an Arizona motorcycle accident, call Fite Law Injury Lawyers at
(602) 368-1869 or Schedule an Appointment Online. The consultation is free and our experience in litigating personal injury cases means we know what your case is worth and we know how to fight to get you the best results for your motorcycle accident case.

What to do When Your Insurance Company Won’t Pay

Insurance Company Bad Faith refers to tactics that insurance companies use to avoid their contractual obligations to their insureds. Why does an insurance company deny, delay, and devalue claims?

Because insurance companies are in the business of making money. The more money they pay out and the faster they pay it, the less they have to provide to their shareholders and CEO.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports on the most common complaints customers have with their insurance providers. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of people who feel their insurance company isn’t treating them fairly – mostly because of the way it is handling their claim. People make complaints to the NAIC when:

  • an insurance company is not paying their medical bills
  • they receive an erroneous notice of cancellation for non-payment or the insurance carrier mysteriously “canceled” their policy on the date before they had an accident
  • an insurance company is not accepting fault
  • an insurance company is not paying a claim, not paying enough, or not paying the full amount expected
  • an insurance company is not returning calls, not answering the phone, or not responding to a claim
  • an insurance company denies a claim (refuses to pay out), or the insured feels like they have been treated unfairly, defrauded by the insurance company, or defrauded by an insurance agent who told them that they had coverage their policy doesn’t actually include
  • an insurance company is taking too long to pay a claim

In all of these circumstances, you have some options. Here are five steps to handling a shady insurance provider. For the purpose of this article, we are going to primarily discuss Arizona Car Accident Claims, but much of the advice will apply to other types of claims in other locations.


Check your coverages and know what you have so you are prepared if and when you are involved in an accident. Does your insurance policy cover liability only (where you are at fault) or does it cover uninsured and underinsured drivers who may be responsible for the accident? Do you have medical payments coverage? Are you covered for a rental car if your vehicle is disabled? What happens if you let a relative, such as your cousin, drive your car?

The records you need to keep are  a) a copy of your insurance policy,  b) a copy of your application for insurance, and c) a copy of your current ID card, which should be in your wallet or glove compartment at all times.

If the contents of your insurance policy don’t line up with what the agent says you are allowed, you need to address it immediately before it becomes  an issue; however, if you can later prove that the agent was negligent in providing you with coverage, or that he/she committed insurance agent malpractice or professional negligence, you may have a claim against them for the losses you suffered as a result of their actions. Ironically, insurance agents are covered under their own Errors and Omissions insurance for this purpose.

Your  policy also contains a number of other important details, including instructions on how and when to submit a claim and the the provider’s process for handling your claim and property damage. The policy will also tell you whether a dispute with the insurance company must be resolved through arbitration rather than a lawsuit.

While you don’t have the right to decide what you should be paid, you have the absolute right to be treated “fairly” in the claims process. “Unfair Claims Settlement Practices” are generally defined in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 20 §20-461 and include:

  • Lying about facts or policy provisions
  • Not acting reasonably or quickly in response to communications
  • Not investigating promptly
  • Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation
  • Not making a good effort to quickly and fairly settle claims when liability is clear
  • Forcing insureds to file suit to get what they are owed
  • Trying to settle a claim for less than a reasonable person would think they are entitled to
  • Altering documents to try to force settlement
  • Delaying settlement under one portion of the policy (like property damage coverage) to force settlement under another portion of the policy (like bodily injury)
  • Not promptly providing a reasonable explanation for denial of a claim or a bad offer


The most important thing you can do from even before the beginning of your claim is to keep very good records. Use this handy sheet to track your communications with the insurance company, and keep it in a safe place with all the documents that support your loss. It is a good idea to keep all of the information related to your case in the same folder so it is easy to find, such as the folder provided by Fite Law Group specifically for this purpose.

Tracking the dates and times you communicated with the insurance company, who you spoke to, and what you discussed is essential to proving whether the insurance company has acted unfairly, and helpful to your lawyer should you choose to seek legal action.

Other contents of your folder should include photos of your property damage, photos of your injuries, copies of every letter the insurance company sends you, and any information you have that would show increased value of your vehicle, such as receipts for custom rims, paint job, brand new transmission, etc.. Medical records and bills should also go in the folder, as well as any communications you have with your employer about time off or lost wages related to the accident.

If you know that your case is going to be complex, or if you just are not good at keeping records, consider hiring a lawyer immediately after the accident so they can handle these tasks for you. You will still need to be involved in the process, but since communications with the insurance company are handled by the law firm, it will be less to worry about.


The point of insurance companies denying, delaying, and devaluing claims is to wear you down. They have all the time in the world to spend doing nothing else; however, you have a life that, presumably, you want to get back to living. Trying to fight the insurance company is a huge undertaking on top of caring for yourself, your family, your job, your bills, and everything else you have going on. The insurance company knows this and are well aware that when they deny a claim, a certain percentage of people will just give up. They are also aware of the average number of people that will accept a delay or small payout without a fight. They literally bank on the fact that claimants will be so worn down by the process, that they will accept any payment just so they can put the matter to rest and move on.

Tactics the insurance company may use include having you jump through unnecessary hoops, such as asking for a recorded statement or a medical exam. Sometimes, they may hire a “medical expert” to review your medical records and bills to determine whether your injuries are actually related to the accident. They may even claim that fees for your medical treatment are higher than necessary for the care you received, which puts you in the uncomfortable position of disputing your medical bills with your healthcare providers.

Be the squeaky wheel. Put up a fight! (or, a “Fite” if you hire Fite Law Group). Keep calling and writing to the insurance company until your questions are answered to your satisfaction. Do not let an agent bully you or down play your situation. Ask to speak to a supervisor and keep moving up the chain of command. The bottom line is that you are the customer. You pay for your insurance specifically to cover the claims related to an accident. Keep fighting until you get what you deserve.

Be firm when dealing with the insurance company, but always remain calm and respectful. Insurance adjusters are people too. They have good and bad days just like the rest of us. Treating them with respect is your best chance at receiving the same courtesy. Insurance adjusters also have a range within which they can negotiate. Treating them poorly won’t get you to the upper end of their range.


You have options when you are having issues with your insurance adjuster or provider. Escalate your case to a supervisor or higher when warranted, such as when the adjuster goes off grid and stops returning your calls. The insurance company itself is regulated by the Arizona Department of Insurance. You can file a consumer complaint if you feel your insurance carrier is acting inappropriately or proving difficult to work with.


Consider hiring a lawyer if the potential value of your claim is very high because the insurance company will have a very high interest in paying you a lot less than the full value you actually deserve. Although the rules of fairness require that the insurance providers consider your interests to be as important as their own, in reality, they are in business to make money. Payouts cut into their profits, which in turn, hits the pockets of shareholders and executives. In contrast, Personal injury lawyers that represent car accident clients have aligned interests. Typically, their payments are contingent on what you are paid by the insurance company.

If the insurance company wants to take an examination under oath, also known as a statement under oath or a deposition, it is a very good idea to have a lawyer involved in the process. Personal injury attorneys handle hundreds to thousands of cases like yours each year. They know the process and the pitfalls, and can advise on how best to handle your specific situation.

For more information on why you might want to hire a lawyer, read our recent post on 20 Ways a Car Accident Lawyer Can Maximize Your Insurance Claim.

Hiring a lawyer does not necessarily mean you will be filing a lawsuit, which is often expensive and time consuming. In most instances, a lawsuit is only filed as a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted. If you are worried that involving a lawyer will make the insurance company agitated or somehow hurt your case, seek advice from friends and family members. It is highly likely that you know other people who have been involved in a car accident and used legal counsel to help fight their case. Fite Law Group prides itself on receiving most of its new clients through referrals from friends and family members.

If you are have been involved in an accident, call us at (602) 368-1869 for a free evaluation of your case. Hate talking on the phone? Text us at 480.688.7544 to set up a virtual appointment.

Arizona Bicycle Laws: Not just for Motorists

Over the past decade, bicycling has become increasingly popular for recreation, exercise, and to reduce one’s carbon footprint on the environment. As a result, the number of bicycling-related injuries and deaths has also risen, and Arizona is ranked among the top five most dangerous states for cyclists.

It is legal for bicycles to ride in traffic lanes in Arizona; however, many cyclists are not aware that they are equally responsible for sharing the road with motorists and must adhere to the following laws:

A.R.S 28-644Obedience to and required traffic control devices. Cyclists on the road must adhere to stop signs and traffic signals same as motorist.

A.R.S. 28-704Minimum speed limits; requirement to turn off roadway. Cyclists on a two-lane road that have five or more vehicles behind them are required to pull off when safe to do so to allow the vehicles to pass.

ARS 28-756. Method of giving hand and arm signals. Cyclists must indicate that they plan to change lanes or turn by using hand and arm signals. The left hand and arm should be extended horizontally for left turns and the right hand and arm can be extended horizontally for right turns. As with motorists, cyclists should first check behind themselves, and yield to existing traffic before making turns or changing lanes.

A.R.S. 28-792Right-of-way at crosswalk. As with motorists, cyclists must give pedestrians the right-of-way at crosswalks. Additionally, a cyclist may not go around another vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk being used by a pedestrian.

A.R.S. 28-813Riding on bicycles. A rider must be seated on a permanent or regular seat that is attached to the bicycle frame. Additionally, each rider must have his or her own seat. For example, two riders are not permitted to be on a bicycle equipped with only one seat.

A.R.S. 28-814. Clinging to vehicle. A rider on a bicycle is not permitted to be towed by or attached to a vehicle on the road.

A.R.S. 28-815Riding on roadway and bicycle path; bicycle path usage. Cyclists must travel in the right-hand lane or as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction or when making a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway. Additionally, only two cyclists on a roadway may travel side-by-side unless on paths or roadways exclusively designated for bicycles.

A.R.S. 28-816. Carrying article on bicycle. A cyclist is not permitted to carry a package, bundle or article while operating a bicycle if item(s) prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.

A.R.S. 28-817Bicycle equipment. Sirens and whistles are not permitted to be used on a bicycle. Bicycles used at night must be equipped with a head lamp that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet ahead and a red reflector on the rear that is visible by a motor vehicle’s head lamps from 50 to 300 feet. A red taillight visible from 500 feet is also acceptable for the rear of a bike. Bicycles must also be equipped with a brake the enables the rider to make the brake wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

A.R.S. 28-904Driving on sidewalk. Bicycles may not be ridden on sidewalks meant for pedestrians.

In addition to these state-wide laws, some counties and cities have helmet laws. Regardless of whether they are mandated, it is highly advised to always where a helmet when operating a bicycle.

Riders should also follow the Bicyclists’ Code of Conduct and pledge to be courteous to other cyclist, pedestrians, and motorists. The following are safety reminders and proper cycling etiquette:

  • Follow lane markings and comply with traffic signs and traffic signals, including stopping at stop signs and red lights.
  • Ride as near to the right of the curb as practicable.
  • Use appropriate hand signals for turning and stopping.
  • Honor others’ right of way and keep a 3-to-4-foot distance when passing pedestrians or another cyclist. Pass on the left when possible, giving a verbal signal of your intentions.
  • Ride with traffic, single file or maximum of two riders side-by-side when practicable.
  • Be predictable and ride in a straight line.
  • Avoid blocking the road.
  • Wear contrasting or reflecting clothing and use head lamps at night.
  • Leave a buffer between parked cars and watch for doors opening and vehicles merging into traffic.
  • Keep both hands ready to brake and allow extra distance for stopping in rain, since brakes can be less efficient when wet.
  • Avoid road hazards, such as railroad tracks, sewer grates, manhole covers, steel plates used to cover construction, oily pavement, gravel, potholes, etc.
  • Park bicycle in a location that does not obstruct or interfere with pedestrians or vehicles
  • Respect pedestrians’ rights.
  • Do not weave between parked cars or ride between parked cars and the curb.
  • Use designated crosswalks, dismounting and walking across the road. Doing so gives the cyclist the same rights of the road as a pedestrian.

If you are a cyclist that has been involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, call us at (602) 368-1869 for a free evaluation of your case. Hate talking on the phone? Text us at 480.688.7544 to set up a virtual appointment.

20 Ways a Car Accident Lawyer Can Maximize Your Insurance Claim

A car accident is a traumatic and stressful event. The last thing you need to deal with is the complexity of filing and managing your insurance claim. You may believe the insurance company has your best interest at heart, but the reality is that its lawyers and adjusters work to ensure the company is profitable, not to provide the compensation you deserve.

Without proper legal representation, you are leaving it up to the insurance company to determine what your injuries and damages are worth. Going it alone is risky and could result in a less than desirable settlement or, worse, denial of your claim.

Hiring a lawyer that is experienced in handling car accident claims can alleviate the headache of dealing with your insurance company; however, do your homework. Not all law firms are alike. Be sure the firm has a great reputation and trial experience. The following are 20 ways your lawyer can guide you through the insurance claim process and maximize your compensation.

  1. Investigating the person or people at fault, the scene of the accident, and surrounding circumstances.
  2. Helping you find a good doctor who routinely handles traumatic injuries, accepts your insurance, or works on a lien.
  3. Collecting evidence from all sources before it’s no longer available.
  4. Communicating with the insurance adjuster, answering their questions, and preventing him/her from asking you questions that might devalue your case.
  5. Dealing with debt and medical bill collectors.
  6. Providing you with a list to follow of next steps, appointments to make, and things you need to do to make sure you get the most out of your claim.
  7. Helping you avoid mistakes.
  8. Collecting your complete medical records and bills, employment records, and lost wage information.
  9. Calculating your damages, including your financial losses and non-tangible losses.
  10. Tracking down witnesses.
  11. Hiring experts to help prove responsibility for the crash and the extent of your damages.
  12. Analyzing your losses to determine the full value.
  13. Negotiating on your behalf with insurance adjusters, medical providers, lienholders, and others.
  14. Helping you analyze settlement offers.
  15. Making sure you do not approve a settlement too soon.
  16. Explaining your rights to file a lawsuit if necessary.
  17. Ensuring all your liens are satisfied.
  18. Telling you how much money you will take home
  19. Making sure you feel comfortable with the outcome of your car accident claim.
  20. Only collecting fees or costs when you win.

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact Fite Law Group for a free consultation at 602.368.1869.

Tailgating: Fun for Football, Dangerous for Driving

Sunday’s Super Bowl brought a close to football season and the fun of weekend tailgating. When you are on the road, be aware of the not so fun type of tailgating – drivers that are following too closely to the car in front of them.

Tailgating is a type of aggressive driving and the number one cause of rear-end collisions. These types of accidents can cause serious and traumatic injuries, particularly to the neck, head, and brain. The most common is whiplash, the injury to the soft tissue of the neck that can lead to long-term health issues, such as headaches, neck pain, stiffness, back pain, shoulder pain, and other debilitating symptoms.

If you find yourself in the path of a tailgater, the following tips will help keep you and other drivers safe:

STAY CALM. Do not let the tailgater intimidate or upset you. Keep your emotions in check so that you do not do something that may make the situation worse, such as slamming on your brakes.

SWITCH LANES. Drivers typically tailgate because they are in a hurry or are impatient. If you can do so safely, switch lanes to the let the tailgater pass. Be sure to check carefully to make sure the tailgater does not switch lanes at the same time to pass you.

STAY RIGHT. Drive in the right lane, using the left lane only to pass. This will allow impatient drivers to go around you.

PULL OVER. Pull off the road and let the tailgater pass you.

If you are guilty of tailgating, keep in mind that, in most rear-end collisions, the tailgater is almost always liable for causing the accident. This is because a driver traveling a safe distance from the vehicle in front should have plenty of time to stop, even if the other driver does so suddenly. To avoid tailgating, follow these simple rules:

SLOW DOWN. You are not going to get anywhere faster by tailgating. And causing an accident is sure to ruin your day much more than being a little late.

KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE. Rule of thumb is to keep a four second distance behind the lead vehicle. To gauge, pick a stationary object, such as a street sign or fire hydrant, and count the seconds between the time the rear bumper of the car in front passes to when your front bumper reaches the same point. Certain conditions, such as heavy traffic and bad weather, may call for even greater distance between vehicles. Additionally, heavy vehicles or those that are towing, should consider the amount of time it will take to stop should the lead vehicle do so expectantly.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a tailgater, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact Fite Law Group for a free consultation at (602) 368-1869.

Arizona Dog Bite Claims: What You Need to Know

Few experiences are as traumatic as being attacked by a dog. Some injuries are so severe, they result in death.

Families of those who die from fatal injuries experience pain, suffering, and financial burdens. Survivors of attacks may have physical disfigurements, permanent nerve damage, and emotional scars.  They may also be left with a large stack of medical bills.

In Arizona, the dog owners are responsible for all the above regardless of whether they know their dog is aggressive or has a history of biting. The law of “strict liability” says that the owner does not need to be negligent for you to recover. It is quite clear: Dog Bite = Owner Responsible. There are several steps you need to take after a dog bite.


Maricopa County requires that all dog bites be reported to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC). Information and phone numbers for reporting a dog bite can be found on the Maricopa County Website. You can also use their Online Reporting Form. Notifying MCACC is essential to proving your claim for damages resulting from a dog bite.

Once a report is made, the dog will be quarantined either at home or in the custody of MCACC for 10 days. If the dog is held by MCACC, the owner may retrieve the pet once quarantine costs have been paid, unless the dog bite victim has filed a Petition for Disposition of Vicious Animal. If you believe that the dog should be put down, or other steps should be taken to ensure the future safety of the public, your attorney can help you complete the petition.

If the dog bite occurred in Pima County, call Animal Protection Services at 520.724.5900, ext. 4. Attacks in Coconino County should be reported to Animal Management at 928.679.8756.


If you have been bitten by a dog, not only should you seek immediate care for your wounds, but you will most likely need to get a rabies vaccination and possibly a tetanus shot. Be sure to give your medical provider details about how the attack occurred and what happened. Those details will make it into your medical records, which will then be used to help prove your claim against the dog owner. They can also be helpful if additional problems arise later.

Medical care you may need to seek includes:

  • Hospital Emergency Room
  • Dermatologist
  • Cosmetic or Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Psychologists/Therapists
  • Pediatrician or Primary Care Physician
  • Neurologists/Neurosurgeons
  • Physical Therapists
  • Pain Management


Evidence is crucial to proving your claim. Today’s technology aids in documenting dog attacks. For example, a dog bite client of Fite Law Group had a Ring doorbell that captured the entire incident. The dog owner adamantly denied that her dog touched our client; however, a video from the doorbell camera showed the dog repeatedly biting our client and her daughter as she tried to escape into her own home. Consider all possible sources of video footage capturing attack, including traffic and security cameras, and secure a copy. Also, check with bystanders to see if they caught the attack, and image of the dog’s owner, on their mobile phones.

In addition to video, take photos, not just of fresh injuries, but throughout the healing process. The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is especially true when documenting dog attacks. One of our dog bite clients was a beautiful young lady who was bitten on the face. The wound was stitched and healed nicely, but it never disappeared completely. When dealing with insurance adjusters, photos help them understand the pain inflicted, progression of injury, and how the physical and emotional scars have changed your life.

Photos that are helpful to proving your claim include:

  • the location where the attack occurred, including blood droplets on the ground, if any
  • holes in clothing, or the bloody clothing that either the dog tore through or the paramedics had to remove to attend to your wounds
  • the dog before, during, and after the attack
  • your injuries right after the attack
  • the bruises, redness, and swelling of your injuries throughout the healing process

Also, a journal of your attack and the healing process is another tool that can be used to demonstrate the emotional and mental impact the event has had on your life.


There are many reasons to call an attorney after you have been bitten by a dog. The most obvious is that an attorney can help you navigate the tricky terrain of making a claim against the owner’s insurance and help ensure you receive compensation for the injuries and damages resulting from the attack. A less obvious reason is that most people who are bitten by a dog know the owner. It could be a family member or a neighbor, but it is likely that you will have interactions with that person in the future. An attorney can be a protective layer between you and the dog’s owner, allowing you to preserve your relationship. Your attorney can be the “bad guy,” working on your behalf to request insurance and other information pertinent to your case.

Fite Law Group will work with you to collect the evidence, open a claim with the insurance company, collect medical records, gather proof for a lost wage claim, and negotiate with insurance and medical providers to make a strong case and ensure you are compensated.


Dog bite victims have just ONE year to file a lawsuit to get the protections of the strict liability laws in Arizona. After that, you will have to pursue your dog bite claim under the less desirable general negligence laws. Doing so makes it much more difficult to fully receive the compensation you deserve. Follow the steps above and let your attorney help determine whether your experience warrants a lawsuit.

The attorneys and staff at Fite Law Group have extensive experience handling dog bite claims. We are dog owners, dog lovers, and believe in responsible dog ownership. It may not seem like dog owners are “at fault” for their pet’s attack; however, the law sees things differently and that is why we have insurance – to protect others and ourselves in the event something bad happens.

Fite Law Group offers free consultations. To discuss your case, please call us at (602) 368-1869. Hate talking on the phone? Text us at 480.688.7544 to set up a virtual appointment.

10 Tips for Staying Safe on New Year’s Eve

Bringing in the New Year calls for a celebration. Especially this year! Below are ten tips to help ensure you and your loved ones make it into the new year safe and sound:

  1. STAY HOME. Plan to celebrate at home with those who reside in your residence. Set up a virtual New Year’s Eve party in lieu of going out.
  2. FOLLOW PANDEMIC PROTOCOL. If you do go out, be sure to wear a mask, wash your hands, and adhere to social distancing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued pandemic guidelines to help you protect yourself and others.
  3. DO NOT DRIVE IMPAIRED. If you will be drinking, arrange for a designated driver, ride share, or taxi. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled a list of Sober Ride Programs available across the country. Keep the number in your cell phone so it is there when you need it. org is also a great resource for planning safe transportation.
  4. WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS. Keep an eye out for people crossing the street or walking along side the road, especially in pedestrian heavy areas. Those who have been drinking may not be aware of their surroundings, so be extra cautious.
  5. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. Do not go out alone and do not separate. Stick together and make sure everyone gets home safe at the end of the night.
  6. CHARGE YOUR PHONE. Be sure your phone is fully charged. You may need it to arrange a ride home or report an accident.
  7. BE A RESPONSIBLE HOST. If you host a party, there are many things you can do to keep your guest safe while they celebrate, including staying sober; offering non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of water; cutting off alcohol consumption a couple of hours before the party ends; providing food or snack so guests are not drinking on an empty stomach; arranging for a trusted designated driver or other safe transportation; and making space for guests to stay overnight.
  8. PRACTICE FIREWORK SAFETY. Not all fireworks are legal for consumer use in Arizona. Generally, any type of fireworks that explodes or detonates in the air is illegal, including sky or bottle rockets, firecrackers, and aerial fireworks. Penalties for the illegal use of fireworks include hefty fines. Never allow children to play with or light fireworks, and practice fireworks safety to avoid injuries to yourself and others. The City of Phoenix website includes valuable information on fireworks laws, statistics, and safety.
  9. COMFORT YOUR PETS. Your pets may experience anxiety on New Year’s Eve due to fireworks, noise makers, and strangers in your home. Frightened pets can bite or cause other injury to themselves and others. Keep them indoors in a secure location. If you are hosting a party, put your pets in an area away from guests to prevent accidents. Visit the ASCPA website for more pet safety tips.
  10. DO NOT SHOOT GUNS. Some cultures celebrate the New Year by shooting guns in the air. Not only is this illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous. Each year, there are multiple reports of injuries and deaths caused by stray bullets. What goes up must come down. In 1999, Phoenix teen Shannon Smith was struck and killed by a stray bullet while in her backyard on New Year’s Eve. Arizona Revised Statute 13-3107, referred to as Shannon’s Law, makes it a felony to fire a gun into the air in Arizona cities and towns.

Fite law group wishes you a safe, prosperous, and happy New Year!

Losing Your Case Before it Has Begun: Understanding Statutes of Limitations

You may be familiar with the term “statute of limitations” from watching television or a movie, usually in the context of “there’s no statute of limitations for murder,” or that the statue of limitations has passed for a crime. But what exactly is a statute of limitations, and how does it apply to your personal injury case?

In Arizona, a statute of limitations is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against another person for a wrong they have caused. Other states may refer to this deadline slightly differently, such as “Limitation of Actions” or “Statute of Repose”; however, the meaning is roughly the same. The state legislature created laws, known as “statutes,” that impose a limit on the amount of time plaintiffs have to file lawsuits. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to protect the integrity of evidence and witnesses, and give defendants some certainty about whether they will be sued. It acts as a giant warning sign for plaintiffs that their lawsuits must be filed on or before a certain date or their claim will be dismissed and treated as if it never existed. Once that deadline passes, even by one day, any chance a plaintiff had of suing for damages will be gone, regardless of how strong his or her case was.

Although statutes of limitations are supposed to be concrete rules that are easy to understand, they are not always that simple. There may be exceptions. For example, a typical personal injury case in Arizona has a statute of limitations of 2 years from the date of the injury-causing incident. But, if that incident is a dog bite, the statute of limitations is only 1 year on the strict liability portion of the claim (the negligence portion survives for another year, but isn’t as strong of a case). If the defendant involved in causing the injury is a government entity or government employee, there is a very complex “notice of claim” requirement that must be completed within 180 days from the date of the incident or the plaintiff will lose his or her claim against that entity.

Something else to be aware of is that every state has its own laws regarding deadlines for filing lawsuits, so if the injury occurred outside of Arizona, the statute of limitations may be different.

There are also various factors that may extend the statute of limitations, such as if the claimant is under the age of 18. Since the minor’s guardian is financially responsible for the medical bills, that claim belonging to the guardian would extinguish after 2 years. Medical malpractice cases also have exceptions for certain cases where the injury is not discovered until sometime after it occurred. Some types of wrongs have a longer statute of limitations, such as a breach of contract case, which allows the plaintiff in Arizona 6 years in which to file a lawsuit.

The point, however, is that the statute of limitations can be a trap for the unwary, or a complete bar to recovery for the procrastinator. If your head is already swimming thinking about this, let us help! It is our job to know the facts of the case, apply those facts to the law, and monitor important deadlines to ensure you do not miss your opportunity to recover damages owed.

Worried that you might have already missed an important date on your case? Speaking with an attorney at Fite Law Group to find out is free and easy. Contact us at (602) 368-1869 to schedule a call or virtual appointment to discuss your case.