A serious or fatal accident can occur unexpectedly in almost any situation. When there are significant injuries, accident victims in Arizona may grow worried about how they will make ends meet while recovering. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages if you were in an accident caused by someone else. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our experienced Phoenix injury accident attorneys represent victims of car accidents, slip and falls, and many other accidents. When you need help recovering compensation, you should put a trustworthy ally on your side.
Most personal injury lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence, but some are pursued under theories of strict liability or intentional misconduct. In order to establish negligence, you will need to show four elements. These are a duty of care by the defendant, a breach of the duty of care, causation, and damages. Often, a defendant claims that the plaintiff was partially or fully to blame for the accident. Arizona follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which means that you can still recover damages even if you were to blame to some degree, no matter how great.
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If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a car accident caused by another driver, a personal injury attorney in the Phoenix area can help you sue the other driver under a theory of negligence. In most cases, you have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit after a car accident, but there are exceptions, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after Phoenix car accident. Often, the defendant's insurer will examine the details of the accident to figure out if there are ways in which you may have been at fault. The insurer is aware that if you were partly or fully to blame, your damages will be reduced by your degree of fault under the doctrine of comparative negligence. Retaining a personal injury lawyer can help you minimize or defeat any argument that you were at fault.
Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, a truck accident can have devastating consequences for people in smaller vehicles around the truck. Sometimes truck drivers are responsible for these accidents due to speeding, weaving, a squeeze play, texting while driving, drunk driving, failing to control jackknifing, or failing to maintain the vehicle. However, it is important to look at all of the contributing causes of an accident. It may be appropriate, for example, to hold a trucking company directly or indirectly responsible for the accident, such as when its negligent hiring causes an accident. In other cases, there may be defective components in the truck that caused the accident. A Phoenix truck accident attorney can help a victim bring a product liability claim in that situation.
You need a lawyer who will look at all of the contributing causes of an accident.
There is no buffer between a motorcyclist and a larger vehicle in a collision. Often, a motorcyclist suffers catastrophic or even fatal injuries in the event of a crash. Arizona does not require motorcyclists who are 18 or over to wear helmets. However, to the extent that failing to wear a helmet caused your injuries, your damages may be reduced under the doctrine of comparative negligence. Juries are often biased against motorcyclists, and insurance adjusters are aware of this bias. It can be especially important to hire a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney who understands motorcycle culture and how an insurance adjuster would evaluate the circumstances that resulted in an accident.
In Arizona, bicycles are considered vehicles, and bicyclists must follow the same laws as motorists. Bicyclists also need to follow other rules specific to them, such as riding as close to the curb as possible when riding down city streets. Bicycle accidents still can happen, however, when a bicyclist takes all of the appropriate precautions. Unfortunately, drivers of larger vehicles sometimes fail to accord them the same respect as they do other cars. A Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer can assist Phoenix residents with pursuing the compensation that they need to recover after a bicycle accident.
Pedestrian accidents result in many injuries and fatalities each year in Arizona. Generally, pedestrians may cross streets inside crosswalks and when a traffic signal permits them to cross. If there is no traffic signal at an intersection, pedestrians should still look both ways and cross within the crosswalk. After somebody has entered a crosswalk reasonably, they have the same right of way as motor vehicles.
Unfortunately, motorists often assume that they have the right of way, or they may be distracted. A pedestrian may suffer serious injuries or even be unconscious due to the force of the collision. Retain an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney who understands how to prove a driver’s negligence.
If you suffer injuries or lose a close family member in a crash caused by someone else, a personal injury attorney in the Phoenix area can help you sue the other driver under a theory of negligence. In most cases, you have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit after a wreck, but there are exceptions, so seek legal counsel soon after a Phoenix crash.
Often, the defendant’s insurer will examine the details of the accident to figure out if there are ways that you were at fault. The insurer knows that if you were partly or fully to blame, it can reduce your settlement. This is only one of many tactics they use to avoid paying what you fully deserve. Retaining a personal injury lawyer can help you minimize or defeat any argument that you were at fault, as well as fight for the compensation you deserve.
Landowners in Arizona are supposed to use reasonable care to maintain and repair their property to avoid unreasonable risks of harm to visitors. However, the degree to which a landowner or occupier owes a duty to protect visitors depends on why they come onto the property. Invitees are people who come onto a property with express or implied permission for a business reason, and they deserve the highest duty of care.
Property owners must protect visitors and invitees by warning about dangerous conditions that an employee created or dangerous conditions that existed for so long that a prudent property owner should discover them. Premises liability claims can result from a failure to fix or warn about a dangerous condition. Learn more about your legal options with the help of our Phoenix premises liability lawyers today.
If you are injured or made sick by a licensed health care provider, a Phoenix personal injury lawyer may be able to help you sue for medical malpractice. However, not all mistakes made by health care providers, and not all bad outcomes, constitute medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider fails to use the degree of skill, learning, and care expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider in the same class or profession, acting in similar or the same circumstances. In Arizona, a plaintiff needs to file an affidavit of merit from a qualified health care professional who feels that the lawsuit has merit within 60 days of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. There is no cap on damages that can be awarded to a medical malpractice plaintiff in Arizona. Learn more about your case with a Phoenix medical malpractice lawyer today.
Nursing Home Abuse
Many nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to negligence and abuse because they depend on staff members to satisfy their basic needs. There are federal and state laws in place to provide protection to residents of nursing homes. Residents are supposed to be accorded a certain degree of dignity and respect. Signs of nursing home abuse include withdrawal, personality changes, unexplained fractures and bruising, and pressure sores. If your loved one or you were a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be able to sue for damages. Find your legal options with one of our Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers today.
Sexual abuse can have lifelong effects, particularly if the victim is a child. Sexual abuse occurs if somebody in a position of power uses force or threats, or otherwise coerces somebody in a vulnerable or powerless position to be involved in sexual activity. Certain institutions and organizations, such as churches, schools, recreational sports organizations, and health care providers, can give sexual abusers a chance to groom victims over whom they have authority. It may be possible for a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix to recover damages against both the specific perpetrator and the institution under certain circumstances. The appropriate theory of liability varies depending on the situation.
Careless or reckless actions can have tragic consequences, sometimes ending the life of a victim. If your loved one died in an accident caused by negligence, you can bring a wrongful death claim under Arizona law. This would be appropriate if your loved one could have brought a personal injury case if they had survived the accident.
Most often, the spouse or child of the deceased person will bring the claim, but a surviving parent or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring the claim as well. The plaintiff can seek damages that the deceased person’s estate sustained, as well as damages that family members directly sustained.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of injury in Phoenix, Arizona. According to the state’s Department of Transportation, more than 28,600 people in Arizona suffered injuries in traffic accidents in a recent year.
Motor vehicle accidents can occur anywhere when drivers fail to follow traffic laws and exercise due care. However, collisions are more likely to happen on certain roads.
These are known as the most dangerous roads in Phoenix and include:
- 43rd Avenue from West Lamar Rd. to West McDowell Rd.
- McDowell Rd. from North Scottsdale Rd. to North 36th Street
- Thomas Rd. from North 71st Avenue to North 37th Avenue
- 19th Avenue from West Shangri-La Rd. to West Union Hills Drive
- Bethany Home Rd. from North 35th Avenue to North 12th Pl.
- Northern Avenue from North 19th Avenue to North 56th Avenue
- Indian School Rd. from North 53rd Avenue to North 91st Avenue
- Indian School Rd. from North 40th Avenue to North 3rd Street
- Bell Rd. from North 26th Street to North 23rd Avenue
No matter where your motor vehicle accident happened, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses if you can prove that the other party involved in the collision was negligent.
What are the most dangerous intersections in Phoenix
Motor vehicle accidents in Phoenix are more likely to occur at the following intersections:
- 27th Avenue and Camelback Road. Many people who commute to and from work use this intersection. The intersection is also full of students who go to Grand Canyon University. Accidents involving cars and pedestrians are common at this intersection.
- 67th Avenue and Indian School Road. The intersection is highly congested during peak hours. Thousands of commuters drive through the intersection to get to work and drive home, while students use the intersection to get to and from school.
- 75th Avenue and Indian School Road. Some drivers at this intersection attempt to blow through the red light or fail to perform left- and right-hand turns safely. Many drivers fail to use the appropriate lane to perform the intended maneuver. The intersection is dangerous because of the number of traffic lanes.
- 59th Avenue and Thomas Road. This is another popular intersection among commuters in Phoenix. The intersection includes the flashing yellow arrow left-turn signal. Many drivers do not understand it and make mistakes here.
- 67th Avenue and McDowell Road. Many commuters use this intersection to avoid traffic jams on Interstate-10 during rush hour, and when drivers fail to yield the right of way or make unsafe lane changes when approaching or already at the intersection, accidents are bound to happen.
If you suffered injuries at any of these or other intersections in Phoenix, consider contacting a skilled Phoenix car accident attorney to help you pursue compensation for your damages and losses.
When are property owners liable for injuries on their property?
Under the theory of premises liability in Arizona, property owners and occupiers may be liable for injuries on their property when they fail to provide reasonably safe premises for their visitors. Consider contacting a skilled premises liability attorney to help you prove the property owner’s liability.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
You might have the right to compensation for your injury if you can prove that your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, carelessness, or wrongful conduct. Consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to review the details of your case and help you understand your legal options.
What do you need to prove your personal injury case in Arizona?
Proving negligence in a personal injury case may require an in-depth investigation. Without this step, the injured party may not recover damages.
Negligence-based personal injury cases require proof of:
- Duty of care. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care.
- Breach. The defendant breached the duty because they acted negligently.
- Causation. The defendant’s negligent conduct caused the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting injuries.
- Damages. The plaintiff suffered actual damages because of the accident (for example, medical bills, lost wages, the cost of repairing damaged property, etc.).
A knowledgeable attorney can help you prove your personal injury case in Arizona and fight for the compensation you need to return to your normal life as soon as possible.
Can you file a personal injury claim if you have a pre-existing condition?
Yes, you still have a right to obtain compensation for your injury even if you had a pre-existing condition before the accident. The negligent party can still be responsible for aggravating your pre-existing injury.
However, seeking compensation can become more complicated when you have a pre-existing condition. The insurance company can use your previous injury as an excuse to undervalue or deny your claim. If this happens, speak with a Phoenix personal injury attorney immediately.
What should you do if you get a phone call from an insurance adjuster?
Following the accident, you may get a phone call from an insurance adjuster. Insurance companies assign an adjuster to each personal injury case to investigate and determine an appropriate settlement offer.
However, adjusters represent the interests of their employer (the insurance company), not yours, which is why the settlement offer may not be “appropriate” for you. Contact a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to help you deal with the insurance adjuster and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Should you accept a settlement offer if the insurance company offers one?
Often, insurance companies make a settlement offer within days or weeks after the accident. While it may be tempting to accept the offer, consider speaking with an experienced lawyer before you accept or sign anything. Once you accept the settlement offer, you automatically give up your right to further compensation.
Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests, which is why their initial settlement offers are rarely fair. Insurers often try to convince claimants to accept an initial settlement offer before they have a chance to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the true value of your damages and losses.
How to calculate a personal injury settlement in Arizona?
Since each case is unique, calculating the appropriate personal injury settlement is a challenging task. The compensation you can demand depends on a plethora of factors. A skilled lawyer will review your personal injury case to calculate a settlement amount that will cover all of your losses and damages.
What damages can you recover in your personal injury case?
Recoverable damages in personal injury cases fall into three main categories:
- Economic damages, also called special damages, include compensation for the financial costs and expenses incurred by the victim because of their injury. These damages are easy to quantify with the help of receipts and bills. Common examples of special damages include lost wages, past and future medical expenses, diminished or lost earning capacity, the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, and others.
- Non-economic damages, or general damages, are not measured as easily as economic damages. These damages include compensation for subjective and non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma. Because of the subjective nature of non-economic damages, they are more difficult to quantify. Common examples of non-monetary losses include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and others.
- Punitive damages. Arizona law allows injured victims to pursue punitive damages when they can prove that the defendant (the person who caused harm) acted with an evil hand and mind. In other words, the defendant intended to harm the victim or engaged in outrageous, malicious, or wanton conduct.
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, about a third of all car accident victims suffer emotional distress after the collision. That is why a skilled personal injury lawyer considers your emotional trauma when calculating a settlement and determining the damages you can recover.
How long do you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona?
A.R.S. § 12-542 imposes a time limit on all personal injury claims in Arizona, called the statute of limitations. Under the law, injured victims have only two years to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. The clock starts ticking on the date of sustaining the injury. However, exceptions may apply if the victim did not reasonably realize that they suffered injuries within the first year of the accident.
Do all personal injury cases in Arizona go to court?
No, only a small percentage of personal injury cases go to court. Most personal injury claims in Arizona settle out of court. However, filing a lawsuit may be necessary when the injured victim cannot secure a fair compensation amount through a settlement. In that case, taking a personal injury case to court may be the only option to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
However, taking your claim to court is risky because you cannot control the outcome of your case, not to mention that the process can be rather expensive and time-consuming. For this reason, you might want to consult with a Phoenix personal injury attorney before filing a lawsuit.
What should you expect during your personal injury case?
Arizona is an ult insurance state, which means the party responsible for causing the accident will be responsible for paying the victim’s damages and losses. To obtain compensation, car accident victims must file an insurance claim against the ult driver’s insurance company.
Once you file your claim, the insurance company will investigate before making a settlement offer. Then, you or your attorney will either accept the offer or negotiate a higher settlement with the insurer. If the proposed settlement amount is too low, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to maximize your compensation.
When you file a lawsuit, your lawyer will serve the opposing party with a copy of the paperwork. The party must submit a response to your lawsuit. Then, you and your lawyer will start building your legal case by gathering all available evidence and contacting and interviewing witnesses. While filing a lawsuit can be more expensive and take longer than settling your claim, you have the potential to receive much more compensation.
How long do personal injury cases take?
Each personal injury case is unique, which is why the amount of time it will take to resolve your case depends on many factors. However, some cases resolve faster or longer depending on the severity of injuries, the parties’ willingness to settle, the availability of evidence, and other factors.
How can a Phoenix personal injury lawyer help?
When you suffer injuries because of someone else’s negligent conduct, you may deserve compensation. However, seeking compensation can be a confusing and complicated process, especially when you need to focus on your medical treatment.
For this reason, consider contacting a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to:
- Investigate your accident
- Collect all available evidence in your case
- Build a legal case on your behalf
- Advise you on your personal injury options
- Determine liability for the accident
- Prepare the necessary paperwork to file a claim on your behalf
- Calculate your monetary losses and quantify your non-monetary losses
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Prepare your case for trial, if necessary
Your attorney will help with the legal aspects of your personal injury claim, allowing you to devote your time and energy to getting back on your feet.
Most people do not have enough saved up in case of serious injuries or the loss of a loved one. As a result, when someone else causes an accident and injuries, your future may depend on holding the person or entity at fault accountable. If you were injured or a loved one has died because of negligence or wrongdoing, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in the Phoenix area. Call us at (602) 819-5191 or complete our online form.