-Serious Injuries

Serious Injuries Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

If you’ve been harmed in a motor vehicle accident in Arizona due to the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another party, then you may be entitled to significant compensation under the law.  Litigation can be an overwhelming prospect for first-time plaintiffs, however.

As you begin to explore your options for litigating a motor vehicle accident claim, or any other personal injury claim, you may be somewhat confused by “contingency fees” and what it means for your case.  First-time plaintiffs are often unfamiliar with the contingency fee dynamic.

Not to worry!  Let’s explore the basics to clarify the essential elements of a contingency fee arrangement.

What is a Contingency Fee?

Typically, plaintiff’s-side personal injury litigators are paid on contingency, not through an hourly or flat fee.  Contingency fees are rather straightforward — the litigator does not get paid unless they help you secure compensation, whether through a negotiated settlement or a favorable case verdict.

So, for example, if you take your case to trial and “lose” the case, failing to secure any compensation, then you will owe nothing to the litigator.  On the other hand, if you do secure compensation, then you will owe the litigator a percentage of the overall recovery.

Contingency Fees Create Favorable Dynamics for Plaintiffs

Contingency fees are positive for most plaintiffs, and for a number of reasons.  First off, most plaintiffs do not have the funds (or willingness) to sustain long-term litigation against a defendant when the result is uncertain.  With a contingency fee arrangement, you — the plaintiff — need not secure initial funds to litigate your claims.  The law firm will foot the bill (i.e., the out-of-pocket expenses) for litigation.

Perhaps more importantly, contingency fees creative a positive incentive for law firms to fight aggressively on behalf of plaintiffs and to secure the maximum available compensation.  With hourly, a litigator is incentivized to drag on the proceedings.  With flat fee arrangements, a litigator is incentivized to “rush” the proceedings and conclude it prematurely.  In either case, the result is irrelevant to the litigator’s own financial gain.

Contingency fees link the fortunes of the client (the plaintiff) with the fortunes of their attorney-litigator.  This ensures that their attorney will fight vigorously on their behalf from the very start of the litigation process.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for Immediate Legal Guidance

Hirsch & Lyon is a boutique personal injury litigation firm with a focus on personal injury cases.  We have nearly seven decades of combined experience advocating on behalf of injured plaintiffs, helping them to secure the compensation they need to cover their losses.

Thanks to our specialized representation in the motor vehicle accident context, we have developed key insight into what it takes to successfully litigate such a claim from beginning to end, making us more effective and more efficient overall.  This further enables us to provide discounted contingency fees to our clients — put simply, our clients get to keep more of what they receive through settlement (or a case verdict).

Ready to move forward with your claims?  Call us at 602-535-1900 or contact us online to request a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix serious injuries lawyer at our firm.

Speak With a Phoenix Serious Injuries Lawyer Today

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party, then Arizona law may give you a right to sue and recover compensation for your various losses.  When pursuing a claim against the defendant(s), however, it’s important to understand that you do not have an unlimited amount of time — personal injury claims are governed by a statute of limitations deadline.  If the deadline passes before you file your claims, then you will be barred from pursuing compensation in an Arizona court.  The risk of “waiting too long” is therefore substantial.

The statute of limitations can vary from case-to-case.  Generally speaking, personal injury claims are governed by a two-year statute of limitations deadline in Arizona, though this period may be shortened under certain circumstances (i.e., the defendant is a public employee or entity, for which the deadline will be just one year from the date of injury).

Fortunately, you may not be entirely without options if the deadline passes.  In Arizona, and elsewhere, there are a few exceptions that allow the plaintiff to suspend the statute of limitations countdown, thus extending the deadline.  We encourage you to contact Hirsch & Lyon for an assessment of your case and guidance on how to proceed, particularly if you find yourself in a difficult procedural situation.

Absence of Defendant from State

According to Section 12-501 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, if the defendant is absent from the state during the statute of limitations period, then the countdown will be suspended until they return.  For example, suppose that you are injured in a car accident, and the defendant flees Arizona immediately.  The defendant does not return until three years later.  Normally, the deadline would have already passed, but because the defendant was absent from the state of Arizona, the period of time they were gone (three years) was suspended.  You may bring an action against the defendant upon their return, with whatever time you have remaining on your statute of limitations.

Minor Plaintiff

Minor plaintiffs (and other incompetent plaintiffs, such as disabled or ill plaintiffs who are mentally incapable of bringing a claim against the defendant) are not affected by the statute of limitations during their period of minority.  It is only once they reach the age of majority (age 18) that the statute of limitations will begin to run.

Discovery Rule

The discovery rule is perhaps the most common exception to the statute of limitations, in Arizona and elsewhere.  Under the discovery rule, a plaintiff’s statute of limitations deadline will be extended if they are not aware of the injuries they suffered due to the defendant’s fault, and they could not have reasonably discovered the injury.

How does it work?

Suppose that you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident on the defendant’s property.  At the time of the accident, your injuries were asymptomatic.  In other words, you did not feel that you were injured, and your visit to a physician did not lead to a diagnosis of injury.  A few years later, however, symptoms finally arise due to spinal degeneration (that was activated by the fall).  Given that the injury/condition could not have been reasonably discovered until the later date, and that you did not know about the injury despite your best efforts, the statute of limitations will likely be suspended until the date of discovery.

Schedule a Free Consultation at Hirsch & Lyon

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs in a variety of personal injury disputes.  Unlike many of our competitors, we have tried many cases to conclusion.  This willingness and ability to litigate a dispute not only gives us substantial leverage at the negotiating table (to secure a favorable settlement compromise) but has also given us a keen eye for what is necessary to overcome the barriers presented by opposing counsel.

Ready to move forward with your injury claims?  Call 602-535-1900 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Phoenix serious injuries lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon today.

Contact a Phoenix Serious Injuries Lawyer Today for Help

If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries in a motor vehicle accident (that was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct of another party), then Arizona law may give you a right of action for significant damages as compensation.  Catastrophic injury claims are often associated with high damage recoveries, but — while it’s important to remain positive — there are a number of unique challenges associated with such disputes.

Let’s take a look.

Damages Must Be Sufficient to Cover Losses

Catastrophic injury damages must be sufficient to cover all your losses.  These losses can be extensive and diverse, depending on the nature of the accident, the plaintiff’s own circumstances, and the resulting injuries.  It is not “satisfactory” to secure damages that are not enough to cover one’s losses.

For example, suppose that you are injured by a truck in a highway accident.  The truck driver lacks adequate insurance coverage to compensate you for the range of losses that you suffered as a result.  Though your damages totaled $500,000, you were only able to recover $100,000.  That would be insufficient, given the circumstances.

Now, if your attorney identified that the truck driver was an employee acting within the course and scope of their employment (at the time of the accident), then you might be able to bring a lawsuit against the employer under the vicarious liability doctrine.  The employer would likely have sufficient insurance coverage to pay out your damages in full.

Effective advocacy in the catastrophic injury context therefore requires a thorough assessment of the litigation landscape (and available opportunities for damage recovery).

Speedy Resolution Issues

Given how destructive the consequences of a catastrophic injury can be (i.e., causing the victim to suffer a disabling condition, requiring extensive surgical and rehabilitative intervention to ensure a return to good health), a speedy resolution is quite desirable in many cases.  A catastrophic injury can put the plaintiff in a uniquely vulnerable position financially — they might not have the resources to cover all their medical expenses, or to provide for their family given their inability to return to work.

As such, plaintiffs may find themselves performing a balancing act between securing a speedy resolution, and one that is more comprehensive.  At Hirsch & Lyon, we believe that our approach to litigation is well-suited for both maximizing the client’s compensation and doing so within a reasonable timeframe.

Our attorneys are battle-tested litigators who have a reputation for being willing and able to take a case through to trial when necessary.  This has a significant effect on our ability to negotiate a favorable settlement for our client — opposing counsel must take your claims seriously, given that (in the alternative) they could be exposed to the cost and uncertainty of trial.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for a Free and Confidential Consultation

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team of attorneys has many decades of experience litigating catastrophic injury claims for plaintiffs involved in various motor vehicle accident scenarios (car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents).  We are well-acquainted with the unique challenges that catastrophic injury plaintiffs face in the wake of an accident and are committed to working tirelessly on their behalf to ensure that they can secure the compensation they need to cover their losses.

Whereas many other firms shuffle clients through like “mere customers,” we see our relationship with clients as a partnership — we keep the client in the know at all times and engage them closely so that we can better understand the circumstances of their case, their goals, and their concerns moving forward.  This approach to litigation allows us to craft a tailored solution for each and every client.

Interested?  Call 602-535-1900 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix serious injuries lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon today.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident (due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party), then Arizona law may give you a right to secure compensation for your losses, including losses relating to any disability that results from the accident.

Damages for disabilities sustained due to an accident can vary substantially depending on the activities of the plaintiff and the length of the disability at-issue.  For example, if you are a highly-active socialite and enjoy outdoor recreational activities, then your disabling condition may preclude you from not only working in your profession, but may also preclude you from engaging in the social and recreational activities that once defined your lifestyle.  These damages can be difficult to measure, but may be significant.

Disability Benefits and Occupational Deficits

There is quite a bit of variation when it comes to disability insurance plans.  In some plans, a disability is strictly defined as a condition that precludes the claimant from working in “any” occupation, whereas in other plans, a disability is more broadly defined as a condition that precludes the claimant from working in their “own” existing occupation.

For example, suppose that you purchased disability insurance coverage that includes an “own occupation” definition of a disabling condition.  You are then involved in a car accident, where you suffer a back injury.  Your current career is as a physical laborer in a warehouse.  Due to the back injury, however, you are permanently rendered incapable of performing your current job duties.  Given the “own occupation” definition, you would be entitled to benefits.  If the definition had been “any occupation,” however, then you may have been precluded from claiming benefits due to the possibility of obtaining alternative office work.

Application of the Collateral Source Rule Allows for Full Damage Recovery

Arizona enforces the collateral source rule, which prohibits the jury from considering evidence relating to the plaintiff’s receipt of benefits and other forms of compensation from third-party sources (i.e., medical expenses reimbursement pursuant to health insurance coverage, and disability benefits pursuant to private disability insurance coverage).

Simply put, the courts will not allow the receipt of such benefits to affect the plaintiff’s ability to recover full and adequate damages to cover their losses, even if doing so allows the plaintiff to obtain a “double recovery” of sorts.  The intention behind the collateral source rule is essentially to shift the risk-burden to the defendant.  Were the collateral source rule not applied in Arizona, then the fact that a plaintiff had the good sense to purchase disability insurance coverage would reduce the liability of the defendant — and this would benefit the at-fault defendant, as opposed to the plaintiff.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident and are now suffering from a disabling condition, then you may be entitled to disability benefits (public or private) as well as significant damages pursuant to a lawsuit.  Arizona law provides for a full and adequate damage recovery even where disability benefits are paid out to the injured plaintiff.  However, given the complexities of disputes in which a disabling condition resulted from the accident, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who has extensive experience handling such claims.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, we approach litigation differently.  Unlike many other firms, we have a fundamentally client-oriented outlook, as we believe that truly effective litigation demands an individualized, “client-first” form of advocacy.

In fact, from the very beginning of the engagement process with our clients, this unique approach plays out in a variety of ways.  Our clients are encouraged to get in touch if they have any questions or concerns, and we put forth a great deal of effort to ensure that clients are kept apprised of case developments as litigation proceeds.  We are dedicated to maintaining a strong relationship with our clients, and to that end, we make house calls and hospital visits when necessary.

Interested in learning more about your claims and whether it is worth pursuing litigation?

Call 602-535-1900 or submit an online case evaluation form through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer here at Hirsch & Lyon.

Motor vehicle accidents are often caused — in whole or in part — by the presence of unexpected road debris and various other roadway hazards.  In the state of Arizona, for example, the Department of Transportation estimates that road debris alone is responsible for 1,000 crashes on an annual basis.  Accidents from dangerous road conditions can be particularly disastrous, as drivers may not be prepared for

If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by road debris or some other roadway hazard, then you may be entitled to damages, as it the existence of the dangerous condition may be indicative of another’s negligence.  You’ll therefore want to get in touch with a Phoenix injury lawyer as soon as possible for an evaluation of your car accident claims and how best to proceed with litigation.

Though the existence of a roadway hazard may not always be the fault of another party, there are many cases in which the negligence of the defendant — typically the possessor of a particular roadway (i.e., the government, or some private entity) — has contributed to the hazard at-issue.  If the defendant fails to correct the hazard or fails to warn motorists of the existence of the hazard so that it can be avoided, then liability may attach under prevailing Arizona law.

Roadways Must Be Maintained in a Reasonably Safe Condition

Claims arising out of injuries sustained due to road debris (or other roadway hazards) generally come under the umbrella of premises liability.  Premises liability claims in Arizona are rather similar to those found in other jurisdictions throughout the country.  Stated simply, you will be entitled to recover damages if you can show that the defendant — the person or entity who is in control of a particular property, which may include a roadway — failed to maintain the roadway in a reasonably safe condition for motorists.

Once a hazard is known (or should be known to the defendant), then they have a responsibility to correct it.  The hazard can be corrected in two ways: 1) the defendant can repair the hazard or remove the debris at-issue, or 2) the defendant can put up signs warnings motorists about the impending hazard so that it can be avoided.

For example, suppose that there is a large pothole in one of the lanes of a busy public highway.  After the government discovers the hazard, they have a duty to correct it and minimize its danger.  Perhaps they do not have the immediate resources to fill in the pothole.  They must instead setup a perimeter around the pothole and create signs warning motorists about the presence of the hazard.

It’s worth noting that the defendant may attempt to avoid liability by arguing that they were not aware of the hazard at-issue, and that they were therefore not required to correct the hazard or warn motorists of its existence.  This is not necessarily a winning argument for the defendant, however, if they “should have known” about the hazard given the circumstances.  Generally speaking, those who are responsible for roadways have a duty to inspect those roadways for dangerous conditions that could expose motorists to an unreasonable risk of injury.  Failure to inspect and discover a condition does not shield the defendant from liability.

Hazards Must Be Non-Obvious or Unavoidable

In Arizona, defendants cannot be held liable for injuries caused by hazards that were obvious or avoidable — they can only be held liable for hazards that were concealed in some way such that reasonably prudent motorists would not have discovered the hazard before it was too late to avoid it.

For example, if you are driving and you notice (from a distance) that a fallen tree is covering half a lane on the roadway, you cannot slam into the tree and then obtain damages from the City for your injuries.  Unless the collision was fundamentally unavoidable, the fact that you became aware of the hazard well in advance means that you had a responsibility to exert reasonable efforts to avoid the hazard.

Contact an Experienced Phoenix Injury Lawyer for Assistance With Your Claims

If you have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident involving road debris or some other hazard on the roadway, then you may have the right to sue and recover damages pursuant to Arizona premises liability law.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience litigating claims on behalf of the injured, including motorists who encountered unexpected road hazards.  We are committed to client-oriented legal representation — we make ourselves available to clients 24/7, offer discounted contingency fees, and encourage a level of transparency in the attorney-client relationship that many other firms fail to achieve.  This approach is advantageous for everyone involved.  You can have any questions or concerns addressed quickly, and we can better understand your litigation goals.

Call 602-535-1900 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer here at Hirsch & Lyon.

In Arizona, if you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another person or entity, then you may have the right to recover a range of damages to cover your losses — generally speaking, this includes lost wages.

When bringing a lawsuit against the defendant, it’s important to remember that damages may vary substantially from plaintiff-to-plaintiff.  Every case is different.  In fact, it is a fundamental principle of law that the defendant be forced to “accept the victim” as “they found them.”  Stated another way, compensatory damages are not capped based on the type of accident that occurred.  If you have significant wage loss damages, you will not be prevented from recovering such damages simply because they seem excessive in comparison to the damages suffered by the average person.

Wage loss recovery is actually rather straightforward to understand.  Let’s explore the basics to get a clearer picture of how it works.

Wage Loss at a Glance

Wage loss damages account for actual losses suffered due to an inability to work (following an injury).  Wage loss damages are somewhat different from lost earning capacity.  For example, if your injury has not resulted in time off from work but has reduced the likelihood that you will be promoted in the future, then you’ll want to claim loss of future earning capacity damages — not wage loss damages.

Wage loss damages must generally be “certain” — they can be estimated, but there must be evidence that reasonably supports the numbers.  This is not typically an issue for past wage loss (where the injured plaintiff should have pay stubs and other evidence of the losses) but is more often an issue for future wage loss.

Damages for Past Wage Loss

Past wage loss refers to those damages directly suffered as a result of having to take time off of work.  For example, if you were forced to take two months off of work due to the injury inflicted by the defendant, then you could claim damages for the amount you were not paid during such time.

Defendants have a difficult time undermining past wage loss claims, but they may attempt to minimize their liabilities by arguing that you did not “have” to take so much time off of work, and that your failure to return to work sooner was unreasonable and constituted a failure to mitigate damages.

Damages for Future Wage Loss

Future wage loss refers to damages that you have not yet suffered at the time of litigation, and naturally involves a higher level of uncertainty.

Suppose that you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, and the injuries are so severe that you have been forced to take an indefinite leave of absence from work (until you fully recover).  If you bring a lawsuit against the defendant during this period of “unemployment,” then you will not only have past wage loss damages for the period of time after the accident and up to the litigation.  but you will also have a claim of future wage loss damages for the indefinite period of time after litigation.

Generally speaking, successful claims involving future wage loss damages must be supported by expert testimony, such as that of the treating medical professionals, and industry professionals in your field (who will discuss how your injuries necessarily prevent you from returning to work).

Contact an Experienced Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer for Additional Guidance

If you have suffered an injury in an accident that was caused due to the negligent or wrongful acts of another, Arizona law may entitle you to recover significant damages as compensation for your losses.  Generally speaking, in cases involving severe injury — assuming that you were employed at the time of the accident — you will have wage loss damages to claim as well, due to having to take leave from work in order to physically and mentally recover from your various injuries.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have more than 65 years of combined experience, and have represented thousands of clients in a range of injury disputes, helping them to recover the full amount of damages they are owed, which may include wage loss (among other damages).  We are committed to personalized advocacy and believe that our approach leads to significantly better results in litigation.  Clients can also take advantage of our discounted contingency fee — despite the fact that we only get paid if you succeed, our fee is lower than that of competitors.

Call (602) 535-1900 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer today.

In Arizona, as in other states, workplace injuries (and other injuries sustained while performing one’s workplace duties, even off-site) can lead to quite a bit of confusion.  Many workers may not realize that they not only have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but that they may also have a legitimate right of action against one or more defendants.

If you were delivering pizzas, for example, and you were subsequently injured in a serious car accident, then you would not only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also have other claims worth pursuing.

Workplace injuries can be particularly challenging from both an emotional and financial perspective.  Still, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, it’s critical that you consult with an attorney who can evaluate the situation and determine whether you have actionable claims — workers’ compensation benefits alone may be insufficient to account for your losses.

Arizona “No Fault” Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation in the state of Arizona is mandatory — employers are required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance that covers their employees.  As such, if you are an employee and you are injured in a job-related incident (on-site or off-site), then you are almost certainly entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Importantly, Arizona workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system.  In no-fault systems, it is irrelevant whether you contributed to your own injuries (so long as you did not intentionally cause your own injuries).  Further, it is not necessary to prove that the employer acted negligently or wrongfully.  Benefits will be paid out, regardless.

Workers’ compensation benefits cover a limited subset of damages: wage loss, medical expenses, and job retraining.  They do not cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of quality of life.  This can lead to a substantial damages gap, where your actual losses outstrip the compensation.

One way to ensure that your actual losses are accounted for is to bring an action against liable defendants.  This can be quite challenging, however, as workers’ compensation serves as an exclusive remedy and precludes the employee from bringing a lawsuit against their employer on the basis of negligence.

Intentional/Willful Misconduct

Though workers’ compensation will generally preclude a lawsuit against the employer, in certain circumstances — where the employer engaged in intentional or willful misconduct — you may be entitled to bring an action.  For example, suppose that you are injured in a truck accident while on-the-job.  Your employer is upset with you, and in their anger, they cut the brakes on your vehicle, leading to an accident.  Given the willful nature of such misconduct, you would have the right to sue your employer and recover comprehensive damages.

Suing a Third Party for Damages

In many workplace injury scenarios, even if the employer was not actually at-fault for your injuries, there may be third-parties whose negligence have substantially contributed to your injuries.  In Arizona, you have the right to sue a liable third-party for damages, even if you will be receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

For example, suppose that the tires on the company vehicle explode, causing an accident in which you are severely injured.  Further investigation reveals that the tires were defective.  You may be entitled to sue the tire manufacturer pursuant to a product defect claim.

Get Connected to an Experienced Phoenix Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you are involved in a car accident or truck accident while on-the-job — whether you’re on-site or simply performing the duties of your position off-site — then you are very likely entitled to receive “no fault” workers’ compensation benefits to help compensate you for your various injuries.  Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are not particularly comprehensive.  As such, you may find that the benefits are not sufficient to cover your losses.  There are ways in which to secure more comprehensive damages, but those will require the assistance of an attorney who has experience navigating the complexities of work injury litigation.

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have decades of combined experience litigating motor vehicle accident claims on behalf of our injured clients.  We have handled straightforward injury cases, as well as more complicated cases involving high-conflict issues relating to workers’ compensation benefits and potential third-party liability.

Call (602) 535-1900 or submit an online claim evaluation form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer here at Hirsch & Lyon.

In Arizona, as in other states, injured plaintiffs — whether in motor vehicle accidents, or any other tortious accident caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct of a defendant — are entitled to recover damages that include both past and future medical expenses.

Let’s begin with a simple example.

Suppose that you are injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligent operation of a vehicle by another driver.  You suffer significant injuries to your back, neck, and limbs that require you to not only undergo diagnostic procedures and surgical treatment, but will also (for up to a year or more) require that you consistently attend rehabilitation sessions to get your strength back.  In addition to the various other losses that you may claim damages for (i.e., wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.), you may also claim damages for the medical expenses that you have already suffered, and for reasonably anticipated medical expenses in the future.

Medical expenses tend to be a substantial component (and in many cases, the largest component) of a plaintiff’s overall damage claim, as the cost of medical care includes a range of services, from diagnostics to treatment, and everything in-between.  As such, medical expenses are a frequent target of criticism in the litigation context.  Depending on the medical care that you have received, the defendant may assert that the medical care you have received (or that you will receive) is not reasonably necessary.

Past Medical Expenses

Past medical expenses are those costs associated with medical care (diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitative care, etc.) services that you have already been provided.  It’s important that you secure all your medical records — from inpatient reports to medical billing records — so that you can use such evidence to directly support your damages claim, without having to resort to assumption and guesswork.

Reasonable Charges

In some circumstances, particularly if you’ve received what the defendant believes to be “excessive” medical care, or perhaps “nontraditional” or “risky” medical care, the defendant will assert that they are not liable for the costs you incurred as a result of medical care that was not reasonable or necessary, given the circumstances.

For example, if you have suffered a minor leg injury, and in response, you go in for an experimental, risky surgery that is extremely costly (for no significant added benefit in comparison to traditional, cheaper surgeries), then the defendant will almost certainly argue that the costs were not reasonable.

Reasonability is an issue that depends on the circumstances.  Whereas a risky surgery may be unreasonable for a minor limb injury, it may be reasonable in circumstances where the plaintiff has suffered life-altering injuries and there are no other traditional, safer, and cheaper alternatives.

Future Medical Expenses

Future medical expenses are somewhat more difficult to prove than past medical expenses, as there are no medical records of the actual treatment (that has yet to be provided).  You will have to introduce expert medical testimony to establish that the future treatment is not only necessary given your injuries/condition, but also that the projected costs are reasonably accurate.

Given the inherently uncertain nature of future medical expenses, many defendants will challenge such claims.  As a plaintiff, you must therefore demonstrate that:

  1. There is a reasonable probability that the treatment will be necessary, and
  2. The projected cost of treatment (and related care) is a reasonable estimation of the value.

Demonstrating that a treatment is reasonably probable — and necessary — will depend on the circumstances.  If doctors have not yet decided whether to operate on you, for example, then you may not be entitled to claim damages for that future medical expense (unless it is reasonably probable that they will decide to operate on you).

Have you been injured in an accident due to another’s fault?  You may be entitled to compensation — which includes a damages award for medical expenses (past and future) — in accordance with Arizona law.  Your claims are subject to a statute of limitations deadline, however, so it’s important that you consult with a qualified Arizona attorney as soon as you can to ensure that your claims are litigated in a timely manner.

Call (602) 535-1900 today to speak with an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer here at Hirsch & Lyon.  Initial consultation is free.  Your attorney will assess your injury claims and help you navigate the process of litigation moving forward.

The goal of any personal injury lawsuit is to obtain compensation for the plaintiff — a monetary award or settlement — so that he or she is “made whole” for the damages caused by the injuries. Usually the plaintiff is the injured person, so the damages are those directly suffered by the plaintiff – for example, medical expenses paid by the injured person, pain and suffering endured by the injured person and income lost by the injured person.

But what happens if the injured person dies because of the accident caused by the defendant’s negligence or misconduct? In the absence of the injured person, who can file a lawsuit and for what damages?

A claim for wrongful death is the law’s answer to this problem. It allows the deceased victim’s estate and his or her family members to bring a lawsuit for the decedent’s damages AND the damages suffered by the family. Contact a skilled Phoenix injury lawyer if you need help with your case.

Who can claim damages?

In Arizona, wrongful death claims can be brought by the deceased victim’s surviving spouse, children or parents, and by an executor or personal representative on behalf of the victim’s estate.

What damages are recoverable?

Wrongful death damages can be thought of as falling into 2 categories. The first category compensates the decedent’s estate for the damages the victim suffered, including:

  • Funeral/burial expenses;
  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death;
  • Income lost prior to death;
  • Lost future income (based on the idea that the victim would have accumulated more assets and left a larger estate if he or she had survived);
  • Property damaged in the incident causing his or her death (if the incident were a car accident, for example, the damaged property would be a vehicle); and
  • Pain and suffering endured before death.

The second category compensates family members for the damages THEY suffer from the victim’s untimely death, including:

  • The lost value of household services the victim performed;
  • The loss of care, companionship, and guidance; and
  • Pain and suffering (grief, sorrow, shock).

If the family members paid for all or some of the victim’s expenses arising from the accident (medical bills, funeral expenses), claims for those damages would be brought by the family members, not the estate.

What about punitive damages?

Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious actions and to deter others from committing similar misconduct. They can be awarded in a wrongful death case without regard to the economic damages claimed by the plaintiffs, but the standard for obtaining punitive damages under Arizona law is strict.

As a general rule, the defendant’s conduct must be outrageous and reckless to support a claim for punitive damages. In other words, the defendant’s behavior must be worse than mere carelessness or inattention. Actions that seem more conscious or intentional are more likely to meet the test for punitive damages — like driving a car when you know the brakes are defective or repeatedly driving when severely intoxicated.

Are there caps or limits on damages?

Some states have laws that place limits or caps on the damages a plaintiff can receive in a personal injury lawsuit, but Article 2, Section 31 of the Arizona Constitution provides that no such law is permitted in Arizona.

If a family member has died because of a car, truck or motorcycle accident in Phoenix or elsewhere in the state, an injury lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call any of our offices to schedule a free consultation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States every year. Over 50,000 of these people die as a result of their injuries. Roughly 80 percent of people who sustain TBIs seek treatment in emergency rooms. The remaining 20 percent might never even realize they’ve been seriously injured.

The symptoms of TBIs are varied and not always immediately apparent to the injured party. In some cases they can take days or weeks to appear. That’s why it’s essential for people to seek treatment any time they’ve sustained a head injury, even if it doesn’t seem very serious at the time. It’s also important for people to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of TBI so that they can recognize them in the event that they or a loved one has a head injury. According to the CDC, TBI symptoms typically fall into one of four categories.


After sustaining a TBI, you may have difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. You may also have trouble retaining new information. Many people report a general feeling of mental “sluggishness” when trying to think and reason after sustaining a TBI.


Nausea and vomiting soon after a head injury are tell-tale signs of a TBI. Later on, headaches, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light can manifest as symptoms as well. Dizziness, balance issues and lack of energy are also fairly common physical TBI symptoms.


These symptoms can be especially disruptive and hard to identify. After a TBI, you may feel unusually irritable, upset and prone to mood swings. Some people also report increased anxiety and nervousness. Be careful not to write these emotional symptoms off as ordinary moodiness; they could be signs of a serious brain injury.


You should pay close attention to any changes in your regular sleep cycle following a head injury as well. In some cases, TBI victims will suffer from insomnia. In others, they’ll sleep for hours at a time and still feel exhausted when they wake up.

Finally, you should seek medical attention any time you lose consciousness as a result of a head injury. Even if it’s only for a few seconds, loss of consciousness is indicative of a TBI. When it comes to brain injuries, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

A few weeks ago, millions of Americans came together to observe Memorial Day with friends and loved ones. Burgers were grilled, pools were opened and the sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces were commemorated. In addition to being the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day marked another important annual milestone as well – the beginning of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers.

Statistically speaking, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the most dangerous time of year for teens to be on the road. During this period, when the weather is nice and schools are closed for the summer, teens tend to spend more time behind the wheel, increasing their risk of getting in an accident. On average, about 1,000 people die every year in accidents involving teenagers during these 100 deadliest days.

The Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teen Drivers With this in mind, it’s imperative that parents of teenagers remind them about the additional risks associated with driving this time of year. According to AAA, distracted driving is the most common cause of accidents involving teen drivers. Cell phones, in particular, tend to be especially dangerous distractions for teens behind the wheel.

Parents should set clear safety expectations for their teenage drivers, and do their part to practice what they preach as well. If your teenager sees you checking text messages while you drive, they’re more likely to do the same when they get behind the wheel. You can also download an app like AT&T Drive Mode to automatically disable incoming smartphone alerts while driving. The app can also send parents a text message if the app is turned off or disabled on their teenager’s phone.

Want to learn more about how to educate your teenager about safe driving habits? Check out these helpful guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration!

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