Serious Injury FAQ for Arizona Victims
Hirsch & Lyon: A Top Arizona Accident Law Firm
Frequently Asked Questions for Phoenix Injury Lawyers
Can You Take Legal Action if Someone Causes You to Suffer a Serious Injury?
If someone causes you to suffer a serious injury, you can pursue a personal injury claim. It is possible to pursue a personal injury case after the occurrence of various types of serious injuries, including those caused by car accidents, falls, violence caused by negligent security, product defects, and more. Whenever someone has harmed you because of negligence or a failure to fulfill a basic legal obligation, it is possible that you might have a personal injury claim.
It is up to you to actually go through the process of filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, or choosing to pursue your legal options in a courtroom. This process can be complicated and can require technical legal knowledge, so we encourage injured individuals to reach out to an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer for help with pursuing legal action based on a serious injury.
What Types of Compensation Are You Entitled to After a Serious Injury?
In Arizona, after a serious injury, you are entitled to be “made whole” or put back into the position that you would have been in if the accident had never occurred. This means that you should be fully and fairly compensated for all actual economic losses. If you missed time from work, took sick days or vacation days because of your injuries, you should be compensated. If you incurred medical bills, you should also be reimbursed for the money spent.
In addition to compensation for actual economic loss, it’s appropriate for you to be compensated for the pain and suffering endured as a direct result of the serious injuries you sustained. Compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress can both be paid, but in many situations, it is difficult to determine how much money to which you may be entitled. An attorney can help you show the extent of the pain and emotional damage experienced due to your injuries.
Finally, it is important for you to be compensated for future losses incurred after the settlement or court case if your injuries will still affect you once your case is resolved. This includes compensation for future lost wages, ongoing medical expenses, and ongoing pain. Estimating future injury costs can be even more speculative and difficult, but an attorney can help you find the right experts to help you make your case.
How Can You Prove Who Was Liable for Causing Your Serious Injuries?
You will have to provide proof that the person, company or entity you named in your claim was the one who actually injured you. If you are pursuing claims against multiple parties, you will need to show that they are all liable.
To make your case, you need to demonstrate the person or entity you’ve made your claim against owed you some type of obligation. For example, a property owner would owe an obligation to provide a reasonably safe premises for visitors. You’ll have to show the obligation was breached, or that the person or entity you’re making the claim against didn’t live up to it because of unreasonably negligent behavior or a violation of a safety rule. Additionally, you’ll have to show that this failure to live up to a legal obligation was a direct cause of injury.
There are many different kinds of evidence you can present to prove your case. For instance, you could present police reports, witness testimony, expert testimony, and photos from an accident scene. The kind of case at issue will affect the evidence you offer, so seek help from a Phoenix injury attorney to find out what you need to demonstrate and how you can meet your burden of proof.
Can You Take Legal Action Against More Than One Person for Causing Your Injury?
There are many situations where it makes sense to pursue a claim against multiple people and entities to try to recover injury compensation – especially in circumstances where you have incurred substantial damages and one person or company may not have the money to fully compensate you.
You can pursue a claim against multiple people for causing injury if, for example, a driver hurt you while working for an employer. Under these circumstances, it is possible for the driver to be held liable for losses, as well as the employer because the worker was acting on the employer’s behalf when the accident happened.
Likewise, if you were hurt in a car accident in Phoenix and the injuries were made worse due to an exploding airbag, you could possibly sue both the driver who caused the accident to occur and the car maker who sold a vehicle with a defective and dangerous airbag.
These are just a few of many examples where there may be multiple defendants to blame for causing your accident and serious injuries. When you work with a personal injury attorney, your lawyer can help you identify all parties who are potentially liable for losses.
How Can You Show How Serious Your Injuries Actually Are?
It is important to get prompt medical attention as soon as you are involved in an accident in which you sustained serious injuries. When you visit the doctor right away, he or she can document the extent of your injuries and provide insight into when and how they happened. This ensures that there is proof that the accident was the cause of your harm and that the injuries were indeed very grave.
On an ongoing basis, your doctor should make certain to keep detailed records of the treatment you receive, symptoms you experience, and costs you incur. You may also wish to keep a diary that demonstrates how the injuries impair your ability to enjoy life and describes the pain that the injuries cause you to experience.
You can provide comprehensive information about the severity of your injuries with medical records, information about how they impair you and, in some cases, expert or eyewitnesses who can attest to the severity of your injuries. Your Phoenix injury lawyer will help you determine the best types of evidence to present to showcase the seriousness of your accident injuries.
Do You Have to Go to Court to Obtain Compensation for a Serious Injury?
Many people who are coping with serious injuries do not want the stress associated with going to court to make a claim for compensation. For many accident victims, attending court proceedings or going through a full trial is not necessary. That’s because a significant number of accident claims are resolved through out-of-court settlements.
Settlements can benefit both would-be plaintiffs and potential defendants in a civil case. When you settle your claim arising from a serious injury, you can benefit because you avoid the stress and time associated with a trial and you receive compensation sooner. The potential defendant also gets more certainty in knowing how much the case will cost and he or she can avoid legal fees. Because there is incentive for both parties to settle their claims, the majority of personal injury cases do get resolved through settlements — including cases in which serious injury occurred.
Should You Settle a Claim Arising From a Serious Injury?
While most cases end in settlement, this does not mean that every personal injury claim arising out of a serious injury should be settled. In fact, settlement is appropriate only in circumstances where you are confident that the compensation that you have been offered is reasonable in light of the extent of your serious injuries.
When you settle a claim, the opposing party agrees to pay you a sum of money to compensate you for your losses. In exchange, you must sign a liability waiver and give up the right to pursue further claims against the party who hurt you. Once you have signed this liability waiver, you give up all rights to sue. You can’t change your mind at a later point – even if you subsequently find out that the injuries you thought were minor and believed would heal are in fact major and permanent.
To avoid uncompensated losses, make certain you really know the full extent of the injuries that you have sustained before you decide to settle your claim. When you are confident in the extent of the damage, you can work with an attorney to determine the appropriate amount of compensation you should receive based on your serious injuries. If you cannot reach a settlement that provides you with appropriate compensation and you believe you have a strong chance to prevail in court and be awarded a larger amount of damages, then settling may not be the right approach for you.
What if the Person Who Hurt You Was Uninsured at the Time of the Accident?
When you receive compensation for an injury, you almost always receive compensation from an insurer. This might be an auto insurer, a homeowner’s insurer, or a general business liability insurer. Insurers pay damages because people buy policies to protect them against major losses in case an accident occurs.
If the person or company that hurt you did not have liability insurance, however, then you are in a difficult situation because there is no insurer to pay the bills. If you have your own insurance, it may cover you – such as drivers who have purchased uninsured motorist coverage. With uninsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company stands in for the person who was supposed to pay for damages and provides you with compensation, up to maximum policy limits.
If you don’t have your own insurer to provide coverage and the person who hurt you doesn’t have insurance, you can try to find other third parties against whom you could pursue a claim (such as that individual’s employer if he was working at the time) or you can try to pursue a claim against the person who hurt you and collect compensation directly. This can be difficult if the person who harmed you has low (or no) income and limited assets such that he or she would have no real ability to actually pay for your losses.
How Can You Negotiate a Settlement to Get Fair Compensation for a Serious Injury?
A Phoenix injury attorney can provide you with help during the negotiation process. The stronger your case, the better the chances of being compensated fairly because the more likely it is the insurer will accept responsibility and offer a generous settlement to try to keep the case out of court.
When you have strong evidence and know how much your case is worth, you can send a demand letter to the opposing party and/or the opposing party’s insurer. Specify how much compensation you expect to receive in order to settle. Even though you likely won’t get the exact amount of money you are asking for, this allows you to get negotiations opened on your terms with a focus on your desired compensation amount.
Why is it Important to Have a Phoenix Injury Lawyer?
Sustaining a serious injury can lead to very expensive medical bills and substantial additional financial loss. If you are not fully and fairly compensated, you could experience financial distress and ultimately have your other money goals derailed. For example, if your income is permanently reduced due to a lasting injury, this could impact your family’s quality of life and could affect you long into the future, particularly when it comes to your ability to save enough money for a secure retirement.
You don’t want uncompensated losses, and it can be hard to determine how to go through the formal processes of filing an injury claim or negotiating a settlement with your insurer. Going to court is even more complicated as there are strict rules of evidence that you will need to follow as you try to make your case to receive compensation.
A Phoenix injury attorney knows the ins-and-outs of the law when it comes to making a case for compensation when someone has suffered serious injuries. Your attorney can help you build a strong case by interviewing witnesses, finding experts, and gathering documents. Your attorney can also help you present your case to a court in an effective way or convince an insurer to settle. To find out more about how our firm can help, contact us today.
Suffered a Serious Injury in Arizona? Contact a Phoenix Injury Lawyer Today
For a free consultation with a Phoenix injury lawyer at our firm, call 602-535-1900 or contact us online today. Our main office is in Phoenix, and we have additional offices throughout the state.