Upholding Justice & Delivering Results in Arizona
Avian Law Group is committed to providing the highest level of legal representation to individuals in Arizona who have suffered personal injuries due to the negligence of others. We are well-versed in Arizona personal injury law and equipped with the skills, knowledge, and determination needed to fight for justice and secure the compensation our clients deserve.
What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal term that refers to any harm or damage inflicted upon a person physically, emotionally, or mentally due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct. This includes, but is not limited to, injuries from automobile accidents, slip and falls, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and incidents of assault or battery.
The goal of personal injury law, also known as tort law, is to restore the injured party, as much as possible, to the state they were in before the incident occurred. This is typically achieved by awarding monetary compensation or “damages” to cover the victim’s medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain, suffering, and more.
Understanding “Negligence” in Personal Injury Claims
The cornerstone of most personal injury cases is the legal concept of “negligence.” For a person or entity to be legally liable for the injuries suffered by another, they must have acted negligently. In simple terms, negligence refers to the failure of an individual or entity to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised under the same circumstances.
Proving negligence in Arizona requires establishing four essential elements:
- Duty of Care: The defendant had a legal responsibility, or “duty of care,” to act in a certain way towards the victim.
- Breach: The defendant breached that duty of care by behaving or failing to behave in a specific way.
- Causation: The defendant’s actions (or inactions) were the direct cause of the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: The victim suffered harm or damages as a result of the defendant’s actions.
It is worth noting that Arizona operates under the rule of “pure comparative negligence.” This means that a plaintiff can recover damages even if they were 99% at fault for their injury, but the compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Arizona’s Approach to Comparative Fault
In Arizona, the principle of comparative fault is applied to personal injury claims. Typically, a claimant can still receive compensation unless they intentionally or recklessly contributed to the harm or fatality. The possibility of obtaining compensation often hinges on the specific nature of the accident leading to the injury.
For instance, injuries occurring at work are usually addressed through worker’s compensation. This system provides for medical bills, wage losses, and disabilities, without pointing fingers at who is to blame. However, claims can be initiated if a third party, outside of an employer or colleague, is responsible for the accident.
If multiple parties are deemed responsible for your injuries, the court will assign each a liability percentage based on their share of fault. Should you bear some responsibility for the accident leading to your injuries, the court will adjust your compensation to reflect your level of culpability.
Common Personal Injury Lawsuits in Arizona
“Personal injury” encompasses a wide range of lawsuits in Arizona. Here, we delve into some of the more frequent personal injury claims. However, it’s essential to note that just because a specific injury isn’t listed below doesn’t invalidate its legitimacy. It’s always prudent to consult an attorney to evaluate potential claims. The most frequent personal injury lawsuits comprise:
Construction site injuries; and
Slip and fall incidents.
Personal Injury from Vehicle Accidents
The term “vehicle accidents” is broad, making it perhaps the largest subset of personal injury cases. Car accidents are the predominant cause, but truck, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents also represent a substantial portion. If an individual gets injured by any vehicle while walking or cycling, it qualifies as a vehicle accident.
Whenever a person sustains injuries or loses their life due to a vehicle, there’s potential for a personal injury lawsuit. The aim is to adequately compensate the injured and restore them, as much as feasible. While attorneys at Avian Law Group can’t reverse physical harm, they can ensure the culpable party compensates for the injuries and damages.
Personal Injury from Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can span numerous scenarios involving healthcare service providers. Typically, for a medical malpractice case to be valid, it must satisfy three criteria:
A duty was owed by the healthcare professional to the patient;
There was a breach of that duty; and
The breach directly resulted in harm to the patient.
Examples include misdiagnoses, surgical errors, unsanitary treatment environments, and medication mistakes. Essentially, any harm stemming from the actions or inactions of a medical professional can potentially lead to a medical malpractice claim.
Injuries on Construction Sites
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stipulates guidelines for construction site safety. Nonetheless, injuries still occur, often due to noncompliance. Both workers and the general public face risks on or near construction sites. Potential dangers include falling objects, electrocution, equipment malfunctions, chemical exposures, and more.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Wrongful death claims come into play when negligence or deliberate acts lead to a person’s demise. Such cases can emerge from various situations, including vehicle accidents, work-related incidents, or medical malpractice. Affected families might be eligible to claim for funeral and medical expenses, future lost earnings, and the emotional loss endured due to the deceased’s absence.
Navigating Arizona’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
In the state of Arizona, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the date of your accident. However, there are exceptions, and the law can be intricate, making it challenging to navigate without expert advice. Many injured car accident victims in Arizona fail to file within the time frame simply because they’re unaware of their rights or mistakenly believe they’ve already missed their window. You shouldn’t make assumptions about your case.
Don’t delay! Reach out to an Avian Law Group car accident lawyer in Phoenix to delve into the specifics of your case.
Car accidents can happen out of the blue and can result in serious injuries to those involved. When someone gets injured in an Arizona car accident due to another person’s negligence, they have the right to seek damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible individual or party.
However, Arizona’s statute of limitations can limit the opportunity to seek damages after a car accident. Here’s what the legal experts at Avian Law Group believe you should know about filing a car accident injury or wrongful death claim.
How long after a car accident can I sue?
You have the right to take legal action against the responsible driver and other liable parties anytime within two years from the date of the accident.
Understanding the Statute of Limitation for Phoenix Car Accidents:
Every state sets a deadline for initiating various legal actions. These time constraints exist to avoid lawsuits being filed long after an incident when evidence might have disappeared. It also safeguards potential defendants from the perpetual fear of a lawsuit for past events.
If you postpone your lawsuit beyond this period, your claim will be time-barred. The opposing party in your lawsuit will likely move for a dismissal, which the court will grant. Thus, taking too long could cost you your rightful compensation.
Timeline for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Arizona:
The Arizona statute of limitation for personal injury and wrongful death claims is captured in ARS 12-542. You have two years from the date of your car accident in Phoenix to initiate legal action. If you wait beyond this period, chances are slim that you’ll recover any compensation.
Timeframe for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona:
The wrongful death statute of limitations differs slightly. Though it’s still a two-year timeframe, the counting begins from the date of the victim’s death. In scenarios where the victim survives for a while post-accident before passing away, the deadline doesn’t commence on the day of the accident.
When to Consult an Attorney?
Two years might seem lengthy, but many end up missing the deadline due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s crucial not to delay and seek legal counsel promptly. Engaging an attorney soon after your mishap allows for a comprehensive investigation, gathering of evidence, and building a robust case. As time progresses, vital evidence could get lost or witnesses might forget crucial details or become hard to reach.
Securing a lawyer shortly after your incident ensures evidence collection and preservation, maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome. Furthermore, they can guide you in avoiding pitfalls that might compromise your claim.
Exceptions to the Arizona Statute of Limitations:
A few exceptions might modify the start date of the statute of limitations for car accident claims in Arizona:
The Discovery Rule: If injuries aren’t immediately evident post-accident, the limitation period may not commence until the injury is discovered or should have been reasonably identified.
Child Victims – Minors Under 18: If a minor is the accident victim, the limitation period starts only when they turn 18. For instance, if a 12-year-old gets injured, they have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.
If a public employee is the cause of your accident, be aware of the distinct requirements for governmental claims in Arizona. Under ARS 12-821.01, if harmed by a governmental worker, you must notify the concerned agency within 180 days of the incident. Specific procedures apply depending on the agency or entity, adding to the complexity.
Avian Law Group is proficient in navigating the intricacies of claims against governmental bodies, ensuring claims are correctly processed.
Compensation Potential If Within Statute of Limitations:
In Arizona, eligible victims can claim both non-economic and economic damages:
Medical expenses (past and future)
Lost wages and future earning capacity
Emotional distress and pain & suffering
Beyond adhering to the statute of limitations for lawsuits, timely claims with insurance companies are equally vital. Arizona operates on a fault-based system for car accidents, offering multiple avenues for compensation.
Avian Law Group’s experienced team comprehends the insurance landscape and can guide you through the maze, ensuring deadlines are met and potentially enhancing your compensation.
Seek Expertise from Avian Law Group:
Being timely in adhering to the Arizona statute of limitations is crucial for car accident victims. The proficient attorneys at Avian Law Group can guide you through the legal intricacies, helping to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Differences in Car Insurance Policy Limits: California vs. Arizona
Both California and Arizona set minimum car insurance requirements, but the limits differ between these two states. In California, the minimum coverage stands at $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. However, in Arizona, it’s set higher at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This means that if a California driver with minimum insurance causes an accident injuring multiple passengers, the maximum compensation for a single passenger is $15,000, with a total cap of $30,000 for all passengers combined. In contrast, Arizona has higher limits, offering $25,000 for a single passenger and a total of $50,000 for all injured.
Importantly, California is set to increase these minimums. Following Senate Bill 1107, starting January 1, 2025, Californian drivers will be required to have a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. By January 1, 2035, this will rise further to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
Med Pay Reimbursement: California vs. Arizona
Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage is optional and covers medical costs irrespective of who’s at fault. California requires beneficiaries to repay their Med Pay benefits if they’re compensated by an at-fault party. Arizona’s approach is slightly different: beneficiaries only repay amounts exceeding $5,000.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage Differences
Underinsured Motorist coverage kicks in when damages exceed the at-fault party’s insurance. In Arizona, you can combine (or “stack”) your underinsured coverage with the at-fault driver’s coverage. For instance, if you’re owed $125,000 and the at-fault driver’s insurance covers $50,000, with an underinsured coverage of $75,000, you’d get the full $125,000. In California, however, your underinsured coverage fills the gap between the damage and the at-fault driver’s coverage. Following the same example, you’d only get $75,000 in California: $50,000 from the at-fault driver and an additional $25,000 from your underinsured coverage.
Uninsured Drivers: California vs. Arizona
California prohibits uninsured drivers from claiming non-economic damages like pain and suffering after an accident, even if they’re not at fault. Arizona does not have this restriction.
Recovering Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Damages recovery varies between the states. The most striking difference is in medical expenses. While California allows victims to claim only what was actually paid or owed, Arizona lets them claim the full billed amount, regardless of the actual payment.
Additionally, Arizona allows balance billing (hospitals claiming the difference between the billed amount and what insurance paid), while California generally does not.
Which State’s Law Applies to Your Car Accident Claim?
The governing law might depend on where the insurance policy was originated, not necessarily where the accident happened. It’s vital to consult an experienced attorney, especially one familiar with multi-state claims, if you find yourself in such a situation.
The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Successfully navigating a personal injury claim can be complex, time-consuming, and stressful. This is why it’s crucial to hire a personal injury lawyer. By doing so, you benefit in several key ways:
- Expert Guidance: Personal injury law can be complex, and every case is unique. Avian Law Group has extensive knowledge and experience in this field. We know how to build a strong case, proving negligence and securing maximum compensation.
- Accurate Evaluation: We can accurately estimate the value of your claim based on your injuries, financial losses, and suffering. This ensures that you won’t settle for less than you deserve.
- Professional Negotiation: Negotiating with insurance companies can be daunting. They often try to minimize payouts. We have the skills and determination to negotiate effectively on your behalf, countering any tactics they may use to devalue your claim.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing that a dedicated professional is handling your case, you can focus on recovery and rehabilitation.
Avian Law Group – Your Premier Personal Injury Law Firm in Arizona
At Avian Law Group, we are staunch advocates for our clients, committed to pursuing justice and achieving the best possible outcomes in every case we handle. With years of experience and a deep understanding of Arizona personal injury law, we ensure our clients are well-represented and receive the compensation they are entitled to.
We stand out for our personalized approach to legal representation. We understand that every case is unique, and so we tailor our services to meet the specific needs of our clients. From the moment you walk through our doors, we make it our mission to understand your situation, guide you through the legal process, and fight tirelessly on your behalf.
When you choose Avian Law Group, you’re choosing a team that values you as an individual and is determined to secure justice on your behalf. With us on your side, you can rest assured that we will stop at nothing to protect your rights and interests. Trust Avian Law Group to turn your personal injury claim into a victory.