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Personal injury cases cover a wide range of accidents, but they often revolve around accidents or incidents caused by another person. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you may have a personal injury claim against them.
There are many factors involved in a personal injury claim; a personal injury lawyer near you can help determine which ones are most relevant to your claim. A qualified personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and provide guidance for helping you recover compensation for your injuries.
The basic structure of personal injury cases
Most personal injury claims will be brought under a legal theory of negligence. In order to be successful in your personal injury claim, you must prove every element of negligence. The person who is injured has the burden of showing that all elements are met.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a legal term. Negligence occurs when a person fails to act as a reasonable person would have in the same or similar circumstance. There are standards for how a person should act. These may be common standards in work situations, social situations, or legally, such as following the traffic laws while driving.
The standard level of care varies based on who the parties are, where the actions took place, and the surrounding circumstances. Generally, there must have been a duty owed to you, such as following the traffic laws while driving, that was breached by the defendant. This breach of duty must have caused your injuries. For example, if the defendant was speeding and caused a collision with you while driving, that action is likely negligent.
Many accident cases could be based on a claim of negligence; most of these can become very complicated. That is why it is important to reach out to a personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible if you were injured in any way and you suspect someone else was responsible for your injuries. An experienced attorney would know how to address and unwind all of the details surrounding your complicated case.
common types of personal injury claims
Many types of accidents can lead to a personal injury claim. These are some of the most common types, and an experienced personal injury attorney has handled cases involving most if not all of these:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Injuries from using a defective product, device, food, or drug
- Dog bites
- Exposure to toxic or harmful chemicals or materials
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Injuries occurring on another person’s property
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Wrongful death
How do i know if i need a personal injury lawyer?
The two main factors that should come into consideration if you are determining whether to hire a personal injury lawyer are:
Whether the Accident Was Caused by Someone Else
If you were harmed as a result of someone else’s actions, then they may be liable to you for damages. Liability means that they are legally responsible for the harm that they caused. Damages refers to the injuries you have and any damage to personal property. Personal injury claims allow victims to recover financially for the harm they have suffered and makes the responsible person compensate them.
Arizona follows a “comparative negligence” rule, which means that if you are found partially responsible for your injuries, the amount of damages you can recover will be reduced. This fact can cause Arizona accident victims to hesitate pursuing a case. However, if you believe that the person who caused your injuries was more at fault than you were, then you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. If it turns out that you were indeed equally at fault or more at fault than the other party, then it is unlikely that you will have a strong claim for recovery.
Whether You Have Injuries or Damages
In order to be successful in your personal injury claim, you must have been actually harmed in some way. This can take the form of physical injury or it can be damage to personal property. The fear or anticipation of an injury will not be enough. The harm must have been caused by the other person’s failure to act in a reasonable way.
Injuries sometimes get worse with time. A personal injury claim will assess both present and future damages. Even if an injury is minor today, it may come with complications or require long-term management. A personal injury attorney will be able to help you calculate damages and can help you seek recovery for all of your injuries or damages.
Types of damages
Different kinds of accidents can cause you to suffer harm in a variety of ways. While physical injuries are the most common in personal injury cases, mental distress and lost wages are also common. Sometimes accident injuries can cause you to experience a reduced quality of life. All of these details factor in when determining what you can recover from a personal injury claim. Two main types of damages may be recoverable:
Economic damages are easy to prove by producing receipts and bills. These can include compensating you for medical bills, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any follow-up care you receive. You may also be able to recover for lost wages if you missed work due to being injured. Economic damages are financial compensation you can recover for out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and are harder to prove. These can include mental distress, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and therapy sessions to deal with any emotional distress caused by the accident. Compensation for long-term mental effects after an accident such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be recoverable as well.
Other factors to remember when filiing a personal injury claim
If you choose to file a claim, there are a few things to remember to ensure your best chance at a full financial recovery. These factors include filing the claim on time, preserving your claim for court, and choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for filing claims. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. This means that from the date of the accident, you only have two years to file a claim. Once the two-year time limit has passed, you will no longer be able to file a claim and you will have to pay for your injuries and losses yourself.
Preserving Your Claim
Remember not to speak about your accident with others; do not even post about your accident to social media. Anything you say can be used against you by the other party. Even statements such as “I’m fine” could harm your case as the other party may try to diminish the severity of your injuries.
Be sure to see a licensed physician or psychologist following any injuries or traumatic event, and make sure to follow all of your doctor’s advice when it comes to your recovery. Do not go back to work until your doctor has told you it is safe to do so. Complete all treatment on time, including any physical therapy or prescription medications. Failing to do so could harm your claim and could reduce your damages.
Do not give an insurance adjuster a recorded statement, even if they pressure you to give them details of the events of the accident, especially in car accident claims. Giving a recorded statement will bind you to that statement and will not allow you to make any changes. This could harm your case if you do not explain everything correctly.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer
Not all personal injury attorneys in the US take cases on a “contingency fee” basis. Zinda Law Group lawyers do, however. This means that our lawyer will not be paid unless your case is won. The lawyer will take a percentage of their fees from your personal injury settlement only if a favorable outcome is reached. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will cost you nothing up front, and if you do not win your case, the lawyer will not collect any fees.
This makes hiring a personal injury lawyer more beneficial to victims. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side means you will have a professional to help you gather evidence. They will know how to speak on your behalf to the other parties and any insurance claims adjusters.
Get Help from Arizona Personal injury Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are experienced and have handled many cases involving victims of accidents. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help recover the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Arizona. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.