Personal Injury | Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog - Breyer Law Offices, P.C.
Personal injury claims in Arizona are relatively simple in theory, though the process of bringing a claim against a negligent party can often be more difficult. A Peoria, AZ personal injury claim begins when someone who has been injured requests monetary compensation for what they have gone through. A claim is most often made through the insurance company of the responsible party that caused the injury. If the claim is not settled, then a personal injury lawsuit will usually be filed.
This is just the beginning of the litigation process. First comes the discovery, in which questions are posed by the other side and their legal representatives. Next comes a deposition, a sworn statement in which the negligent party’s attorney or insurance company’s lawyer asks the injured party questions relating to the incident that caused the injury. Only after this would a case then go to trial. Most cases are settled long before a jury trial, though when there is a disagreement as to the amount of damages or to the apportionment of fault, a jury will ultimately decide how much monetary compensation should be made in a personal injury claim.
Absolutely. If you’re in a serious accident with a negligent driver and you were wearing your seatbelt, you have a much better chance of receiving full compensation for your injuries. If you were not wearing your seatbelt, even if the accident was 100% the other driver’s fault, then the compensation you receive could be greatly reduced or even completely eliminated if the plaintiff can prove that your injuries wouldn’t have been as bad, or wouldn’t have occurred at all, if you’d just been wearing your seatbelt. That means you won’t receive full compensation for things like current and future lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering – all because you didn’t wear a seatbelt.
Furthermore, if you were hurt by a negligent driver in a car accident and you need extensive medical care, those bills will add up quickly. You don’t have to worry if you have a legitimate claim and were wearing your seatbelt, but if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt and your compensation is reduced, then the financial impact on you and your family can be devastating. In fact, it’s reported that over half of all bankruptcies in the U.S. have resulted from medical bills. So even if your health isn’t that important to you, think about your bank account – and the impact it will have on you and your family if you’re financially wiped out.
A personal injury attorney can help make the process a lot easier and a lot less stressful. An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to secure medical care and treatment, including surgeries, surgical facilities, orthopedists, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, pain specialists, and other medical providers, for their injured client. In these situations, a lien is typically put on the case. That means that the hospital, doctor, and any specialists who provided medical care will be paid once the personal injury claim is settled. So the doctors and hospitals aren’t providing services for free, they are simply allowing the injured person to “buy now and pay later.”
These liens are not usually necessary if the injured person has health insurance. If the insurance provides the injured person with good quality care, then a lawyer will most likely not have to get involved. And, in fact, it’s best for a lawyer not to have to get involved in the medical treatment of a client. Why? Because when a lawyer gets involved in the medical care aspect of a client’s personal injury claim and refers that person to a certain doctor or specialist, then the defense may try to argue that the lawyer sent the injured person to the most expensive doctor possible in order to recover more damages. At Breyer Law Offices, we’d never do this – we only send clients to quality doctors who provide the care that a client needs. But we still must be careful in these kinds of cases because we don’t want our referral to impact an injured person’s possible settlement. But when an injured client has no insurance, there’s really no other alternative and we must help that client find a doctor who can help them get better. We never want someone’s lack of ability to pay to impact their health and welfare.
We are very proud of the paralegals that we hire and train at Breyer Law Offices. We feel that they are experts in the area of being paralegals and helping out clients. However, we take even greater pride in knowing that our clients always have access to an attorney. No matter how good a paralegal is, as a matter of law, a paralegal is not allowed to appear in court. A paralegal is not allowed to try a case. A paralegal has almost never gone through law school. Therefore, even the greatest paralegals within the personal injury field are limited in the type of questions they can answer and what they can do.
At Breyer Law Offices our paralegals are excellent. They can answer many questions that can help our clients throughout the process. But we do not just assign a paralegal to our clients and then the attorneys walk away. We know it is the husband and wife law team, Alexis and Mark Breyer, that had been retained by the client. We know it is our expertise and the expertise of our attorneys that must lead the way for our clients.
There is an archaic law known as the firefighter’s rule. The rule has been done away with in multiple states throughout the country. Unfortunately, Arizona punishes its own firefighters and police officers with unjust laws such as the firefighter’s rule. The firefighter’s rule says that somebody who was badly injured or killed while working as a police officer has no right to bring a lawsuit against the negligent person who caused their injury. This even includes a situation where somebody negligently did something that directly led to the death of one of our brave police officers or firefighters.
Somebody who puts their life on the line has a right to hold negligent people responsible for what they’ve done. There is far too much misinformation and far too many people believe they have no right to bring any kind of insurance claim or lawsuit outside of workers’ compensation. While this is true sometimes, there are other situations where a top Arizona injury lawyer can help overcome the hurdle created by this unfair and unjust law.
In Arizona, in order to pursue a personal injury claim you must show that you sustained an injury and that the injury was caused by the accident. What this means is that you must have evidence that you were hurt and that your pain and discomfort is caused by the adverse party.
If you do not have any money to go to the doctor and you do not have any medical documentation showing you were hurt, it is most likely that the insurance company is going to deny that you sustained an injury. Therefore, offering you nothing for your claim. When it comes to pursuing an injury claim, it is the burden of the injured victim to prove that they were in fact injured. In almost all cases, this requires showing medical documentation to the insurance company or jury to prove the injuries that were sustained from the car accident in Phoenix.
Many times vehicles are worth less after a car accident in Arizona. Think about it. If your vehicle was in a car accident and sustained a significant amount of damage, people will be less likely to want to purchase your car. If they do purchase your car, they probably will want a discount since the car has been in a car accident and sustained serious damage.
In order to get compensated for the loss of value to your vehicle, there are several things that an experienced Phoenix vehicle accident attorney can do to help according to our legal system. The first is to avoid the whole loss of value of your vehicle by showing the insurance company that your vehicle is a total loss. By showing that your vehicle is a total loss, the insurance company is required to compensate you for the fair market value of your vehicle. If your car is not damaged enough to allow even the best personal injury lawyers in Arizona you can find to show that the damaged car is a total loss, then an expert can be hired to show the “diminished value” of your vehicle. An expert can look at the amount of damage compared to the type, make, value of your vehicle and determine what amount of money the car’s value will be decreased by since it has been in a car accident. Lastly, if you decide to sell your vehicle, we can show the insurance company the difference in the fair market value of your vehicle compared to the selling price that was obtained for your vehicle.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer