If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re probably anxious to settle your case and start your recovery. This is a fairly typical reaction that insurance companies use to their advantage. Before you move to take the first settlement offered to you by an insurer, you should speak to a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. At Wattel & York, all consultations are free. We are paid on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if your case settles or is successfully litigated. Call today to speak with a Chandler, AZ, personal injury lawyer.
The Role of an Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer
Many accident victims don’t know what an Arizona personal injury lawyer does for their clients. During your initial consultation, your attorney will determine whether your claim meets the four elements of a viable personal injury case:
- The party who injured you owed a duty of care
- The party who injured you breached that duty
- The accident caused damages
- You suffered monetary damages
From there, your attorney will provide you with guidance about your healthcare. Additionally, they will begin tabulating your damages. Once they can determine a fair settlement amount that accurately reflects what it will take you to achieve a full recovery, they will approach the responsible party’s insurer. Your lawyer will then negotiate your case or prosecute it through the courts. You will have full representation every step of the way.
Damages You Can Recover in a Personal Injury Accident
There are several categories of damages available to personal injury victims under Arizona law.
These include any monetary costs that you incurred as a result of the accident. If you’re injured in an accident, you will undoubtedly be faced with the initial medical bills. Even if you have solid insurance, you may have to pay thousands of dollars toward your deductible. If you are in a more severe accident, you may require surgery, physical therapy, prescription drugs, hospital stays, etc. Additionally, you probably won’t be able to work, which means that you will experience lost wages. You should be compensated for any expenses that resulted from your accident.
The damages from an accident don’t end with tangible expenses. In almost every accident, the victim experiences some level of pain and suffering. These are compensable damages under the law. Your accident attorney at Wattel & York can identify noneconomic costs.
Significant Personal Injury Law Concepts
Our personal injury attorneys recommend that you familiarize yourself with the following concepts to be knowledgeable about the personal injury process. The laws vary from state to state. If you’ve been injured outside of Arizona, talk to a local personal injury lawyer about your claim.
Statute of Limitations
In Arizona, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. With wrongful death lawsuits, the two-year period begins at the date of death. For medical malpractice cases, the two-year clock starts at the date the condition is discovered. While two years may seem like a long time, it’s essential not to delay making your claim. A great deal of evidence can be lost over time.
The Arizona constitution prohibits damage caps on lawsuits stemming from civil lawsuits. You may, however, experience de facto caps because of case law.
Arizona follows a comparative negligence principle. This means that the negligence of each party is weighted in the damage payouts. If you are 10% responsible for a car crash, for instance, that 10% would be deducted from your insurance payout. This is in contrast to the no-fault principle that some other states follow.
Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions
Wattel & York Injury and Accident Attorneys have handled hundreds of cases in Arizona cities like Chandler. We find that many of our clients have the same questions. Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice, but if you have been injured and need to talk to a lawyer, call us today.
How do contingency fees work in personal injury lawsuits?
Your attorney will not accept out-of-pocket payment. You will not be billed for consultations, phone calls, depositions, or any other work they do on your case. When you receive your settlement, or your attorney wins in court, they deduct a percentage. The state sets Arizona contingency fees, but it doesn’t hurt to ask your attorney for a breakdown before committing to them.
Does it pay to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Many accident victims wonder if they wouldn’t be better off just taking a quick settlement. After all, the attorney will take a percentage of your settlement or award when the case is over. In most instances, the attorney fees are justified by the client receiving a much larger settlement amount.
What are the first steps I should take after an accident?
Your safety is first, so make sure you are in a secure, safe place. If necessary, call 911 and get paramedics and the police en route. Document the incident with your cellphone by taking pictures or video. You can also use your phone to take photos of witness IDs or license plates. Your attorney can track them down later. Preserve any evidence that you can. Finally, call Wattel & York, Attorneys at Law, at your earliest convenience.
Chandler, Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers
The personal injury attorneys at Wattel & York have been representing accident victims in Chandler, AZ, for decades. We have an unparalleled record of success. We know how difficult it is to put your life back together after an accident with injuries. Let us help you with your recovery. At Wattel & York Accident Attorneys, we work on a contingency basis, and all consultations are free. Call now to speak with a personal injury lawyer.