ARIZONA PERSONAL INJURY LAW
WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY?
A personal injury occurs when an individual has suffered physical or psychological damage that is not of their own doing. Although the most common type of legal personal injury claims involve traffic accidents, other injuries resulting from tripping accidents, assaults, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and defective products accidents may also be legally pursued. If individuals can prove that their personal injury was a result of another party’s negligence, then they may be entitled to monetary compensation.
Because legal procedures vary from state to state, it is important for individuals to understand the specific procedures of the state in which they reside. Below contains procedures on how to file a personal injury claim in the state of Arizona.
HOW DO I FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM IN ARIZONA?
Although filing a lawsuit can seem very overwhelming to most individuals, in actuality the filing of a lawsuit is relatively simple.
Prior to filing a formal complaint, individuals will typically have already filed a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company.
In order to file a lawsuit in Arizona, an individual must submit what is known as a Complaint, which is a piece of paper that indicates who the plaintiff and the defendant are as well as the details of the accident. The “plaintiff” is anyone who was injured as a result of the accident, whereas the “defendant” is anyone who caused the accident. The claim needs to be filed within the applicable statue of limitations, which is anywhere from 180 days to 2 years in the state of Arizona.
It is imperative that the claim is filed with the appropriate court. Once it is filed, the plaintiff will receive a court case number. The defendant will also need to be formally served the complaint and summons – typically someone can be hired to serve the papers, but it may take some time.
If the defendant cannot be served the complaint papers because they have left the state or are in hiding, which involves publishing the legal documents in a legal journey for a certain amount of time, individuals may attempt to serve the defendant by publication or by other means allowed by the court.
- Once the defendant has been served with the appropriate documents, the defendant will need to file a responsive pleading. The insurance company will then typically hire a lawyer to defend the negligent party, which will begin the process of litigating the plaintiff’s case.
CAN ANYONE FILE A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT IN ARIZONA?
While anyone can technically file a lawsuit on their own, if their case lacks substantial evidence or is misfiled, the court may dismiss it. No one, other than an attorney, will look over individuals’ cases to ensure that they are legitimate or adequately substantiated. Without the help of a personal injury attorney, individuals risk improperly filing a lawsuit.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
Although individuals are able to file lawsuits on their own, it is not recommended. The risk of misfiling documents, or not filing correct documents, is greater when no attorney is involved. However, with the help of an experienced and highly reputable personal injury attorney, individuals will be able to receive maximum compensation for their pain and suffering. Specifically, a reputable personal injury lawyer will help individuals to fill out all legal documents correctly, ensure that the defendant is properly served, and to gather all evidence needed in order to receive maximum monetary compensation.
Many fail to realize that they are entitled to monetary reimbursement for all medical bills, travel time to and from medical appointments, lost wages, and lost earning potential along with any psychological or physical suffering. In most cases, a settlement, or a financial or insurance agreement, is reached between the two parties.
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