Personal Injury in Arizona
Personal injury is a broad category of incidents that cause bodily injury. In most cases, the law allows victims to sue the at-fault party (or their insurer) for compensation to help pay for time lost from work, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Since more than one-third of all automobile accidents in Arizona in 2003 resulted in injury or death, you should make sure that you know your rights and take all appropriate actions in a car crash. Some of the most important things you can do when in an injury accident, such as filing a police report and documenting medical costs, are easily forgotten in a crisis. However, these simple steps will be necessary if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Unless you are well versed in personal injury law, you would be well advised to consult a personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers in Arizona offer free initial consultations, and many will charge attorneys' fees only when a settlement is reached.
In addition to police reports and medical bills, you will need to furnish documentation of insurance claims and contact information for everyone involved. If you do decide to contact a lawyer, it is best to do so soon after the accident, when the details of the incident are still fresh in the minds of those involved.
Most personal injury cases are settled without a trial, but a court will enforce one of two types of legal damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the party at fault in the accident, usually for criminal recklessness or disregard for the public good.
Compensatory damages, on the other hand, are monetary awards used to compensate the injured person for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and mental and physical anguish.
The state of Arizona has a two-year statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits. As such, if you are injured in any kind of accident for which you are at fault and plan to sue, your case must be filed within two years of the incident.