File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Avondale, Arizona
Personal injury accidents can take many forms. From severe car crashes caused by drunk drivers, to slip-and-fall accidents on a storefront premises, these types of accidents can lead to extensive medical expenses and prolonged pain and suffering for the victims involved.
After your accident, you may be unsure of who to call in order to ensure the negligent parties responsible for your injuries are held accountable. That’s where a seasoned personal injury attorney can help. Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law is proud to represent Avondale, Arizona, residents for their accidental injury, car accident, or wrongful death cases. He’ll use his knowledge of Arizona law and history of successful injury cases to increase your chances of receiving compensation for the full extent of your injuries. With an experienced legal representative on your side, you may be awarded for your:
- Medical expenses
- Loss wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Property damage
Contact Nathaniel today to set up a consultation for your personal injury case. After discussing your circumstances, he’ll be able to tell you whether a traditional lawsuit or a personal injury settlement is the best way for you to receive the fair compensation you deserve as soon as possible.
What is a personal injury lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a special kind of civil suit that declares that the injured party (the plaintiff) suffered damages as the direct result of the careless actions of another party (the defendant). The defendant in your case could be a single person, a corporation, or even a government agency. During your trial, your attorney will be responsible for proving that the other party’s recklessness deeply impacted your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
These types of cases can be complicated. The defendant’s attorney may not admit fault for the accident and could even try to claim that you are partially or even completely responsible for any damages that occurred. Due to this, these types of actions can’t just rely on the statements of both parties involved. You’ll need hard evidence to prove: 1) the other party acted irresponsibly when they should have had your safety in mind; 2) that their actions or inaction directly lead to your injuries.
That’s where your personal injury attorney can help. Once you’ve hired a lawyer, they’ll begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your case in order to present evidence to the court that backs your claim. This evidence can be provided in many forms, including:
- Witness statements from unbiased individuals at the scene
- Professional testimony from field experts
- Surveillance footage such as video or photos
- Documented proof such as letters or email that prove the defendant was aware of their actions
- Cell phone records that prove someone was talking on the phone or texting while driving
Don’t Delay Filing Your Action
While it’s important for you or your loved one to take the time you need to recover from your injuries following an accident, you shouldn’t let this delay the filing process. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a lengthy process. It could take years before you finally present your case to a judge in court. In addition, many states also have a statute of limitation for when certain types of cases must be filed. In the state of Arizona, you have just 2 years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit.
This is why you should not delay. The best way to increase your chances of winning your case is to hire an experienced accidental injury lawyer as soon as possible. As mentioned above, these types of cases are won and lost based on the supporting evidence for the accident. You’ll want to give your lawyer as much time as possible to gather as much information as they can for your case. Memories fade and evidence often gets misplaced. By hiring an attorney as soon as possible, you’ll give them the chance to interview witnesses and gather the evidence they need before that information is lost to time.
How do I know if I have a strong accidental injury case?
Every accident does not result in a trip to the courtroom. If you’re not sure whether you should file a personal injury lawsuit, then reach out to your attorney today. With years of experience in personal injury law, Nathaniel B. Preston of Avondale, Arizona, would be able to tell you exactly how strong your case is once you meet with him for a consultation.
As stated, personal injury lawsuits are won based on the facts surrounding a case, so that’s what you’ll need to consider when deciding whether a lawsuit is the right decision for you. Some common personal injury cases involve the following:
- While talking or texting on the phone, a driver caused a severe rear-end car accident
- A company releases a new product that is defective, resulting in serious injuries for theirs consumers
- A storefront neglects to use a “Wet Floor” sign and a customer slips and falls
- A pet owner doesn’t properly leash their dog, allowing them to run away and bite a pedestrian
In addition to these scenarios above, most personal injury lawsuits involve one of the following:
- Car Accidents
- Moped Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Premise Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Failure to Diagnose
- Product Malfunction
- Dog Bites
- Animal Attacks
- Slip & Fall
If any of these situations above sound similar to your case, then reach out to an attorney immediately so they can begin building your case.
Should I file a lawsuit or settle outside of court?
Filing a personal injury lawsuit isn’t the only way for you to get compensated for your injuries following an unfortunate accident. Discuss your options with your attorney to determine if settling outside of court is the right decision for you.
Settle Out of Court
There are many pros and cons of settling a personal injury case outside of court for both the defendant and plaintiff in a case. For the plaintiff, accidental injury, car accident, or wrongful death settlements are usually a much faster process than a traditional hearing. Instead of letting the results of your case be decided by a judge, your attorney will negotiate with the other party to come to an agreement for fair compensation. This is especially ideal if you’re emotionally drained from the whole affair. You can receive compensation for your injuries quickly and then begin the process of rebuilding your life.
For the defendant, the speed of a personal injury settlement is another bonus. In addition to bringing bad publicity, a lengthy public hearing could result in them having to pay more compensation than they expected. For example in one, now infamous case, a woman was served coffee at a restaurant that was served at a temperature far above what is considered legal. When the woman suffered injuries as a result, she filed a lawsuit solely for the cost of her medical expenses. The judge awarded her far more than just the cost of medical treatments in the end.
Most defendants, especially if they are a large and well-known corporation, franchise, or manufacturer, will want to avoid this type of scenario. By negotiating a settlement, they have some control over what their final expense will be.
Of course, this kind of control can lead to a lengthy negotiation process for the plaintiff. If the defendant does not agree that they are at fault for the incident or if they refuse to agree to full compensation for the accident, then settling the personal injury case becomes a lot more complex. While your attorney will fight for you and let the defendant’s lawyer know that you have evidence to support your claim, they still may not budge and refuse to agree to full compensation.
The decision to agree to a personal injury settlement will be entirely up to you, but be sure to listen to the advice of your lawyer. While the number the defendant’s lawyer presents may be appealing, if your lawyer thinks filing a lawsuit would be a sure way to increase your chances of full compensation, then they may advise you to take that route, instead.
Take Your Personal Injury Case to Court
Though they won’t be the ones directly negotiating with the defendant’s attorney, some plaintiffs may feel stressed by the personal injury settlement process and prefer to have their case presented before an impartial party. In addition to letting a judge make the final decision for how much compensation you’ll receive, another benefit of taking your case to trial is that the negligent party will be held publically accountable for their actions. This could help other families and individuals who hear about the trial avoid the same trouble you’ve experienced in the future.
Similar to a settlement, for a traditional court hearing, your attorney will present the facts of your case to the judge and jury in order to prove liability. The defendant’s lawyer will do their best to do the same, proving that you were partially or completely liable for the accident that took place. In order to win your personal injury case, your lawyer will have to prove the following:
Duty of Care
This means that the defending party had a certain level of responsibility for ensuring your safety. For example, a medical professional owes their patients a duty of care, meaning they should be responsible for ensuring their safety while serving them. If the doctor involved arrives on the job drunk or impaired, and this leads to a personal injury, then they did not uphold this duty.
Individuals can also be considered responsible for the safety of others in a court of law. When you operate a car, you’re sharing the roadway with a number of individuals and you’re responsible for driving safely so you don’t cause them any harm. If someone is applying makeup while driving and this distraction leads to a catastrophic collision, then they neglected this duty of care.
Breach of Care
Once it is established that the defendant was completely or partially responsible for the plaintiff’s safety when it comes to their personal injury case, then the next step is for the plaintiff’s attorney to prove breach of care. Just because a defendant had duty of care does not mean that they are directly responsible for the plaintiff’s accident.
For example, if a storefront places a “Wet Floor” sign down for a specific aisle, this is because they have a duty of care for their patrons. But if someone slips and falls anyway, the store owners may not be found at fault for breach of care. They took reasonable actions to ensure the safety of their customers, so they may not be found responsible for any resulting injuries from the slip-and-fall accident.
There are some cases where breach of care would be simple to prove for a personal injury lawsuit. If an Arizona student was texting while driving, and this distraction caused them to run a stop sign, then it’s likely they’ll be found responsible for all damages from the resulting accident. They had a duty to the other drivers on the road to operate their vehicle with as little distraction as possible and they neglected this duty.
After proving that the defendant breached their duty of care, your attorney must then show that this act directly lead to your injuries. At this point of the case, any records you’re able to provide from your medical practitioner are paramount to supporting your case. The defendant’s attorney may try to claim that your injuries occurred prior to, or months after the accident, and therefore their client is not liable. Or, they may argue that your injuries were falsified or exaggerated. However medical records can prove to the judge and jury that you suffered from the following after your accident:
- Back and neck pain
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Burns on the body
- Nerve damage
Damages for Compensation
Finally, once your attorney has prove to the Arizona court that the negligent actions of the defendant directly led to your injuries through evidence and witness testimony, he’ll then present the judge with proof of the damages you’ve suffered to show exactly what you need to receive compensation for. For some cases, showing the total cost of injuries can be very simple. Medical bills for treatments you’ve received in the past and those you may need in the future can show just how much you should be awarded for hospital expenses. In addition, if you’ve had to miss work due to you injuries, then you can show records of how many days you’ve missed and how much money it would take to make up for your losses.
Other types of compensation can be more complicated. While you can show a bill for medical expenses or the cost to repair or replace property that has been damaged, you can’t place a clear number on certain things that you may lose as a result of your accident. You may have suffered emotional pain and suffering or even loss of enjoyment for hobbies that you once were excited to partake in. These types of damages will be presented to the judge, but it is ultimately up to them to decide if you should receive compensation for non-economic damages, as well.
In most cases, a successful personal injury lawsuit results in compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages for Missed Work
- Future Lost Income for Missing Work in the Week/Months to Come
- Estimated Future Medical Expenses for Ongoing Treatment
- General Damages
- Pain and Suffering
Meet with Your Avondale, Arizona, Attorney for a Personal Injury Consultation
Whether your goal is to receive compensation as quickly as possible with a negotiated personal injury settlement or you’d like to hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions in a court of law, you’ll need a legal representative on your side to act as your advocate throughout the process. With a vast knowledge of Arizona personal injury law, attorney Nathaniel B. Preston can increase your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries following your lawsuit or settlement. Our number is 602-652-2009.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, medical malpractice situation, or due to a product defect or malfunction, you may be entitled to compensation for the full extent of your injuries. The first step is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The state of Arizona only allows residents 2 years to file a lawsuit from the date of their accident – so don’t delay. Contact Nathaniel today to start the process with a personal injury law consultation.