All You Need to Know About Personal Injury Cases in Peoria, AZTo overcome the difficulties of a personal injury accident and its aftermath can take a serious toll on a person and his or her family. No two cases of a personal injury accident are alike; all cases have their unique aspects to them. If you have been injured in Peoria, Arizona, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer today.
What are the types of personal injury accidents that need an attorney in Peoria, AZ?
You usually have two years to file your personal injury claim. There are exceptions, which a personal injury lawyer will know and advise you of if applicable, but time is of the essence. If you have been injured in Peoria, Arizona, you should find a personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and determine if your case is eligible for a personal injury claim, or in the alternative, a lawsuit.
There are many types of personal injury cases that Peoria lawyers will handle. Most personal injury cases flow from car accidents, but other common personal injury cases include but are not limited to medical malpractice, product defects, premise cases, dog bites.
Car Accident Cases
In 2015, there were a total of 2,214 car accidents in Peoria, Arizona, and of that number there were 12 deaths and 952 personal injuries. Arizona is an at-fault state, which means you can file a claim or complaint against the other party that caused the accident. Many accidents result from human error, which includes any of the following examples: disobeying traffic laws, driving while tired, driving while texting, driving while otherwise distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other causes of accidents can still lead to claims or complaints, including but not limited to hazardous road conditions (claim against the party that manages the roads), or defective auto products (claim against the auto manufacturer or seller).
Medical malpractice cases happen when a doctor or other medical professional does not provide the proper care, and as a result, you are injured. The following are the types of allegations brought in medical malpractices claims:
- Allegations related to diagnosis (33 percent)
- Allegations related to surgery (24 percent)
- Allegations related to treatment (18 percent)
- Allegations related to obstetrics (11 percent)
- Allegations related to medication (4 percent)
- Allegations related to monitoring (3 percent)
- Allegations related to anesthesia (3 percent)
- Other allegations (4 percent)
The top two allegations are related to diagnosis and surgery, therefore, pinpointing exactly the nature of the malpractice will require great technical detail and skill. These cases can be multifaceted, especially because the alleged injuries can be so significant. Medical malpractices cases in 2013 resulted in the following injuries:
- Death (31 percent)
- Significant permanent Injury (19 percent)
- Major permanent injury (18 percent)
- Quadriplegic; brain injury; life-long care (12 percent)
- Minor permanent injury (8 percent)
- Major temporary injury (7 percent)
- Minor temporary injury (3 percent)
- Emotional injury only (1 percent)
- Insignificant injury (0.4 percent)
As you can see, more significant injuries are likely to occur from medical malpractice incidents, and indeed nearly one third result in death. More significant injuries often allude to a case that is more complex by its very nature. Expert testimony and analysis may be required. A personal injury attorney in Peoria, Arizona, will investigate your case and determine what expert testimony will be best for your unique case. An attorney can help you determine what the premise of your claim or lawsuit will be.
Defective products wreak havoc for consumers on a regular basis. Defective products not only injure consumers, but they kill consumers. Children or the elderly are most often the victims of defective product injuries or fatalities. For instance, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there was an annual average of 33,100 emergency department-treated injuries between 2013 and 2015 associated with faulty design and manufacture of televisions, furniture and appliance products used in the homes. Fifty-two percent of the victims were children under the age of 18 (17,300 children) while 10 percent were seniors aged 60 or older and the remainder were adults between 18 and 59 years old. Of the said emergency department-treated injuries each year, there were on average just over 400 deaths, 84 percent of which were children aged between 1 month and 14 years old; 12 percent of fatalities were seniors while the remaining 3 percent were adults.
In product defect cases, the manufacturer is usually strictly liable for any defect. In addition to liability for defects, a manufacturer may also be liable for failing to provide proper instructions or a warning of a dangerous misuse of a product that is not obvious to the consumer. If you are injured due to a product defect or a dangerous aspect of a product, but were not warned of the possibility prior to your injury, you may be eligible to file a claim. You should contact a local personal injury attorney in Peoria, Arizona, who is experienced and knowledgeable about product defect injury cases.
Premise cases involve accidents that occur on another person’s or entity’s property. The victim is lumped into one of three types: trespasser (someone on the property unlawfully), licensee (someone who has a privilege to be on another person’s property), or invitee (someone explicitly or implicitly invited onto the property. Liability generally stems from the owner of the property, but the extent of liability is dependent upon the circumstances and if you were a trespasser, licensee or invitee. There is limited or no duty of care for a trespasser (with exceptions, especially as related to children) while there is a high standard of care expected for invitees.
Slip and fall cases are one of the most common types of premise liability claims. Slip and fall accidents can occur pretty much anywhere, but there are certain situations where they most often occur, such as:
- At the business of another (e.g., grocery store);
- The workplace (e.g., manufacturing facility);
- At a sporting event (e.g., crowded arena where mustard and ketchup end up on the floor causing conditions that can lead to a slip and fall situation);
- At a concert or other event;
- At the home of a friend;
- In icy conditions on a sidewalk;
- At the mall or retail outlets.
Each of the above situations provides for unique circumstances. The property owner of these premises owes a certain duty of care for its invitees and licensees. When that care is breached, you may have a claim. Your claim will be dependent on the property owner’s liability, which again is dependent on your legal status on the property (i.e., trespasser, licensee or invitee). Like most personal injury cases, premise or slip and fall personal injury cases can get complex and include multiple factors. An experienced personal injury attorney in Peoria, Arizona, will be able to guide you through the process.
There are approximately 4.5 million dog bites each year throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 5 bites of the 4.5 million dog bites becomes infected. The average costs of a dog bite, if hospitalization is required, can be very expensive for people. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported in 2010 that the average cost of a dog bit-related hospital stay was just below $20,000 ($18,200). This hospital stay cost is roughly 50 percent higher than an average injury-related hospital stay.
Because of the seriousness of a dog bite, Arizona is a strict liability dog bite state. This distinction means that regardless if the dog ever bit someone before or if you had knowledge the dog has a propensity towards biting, you are liable. The only defenses you may have is if the bitten person either provoked the dog or trespassed onto your property, which led to the subsequent dog bite.
How much can I get for my injury?
There are no limits or caps on damages in Arizona. In personal injury cases, damages may include economic, non-economic and punitive damages. Economic damages generally refer to pecuniary damages, i.e., medical bills, loss of income, or other loss that has a monetary value attached to it. Non-economic laws are those non-pecuniary damages that refer to pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, or other loss that does not necessarily have a monetary value easily and readily attached to it. Punitive damages are only offered in deterrent cases where the defendant was malicious, e.g., told the dog to attack. If you have been bitten by a dog, take it seriously. You should always confirm that the dog was up-to-date with its vaccines, and then go to the emergency room for care. Afterwards, contact a personal injury attorney in Peoria to answer your questions about liability and filing a claim or lawsuit.
How are my damages calculated?
Economic damages are calculated rather matter-of-factly. All your medical bills, property damage bills, and any other bills stemming from the accident, and loss of income will be combined to determine the amount of economic damages. Non-economic damages require a little more work. There are two main methods to calculate damages for pain and suffering: the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method adds up all the special damages (the total sum of all your economic expenses) and multiplies that number by a number between 1.5 and 5. The number to use as the multiplier depends on:
- Seriousness of injuries;
- Prospects for complete recovery;
- Impact on daily life; and
- Percentage of fault.
A higher multiplier will be used for more serious injuries. Problems arise when there is disagreement among the parties regarding which multiplier to use; the claimant or plaintiff will use a higher multiplier while the defendant will want to use a lower multiplier.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method takes into consideration the pain that you suffer on a daily basis. As such, a daily rate is used, which is often based on your daily earnings at work; you would, for instance, divide your annual salary by 365 days, and this will be your “daily earnings rate,” then multiply the number of days you have suffered by the daily earnings rate, and this figure will be your non-economic damages figure. If you have permanent or long-term injuries, this method may not be useful or applicable.
Both methods are not carved in any kind of personal injury stone; they act as a starting point to determine your non-economic damages figure. You can calculate damages using both methods and then come up with a figure that is in between the two starting points. Your personal injury attorney in Peoria will consider the specific nature of your situation and come up with a figure that is appropriate.
What should I look for in a personal injury attorney in Peoria, AZ?
A legal definition of a personal injury case refers to an injury of the body, mind, or emotions, which is caused by another person or entity’s negligence or carelessness. Personal injury law is also known as tort law, which is a specific area of law that personal injury attorneys tend to specialize in as they build their practices. Today, there are hundreds of personal injury attorneys within short distances of each other. Sorting through them to find the right one is difficult. You should look for an attorney who is experienced in personal injury, is compassionate and understanding, communicates well and is accessible. Your personal injury attorney should also offer legal services on a contingency basis when it comes to personal injury claims; this way you don’t have to worry about expending additional fees, you just worry about yourself and healing.
Who should I contact if I have been injured in Peoria, AZ?
If you have been injured in or around Peoria, Arizona, contact attorney Nathaniel Preston. He is experienced and aggressive, yet compassionate. And, he offers legal services in Peoria as well as the greater Phoenix, Arizona community. Contact him today to discuss the specifics of your case.