People are involved in accidents every day, and many of them sustain injuries. Victims can seek compensation for their injuries if someone else’s negligence causes an accident. Unfortunately, liable insurance companies don’t like to pay personal injury claims.
Victims might receive low settlement offers, or insurance companies may try to deny the claim entirely. That’s why many people turn to personal injury lawyers for help. We can usually settle your claim without a trial, but the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Sargon Law Group will take your case to court if necessary.
With appropriate legal assistance, many Arizona citizens have received personal injury verdicts to compensate them for a variety of damages.
What Were Arizona’s Top Personal Injury Verdicts in 2021?
In 2021, the Arizona courts awarded close to $20 million through jury and bench trials for personal injury cases, almost doubling the amount from 2020. These are the top 10 cases favoring the plaintiffs.
|Verdict Amount||Parties Involved||Location||Case Summary|
|$5 million||Marquez vs. Sobel, M.D., et al.||Maricopa County||Nadia Ramirez visited Dr. Jerry Sobel and died three days later. She complained of pounding headaches, pain in her neck and upper extremities, and being unable to eat.
Dr. Sobel didn’t take her vitals, but he diagnosed her with a nonserious condition and suggested that she get an MRI.
Her family brought a wrongful death lawsuit because the doctor didn’t check Ms. Ramirez’s vitals or send her to get an MRI at an emergency room.
|$2.75 million||Adams vs. Arizona Senate||U.S. District Court||Talonya Adams was a Black attorney working for the Arizona Senate. In 2015, she requested a raise because she found out that white employees and men with similar jobs were being paid more.
The Senate terminated Ms. Adams soon afterward.
She sued the Senate, stating that her termination was a result of notifying the Senate of her disparate pay. She also claimed discrimination based on sex and race.
Personal injury verdicts included $2 million on her wrongful termination claim and $750,000 for her physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering.
|$1.8 million||Mathis vs. City of Buckeye||Maricopa County||Monty Mathis was setting up a music system in the Buckeye Arena for a demolition derby. A city employee requested that Mr. Mathis help place trash cans around the arena, and he agreed. The employee told Mr. Mathis to sit on the vehicle’s cargo bed. Mr. Mathis was thrown from the back of the truck and sustained several injuries.
Mr. Mathis sued the City of Buckeye for various negligent acts.
The City admitted liability but questioned how badly Mr. Mathis was hurt.
|$1,171,181||Alsadi vs. Intel Corp.||U.S. District Court||Ahmed Alsadi was an HVAC technician working for a company that operated an industrial wastewater facility owned by Intel Corporation. He suffered respiratory injuries due to exposure to toxic gas and chemical inhalation.
Mr. Alsadi brought suit against Intel, stating that the company knew there were toxic gas leaks but didn’t do anything to prevent the risk to workers. In addition, he said the building evacuation was mismanaged.
Intel denied being liable and disputed the cause of Mr. Alsadi’s injuries.
Personal injury verdicts paid Alsadi $400,000 each for lost wages and general damages, $121,188 for medical expenses, and $250,000 to Mrs. Alsadi for loss of consortium.
|$1,029.999||Parker vs. Hawley et al.||Maricopa County||Edwin Parker invested in a company owned by Don and Matt Hawley between 2013 and 2015. The owners closed their company, Innovative Green Technologies, in 2015 because it ran out of money.
Mr. Parker sued the Hawleys to recover his losses, alleging that they negligently misrepresented their company and perpetrated several kinds of fraud.
|$981,908||Driscoll vs. State of Arizona||Pima County||Officer Courtney Sanford worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections. The state-owned van she was driving hit the truck driven by Jeffrey Driscoll at an intersection in Coolidge, Arizona in 2017.|
|$875,000||Stacey vs. Minnick||Yavapai County||Robert Stacey sustained injuries when Charles Minnick’s vehicle hit his.
Mr. Stacey sued, claiming that Mr. Minnick violated Arizona traffic laws and operated his vehicle negligently.
A judge awarded $833,000 in personal injury verdicts to Mr. Stacey in a bench trial, but Mr. Minnick appealed that decision. A jury trial then unanimously awarded $875,000 to Mr. Stacey.
|$854,000||Reinsch vs. Kingston et al.||Maricopa County||Arizona State Trooper Christopher Kingston was driving a State of Arizona Department of Public Safety vehicle and hit a vehicle driven by Brandon Reinsch. Mr. Reinsch and his daughter sustained injuries in the collision.
Mr. Reinsch brought two lawsuits against the State and Kingston: one personally and one for his daughter. He claimed that Kingston was following too closely and driving too fast, and that the State was negligent in hiring, training, and supervising Kingston and allowing him to drive the vehicle.
Mr. Reinsch’s daughter’s claim was settled without a trial.
|$665,000||Chatman vs. Ferrell et al.||U.S. District Court||Arizona Department of Child Safety investigators Marci Ferrell and Cindy Chrisman took Montiah Chatman’s sons away from her because the boys’ grandmother requested a temporary emergency custody order from another state. Ms. Chatman had an order of protection against the grandmother in place, but ADCS put the boys into the grandmother’s custody. It took four months for Ms. Chatman to get her boys back.
Ms. Chatman filed suit for negligence, false arrest/imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The defendants stated that they had qualified immunity and denied liability.
The jury trial awarded personal injury verdicts to Ms. Chatman; $15,000 in punitive damages and $150,000 for her pain and suffering. Each son received $250,000 for pain and suffering.
|$640,000||Zubia vs. Pena
|Maricopa County||Maria Zubia and Jose Pena bought property while they were married. The couple later separated. Mr. Pena used the property as collateral for a loan extended by David Shapiro. Documents appeared to include Ms. Zubia’s signature. Mr. Pena defaulted on the loan and the trustee stated the property would be sold.
Ms. Zubia filed several claims, stating that she hadn’t signed any loan documents. Arizona courts dismissed these claims but let her bring an amended complaint alleging several types of fraud against Mr. Pena and Mr. Shapiro.
Plaintiffs won 51% of the personal injury verdicts in Arizona in 2021.
What Is a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury law includes many categories. Injured victims are the usual plaintiffs, but family members of people killed in accidents due to someone else’s negligence may also qualify to file suits. Some of the most common kinds of personal injury cases are:
- Car, truck, public transportation, motorcycle, Uber, Lyft, and pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Premises liability
- Workplace accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
What Is Negligence?
Negligence by the defendants played a vital part in all the personal injury verdicts mentioned above. Without negligence, you probably don’t have a valid claim. To legally prove that someone was negligent, you need to satisfy each of these requirements:
- Someone owed you a duty of care.
- The party failed to provide that duty of care.
- You sustained injuries.
- The failure caused your injuries.
A duty of care is an obligation to behave in the same ways that other reasonable people would act to avoid injuring other people. For instance, drivers should operate their vehicles safely to prevent collisions, and doctors should be alert, knowledgeable, and responsible when caring for their patients.
What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury Verdicts and Settlements?
Most personal injury cases begin with a settlement offer from an insurance company to compensate injured accident victims for damages. However, starting offers are typically low and might not cover all expenses caused by the accident. People without legal representation frequently settle for minimal amounts because they’re not aware they can negotiate.
Personal injury attorneys attempt to negotiate favorable settlement offers on behalf of their clients. In legal terms, a settlement is “an agreement that ends a dispute and results in the voluntary dismissal of any related litigation.” When you accept a settlement offer, you agree not to pursue your claim in court.
Although the majority of personal injury claims don’t go to trial, occasionally settlement negotiations aren’t successful. In these cases, your personal injury lawyer can file a civil lawsuit against the guilty party or parties.
If a judge presides over the case, it’s known as a bench trial. In 2021, 30% of Arizona personal injury trials were bench trials. Juries decided the remaining cases. Personal injury verdicts refer to cases decided by trials.
Are You Guaranteed Compensation in Personal Injury Trials?
When your case goes to trial, you’re taking a chance. If the verdict isn’t in your favor, you won’t receive any compensation. However, trials typically award more money to injured parties than they would receive through a settlement.
When a personal injury attorney represents accident victims, settlements often:
- Mean you’ll get money faster
- Don’t cost as much as a trial
- Guarantee that you’ll get compensation
- Award sufficient damages
Why Would Your Case Need To Go to Trial?
There are a few reasons that your attorney may recommend taking your personal injury case to trial. The insurance company involved might:
- Dispute your claim
- Refuse to pay any compensation
- Assign too much blame to you as the victim
- Make a lowball settlement offer
Trials require significant investments of time and expense and are often stressful to victims. Your Sargon Law Group attorney won’t suggest a trial unless it’s warranted.
What Kinds of Compensation Can You Get in Personal Injury Verdicts?
Arizona personal injury cases use pure comparative negligence laws when deciding how much each party may have to pay. For example, if you’re assigned 25% of the fault for causing your accident and injuries, the total amount of damages is reduced by 25%. Your personal injury attorney will work to prove that your degree of responsibility is minimal.
If you receive injuries in an accident, you’ll have expenses. Economic damages reimburse you for things such as:
- Medical bills
- Past or current lost wages
- Property damage
- Certain qualifying daily costs
Save all bills and receipts for these expenses. Your personal injury attorney can use them to demonstrate the appropriate amount of compensation you are owed.
In addition, personal injury verdicts often award compensation for intangible but genuine injuries:
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, emotional, mental, and physical
- Not being able to enjoy life
- Loss of consortium
- Defamation of character
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
Discuss with your lawyer whether your case is eligible for non-economic damages and how much you might receive.
In cases of extreme circumstances, verdicts may award punitive damages to the victims. Punitive damages aren’t common, and you won’t receive them unless the defendant intentionally harmed you or knowingly behaved in a way that was likely to hurt someone.
Judges or juries award punitive damages to punish the defendant, hoping to deter them and others from repeating similar behaviors.
How Can Sargon Law Group Assist You?
Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to obtain successful verdicts for our clients. In fact, we rank in the top 1%. We understand Arizona laws and insurance company tactics and want to put our knowledge to work for you.
When you hire Sargon Law Group, you’ll benefit from these promises:
- You can speak directly to your attorney.
- We will use our extensive knowledge and experience to put you in the best position to receive maximum compensation.
- Our law firm is highly respected; other attorneys hire us because of the results we produce.
- We speak three languages, and you can reach someone 24/7 with questions.
- We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything until after we obtain compensation for you.
If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, request your free consultation online. We’ll assess your case and tell you what options you have for seeking personal injury verdicts in your favor. Join our numerous satisfied clients and let us help you win your claim.