In the U.S., some of the most common injuries treated in the E.R are associated with motor vehicle accidents, bites, falls and poisonings. If you spent time in the hospital or suffered debilitating injuries because of another person’s actions, you may be entitled to recover the damages with the help of an Arizona personal injury attorney.
Unfortunately, many people have understandable confusion about personal injury claims. Instead of believing the myths, check out this list of misconceptions that we want our clients to see through.
Many PI lawyers wish that clients were more informed about filing an injury claim. While legal cases can be complex, there are a lot of misconceptions that muddy what people think about personal injury.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury cases include any scenario where you suffer injuries or damages due to another person’s negligence. There are several common types of personal injury claims.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common personal injury claims. If you were in an accident where the other driver was at fault, reach out to a Phoenix car accident attorney because you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, driver behavior is responsible for most crashes. Some common factors behind car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
After an accident, you file a claim with your auto insurance provider. Still, after the initial investigation, the insurance company may go after the other driver’s insurance company or offer a settlement. Even if you share some fault in the accident, your Phoenix personal injury attorney can still help you file a claim. Arizona is a comparative fault state, which means you file a claim and subtract your percentage of fault from the overall damages.
The loss of a loved one can be catastrophic. To lose someone because of someone else’s negligence can make the whole scenario feel worse. If you believe a third party caused the death of someone close to you, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Working with a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer can help you file a claim to recover the decedent’s medical bills, final expenses and lost wages. Also, you may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering your family experienced.
At the hospital, you rightfully assume your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider will treat you in accordance with a high standard of care. Medical malpractice cases may include mistakes, negligence, neglect, erroneous diagnosis, errors and other injuries or mistakes.
When filing a medical malpractice claim, expect to have a difficult road ahead of you. Hiring a specialized Phoenix medical malpractice attorney prepares you for what to expect from medical malpractice. Keep in mind that malpractice does not just refer to a poor outcome. There are risks to all treatment options. However, if a medical provider does not provide the standard of care a reasonable provider would, he or she may be liable for your injury or illness.
Property owners have an obligation to those invited to their property. Business owners and landlords must maintain a safe environment. If you enter someone’s property with the permission of the owner, the property owner must inform you about any dangers or hazards you may not notice. For example, you may have a premises liability claim if you deliver food or mail to the property and become injured due to an unforeseen hazard.
Generally, trespassers cannot file premises liability injury claims. However, if the trespasser is a child and the owner had reason to think a child could enter his or her property, the owner may still be responsible for any injuries. Working with a skilled premises liability attorney in Phoenix can help you find out who is responsible for your injury.
Types of Personal Injury Damages
The most common types of damages you may be able to recover are economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific expenses that you may have following an accident. Medical bills, lost earnings and future medical costs are examples of economic damages. Generally, these damages are easy to calculate.
Non-economic damages may not be as simple to calculate. These are damages that may not have an exact value. For example, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and mental anguish are non-economic damages. When you talk with an Arizona personal injury attorney, he or she should have the formula to calculate different types of damages.
Punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff due to gross negligence or when the defendant acts particularly recklessly. These damages are a type of punishment to the defendant. A judge may award punitive damages to discourage others from behaving the same way as the defendant.
Myths Behind an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney
The myths surrounding personal injury lawyers can cause clients to hesitate to reach out. We have the truth for you.
Personal Injury Attorneys Fight Frivolous Cases
Did you know that the average cost of non-fatal injuries treated in the emergency room is between approximately $6,000 and $80,000? Most people in the U.S. cannot afford such medical debt, and yet a lot of people still believe that lawyers go after frivolous cases. These rumors spread through the media and popular culture, though most people don’t know the facts about some of the most commonly believed frivolous claims.
Many people know about the McDonald’s coffee case, where a woman filed a claim when her coffee spilled in her lap. In fact, in the famous coffee spill, the plaintiff had second and third-degree burns. She had to receive skin grafts and spent years of her life disabled due to coffee heated to dangerous temperatures, for which the McDonald’s company had already received many prior complaints.
When it comes to personal injury claims, do not believe the myths that lawyers are greedy, that the lawsuits bottleneck the court system or that people just want to punish corporations. You deserve compensation when you suffer injuries due to anyone else’s negligence.
Personal Injury Lawyers Always Go to Trial
You may not have to go to trial if you file a personal injury claim. While your Arizona personal injury attorney will be able to represent you in the trial if necessary, most personal injury claims do not go to trial. Instead, most settle out of court. Once you demand compensation from the insurance company or defendant, you will receive a counteroffer. In many cases, you can reach a deal before the claim ever makes it to trial.
Misconceptions About Personal Injury Claims
When it comes to personal injury claims, some clients shy away from hiring a lawyer of various misconceptions about filing a claim. Knowing some of the common myths can keep you from making the same mistakes.
Insurance Companies Have Your Better Interests in Mind
Some people forego hiring a lawyer in the belief that their insurance company will take care of them. Insurance companies do not necessarily have your better interests in mind. Most work for a profit and do not want to give you any more money than necessary. Insurance companies may try to offer you a low settlement or try to twist your words to lower your award.
An Arizona personal injury attorney has experience working with insurance companies. They know what to say during negotiations. If an adjuster offers you a settlement, check it over with your lawyer first. Before your conversation with the insurance adjuster, you and your lawyer can come up with the lowest number you should accept before taking the claim to trial.
Fighting a Personal Injury Claim Costs Too Much
Many people worry about the costs of personal injury claims. The primary reason for the concern comes from thinking personal injury lawyers charge hourly like criminal defense attorneys. When you hire an Arizona personal injury attorney, he or she understands that money may be tight. After all, when you have mounting medical debt and other damages, the last thing you think you can afford is a lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers do not work for an hourly payment.
In personal injury law, the attorney receives payment based on your settlement. Instead of being paid prior, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Generally, they ask for about 30% to 40% of the overall award.
Social Media Cannot Harm Your Case
Social media is a significant part of most people’s lives. Unfortunately, when you file a personal injury claim, your social media profiles are fair game. Even if you have a private account, a friend may share your details with someone from the defendant’s side. Likewise, your insurance adjuster may look through your social media for something to use against you.
For example, if you suffered painful injuries during an accident but post pictures of your latest vacation, the insurance adjuster could claim that you aren’t as injured as you say you are. Even when you are careful to cultivate your social media to not share your pain with the public, the defense can still use your social media accounts against you. It’s better to limit your posting and refrain from saying anything about your claim.
Topics To Bring Up With Your Arizona Personal Injury Attorney
When meeting with an attorney, there are various topics we recommend you bring up. You do not have to arrive at the office and remain quiet as the lawyer talks. Think of your consultation like an interview. Find out as much as you can about your potential lawyer.
Attorney Experience and Track Record
Experience matters. Not all personal injury lawyers have the same amount of expertise or experience in cases similar to yours. How many years has the law firm handled claims like yours? The more times an attorney has fought a suit similar to yours, the more likely he or she will know how to strategize and create an effective game plan. Likewise, if anything unexpected comes up, he or she will be less surprised.
In addition to experience, ask about the firm’s track record. How many cases have the Arizona personal injury attorney won and lost like yours? It’s easier to trust a representative who is willing to be honest about successes and failures. Also, ask for testimonials to confirm how others think about the firm.
Case Evidence and Chances To Win
Evidence will come up during your first consultation. Bring any documents, photographs or reports regarding the accident. For example, for a motor vehicle accident claim, bring a copy of the police report, your medical records, witness names, and pictures of the injuries and damages. When you consult with our firm, we can explain the types of evidence needed to strengthen your case. Likewise, we can help collect evidence if you have any trouble.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask about your lawyer’s confidence in the claim. There’s no point in taking a case that we don’t think we can win. After all, if you don’t receive your settlement, we don’t get paid either.
Communication and Clarification
When you meet with your Arizona personal injury attorney, be honest. You may feel naturally inclined to make yourself look better, but you can harm your case in doing so. Your lawyer isn’t there to pass judgment on you. Open communication builds the foundation for your relationship with your representation. Ask how the firm plans to keep you informed about the case. Likewise, find out how to reach out with any questions or details as they arise. There may be times when you need to get a hold of your attorney urgently. It’s essential to establish how to reach one another and what forms of communication you prefer to use.
If there are any details you don’t understand, ask for clarification. A helpful lawyer can explain what to expect without the use of legalese. You should walk away with a good understanding of the claim.
Better Your Chances With Representation From an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney
While there are a lot of myths surrounding hiring an Arizona personal injury attorney, learning the facts can ease your mind about the whole process. No one should have to face serious accident injuries alone. If you were injured due to someone’s action or inaction, set up a consultation with our firm. We require no out-of-pocket fees unless we win. At Sargon Law Group, we assess the extent of your injuries and fight aggressively for your rights.