A personal injury accident can disrupt your life in many ways. Although nothing can reverse the injuries or suffering you endured, a personal injury claim in Arizona can reimburse you and your family for related expenses, allowing you to move forward with greater peace of mind. Learn how to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona, as well as when to contact an attorney for assistance.
As an injured accident victim, you can protect your own rights and build a claim to damages without legal representation. However, hiring a skilled and experienced Chandler personal injury lawyer can strengthen your case and make it easier to recover. Sign up for a free consultation with an injury attorney near you immediately after an accident. Your lawyer can walk you through complicated legal processes, including filing a lawsuit in your county.
One of the many things a lawyer can do for you is explain your legal rights as an injured accident victim according to the liability laws in your state. You may have grounds to file a personal injury claim, for example, if a negligent driver caused your car accident. Arizona is a fault-based state, meaning the driver at fault will be liable. A lawyer can tell you if you have grounds for a premises liability, product liability, car accident, medical malpractice, wrongful death or another type of case depending on the circumstances.
Next, you or your attorney will need to determine how much insurance, if any, is available to pay for your losses. Even if someone else caused your injury, if that person does not have enough insurance to pay for your losses, it may be pointless to file an injury lawsuit. A lawyer can help you investigate the defendant’s ability to pay as well as search for other potential defendants for greater coverage. Then, your attorney can help you decide whether to file or not to file a lawsuit.
The vast majority of personal injury claims in Arizona settle without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. The odds are high that you can achieve a satisfactory settlement agreement for your personal injury claim with the insurance company, especially with an attorney representing your interests during negotiations
If you do achieve a settlement, you will not need to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona. Your injury case will end with you accepting a settlement from the insurance company in return for a release of liability. If, however, you and the insurance adjuster do not reach an agreement, a lawyer can help you file the necessary paperwork to initiate a lawsuit.
You or your attorney must fill out and submit the required paperwork to start an injury claim in Arizona. You will file the papers with the civil courthouse in the county where the accident took place or the defendant resides. You will also need to pay a filing fee, in most cases. Be aware of your statute of limitations – the deadline you have for filing a lawsuit. In Arizona, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your accident or injury discovery. If you wait too long, you may lose the right to file.
You and the defendant’s insurance company can continue with pretrial negotiations right up until your court date. If your case does not settle, your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will present evidence and witnesses before a judge and jury during a personal injury trial in Arizona.
The courts will issue a verdict on your case based on whether or not you fulfilled your burden of proof using clear and convincing evidence. A favorable outcome will result in financial compensation for your losses while an unfavorable outcome will not. If the jury decides against you, your attorney may be able to help you file an appeal to continue the legal process.