Have you been harmed in an accident caused by someone else?
It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and physical injury can result.
Whether it is from a car accident involving another driver, being hurt while on another’s property as a guest or customer, or from some other external cause, the costs of treating your injuries can be substantial. If someone else is at least partly to blame for what happened to you, then you may be entitled to compensation in the form of monetary damages.
Stone Rose Law is a team of experienced personal injury lawyers who are ready to fight for your rights and the answers that you deserve. We have provided top-quality legal representation to accident victims throughout Arizona and achieved outstanding results. Learn more about how we can help you after a devastating accident in Arizona. Contact us at (480) 498-8998 for a free case consultation.
Our Practice Areas – What Type of Case Can We Help You With?
Our lead attorneys have decades of experience in personal injury law. Our team of trial attorneys provide legal support for all of the following types of personal injury cases, among others:
- Car accidents
- Truck and commercial vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents and other premises liability
- Dog bite injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Brain injuries
- Wrongful death
If you don’t see your type of accident or injury on this list, don’t worry. This is not a comprehensive overview of all of our practice areas.
How Do I Know If I Have a Claim for Personal Injury?
If you are injured in an accident in Arizona, and another person or a business is involved in it, then Arizona law controls whether you have a claim, or “cause of action” against that person or business. To have a legal claim, for personal injury, you must prove four basic elements:
Another person owed you a duty of care
This duty typically consists of a responsibility to avoid causing you harm. Thus duty can be a duty to act, or a duty to refrain from doing something that could lead to harm.
For example, other drivers on the road with you have a duty to you to drive their vehicles safely and in accordance with traffic laws. Your doctor has a duty to not cause you harm while treating you. A business that you visit as a customer has a duty to keep its premises safe for you to use.
That other person breached the duty of care owed to you
The person who owes you a duty of care must have failed to observe that duty. Returning to our examples above, that other driver must have failed to drive safely. That doctor must have caused you harm in treatment. That business you went to must have failed to maintain the safety of its premises.
Harm resulted from the breach of the duty of care to you
The act of the other person or business, or its failure to act, must have led to direct or “proximate” harm to you in the form of an injury.
The harm done to you must be measurable as money damages
In personal injury cases, the remedy you seek will ordinarily be measured in money damages. The harm done to you must be capable of being measured in terms of its costs: for example, medical bills for your injury treatment are one way to measure the harm done to you.
Are There Any Limits on What I Can Recover for Personal Injury?
Many times accidents that cause personal injury are not entirely the fault of only one person. Sometimes we can be partly at fault ourselves.
For example, let’s say that you were involved in an auto accident in which the other driver crossed the centerline, but you were driving faster than the speed limit when the accident happened. The other driver may be mostly at fault, but if your speed contributed to the accident then under Arizona law the responsibility for the accident will be split between you and the other person on a percentage basis: if the other driver is 90 percent at fault and you were 10 percent at fault, then any money damages you might recover from the other driver will be reduced by 10 percent.
This is called “comparative negligence.” What this means is that your money damages award from a personal injury case can be reduced by up to 99 percent if you are found to have been partly at fault for the accident, but you can still recover at least that 1 percent that is the other person’s fault.
How Much Can I Recover in Damages for Personal Injury?
In almost all personal injury cases, if you prevail on a claim of negligence then your remedy will be measured in dollars. The legal term for this is ‘money damages.”
How much you can recover in money damages as compensation for personal injury is, theoretically at least, limited only by how much harm you can prove you suffered.
You could face some practical limits on the amount of a damages award. These include, for example, the negligent party’s ability to pay, including liability insurance policy limits. In other cases, especially ones that award large sums in exemplary or “punitive” damages, the initial damages award might be reduced on appeal.
Arizona law recognizes two kinds of harm that can happen to you if someone else causes an injury accident, and two kinds of remedies.
Types of Harm and their Damages
Recovery of Damages for Direct Harm
Direct harm injuries are those that you can show came from the personal injury accident and had no other cause. These are injuries that you can usually prove through records of medical treatment, including your billings from health care providers, that you had to go through as a result of the injury.
Direct harm damages are not confined to physical injuries. If you resolve your personal injury claim through litigation or arbitration then if you prevail, all the harms you have suffered will, as much as possible, be converted into a single compensatory judgment award. Damage to your property caused by the other person in the same incident is one kind of direct harm to roll into your total direct harm damages calculation.
Recovery of Damages for Indirect Harm
Unlike direct harm damages, indirect harm is often not something you can measure through medical bills or property repair and replacement costs. Indirect injuries are nonetheless real, and compensable.
You might see indirect damages referred to as “pain and suffering” awards or damages for emotional harm. Examples include:
- Lost wages that you reasonably could have expected to earn but for the injury preventing you from working.
- Compensation for lingering effects of the harm done. For example, after a car accident you experience chronic back pain for years afterward or maybe for the rest of your life that affects your ability to move. Future medical expenses are one form of these ongoing consequences for you.
- Loss of ability to engage in normal life activities. If the nature of your injury prevents you from being able to do things that you should reasonably be able to do otherwise, this is compensable. Loss of affection and loss of consortium are examples of this kind of injury.
- Mental suffering, like post-traumatic stress symptoms, can also be the basis for indirect
Remedies for Personal Injury Harm
The two kinds of money damages you can receive for personal injury claims are compensatory damages and exemplary damages.
The purpose of compensatory damages is to restore you as much as possible for the losses and harms you have suffered because of the personal injury event. This includes the direct and indirect harms above.
In some court cases, the behavior of the person or company that caused you to experience personal injury is bad enough that the court will allow an additional damages award on top of compensatory damages.
Not every personal injury award will include exemplary damages. The possibility of exemplary damages increases when the party causing the harm acts in ways that show intent to cause harm, grossly negligent or reckless behaviors, or repeated past harmful conduct. Some examples in which courts have imposed exemplary damages include for defective product designs that the manufacturer knew would cause harm to some customers, or engaging in illegal activities, or for some medical malpractice and hospital negligence-related patient injuries.
You might also see exemplary damages called, “punitive damages.” What is important to keep in mind with exemplary damages is that although you may benefit from them in your case, from the court’s perspective they are mainly meant as a warning to others not to make the same mistake. Thus the name, “exemplary damages.”
Are There Any Limits on How Much Damages I Can Recover?
As we have mentioned above, some practical limits on how much you can recover based on a personal injury claim are practical: for example, to recover direct damages, you must be able to prove them. Also, if the person or business that caused your injury does not have the money or other assets to pay a damages award, your recovery may be limited and you may need to resort to less-direct methods of collection like a judgment lien.
If you are partly at fault for the injury event, your award can be reduced by the percentage of your fault. Appeals of damages awards are not uncommon, and sometimes the court can reduce the initial damages award.
Exemplary damages are also subject to a restriction the Arizona Supreme Court has imposed: an exemplary damages sum that is higher than the compensatory damages awarded by a ratio more than 3 to 1 is unconstitutional in Arizona.
Should I Hire an Arizona Lawyer in a Personal Injury Claim?
Although nothing in Arizona law prevents you from being your own lawyer in your personal injury claim, nonetheless many good reasons exist to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, like one of our personal injury plaintiff’s attorneys at Stone Rose Law.
To begin with, to prove your claim the factual investigation of your personal injury claim must be thorough. This includes gathering statements from witnesses, doing an accident scene investigation, gathering any available police reports and your medical treatment records, and where necessary securing the availability of expert witnesses. You must know all the facts you will need to get, where to find them, and how to use them to support a compelling personal injury case for settlement, arbitration, or trial.
If you are relying on your insurance company to make a policy-based personal injury claim on your behalf, remember that the lawyer it chooses has the insurance company for a client and will be representing the insurer’s best interests. How strongly the insurance company lawyer will represent your interests can be less certain.
In some cases more than one other person may have contributed to your injuries. This can mean more lawyers getting involved, and how they relate to the other parties and to you can make negotiations and case preparation complicated.
The ability to negotiate firmly with other attorneys is also important, because of the likelihood that attorneys for the party that caused the accident and for that person’s insurer can become involved. Most personal injury claims in Arizona settle out of court, so having an experienced attorney on your side to present the strongest possible case for you can be decisive in obtaining the best settlement amount.
If you do hire a lawyer to help you with your personal injury claim, not every lawyer has the years of experience negotiating and when necessary litigating personal injury matters. Mistakes of inexperience in personal injury cases can still lead to unsatisfactory outcomes, like settling for less than you deserve or, at worst, losing a winnable case during arbitration or at trial.
Can I Afford to Hire an Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer?
Yes, you can. At least if your accident injury attorney comes from Stone Rose Law.
Contingency-Based Personal Injury Advocacy for You
At Stone Rose Law we represent our personal injury clients on a contingency basis. We do not bill you for any legal fees or costs unless we either win your case or reach a settlement acceptable to you.
There is a reason why we work for you on contingency. We have seen too many personal injury cases handled by other law firms in which the victim of the injury gets victimized again – this time by the process of arbitration or litigation. Especially if your attorney is billing you by the hour, you could soon find yourself in a situation where how to afford your legal bills becomes as much a concern to you as how to pay your medical bills.
A big reason why so many personal injury claims settle before trial, often for much less than what is possible to recover, is because the injury victim runs out of money to pay the lawyers. If you are funding your own personal injury claim, then the other side is incentivized to engage in negotiation and pretrial tactics that will maximize your attorney’s billable time in response. The goal is to exhaust you financially, or to inflate your tab with your lawyer to the point where he or she will begin to pull back on doing what is needed to best represent your interests, or both.
Because we work on a contingency basis for you, these delaying and cost-inflating tactics by opposing attorneys do not work on us. You cannot be driven to desperation by mounting legal bills, forcing you to settle on unfavorable terms or even to drop your case. And we have every motivation to do our best for you and to secure the most compensation possible, because we are only paid a percentage of the final settlement or judgment award. We only win if you do.
Why Choose Stone Rose Law for Your Personal Injury Claim?
Stone Rose Law is a dedicated personal injury law firm. Our personal injury lawyers have successfully settled, litigated and resolved hundreds of personal injury cases for past clients over the years.
At our law office we put you first, prioritizing customer service and providing personalized legal strategies. Our team has a proven system that provides the highest quality legal care.
We use a comprehensive approach to prepare your case for the best possible settlement, and if your claim does not settle out of court that meticulous preparation becomes the foundation to represent you in arbitration or at trial. Here are some of the items on our checklist of steps to take when representing your in a personal injury matter:
- Accident and injury investigation
- Evidence preservation and collection
- Eyewitness interviews or depositions
- Accident reconstruction
- Claims paperwork and filing procedures
- Connections to qualified experts
- Aggressive insurance settlement negotiations
- Personal injury trial litigation in Maricopa County, if necessary
From taking over the legal process on your behalf to connecting you to top doctors in your region, the personal injury lawyer we assign to you will look out for your physical, emotional and financial well-being. You can rest and concentrate on healing while we deal with all the complex and arcane legal tasks on your behalf.
Arrange a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys to find out if we’re the right fit for your particular case.
Our personal injury team consists of compassionate and dedicated plaintiff’s injury lawyers with varied knowledge and specialties. We provide top-quality legal representation to accident victims throughout Arizona, securing maximum compensation and achieving outstanding results.