Helping Clients to Pursue Maximum Compensation for Accidental Injuries
People suffer injuries all the time due to motor vehicle crashes, construction accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other serious accidents. When these accidents and injuries occur, accident victims might be eligible to file a claim with the at-fault person or entity’s insurance company for monetary compensation and damages. If you or a person you love sustained injuries in an accident that occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you want an experienced legal team on your side that will zealously advocate for your interests and pursue the compensation that you deserve. At Zanes Law Injury Lawyers, our team has a proven track record of success when it comes to settling and litigating personal injury matters. Our attorneys have obtained numerous high-value settlements and jury verdicts. Since opening our doors back in 2003, we have demonstrated our skill for obtaining favorable awards for our clients—both at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. If you suffered injuries in an accident that occurred because of the negligence of another person, time is of the essence. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Arizona personal injury cases is only two years from the date of the accident in most instances. Therefore, if you suffered injuries, you want to have skilled legal counsel by your side representing you as soon as possible in your case. When you retain the experienced Arizona personal injury attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers to represent you, you can rest assured that your case will receive the attention it deserves and that we will do everything possible to maximize your compensation in your personal injury legal matter.
What Types of Personal Injury Cases Do We Handle?
The Zanes Law accident lawyers have extensive experience working in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. We help clients every day with the following types of injury cases:
- Bicycle accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Construction accidents
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Wrongful death
Regardless of how your injuries occurred, ask a dedicated attorney about the possibility of filing a claim.
Proving the Legal Elements of an Arizona Personal Injury Claim
Even when a person suffers injuries in an accident that someone else caused, the accident victim still has the burden of proof in the case. Ordinarily, the accident victim must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the at-fault person or entity violated the duty of care and that, as a result, the accident occurred. Finally, the accident victim must show that the injuries and damages they suffered resulted from the accident.
In the case of a car accident claim, for example, the accident victim would need to show that the at-fault driver deviated from the prevailing standard of care in some manner. The driver might have violated a road rule, such as by speeding or failing to use a turn signal, and the accident occurred as a result. In clear cases of drunk driving accidents, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might go so far as to concede fault for the accident.
In addition to proving a violation of the standard of care, the accident victim must show that this negligence led to the accident—and that the accident led to the resulting injuries.
In a personal injury case, expert testimony often becomes necessary. In cases where the insurance company is disputing fault for the accident, the accident victim’s lawyer might need to retain a qualified accident reconstructionist who can piece together exactly how the accident happened. Moreover, in many personal injury cases, medical experts are necessary. A medical provider, such as a doctor, would need to state—to a reasonable degree of medical certainty—that an accident victim’s injuries are related to the accident and causally flow from the accident.
A knowledgeable Arizona personal injury attorney at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can retain the necessary experts to try to prove the legal elements of your claim. Proving these legal elements puts you in a position to be eligible for monetary compensation in the form of damages.
The experienced team of Arizona personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can handle all of the legal aspects of your claim while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Our legal team will help you file a claim or lawsuit against the person or entity at fault for your accident. We can then help you pursue the compensation that you need for your injuries by way of a favorable financial settlement, arbitration award, or jury verdict. What follows are the answers to some common questions that often arise in the context of Arizona personal injury cases.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit and what happens if I fail to file on time?
The statute of limitations—or the deadline for filing a lawsuit—in Arizona personal injury cases is relatively short. To be exact, most victims of car accidents, slip and falls, and similar accidents only have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit arising from their injuries. This statute of limitations is very unforgiving, and if you fail to sue within this deadline, you can no longer seek monetary compensation and damages for all of the injuries resulting from your accident. Therefore, you must file your lawsuit on time in the Arizona state court system.
This short personal injury statute of limitations is one reason why you should retain experienced legal counsel to represent you in your case as promptly as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can file a lawsuit well in advance of the two-year statute of limitations deadline. Even after you file the lawsuit, your attorney can continue working on your behalf to pursue a favorable settlement offer in your case.
What happens after I file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company?
If you sustain injuries in an accident that happened due to someone else’s negligence, you should usually file a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company. Assuming the insurance company accepts liability for the case, you can begin the settlement process by submitting a demand letter to the insurance company adjuster handling your particular claim.
As part of a demand package, your attorney will likely include:
- Demand letter – The demand letter discusses how the accident occurred and makes an opening demand for settlement. If the accident victim suffers serious injuries in the accident—or if the accident brought about a fatality—then the initial demand might be for the full available limits of the insurance policy. In any case, the demand should fully and fairly compensate the accident victim—not only for economic damages (medical expenses, lost earnings, and other out-of-pocket costs), but also for all of the pain, inconvenience, and suffering that the accident victim had to endure following the accident.
- Pertinent documentation – Along with a demand letter, the settlement demand package should include copies of all pertinent documentation in the case. Important pieces of documentation include all related medical records, medical bills, lost wage documentation from the accident victim’s employer, and a copy of the police report or other investigative report. The insurance company will use all of this documentation to assess the value of the case and likely make an offer to settle.
- Photographs of property damage and injuries – When the insurance company observes significant property damage on one or more vehicles, adjusters tend to assume that the case is valuable from a settlement standpoint. Consequently, any property damage photos should accompany the settlement demand package. Moreover, if the accident victim has photographs of their injuries, such as bruises, scars, or abrasions, they should also include those to help the insurance company adjuster assess the damages in the case.
- Victim impact statement – In some instances, a victim impact statement becomes important to a personal injury case—especially when the accident victim is alleging that they sustained permanent injuries and damages in the accident. The victim impact statement, which the accident victim prepares with their attorney’s assistance, usually contains a narrative description of the accident and how it occurred, along with information about the impact that the accident had on the person’s overall quality of life and well-being. For example, injuries that the accident victim sustained might prohibit them from playing with children or grandchildren.
Once the accident victim’s lawyer submits the demand package to the insurance company, the adjuster will review the demand letter along with the other documents that make up the settlement demand package. The adjuster may then make an initial offer to settle the personal injury case.
Accident victims should be very wary about accepting initial settlement offers from insurance companies. This is because initial offers do not typically compensate accident victims for the full measure of their damages. In most cases, the amount of the initial settlement offer won’t cover all of your expenses. Keep in mind that insurance companies are big businesses, and they will do everything in their power to settle a personal injury case for as little money as possible. By offering a small initial settlement amount, the insurance company is trying to entice accident victims who are in a hurry to settle and are willing to accept anything to resolve the case.
An experienced Arizona personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company adjuster. In many cases, it will take several rounds of negotiation between the accident victim’s lawyer and the insurance company adjuster before an injured claimant receives a reasonable settlement offer.
However, at other times, the insurance company adjuster might refuse to offer full and fair compensation to resolve the personal injury case. When that happens, the accident victim might elect to have their attorney file a lawsuit in the matter. Filing a lawsuit does not prevent the person’s injury case from settling. Rather, filing suit gets the ball rolling on litigation and keeps the case moving forward to a conclusion.
The knowledgeable Arizona personal injury attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can help you determine whether or not a pending personal injury settlement offer is worth accepting in your case. Your attorney can also let you know your approximate net compensation if you decide to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company. If you decide that a particular offer is not worth accepting, your attorney can assist you throughout the litigation process by filing suit and moving the matter forward to a favorable conclusion.
Will my personal injury legal matter need to proceed all the way to a jury trial? What are some other options?
Even if you decide to file a lawsuit in your personal injury case, you can still reach a favorable settlement. In fact, the vast majority of Arizona personal injury cases settle before trial. Therefore, just because you file a lawsuit in your case does not mean that you will need to go to a jury trial to resolve the case.
First of all, by filing a lawsuit in your case, the court will typically schedule a settlement conference with the court. Settlement conferences usually take place after the conclusion of written and oral discovery, including depositions. At a court settlement conference, both attorneys and their clients meet with a judge or settlement officer to see if the case can reach a favorable resolution. The judge or settlement officer will usually meet with everyone together and then have individual breakout sessions with the lawyers and their clients. The goal of a settlement conference is to see if the parties can reach a settlement number that they both can live with.
As an alternative to taking an Arizona personal injury case to a jury trial in state court, the parties might consider some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or binding arbitration. A mediation proceeds much in the same way a settlement conference does. The parties meet with a neutral, third-party mediator who helps the parties see if they can reach a favorable settlement number in the case.
At arbitration, the parties put on their case much as they would at a jury trial. However, a pre-appointed neutral arbitrator decides the outcome of any disputed issues. At most binding arbitration proceedings, the only disputed issue is that of damages. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is final and you generally cannot appeal it in court.
The experienced Arizona personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can explore potential alternative dispute resolution options with you and explain the pros and cons of each.
Other Types of Arizona Personal Injury Cases
There are many other types of personal injury legal matters that arise in Arizona besides motor vehicle accidents involving cars and trucks.
Other common types of Arizona personal injury cases involve:
- Slip and fall and other premises accidents – Premises owners have a duty to maintain their premises for the benefit of their guests. This is especially true for owners of business premises. In most cases, property owners have a duty to warn about or quickly repair known dangerous conditions on their premises that a visitor is unlikely to discover on their own. In a business premises case, property owners also have a duty to inspect the premises regularly for unknown dangerous conditions. If a slip and fall or another premises accident victim can show that the property owner did little or nothing to rectify a hazardous condition on the premises, then they could bring a claim for damages.
- Negligent security incidents – In addition to cleaning up spills promptly and taking other measures to avoid accidents, premises owners also have a duty to ensure that the areas both inside and outside the premises are safe—most especially for business guests. Business owners are responsible for ensuring that the area is under constant surveillance and that adequate security personnel are on duty at a given time to respond to any incident that might arise. If an assault or other incident occurred on business premises because of a business owner’s neglect, the owner could bear liability for any injuries or damages that the victim suffers in the incident.
- Construction accidents – Construction sites are dangerous places where there is often dangerous machinery and equipment nearby. Other equipment, like ladders and scaffolding, can become dangerous when improperly put together or maintained. When accident victims sustain injuries while they are on the job, they must ordinarily file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits with their employer’s insurance company. However, an injured construction worker might still assert a third-party claim against a supervisor, project manager, or equipment/machinery manufacturer for carelessness or negligence.
- Swimming pool accidents – Property owners also have a duty to maintain swimming pools located on their premises. This is especially true if the pool is a public swimming facility. Swimming pool operators must keep pool decks free from spills, and otherwise keep pools clean and well-maintained. Pool manufacturers must ensure that they manufacture and design parts carefully. When a swimming pool accident happens due to a pool owner or product manufacturer’s negligence, the injured accident victim could bring a claim against the appropriate at-fault person or entity.
- Pedestrian accidents – Pedestrian accidents can occur at traffic intersections where crosswalks are present, near sidewalks, in parking lots and parking garages, and in any other locations where pedestrians tend to be present. These accidents typically occur when motor vehicle operators are speeding, violating traffic laws, and not giving proper care and attention to the roadway in front of them. When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian could fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries, including a serious head injury or a broken bone that requires intensive medical treatment. In some cases, these accidents can be fatal, in which case, the decedent’s surviving family members could pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
- Public transport and bus accidents – Motor vehicle accidents involving public transport vehicles, like buses, are also common. In some instances, these accidents occur because the public transport operator behaves in a reckless, negligent, or careless manner. At other times, these accidents happen because another driver is behaving negligently. If the accident happened because of a bus driver or public transport operator’s negligence, then you might pursue a claim against the driver and/or the transport company that employs the driver.
- Bicycle and motorcycle accidents – Bicyclists and motorcyclists are limited in that they do not have an outer covering or shell surrounding them at the time of an accident. If a motor vehicle collides with their bicycle or motorcycle, they can be knocked to the ground and suffer serious injuries. Even though the cyclist may be wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, helmets can crack. When that happens, the cyclist could suffer a serious head injury that leads to further complications. In many cases, bicycle and motorcycle accidents happen due to overzealous drivers who violate the rules of the road. At other times, road defects—such as potholes and large cracks—can be fully or partially to blame for the accident.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in an accident due to the negligence of another, the knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers are here to help. Our legal team can investigate the circumstances of your accident and help you develop a plan for moving forward with your case. We can pursue favorable monetary compensation from the at-fault person’s insurance company, seeking the damages that you need.
What damages can I recover in my Arizona personal injury case?
No two personal injury cases are the same. Therefore, the potential damages that an accident victim could recover vary from case to case. The amounts and types of damages available to an accident victim in a personal injury case depend largely on the severity of the injuries sustained, as well as the cost of any medical procedures and treatment that the accident victim underwent.
For an accident victim to collect damages in a personal injury case, the accident victim must prove all of the other legal elements of the claim. Once those elements are proven, the accident victim could pursue monetary compensation in the form of damages.
First and foremost, the accident victim could pursue compensation for all of the medical expenses they incurred because of the accident. Those medical expenses might be for a surgical procedure, doctor consultations, or physical therapy. If the accident victim had to miss time away from work following the accident, the accident victim could claim lost wages. If the accident victim had to switch jobs or careers due to injuries suffered in the accident, they could claim loss of earning capacity. These damages might cover an accident victim’s vocational rehabilitation training for them to acquire a new job.
Moreover, accident victims can pursue a damage claim for the inconvenience, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish the accident caused. If the accident victim has limited use of a body part—such as an arm, hand, or leg—following the accident, they could present a loss of use claim.
If the accident victim’s injuries prevented them from enjoying life to the fullest, then the accident victim could bring a claim for loss of enjoyment of life. Finally, if the accident victim’s injuries limit their intimacy with a spouse, the accident victim could bring a claim or loss of spousal companionship or consortium.
All of these damages are called non-economic damages because they are not measurable in terms of exact dollars and cents. However, they are often an important part of a personal injury case, and they are legally compensable.
The experienced Arizona personal injury attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can determine the damages you might pursue in your case. Your lawyer can then claim those damages and work to maximize your ultimate financial recovery.
After I was hit by a drunk driver last year, Zanes Law handled my case and my experience was a positive one. Even though the guy was never given a sobriety test (due to a lot of inconvenient and frustrating circumstances including police incompetence and other things), they got me compensation for my totaled car and injuries. They always kept me in the loop and everyone I talked to from my lawyers to the office staff was kind, forward, and made an effort to connect with me beyond just being their "client". I approve :)Kayley Self
I never though of myself as a person that would ever file a lawsuit, but sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do to get what you need/deserve this was one of those times i didn't know a thing about the process they we very helpful in answering all of my questions and making sure I understood where we were, what was going on and where we were going. they we extremely flexible to work around my crazy schedule even when it was out of control. I was able to walk away from the debit cause by...Nate Ash Showers
I enjoyed my experience dealing with Zanes Law. The staff kept me up to date every week. It was nice to know how my case was progressing week by week. Everyone I dealt with was very friendly and also helpful.Richard Keegan
Zanes Law has been my law firm for over 10 years. Doug and Claudia , as well as their staff are professional ,friendly and helpful. My family has had the unfortunate experience of multiple car accidents due to the fault of other's and Zanes Law not only took care of all the legal paperwork but also assisted us in acquiring excellent medical care. I can only speak highly of them. There are no other lawyers that I can recommend. If you have the need for a lawyer for an injury case that is not your doing, Zanes Law Injury Lawyers is...Christine Bartfai
Zanes Law provides great experiences for its clients. The staff is very professional and sensitive when dealing with personal injury cases. The clients are kept up to date with the status of the case. It is nice to know there is no fees unless Zanes Law wins the case. I would recommend this personal injury law firm to anyone with a case!Sean Rhude
Meet Our Family
We live, play, and work in the communities surrounding Arizona and Tucson. When someone else's negligence harms a local family, our family jumps into action. Our personal injury clients are our friends and neighbors. We can provide local expertise for your personal injury claim that our competitors just can't match.Learn More
Seeking Compensation from an Insurance Company
Insurance companies are incredibly savvy at denying claims and lowballing settlements to avoid paying what they really owe. If an insurance adjuster comes to you with an offer soon after the accident, the odds are the company is hoping you haven’t already retained a lawyer.
All too often, claimants immediately accept such offers because they have no way of knowing how much they are truly entitled to receive. While you must report any incident to your insurance company, you absolutely do not have to—and should not—accept an offer without reviewing it with a qualified personal injury attorney in Phoenix. The legal team at Zane Law has reviewed countless settlement offers and can advise you on what an appropriate amount of compensation is in your case.
Talk to an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney About Your Situation and How We Could Help
While Arizona is a leading state for motor vehicle accidents, other accidents—including slips and falls and other premises accidents—are also common here. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a serious accident that occurred because of another person or entity’s negligence, you want an experienced team of personal injury attorneys on your side, from the beginning of your case to the end.
The knowledgeable and skilled team of Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can investigate your case, negotiate with the at-fault person’s insurance company, and, if necessary, litigate it in the court system.
For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a knowledgeable Arizona personal injury attorney, please give us a call at (602) 999-9999 or contact us online for more information about how we can help.