It often seems like such accidents only happen to other people. However, our injury attorneys in Phoenix know that anyone can become a victim of someone else’s negligence. This is why personal injury laws are so important, and this is why our personal injury attorneys do what they do.
A victim typically begins his search for a Phoenix auto accident lawyer after he is injured. But it is essential to find a qualified and experienced advocate to help you. Without proper legal representation, the odds of being completely compensated for your losses are abysmal at best. In Arizona, it is crucial to protect your rights in the aftermath of an injury caused by another person’s negligence. If you are injured, you can’t go wrong with the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law.
In a perfect world, there would be no need for any Phoenix personal injury lawyers. Those responsible for accidents would willingly cooperate and would want to compensate their victims. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. That’s why each Zanes Law Phoenix auto accident lawyer advovcates for accident victims in thousands of cases. We have a track record of winning!
Doug Zanes, the Phoenix auto accident lawyer, has offices located on Thomas Road and 42nd Street. Doug has been a Phoenix accident attorney since 1997. Personal injury litigation has been Doug’s calling since he and his wife narrowly missed being involved in a head-on car crash with a drunk driver. It was after this event that Doug decided to be a Phoenix auto accident lawyer. Since that time, Doug has become a highly respected Phoenix auto accident lawyer. He is proud of his Phoenix office staffed with experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyers who know how to win.
Doug is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This is one of the most respected groups of injury trial lawyers in the country. Membership consists of accident attorneys who have won verdicts and settlements exceeding $1 million. To put this in perspective, less than one percent of personal injury lawyers are members.
The Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers have represented clients for more than 15 years. During this time, our firm has developed a reputation for going to great lengths to protect clients’ rights. Each accident attorney at the firm helps clients achieve full compensation for their pain, suffering, and losses. Personal injury victims not only experience bodily harm but also go through emotional distress. Mental anguish and emotional suffering are all-too-real consequences of traumatic events such as car accidents.
Many victims who are injured think that hiring the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law is too expensive. However, each injury and auto accident attorney in our firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that each Zanes Law Phoenix auto accident lawyer is only paid a fee if we win your case. If we do not get you compensated for your injuries you will not owe us a fee. If we assess your case and determine that you have a legitimate claim, we will start working on it immediately without requiring you to pay in advance. Our injury lawyers in Phoenix are paid a percentage of the total amount awarded. What’s more, our car accident attorneys are flexible and willing to reduce our fees in order to ensure that you receive everything you need to have a normal life.
After being injured in an accident, it is essential for you to know that you have rights. Because there is a statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Arizona, you should hire a Phoenix auto accident lawyer immediately.
After being injured by someone else’s negligence, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. But our Phoenix personal injury lawyers are here for you. You are not alone. In fact, there are tens of thousands of people in the state of Arizona injured every year. Unfortunately, it just happens!
Each day injury accidents occur in Phoenix. At Zanes Law, each Phoenix auto accident attorney regularly reviews this information to gain perspective on what we do. Automobile accidents are by far the most widespread cause of personal injuries and fatalities. As you will see below, people involved in car accidents are injured and killed at an alarming rate. Our Phoenix accident attorneys help victims of automobile accidents every day. Anyone injured in a car crash needs to call a Phoenix auto accident lawyer at Zanes Law immediately. One silver lining is that the number of automobile accidents is declining. Still, auto accidents in Phoenix take numerous lives and cause extensive pain to victims every year. This is why our Phoenix personal injury lawyers focus on you. You are injured and we are here to serve you. So call the Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers immediately.
Here are some eye-opening facts regarding automobile accidents in Arizona. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers have taken these from the Arizona Department of Transportation’s annual Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report for 2016:
Injuries can occur in many settings, under many different circumstances. Some accidents are the result of intentional actions or negligence of a person or company, the injured party might choose to seek compensation for the costs incurred as a result of the injury.
At Zanes Law, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers are here to help our injured clients recover damages. Here’s a run-down of the most common types of accidents that our Arizona injury lawyers work on.
Arizona’s extensive roadways attract millions of drivers annually. In fact, Phoenix has a freeway system that contains nearly 1,500 miles of road. Thus, automobile accidents are a daily sight in the Phoenix metro area. Many of these accident victims know that turning to a Phoenix auto accident lawyer at Zanes Law is the best thing to do. They know that an accident attorney in our firm will help.
Fortunately, the majority of those accidents result in minor injuries and property damage. However, different circumstances such as high speeds, inclement weather, distractions, and impaired driving can lead to a high possibility of car accidents.
Automobile accidents vary widely. But even at slow speeds, a collision can lead to significant physical problems. Whiplash, bruising, and brain injuries are common. They are all among the injuries that a Phoenix auto accident lawyer sees as the result of a car accident.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, roadway accidents become fatal primarily because of three factors. First, a lack of seat belt usage. Second, drivers who speed. Third, drivers who drive impaired. Of the more than 1,200 fatalities on Arizona roads in 2016, about 250 were not wearing a seatbelt.
Only 4 percent of car accidents in 2016 involved impaired driving. However, impairment due to alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription medications accounted for more than 400 fatalities. That number is a full one-third of the total number of fatal collisions on Arizona roads in 2016. If you have been injured call and speak with a Zanes Law Phoenix car accident lawyer immediately.
Truck accidents, also called 18-wheeler accidents, are classified separately from passenger car accidents. This is because the weight of commercial vehicles often result in more serious injuries and death. The Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law represent truck accident victims daily. Immediately speak with a Zanes Law Phoenix accident attorney if a commercial vehicle crashed into you.
Arizona is home to a lengthy stretch of historic Route 66, so highways are an essential part of the culture of the Grand Canyon State. Surprisingly, big rig accidents aren’t limited to highways and rural roadways, however. Of the more than 2,600 big rig collisions that occur on Arizona roads on an annual basis, about half of them take place in an urban setting.
Trucking accidents in Phoenix can have serious consequences. Most of these cases require litigation. So safety is a better alternative to a case. With that in mind, here are a few simple methods you can take to stay as safe on the road. First, always assume that a truck driver can’t see your vehicle, even if you can see them in their side mirror. Additionally, drivers who regularly share the road with big rigs and other types of commercial vehicles should remain vigilant and aware of potentially dangerous surroundings. Take extra care when traveling during thunderstorms, high winds and other types of inclement weather conditions.
Due to the increased risk of catastrophic injury, truck accident victims typically see higher settlements and damage awards. If the accident occurred while the driver was on duty, the injured party and their Phoenix personal injury lawyers may choose to seek damages from the trucking company as well as the at-fault driver. If you are in a car crash with a truck, please speak with the Phoenix car accident attorneys at Zanes Law.
The scenery and extensive system of rural and urban roads in Arizona attracts a large number of motorcycle riders. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents can be serious and even catastrophic. In 2010, The Arizona Department of Transportation reported 86 motorcycle accident deaths, most of which occurred in urban areas.
At Zanes Law, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers regularly obtain large settlements. In fact, one of our clients injured while riding his motorcycle received a large award. Another driver hit our clients and our client received more than $1 million. He has now recovered from his injuries.
Whether you’re a guest in someone’s home or the customer of a commercial establishment, you have the right to know if any dangerous conditions exist on the property. If a hazard is present, like a slippery patch of floor, the property owner must let visitors know about the dangerous condition.
If the property or landowner fails to prevent injury to a visitor, he or she may be held responsible for the sustained injuries. Accident types that fly under the banner of premises liability law include burns and slips and falls.
Victims of premises accidents in Phoenix can recover the costs of their medical bills and lost wages incurred as a result of their injuries. However, it is vital that you speak with one of our Phoenix personal injury lawyers immediately after an accident. Liable landowners may also be required to compensate the victim for their pain and suffering. Particularly if the injury was severe or life-altering. After you are injured on someone else’s property, please call our Phoenix personal injury lawyers immediately.
Slips and falls are an everyday occurrence in Phoenix. Because of this, the Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of clients injured in falls. Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of premises accident. In most cases, slips and falls are minor and classified as “accidents.” They normally occur through simple clumsiness or inattention. However, some slip-and-fall accidents are preventable and happen due to the negligence of another person.
Across the United States, slips and falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. In fact, more than 17,000 people die each year as a result of a fall or slip. Slippery and uneven walking surfaces are the main culprit in slip-and-fall accidents, and many of these types of accidents occur in the workplace.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls are the No. 1 cause of occupational injuries among workers between the ages of 15 and 24. These falls account for at least one million emergency visits annually. Slips and falls result in a huge loss of workplace productivity, with an estimated 95 million workdays lost and $70 billion in worker’s compensation claims filed each year.
Man’s best friend can sometimes become man’s biggest enemy. Recent numbers show an upward trend in dog bite-related injuries across Arizona. Between 2008 – 2012, more than 2,300 people were hospitalized for a dog bite injury. According to Department of Health Services data, this is a number that more than doubled in the last five years.
If a dog bites you or a family member in Phoenix, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the resulting injury. With help from the Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers, a dog bite victim can seek compensation for medical bills and emotional distress from the at-fault dog owner.
No matter where you work, you face the possibility of injury while on the clock. While high-hazard occupations like construction and demolition, as well as fast-paced environments such as restaurants and healthcare facilities, pose a higher rate of workplace accidents, all work settings are potential liabilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, strains and sprains were the most common type of workplace injury. In addition, these strain injuries also led to the highest number of missed work days. Injured workers file workers compensation claims in a variety of situations. The damage amounts from these claims encompass lost current and future wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. After a work accident, the Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers will look over the details of your case to determine an appropriate claim amount.
The dry, temperate climate of Phoenix means that plenty of people walk, hike and bike on a daily basis. Unfortunately, accidents can happen even in the great outdoors. In Arizona, over 1500 pedestrians are hit by motor vehicles every year, resulting in about 100 deaths annually and more than 1000 injuries. Of Arizona’s pedestrian accident fatalities, around 80 percent occur while the victim is crossing a road. Statistics show that the majority of pedestrian accidents happen during daylight hours, but the risk of death increases four-fold once the sun goes down. After a pedestrian accident, please call a Zanes Law Phoenix auto accident lawyer to discuss your options.
In the worst situations, accidents can be fatal. In the event of death following a car accident or severe brain injury, a surviving family member may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit against the at-fault party. Arizona statutes mandate that a wrongful death claim is appropriate if the deceased would have been able to file their own personal injury claim had they survived the accident.
If you have experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one due to the actions or negligence of another person, Zanes Law may be able to help. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers are experienced wrongful death lawyers and will help you determine if your claim has merit and will advise you on how to proceed.
The three types of burn injuries are first degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. A burn diagnosis is directly related to the depth of the wound. A more severe burn can be life-changing, can take years to recover from, and can require significant medical treatment. Certainly, a burn victim must worry about infection, nerve damage, and a disability.
A minor burn is typically classified as a first-degree burn. This type of burn only affects the outer layer of the skin. It includes some swelling, redness, and minor pain. A minor sunburn would be considered a first-degree burn.
A medium severity burn is classified as a second-degree burn. A second-degree burn happens when the first layer of skin is completely burned through. In line with its name, it burns through a person’s second layer of skin. Blisters and much more pain and swelling are common with a second-degree burn.
The most severe burn is a third-degree burn. It reaches the third layer of your skin. This kind of burn will damage your nerves and can affect a persons ability to breath and can lead to death.
A favorite summertime activity for Phoenix children is swimming. The expectation is that these young swimmers will be safe. Parents expect those that either own or operate pools to ensure that all children are safe while they are either in or around a pool. In fact, we also expect lifeguards, service professionals, and pool maintenance personnel not to act negligently and to take all necessary precautions so that any person either in or around a pool is safe. The Zanes Law personal injury attorneys in Phoenix expect those responsible for making the correct decisions do so because any negligent actions or decisions concerning a swimming pool can lead to a child being severely injured or even killed.
Like most people, you probably never planned to get injured. The Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law understand your situation and are here to help. At your earliest possible convenience, contact our firm to arrange a free consultation. If our lawyers determine that you have a case, they will take it on contingency, meaning that you don’t pay anything up front.
Some of the primary ways in which our Phoenix personal injury lawyers can help you with your case include:
It is crucial that you collect as much evidence as possible in the immediate aftermath of an accident that has caused you personal injury. The Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers are here to handle whatever additional investigation is needed. We will do everything from getting witness statements to helping you document and organize all evidence regarding your injuries. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers will do all they can to build you the strongest case possible.
The law does not require you to get a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit in Phoenix. However, seeking compensation on your own within the complex legal system is ill-advised at best and catastrophic at worst. You won’t have to contend merely with attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals. You’ll also have to deal with insurance company adjusters. Without proper legal representation, it is all too easy for others to trample on your rights. You will enjoy incredible peace of mind knowing that Zanes Law is acting on your behalf.
The Zanes Law Phoenix personal injury lawyers know the law. As with all other states, laws and statutes in Arizona are complex. Lay people can’t hope to understand the intricacies of Arizona personal injury law, so they are at a distinct disadvantage when going against savvy insurance company adjusters or attorneys for the other party. Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys have decades of experience in dealing with accident cases. This experience allows our lawyers to develop strong, effective cases for our clients. By hiring an attorney from our team, you can focus on healing and leave the legalese to us.
People often naively assume that insurance companies will fully and fairly compensate them if they ever become injured in, say, a car accident. What most don’t realize is that profit drives insurance companies. They go to great lengths to avoid paying out on claims, especially when the claims are large, but also even if the claims are modest. All too often, insurance companies make it appear that whatever settlement they offer is the best that the claimant can hope for, but they are rarely truthful. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers know your rights and will work to protect you from start to finish.
We can’t emphasize this point enough: your insurance company is not in your corner. Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses, they make more money when they don’t have to pay claims. Unlike you, they have vast experience in dealing with claims and are incredibly adept at getting claimants to settle for far less than what they deserve. Fortunately, all the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law know these tricks. They will represent you and your interests in a way that won’t allow insurance adjusters to take advantage of you.
Our injury lawyers in Phoenix handle the following cases:
If you have questions about personal injury cases in Arizona, we have answers! Consult the questions below to find the answers that you need, and don’t hesitate to contact Zanes Law if the answer that you’re looking for isn’t listed below:
Personal injury law applies to the claims of injured people. For a case to fall under the purview of personal injury law, the injury must have demonstrably occurred due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. In other words, you must be able to prove by providing evidence that someone’s carelessness caused your injuries. The laws regarding personal injury in Arizona are complex, so it is essential to have skilled Phoenix personal injury lawyers by your side.
If you have incurred injuries due to someone else’s negligence, chances are that our Phoenix personal injury lawyers can assist you. We don’t limit ourselves to certain types of personal injury claims. But even if you have been injured and can show that it was someone else’s fault, Zanes Law might not be able to handle your case. We determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis. When doing so, we consider factors such as how likely we are to succeed, how large the potential reward might be, and whether or not you filed the case before the statute of limitations has expired.
It is crucial that you are aware of the statute of limitations that applies to personal injury law in Arizona. In most cases, you have two years from the date when you were injured to seek compensation in a court of law. But it is important to note that the window could be briefer in some instances. For example, the statute of limitations might be shorter if you are bringing a case against a government agency. To be as safe as possible, immediately consult with our Phoenix personal injury lawyers after being injured.
There is no way to accurately predict the precise outcome of any personal injury lawsuit. However, Zanes Law has been practicing law in Phoenix since 2003 and employs numerous, highly experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyers. As a result, we are able to assess cases with a fair degree of accuracy. Our team knows the local courts and how they work, so we can arrive at a good estimate you can use in order to assess how to move forward. Please note that while we might provide a general estimate for how much your case could be worth, we might also have to inform you that you don’t really have a case.
Technically, anyone can file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona. It is up to the courts, of course, as to whether it will ever see the light of day. Not all cases are likely to come to court or to lead to settlements, so our attorneys assess potential cases carefully. While the injured party is the one who needs to file the suit, a personal injury lawyer should file it on the party’s behalf for the best results.
If someone else’s negligence injures you, you are still around and can seek damages from that person in court. But what happens when someone dies due to another person’s negligence? In that case, survivors can file a wrongful death suit if it appears that negligence was to blame. In Arizona, only certain relatives are eligible to file wrongful death suits. To file such a suit, you must be the parent, spouse, or natural child of the deceased. If you are eligible to file a wrongful death suit, you can seek compensation for loss of financial support as well as for loss of guidance, love, and companionship.
Because personal injuries are so emotional, it’s normal for your injury to consume your life. It’s also easy to assume that you definitely have a case. But to know for sure, you need the experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Zanes Law. We will accurately assess whether or not your case has merit. Luckily, our team has handled thousands of accident cases in both Phoenix and other metropolitan areas around the state. During your free consultation, we will gather information on your case, determine whether or not you have one and, if you do, give you a general idea about what compensation you might receive.
In the aftermath of an accident that results in personal injury, you should first seek medical care. Depending on the type of accident, it is also important to alert your insurance company to what has happened. Prompt reporting is usually a part of the agreement that your company has with you. In most cases, it is also smart to contact the police so they can file a report that you can refer to later. Bear in mind, however, that police reports aren’t usually admissible in court because they are typically considered hearsay.
As nice as it would be to give you a definitive answer to this question, the truth is that the answer entirely depends on the specifics of your case. The majority of the time, personal injury cases are settled out of court by our Phoenix personal injury lawyers. Settling out of court is optimal because doing so often results in a much faster resolution. If your case has to go to trial, it will take longer. Again, there is no way to accurately predict how long trying your case in court will take. We can say confidently, however, that we will keep you in the loop every step of the way and relay developments to you as they happen.
Absolutely not! If you are injured you should seek medical attention at once. Even if those injuries seem minor. As a Phoenix auto accident lawyer I see injuries that seem minor at first often significantly worsen over time. It helps enormously to have a paper trail showing that you sought treatment right away. The more evidence that you can provide when filing your case, the better. Also keep in mind that should you win your case, you are compensated for the cost of that doctor’s visit. But more than anything, it’s important to see a doctor simply to ensure that you are okay.
Yes. The first step in personal injury cases is always a free consultation. At this consultation, our injury lawyers in Phoenix gather information about what happened in order to determine if you have a case. If you do, our firm will take you on as a client and provide you with a general idea of how much you can expect to recoup. If you do not have case, we will let you know, and you will not owe us anything.
Each Zanes Law Phoenix auto accident lawyer handles personal injury cases on a contingency basis. Should we determine that you have a case that is likely to turn out in your favor, we will work on it without collecting any initial fees from you. Later, we will take our fees from the proceeds of your settlement. We usually calculate these charges as a percentage of your total settlement amount. However, we are flexible and willing to cut our fees to some extent in order to ensure that you obtain the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
Any personal injury claim will involve two things:
Each of these requires someone with experience. There is no legal requirement that forces you to hire an attorney. However, you find yourself ineligible for financial compensation if you do not heed the legal rules and deadlines for filing a lawsuit.
Our personal injury lawyers could gather the evidence that you need to show that someone else was negligent in your case. Then, once you show that you deserve compensation, we can negotiate the best settlement agreement for you. If that is not possible, we could file a lawsuit in your case.
This is a matter of an attorney’s experience and how they work with you. For example, if you have a possibly large claim, you might rather work with someone who you know has handled big cases. These claims have different considerations, and they could be a much harder fight than the average personal injury case. You would not want to hire a small claims lawyer in a million-dollar car crash case. Zanes Law Injury Lawyers have helped clients with sizable personal injury cases, and we can help you.
In addition, you should also find an attorney with a style that you could deal with for what could be years. To be clear, you do not need to, nor would you be, best friends with your lawyer. Nonetheless, you are trusting this person with what could be your financial future. You are also counting on your attorney to defend you at depositions and during possible cross-examination at trial. Make sure that this is someone with whom you could form a good working relationship that could withstand a contested case.
Arizona law follows the principles of comparative negligence. This means that both parties to an accident have some right to financial compensation depending on their share of the blame for what happened. Many states bar you from recovery if you are more than half to blame, but Arizona is different.
In Arizona, if you suffered injuries as a motorcyclist who was in an accident speeding down I-10, you may still receive some payment for your injuries as long as someone else was even partially to blame.
This is why you should always call Zanes Law Injury Lawyers for a free consultation no matter what happened. We can determine if you have the right to seek any financial recovery for your losses.
Of course, you would need to go over the specifics of the settlement offer to see if accepting it is in your best interests. However, we would strongly caution you against falling into the trap of being grateful for whatever the insurance company offers. If the insurance company is putting a possible settlement in front of you, there is a reason for it. Chances are that adjusters are trying to save money from what they think your claim is really worth. Their initial settlement offer may be a low one with which they intend to test you or drag things out further.
This is why you always need an attorney to evaluate a settlement offer that you receive. Your attorney also has a good idea of what your claim is worth, and they would advise you whether this particular offer is close to fair value.
Arizona has a workers’ compensation system that handles almost all workplace injuries. This replaces the personal injury legal system in many cases. The employer must pay for workers’ compensation insurance. In turn, they are relieved from the possibility of having to face negligence lawsuits. In Arizona, there are almost no exceptions to this rule.
Before you give up on the possibility of filing a lawsuit for a work-related injury, you should see if there is a third party who might be to blame for your injuries. This could be the case if there was a subcontractor responsible for your injuries or if your injuries happened due to defective tools or work equipment.
Some states have damage caps that could limit your recovery in a personal injury case. For example, they try to limit the amount that you could recover for things like pain and suffering. The good news for Arizona plaintiffs is that there are no damage caps in the state. This means that you can receive compensation for the exact amount of the harm that you suffered without limits from arbitrary caps under the law. In fact, the Arizona Constitution specifically prohibits any damage limits.
The common question in a personal injury case was whether someone was negligent. This is a legal term that is often used but not always understood. Just because someone was involved in an accident does not always make them responsible for what happened. Instead, there is a four-part test that every jury would use to decide liability.
The steps are
Negligence applies to all personal injury actions. Here are some examples of things that a jury may find to be negligence:
In each of these cases, a possible defendant acted unreasonably. For example, a reasonable driver would keep both eyes on the road when they are behind the wheel.
In most cases, the jury will use a negligence analysis for your personal injury claim. In some cases, the jury will apply a “strict liability” standard. For example, in dog bite cases and some product liability cases, the jury will not be interested in knowing whose fault the accident was.
The mere fact that it happened would put the burden on the defendant to show why they should not pay for damages. Then, they would need to show that the plaintiff caused their own injuries. However, an overwhelming majority of cases will follow the standard four-part negligence test to determine liability.
Personal injury law demands that the defendant pay you for what you suffered. The process aims to restore you to where you were at the moment before your injuries. Of course, it is not possible to undo the damage caused, so the law uses money to substitute for it.
In any personal injury case, you should receive economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages pay you back for the money that you directly lost or that you could have made if not for the accident. Non-economic damages pay for what you go through because of your accident.
You could pursue compensation for:
When you settle your case, you are legally entitled to recover everything that you lost, both in the past and the future. This is why you need an attorney who knows what your case is worth. You cannot go back and get more money if you accept a settlement offer that is too low. You have one chance to think ahead for what could be the rest of your life.
Punitive damages are what could significantly increase your recovery in a lawsuit. They are how the law allows a jury to send a message to the defendant that their behavior was extremely wrong. Usually, you would find punitive damages when there has been intentional or extremely reckless behavior.
Punitive damages are very rare in a personal injury case. First, you will not receive these in an insurance settlement. Second, these damages usually happen in extreme cases like a drunk driving case or a product liability claim where the defendant knew that they were selling a defective item. Nonetheless, we will investigate your claim, and we will not hesitate to seek punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was bad enough.
Not necessarily. You have the option to negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company first after filing a claim. In many cases, this is how personal injury cases resolve, and there is no need for a court case. Litigation is often necessary in personal injury cases because that is the way that you can put pressure on the insurance company to make a reasonable offer. They will not make you their best offer at first or even on their second and third attempts.
Filing a lawsuit does not guarantee that you will have a trial. Most parties to a lawsuit will continue to negotiate throughout the case. They may reach a settlement agreement at any point right up until when the jury makes a decision. In fact, an actual hearing is very rare in a personal injury case. Statistics show that only a small percentage of cases will go all the way to a trial. This does not ensure that you receive a settlement, but the odds are in your favor when you file a lawsuit.
There are a couple of things that happen before you cash your check. In exchange for the settlement check, you will need to sign a release agreement. This releases the defendant and their insurance company from any future liability in your case. This is why you need to get enough money now.
Then, your attorney would receive payment out of the proceeds of your settlement. Of course, you do not owe them anything if you are not successful in your case. If you do receive a settlement, the predetermined amount goes directly to the attorney, so you do not need to write them a check.
Again, there is some good news for personal injury claimants. When you get a settlement check or a jury award, the award is generally not taxable. Even lost wages that you would have earned in the future are tax-free. Punitive damages would be taxable, but chances are that you would not ordinarily receive them in a personal injury case anyway. There are some limited exceptions to the rule of your settlement being tax-free, so you may also want to consult a tax attorney if you expect a large settlement.