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Serious Representation for Arizona Citizens With Serious Injuries

Personal Injury

Arizona Personal Injury – Please click here to see some of our recent successes.

Personal injury involves injury to an individual.  This area of law allows an injured person in Arizona to bring a civil action known in the legal community as a tort action.  A “tort” is a wrong against a person.  Any accident or injury against a person can constitute a tort – whether it be in a car accident, the use of a product or the negligence of a professional.

Different degrees of fault exist and several elements are necessary to prove in Arizona in order to be successful against the wrongdoer or negligent party in a tort action. Also, more than one person or party may be at fault, and responsibility may be apportioned among all of the wrongdoers.

After an automobile accident, or other injury-causing event, call The Sturgell Law Firm to discuss your case.  During your first meeting we will discuss the accident, and we will collect information from you.  The length of the initial interview will vary depending on the circumstances that led to your injuries.  In rather straightforward cases the first meeting won’t take very long.  In fact, we can conduct the initial interview over the phone and fax you the necessary documentation.

Helpful items to bring to our initial meeting include:

  • Insurance information
  • Police report(s)
  • Information on doctors you have seen
  • Contact information for the person who hit you

What types of losses or damages can I recover?

Depending on the accident or injury, you could receive compensation for one or many of the following categories:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Past and present pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering
  • Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
  • Past lost wages
  • Future lost income
  • Diminished resale value
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Loss of use of vehicles or other personal property
  • Damage to personal property

Should I talk to an insurance company representative?

No.  After your accident or injury, let us notify your insurance company for you and take care of all the paperwork.  DO NOT give a recorded statement, consent to a medical exam, or talk to any insurance company without first speaking with us.  The insurance adjuster’s loyalty is to his or her company.  His or her only objective is to reduce the amounts paid out in claims. The insurance adjuster will likely attempt to speak to you before you’ve had an opportunity to consult with a lawyer. He or she will likely ask suggestive questions and persuade you to make ill-advised statements that could damage your claim.  Once we contact the insurance company on your behalf, they legally cannot contact you.

What if I don’t have health insurance?

When you have been injured in an accident, medical treatment should be your first concern. If you don’t have medical coverage, we will find a doctor who will treat your injuries now and wait for payment after your settlement.  Do not delay, call us today at (602) 685-1061 to schedule an appointment as insurance companies may deny your claim if you do not seek treatment immediately after the accident.

Do I have to pay my insurance company back if it pays my medical bills?

Under Arizona law, you do not have to pay an insurance company for benefits it pays under your insurance policy after your accident or injury. There are two exceptions to this rule in Arizona. One, medical payments benefits paid to you by an automobile insurance carrier that later pays you benefits under uninsured or under-insured motorist coverages can be credited against those uninsured or under-insured benefits in certain cases. Two, workman’s compensation benefits paid on account of an on-the-job injury must be repaid out of any recovery you receive from the person who hurt you.  Furthermore, if the policy of insurance is properly issued under a federal law governing employee benefits, the insurer may have a right to reimbursement from any recovery you receive for your injuries.

Do I have to take my vehicle to the insurance company’s repair shop?

No.  After an auto accident, do not let the auto insurance company dictate which repair shop you use.   In fact, it is to your advantage to seek out an independent repair shop who will not “low ball” your estimate because of its relationship with the insurance company. Call us today at (602) 685-1061 to find an independent repair facility in your area.

What is Diminished Resale Value?

Diminished Resale Value is the reduction in value that a vehicle suffers after being involved in an accident.  In the case of Inherent Diminished Value, this loss is suffered irrespective of whether the vehicle has been properly repaired.  As a consumer in Arizona, you are entitled to make a claim for the reduction in the value of your vehicle in addition to the cost to repair the vehicle.  Click here for more information regarding Diminished Resale Value.

Will My Case Settle, or Will I Have to go to Court?

While the vast majority of Arizona car accident and personal injury claims are resolved short of appearing in court, we at Sturgell Johnson are prepared to represent clients all the way to trial.  Before retaining a Phoenix auto accident attorney, ask if they will represent you through litigation and ultimately trial or simply refer you to another firm if they are unable to quickly and easily settle your case.

Filing a Lawsuit

Many of our clients equate filing a lawsuit with going to court.  This is often times not the case.  If we are unable to get the insurance company to make you a reasonable offer for your accident, or other personal injury, we will file a lawsuit with your permission.  By filing a lawsuit, you force the insurance company to take notice of your accident claim and ultimately, answer for the wrongs of their insured.

In Maricopa County, lawsuits for accidents and injuries in which the damages sought do not exceed $50,000 go through a process called arbitration.  During arbitration, a lawyer is selected at random from the community to act as arbitrator.  During arbitration both sides present their case to the arbitrator.  The arbitrator then renders a decision, much the same way a jury would during a trial.

Settlement

In reality, most disputes over fault for an accident or injury are resolved through informal early settlement, usually among those personally involved in the dispute, their insurers, and attorneys representing both sides.  A settlement commonly takes the form of negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both sides forgo any further action (such as a lawsuit), choosing instead to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.  This is the quickest and easiest way to get the money you deserve for your accident or injury.

Where Are Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed?

Personal injury lawsuits usually fall under the authority of state courts in the county where the injury occurred, or where those involved (the parties) in the incident are located.  So, if a resident of Maricopa County is involved in a car accident in Phoenix, he or she will ordinarily file a personal injury lawsuit in the Superior Court of Arizona, County of Maricopa.

Do you still have questions?  Call us today at (602) 685-1061 to speak to an attorney.