What Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is one where there is an injury to a person’s body, either mentally, emotionally or physically. If you are in a car accident and you have no injuries, and only the car is damaged, that is NOT a personal injury.
On the other hand, if you get into a car accident, and you are injured, and the car is damaged, the damaged property (your car) becomes a part of the personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit looks to award the injured party monetarily by ordering the party who caused the injury to pay damages, both compensatory and punitive.
What Are The Different Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Personal injury claims in Arizona cover a very wide variety of accidents and injuries. The following is a list of some of the most common ones:
- Car, Truck, Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Water Sports Accidents (boating, jet ski)
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Dog Bites
- Spinal Cord Injuries, Paralysis and Brain Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
- Dangerous Drugs
- Product Liability/Defective Products
- Construction Worksite Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Plane Crashes
- Birth Injuries
What Is The Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Suit in Arizona?
Or. . .How Long Do I Have Before I Need to File a Lawsuit Before It Is Too Late?
The statute of limitations is a time that has been set by case law and Arizona Statues within which someone must file a lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit by the deadline, you will lose your right to file it. In Arizona, the statute is two years. The problem with the statute of limitations is that although two years is the general guideline for filing a lawsuit, there are exceptions and the start of the time is based on a variety of factors.
If a government entity is involved, a notice of claim is to be filed in less than six months. If the injury involves a minor, the statute can be a longer time period than that for an adult. If your personal injury accident lawsuit involves medical malpractice, there are different timetables for that as well.
Additionally, for some injuries, the clock starts running when the injury happened, and other times it is when the injury is first discovered. An example of this is if you sustain injuries that cause you to go into a coma, and you have no idea you are injured until you wake up. The bottom line is that while there is the 2-year general rule, there are many exceptions and it is best to contact a good personal injury attorney immediately after you or a loved one sustain an injury, so you can be well informed about all of your rights.
The bottom line is that if you do not file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you will lose your right to collect any damages from the person or company that caused the injury.
For more specific information, please look up the Statutes of Limitations online at Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12, Chapter 5, ARS 501 556.
How to Evaluate a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate a fair settlement and perhaps even file a lawsuit.
There are many different types of personal injury attorneys, and finding the right one can be a daunting task. Here a few tips to look for when trying to find someone who will best represent you:
- Find an attorney you can trust – ask your network of friends or other professionals if they know someone that they can recommend. Look on the various legal websites for any feedback on the attorney (Avvo, Yelp, Findlaw, State Bar of Arizona).
- Experience – are you looking for a newer attorney with maybe less experience, but a lighter caseload and is young and enthusiastic? Or are you looking for a more seasoned attorney with more connections and experience?
- First Contact – are you easily able to speak with someone? Is the staff polite and courteous? Do you feel like your questions are answered? Do you have to wait a long time to get an appointment? Do you feel confident after meeting with the attorney?
For more advice on what to look for in hiring a personal injury attorney, check out this article.
My goal is to win compensation for personal injury victims, and I have years of experience collecting damages for my clients. If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer, I can evaluate your case. Contact me today.