At Bryson Law Firm, PLC, our Gilbert personal injury attorney will provide you with the legal solutions you need to pursue compensation for damages arising from another’s negligence.
If you or a loved one was the victim of an accident, call us today at 480-813-0444 to schedule a consultation and start the process of filing a personal injury claim.
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is the legal term referring to an injury of a person’s body, mind, or emotions. Personal injury law, or tort law, provides you with a legal remedy if you sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligent conduct.
Common examples of personal injury cases include:
- Motor vehicle accidents resulting from a road user’s negligence
- Medical malpractice – for example, improper treatments, misdiagnoses, birth injuries, and surgical errors
- Wrongful death, which is when someone’s misconduct or negligence causes someone else’s death
- Workplace accidents, which are injuries or wrongful deaths in the course of work
- Product liability, which is when a defective or dangerous product causes injury
When to File a Personal Injury Claim
At Bryson Law Firm, PLC, we recommend filing a personal injury claim as soon as possible after sustaining the injury. The Arizona personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury. If you fail to file the lawsuit against the at-fault party before this two-year deadline, the court will likely dismiss your claim.
In some cases, the symptoms of an injury don’t present immediately. According to the Discovery Rule, the two-year period starts running when you discover your injury or when you should reasonably discover your injury.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
The objective of a personal injury claim is to seek compensation for your damages that resulted from the other party’s negligent conduct.
For example, suppose Driver A skips a red traffic light and collides with Driver B, killing him. In this case, Driver B’s widow may receive compensation for her loss of income and the pain of losing a loved one.
However, the courts don’t award compensation haphazardly. You need to prove that your damages result from another party’s negligence by including four elements. Below, we look at the four elements your Mesa personal injury attorney needs to include in your claim for compensation.
Duty of Care
The first thing you need to prove in your claim is that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, which is a legal obligation to meet specific standards or follow certain rules. Below are real-world examples of duties of care:
- Motor vehicle drivers must obey the rules of the road
- Medical doctors have to examine their patients thoroughly and make the correct diagnoses
- Product manufacturers must adhere to production regulations and prevent defects
- Employers must provide employees with a safe work environment
Breach of Duty
As part of your claim, you need to prove that the at-fault party (defendant) acted negligently by demonstrating that they breached their duty of care. In other words, the party failed to exercise due caution to prevent your injury.
To determine breach of duty, jurors use the objective “reasonable person” test by asking what a reasonably prudent person would have done in the same situation. For example, a reasonable person wouldn’t talk on the phone while driving or consume alcohol before operating dangerous machinery.
If a reasonable person couldn’t predict the damaging actions of their conduct, the defendant is not negligent in their failure to take precautionary measures.
For your claim to be successful, you need to prove that you suffered damages. For example, suppose Driver A skips a red light and misses Driver B, who is busy crossing the intersection, by several inches. In this case, A committed a breach of his duty of care.
However, A didn’t collide with B. The incident may leave B angry and shaken, but there are no damages, which means B doesn’t have a rightful claim for compensation.
On the other hand, suppose Driver A collides with Driver B, and B sustains severe injuries requiring ongoing medical treatment. In this case, B incurs damages, meeting the requirements of this element.
At our law firm, your personal injury attorney will gather all evidence to prove the damages you suffered, such as medical bills and photographs.
Causation is the last element, which means the defendant’s breach of duty must cause the plaintiff’s damages for the claim to succeed. In some cases, determining causation is straightforward. However, when the causal chain is complex, you need our expert legal services to include this element in your claim successfully.
When hearing the term “personal injury,” most people think of a physical injury requiring medical care. However, a defendant’s negligent conduct can result in damages in various forms, and you may be eligible to claim compensation for several of them, provided that they meet the four elements above.
Damages fall into two categories: actual damages with an economic value and intangible losses that include non-economic losses. Economic compensatory damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income and earning capacity
- Property damage
- Home care, rehabilitation, and therapy expenses
- Medication and medical equipment expenses
Non-economic compensatory losses include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a fulfilling life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Loss of reputation
Our personal injury lawyers have the expertise to help you quantify your losses and determine a fair compensation amount. To determine the worth of your personal injury case, schedule a consultation at our law firm today.
What If I Am Also at Fault?
In some cases, plaintiffs are partially at fault for their injury. For example, suppose Driver A takes a left turn without yielding to oncoming traffic, then collides with Driver B. In this case, B is also at fault if he was driving over the speed limit and could have prevented the accident if he had been driving slower.
Under Arizona law, the standard of comparative negligence determines the compensation amount an injured party may claim. The court will calculate your contribution to the accident as a percentage, then deduct it from your claim’s value. For example, if your claim value is $100,000, but you have a 30% contribution to the accident, your personal injury case has a maximum value of $70,000.
How We Can Help You
At Bryson Law Firm, PLC, we recommend seeking legal assistance as soon as possible after experiencing another’s negligence. Our personal injury attorneys provide a comprehensive legal solution to help you navigate the claims process and pursue the highest possible compensation.
Our legal services include:
- Conducting a thorough investigation to determine the facts of the case
- Gathering evidence of the at-fault party’s duty and breach of duty
- Collecting all evidence proving your damages
- Assessing your damages to determine your claim value
- Preparing your personal injury claim
- Communicating with the at-fault party’s insurance company and legal representatives on your behalf
- Representing your legal interests throughout the claims process
Schedule a Consultation with Bryson Law Firm, PLC
If you have suffered a personal injury, partner with a reputable Mesa personal injury attorney at Bryson Law Firm, PLC for professional legal representation and advice. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 480-813-0444.