If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible for compensation. Personal injury attorneys can help you determine whether you have a case, prepare a case, negotiate with insurance companies, and even file a trial if necessary. Regardless of whether you can recover compensation for your injuries, a personal injury attorney can help you make sure the responsible party is held accountable. Here’s how to select an attorney:
Contingency-hourly fee structure
Most personal injury attorneys charge on a contingency-hourly basis. Unlike traditional flat-rate fees, contingency fees allow a client to retain legal counsel without having to pay upfront. The contingency-hourly fee structure varies by state and depends on the complexity of the case and the experience of the attorney. Qualified attorneys are expected to offer this type of fee structure, which requires a percentage of the total financial recovery from a case.
The two most common fee structures are pure contingency and hybrid-contingency. Contingency-hourly-fee agreements are more flexible and allow the client to choose a fee structure that fits their needs best.
Statute of limitations for personal injury claims
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by state. Tobler Law maintains a list of personal injury statutes and their durations and includes links to state documentation. The statute of limitations exists to protect defendants and expedite the resolution of personal injury lawsuits. Generally speaking, plaintiffs should pursue valid claims with reasonable diligence, but the statute of limitations will prevent the defendant from gaining evidence to disprove false claims.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Arizona starts running two years after the incident occurred. Sometimes, it may start to run when the injured party discovers the injury. This is called the “discovery rule.” Minors, the disabled, and the mentally ill may have special deadlines for filing lawsuits. Regardless of the timing of the incident, it is crucial to act quickly and file a lawsuit within the deadline.
In personal injury cases, there are two categories of damages: economic and non-economic. The former seeks to compensate injured parties for money lost as a result of the accident. In many cases, these damages are measurable, so evidence can be presented with receipts. Non-economic damages, also known as general or non-pecuniary damages, are more subjective and account for harm to the plaintiff that cannot be quantified.
The latter category includes non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium. Whether these types of damages are recoverable depends on the severity of the injury and the degree of negligence involved. Compensatory damages for personal injury attorneys are not as straightforward as proving fault in a case, but the corresponding compensation can be substantial. While proving the full extent of damages is difficult, keeping detailed records of all losses will help.
In some cases, punitive damages may be appropriate to compensate victims for their suffering. For example, if a store owner fails to shovel snow off its steps, a customer can sue for punitive damages. Similarly, if a driver is drunk and recklessly causes a car accident, punitive damages may be appropriate. However, punitive damages have their own set of rules and must be proven. In Arizona, the state’s laws are extremely complicated.
Depending on the state’s laws, punitive damages can range from a few hundred to millions of dollars. The goal is to punish the defendant and deter future behavior. While a punitive award can be enormous, most states have caps on how much can be awarded as punitive damages. Additionally, an injured person’s role in the accident may limit the damages she can receive. Generally, punitive damages can only be awarded if they directly result from the accident.
If you need a personal injury attorney in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert or the Phoenix AZ area contact Tobler Law for a consultation