Millions of people in the United States are injured in different types of accidents every year. Some injury victims are treated in Phoenix urgent care centers or emergency rooms. Others require hospitalization, surgery and rehab. Tragically, some lives are lost in accidents too. When injuries are suffered as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, it’s possible for a victim to obtain compensation for his or her damages.
Most personal injury cases are brought under the law of negligence. Some examples of these types of cases might be motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-falls and trip-and falls, animal attacks like dog bites, construction accidents or even medical malpractice. In order to prove negligence, the injured claimant is required to prove its elements. If he or she fails to prove any single element of negligence, the case completely fails. Here are the elements:
- That the defendant owed the claimant a duty of reasonable care.
- There was a breach of that duty.
- The breach of duty caused the accident that the claimant claims he or she was injured in.
- The injuries were foreseeable and proximately caused by the accident.
- The claimant suffered legally recognized damages like medical bills and pain and suffering.
If there’s a viable defense to a case based on the legal theory of negligence, experienced insurance claims adjusters or their attorneys will raise it. One of those defenses is comparative negligence. What that means is that the claimant was partially at fault for the accident, and any damages awarded to him or her should be reduced based on the percentage of fault attributable to that claimant. For example, if a jury’s gross award is $100,000, but the claimant is determined to be 25 percent at fault for the accident, his or her net award is reduced down to $75,000.
Statute of Limitations
Another defense to negligence actions is the statute of limitations. The general rule in Arizona is that an injured claimant must file his or her lawsuit for personal injuries within two years of the date of the accident. There are very few exceptions to this rule. A claimant’s failure to file his or her action within two years of the date of the accident can permanently bar him or her from proceeding further.
Protect your right to bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Phoenix. Contact Tobler Law right away after being injured in any accident.