Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists and Strategies for Recovery

Uninsured and underinsured motorists pose a serious risk to others on the road — drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. — as their injured victims may, in many cases, be left without adequate financial recourse for obtaining a full recovery.  Perhaps more concerning are the statistics.  It is not at all uncommon to encounter an uninsured or underinsured motorist on the roads.  According to a 2015 study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, 12 percent of Arizona drivers are uninsured, and many more are likely to have minimal insurance coverage (the state of Arizona only requires minimum liability insurance coverage of $15,000 per person) that is inadequate for accidents resulting in serious injuries. If you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may be concerned that the defendant-driver does not have the resources necessary to adequately cover your damages.  Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, however, you may have alternative avenues for recovery that are worth considering.  Consult with an experienced Arizona motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible for further guidance on how to pursue a claim against an uninsured or underinsured motorist. When the defendant-driver lacks sufficient insurance coverage, then you — the plaintiff — are put in an unenviable position.  For example, if you have $250,000 in damages, but the defendant has only $30,000 in liability insurance, then you will have to look elsewhere to ensure that your damages are covered. Consider the following strategies for securing a fuller, more adequate recovery. […]

Suing the Defendant for an Injury-Causing Property Hazard

In the stereotypical case, motor vehicle accident claims are associated with negligent or reckless operation of a vehicle by a driver.  For example, the injured plaintiff may have a legitimate claim to bring against the defendant-driver for distracted driving, or excessive speeding (which caused the accident at-issue).  There are certainly situations that call for unique liabilities, however. In some cases, you may find yourself in a situation where you have a claim against a property owner or possessor of land.  More specifically, the defendant may have contributed to your injuries by having failed to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition (thereby exposing you to a dangerous condition of their property, or in other words, a hazard), or by failing to warn drivers of latent dangers existing on such property. Premises Liability Basics In Arizona, the rules of premises liability are quite simple (and they are readily applied to such defendants in motor vehicle accident scenarios).  Essentially, you may have a claim against the defendant property owner or possessor if the defendant fails to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, or if the defendant fails to warn or otherwise give notice to premises entrants of non-obvious, dangerous hazards. All this legal terminology can be fairly confusing to the untrained reader, so for the purpose of clarity, let’s run through a quick and basic example. Suppose that you are involved in an accident in the parking lot of a major retailer.  You were driving and a non-obvious pit […]

The Value of Expert Witness Testimony in an Injury Lawsuit

Those unfamiliar with or new to the process of litigation may not realize the importance of expert witnesses in helping to construct an effective claim.  Depending on the circumstances of the case, the testimony of an expert witness can substantially affect the outcome of the lawsuit itself. What Makes an Expert Witness Different Than a Fact Witness? An expert witness is a witness with specialized knowledge, training, or proficiency who is brought in to testify in the form of an opinion as to matters related to their specialty — for example, an expert witness (qualified orthopedic surgeon) might be retained to provide their opinion on the extent of damage caused by a botched orthopedic surgery, and to discuss the standard of care that would normally apply to a surgeon in the circumstances. Critically, expert witnesses provide opinion testimony.  They do not offer direct, observational testimony as to the facts of the case. By contrast, a factual witness is an individual who is brought in to testify as to the particular facts of the case, based on their personal knowledge and observation thereof.  For example, a factual witness who observed a car accident occurring at an intersection (in other words, an eyewitness) would testify as to the sequence of events and how it played out in front of them, to the best of their knowledge.  They would not be entitled to provide their opinion on case-related matters. How Expert Testimony Helps Expert testimony can be used in a variety of ways.  […]