5 Common Defenses Utilized in Motor Vehicle Accident Lawsuits

As an injured plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident lawsuit, your claims may be countered by various defenses.  Depending on the circumstances, the defendant may argue that they are not liable for damages on the basis that there is no causal link between their conduct and the injuries at-issue, that you were also negligent, and that there are co-defendants who must share liability, among other arguments. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to sue and recover damages as compensation for your injuries, pursuant to Arizona law.  Litigation is rarely straightforward, however, though it may appear to be upon first impression.  In many cases, circumstances will enable the defendant to put forth several strong defense arguments that could absolve them of liability, or — at the very least — minimize their potential liabilities.  As such, it’s important that you work with an experienced Arizona motor vehicle accident attorney who has a track record of success in handling claims where the defendant was well-positioned to counter the plaintiff’s assertions. Certain defenses are commonly used by defendants in motor vehicle accident cases to minimize their liability.  An experienced injury attorney will almost certainly have encountered these defenses before, and are well-equipped to navigate the barriers they raise to the success of your claims. Consider the following. Plaintiff Was Comparatively Negligent Arizona applies the doctrine of pure comparative negligence — or pure comparative fault.  What this essentially means is that the plaintiff may still recover damages […]

5 Evidence Gathering Tips for the Injured Plaintiff

In Arizona, as in other states, evidence of your injuries — whether in a motor vehicle accident or some other accident — is critical to support your legal claims against the defendant(s).  Without sufficient evidence to support your claims, your claim will be dismissed and you will be left with no means for obtaining compensation. Attorneys are valuable early-on, as they will guide your independent investigation of the facts of the case, and can connect you with experts who will not only assess the scene of the accident, but will also help assess the gathered evidence. As a plaintiff, there are a number of ways in which you can help ensure that your case goes smoothly (from an evidence-gathering perspective).  Consider the following. Obtain Contact Info of Important Parties Once you’ve been involved in an accident, you’ll want to first identify any and all potential defendants (i.e., the defendant-driver in a motor vehicle accident scenario).  If you fail to identify the defendant and obtain their contact information, it can be rather challenging to litigate a claim against them, as the defendant may thereafter make attempts to evade litigation by maintaining their anonymity.  This happens quite often in the hit-and-run context, where negligent drivers get away before the injured victim (or anyone else) is capable of properly identifying them. Identification information need not only be phone numbers, emails, and addresses.  It can be a description of the defendant, a photograph of the defendant, the license plate number of the defendant, a […]

Recovering for Medical Expenses in an Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, as in other states, injured plaintiffs — whether in motor vehicle accidents, or any other tortious accident caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct of a defendant — are entitled to recover damages that include both past and future medical expenses. Let’s begin with a simple example. Suppose that you are injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligent operation of a vehicle by another driver.  You suffer significant injuries to your back, neck, and limbs that require you to not only undergo diagnostic procedures and surgical treatment, but will also (for up to a year or more) require that you consistently attend rehabilitation sessions to get your strength back.  In addition to the various other losses that you may claim damages for (i.e., wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.), you may also claim damages for the medical expenses that you have already suffered, and for reasonably anticipated medical expenses in the future. Medical expenses tend to be a substantial component (and in many cases, the largest component) of a plaintiff’s overall damage claim, as the cost of medical care includes a range of services, from diagnostics to treatment, and everything in-between.  As such, medical expenses are a frequent target of criticism in the litigation context.  Depending on the medical care that you have received, the defendant may assert that the medical care you have received (or that you will receive) is not reasonably necessary. Past Medical Expenses Past medical expenses are those […]

What is the Difference Between a Mistake and Negligence in Arizona?

In a motor vehicle accident — or any other personal injury scenario, for that matter — it can be rather difficult for the injured victim to determine whether the defendant simply made an understandable mistake, or whether the defendant acted negligently, thus exposing them to potential damages liability.  In fact, this uncertainty often discourages injury victims from bringing a lawsuit against the defendant and thereby securing damages to compensate them for their various injuries. If you have been injured due to the conduct of another person (or entity), and you believe that the defendant’s conduct violated the standard of care — given the circumstances — then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Injury claims often seem simple upon first impression.  In reality, however, your injury lawsuit can be complicated by a number of issues, such as the presence of multiple hostile defendants, evidentiary challenges, and more.  Make sure to consult with an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney for assistance. If simple mistakes do not give rise to liability (except in product defect litigation, and other limited circumstances), and negligence does, wherein lies the difference between these two concepts?  At what point does a mistake “become” negligence and grant the injured party a right to sue and recover damages? The answer to these difficult questions is embedded in the concept of “standard of care,” so let’s consider some of the fundamentals of the standard of care and how negligent conduct is borne from the violation of applicable standards. […]

How Settlements Can Work to Your Benefit

In Arizona, and elsewhere in the United States, most cases never make it through to trial litigation.  Instead, a settlement is negotiated between the parties.  In fact, legal industry observers estimate that more than 95 percent of cases are resolved before trial litigation can begin.  For those unfamiliar with the process of litigating an injury claim, the fact that trial litigation is relatively uncommon (and seen as a “last resort” option) can come as something of a surprise. Have you been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another person?  Trial litigation may enable you to recover damages as compensation for your injuries, but it can be time consuming, expensive, and full of uncertainty.  Negotiating a settlement can save you a great deal of trouble in the long run, and secure you a favorable result — in some cases, a settlement can even ensure a level of amicability that might not otherwise be possible.  Get connected to an Arizona personal injury attorney who has extensive experience settling claims. Many plaintiffs may be unaware of the value in negotiating a settlement.  Let’s take a quick peek at how settlements can work to your benefit, and then we’ll explore how a favorable settlement is negotiated. Benefits of Settlement Settlements are often said to be a win-win for both parties.  In our adversarial legal system, this can be a confounding result.  It’s actually quite simple to understand, however.  When the plaintiff and defendant negotiate a […]

Breaking the Chain of Causation

In Arizona, a motor vehicle accident negligence claim — same as any other negligence claim brought pursuant to personal injury law — must satisfy certain elements. More specifically, if you have suffered an injury due to the fault of another, in order to successfully recover damages in an Arizona court, you must prove that: a) you were injured; b) the defendant was negligent; and c) the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries.  Only once all these elements have been satisfied will you receive compensation for your injuries in a court of law. Have you been injured due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another person or entity?  Arizona law may give you the right to litigate your claims and receive compensation.  Injury claims do not last forever, so make sure to get connected to an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney as soon as possible, before your claims expire. Causation is therefore a critical aspect of personal injury litigation.  To put it in very simple terms: you cannot hold a defendant liable for your injuries unless the defendant’s negligent acts actually “caused” your injuries. Not all cases are simple, however, and oftentimes, the defendant will use muddy, complicated circumstances to argue that they are not responsible for your injuries.  They will claim that there was some intervening cause that actually led to your injuries.  When the “chain of causation” is broken by an intervening cause, then the defendant may avoid liability. Let’s take a look at how the chain of […]