Category: Serious Injuries

How Contingency Fee Arrangements Can Create Win-Win Situations

Serious Injuries Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ If you’ve been harmed in a motor vehicle accident in Arizona due to the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another party, then you may be entitled to significant compensation under the law.  Litigation can be an overwhelming prospect for first-time plaintiffs, however. As you begin to explore your options for litigating a motor vehicle accident claim, or any other personal injury claim, you may be somewhat confused by “contingency fees” and what it means for your case.  First-time plaintiffs are often unfamiliar with the contingency fee dynamic. Not to worry!  Let’s explore the basics to clarify the essential elements of a contingency fee arrangement. What is a Contingency Fee? Typically, plaintiff’s-side personal injury litigators are paid on contingency, not through an hourly or flat fee.  Contingency fees are rather straightforward — the litigator does not get paid unless they help you secure compensation, whether through a negotiated settlement or a favorable case verdict. So, for example, if you take your case to trial and “lose” the case, failing to secure any compensation, then you will owe nothing to the litigator.  On the other hand, if you do secure compensation, then you will owe the litigator a percentage of the overall recovery. Contingency Fees Create Favorable Dynamics for Plaintiffs Contingency fees are positive for most plaintiffs, and for a number of reasons.  First off, most plaintiffs do not have the funds (or willingness) to sustain long-term litigation against a defendant when the result is uncertain.  […]

Common Statute of Limitations Exceptions in Arizona

Speak With a Phoenix Serious Injuries Lawyer Today If you’ve been injured due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party, then Arizona law may give you a right to sue and recover compensation for your various losses.  When pursuing a claim against the defendant(s), however, it’s important to understand that you do not have an unlimited amount of time — personal injury claims are governed by a statute of limitations deadline.  If the deadline passes before you file your claims, then you will be barred from pursuing compensation in an Arizona court.  The risk of “waiting too long” is therefore substantial. The statute of limitations can vary from case-to-case.  Generally speaking, personal injury claims are governed by a two-year statute of limitations deadline in Arizona, though this period may be shortened under certain circumstances (i.e., the defendant is a public employee or entity, for which the deadline will be just one year from the date of injury). Fortunately, you may not be entirely without options if the deadline passes.  In Arizona, and elsewhere, there are a few exceptions that allow the plaintiff to suspend the statute of limitations countdown, thus extending the deadline.  We encourage you to contact Hirsch & Lyon for an assessment of your case and guidance on how to proceed, particularly if you find yourself in a difficult procedural situation. Absence of Defendant from State According to Section 12-501 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, if the defendant is absent from the state during the […]

Unique Issues in Cases Involving Catastrophic Injuries

Contact a Phoenix Serious Injuries Lawyer Today for Help If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries in a motor vehicle accident (that was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct of another party), then Arizona law may give you a right of action for significant damages as compensation.  Catastrophic injury claims are often associated with high damage recoveries, but — while it’s important to remain positive — there are a number of unique challenges associated with such disputes. Let’s take a look. Damages Must Be Sufficient to Cover Losses Catastrophic injury damages must be sufficient to cover all your losses.  These losses can be extensive and diverse, depending on the nature of the accident, the plaintiff’s own circumstances, and the resulting injuries.  It is not “satisfactory” to secure damages that are not enough to cover one’s losses. For example, suppose that you are injured by a truck in a highway accident.  The truck driver lacks adequate insurance coverage to compensate you for the range of losses that you suffered as a result.  Though your damages totaled $500,000, you were only able to recover $100,000.  That would be insufficient, given the circumstances. Now, if your attorney identified that the truck driver was an employee acting within the course and scope of their employment (at the time of the accident), then you might be able to bring a lawsuit against the employer under the vicarious liability doctrine.  The employer would likely have sufficient insurance coverage to pay out your damages in full. Effective […]

Are You Entitled to Damages for Your Car Accident-Related Disabilities?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident (due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party), then Arizona law may give you a right to secure compensation for your losses, including losses relating to any disability that results from the accident. Damages for disabilities sustained due to an accident can vary substantially depending on the activities of the plaintiff and the length of the disability at-issue.  For example, if you are a highly-active socialite and enjoy outdoor recreational activities, then your disabling condition may preclude you from not only working in your profession, but may also preclude you from engaging in the social and recreational activities that once defined your lifestyle.  These damages can be difficult to measure, but may be significant. Disability Benefits and Occupational Deficits There is quite a bit of variation when it comes to disability insurance plans.  In some plans, a disability is strictly defined as a condition that precludes the claimant from working in “any” occupation, whereas in other plans, a disability is more broadly defined as a condition that precludes the claimant from working in their “own” existing occupation. For example, suppose that you purchased disability insurance coverage that includes an “own occupation” definition of a disabling condition.  You are then involved in a car accident, where you suffer a back injury.  Your current career is as a physical laborer in a warehouse.  Due to the back injury, however, you are permanently rendered incapable of performing your current job […]

Road Debris and Hazards Must Be Fixed to Protect Motorists From Risk of Injury

Motor vehicle accidents are often caused — in whole or in part — by the presence of unexpected road debris and various other roadway hazards.  In the state of Arizona, for example, the Department of Transportation estimates that road debris alone is responsible for 1,000 crashes on an annual basis.  Road debris accidents can be particularly disastrous, as drivers may not be prepared for If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by road debris or some other roadway hazard, then you may be entitled to damages, as it the existence of the dangerous condition may be indicative of another’s negligence.  You’ll therefore want to get in touch with a Phoenix injury lawyer as soon as possible for an evaluation of your car accident claims and how best to proceed with litigation. Though the existence of a roadway hazard may not always be the fault of another party, there are many cases in which the negligence of the defendant — typically the possessor of a particular roadway (i.e., the government, or some private entity) — has contributed to the hazard at-issue.  If the defendant fails to correct the hazard or fails to warn motorists of the existence of the hazard so that it can be avoided, then liability may attach under prevailing Arizona law. Roadways Must Be Maintained in a Reasonably Safe Condition Claims arising out of injuries sustained due to road debris (or other roadway hazards) generally come under the umbrella of premises liability.  Premises liability […]

Wage Loss Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, if you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another person or entity, then you may have the right to recover a range of damages to cover your losses — generally speaking, this includes lost wages. When bringing a lawsuit against the defendant, it’s important to remember that damages may vary substantially from plaintiff-to-plaintiff.  Every case is different.  In fact, it is a fundamental principle of law that the defendant be forced to “accept the victim” as “they found them.”  Stated another way, compensatory damages are not capped based on the type of accident that occurred.  If you have significant wage loss damages, you will not be prevented from recovering such damages simply because they seem excessive in comparison to the damages suffered by the average person. Wage loss recovery is actually rather straightforward to understand.  Let’s explore the basics to get a clearer picture of how it works. Wage Loss at a Glance Wage loss damages account for actual losses suffered due to an inability to work (following an injury).  Wage loss damages are somewhat different from lost earning capacity.  For example, if your injury has not resulted in time off from work but has reduced the likelihood that you will be promoted in the future, then you’ll want to claim loss of future earning capacity damages — not wage loss damages. Wage loss damages must generally be “certain” — they can be estimated, but there must be evidence that reasonably supports the numbers.  […]

Recovering Damages for Injuries You Sustain in the Workplace

In Arizona, as in other states, workplace injuries (and other injuries sustained while performing one’s workplace duties, even off-site) can lead to quite a bit of confusion.  Many workers may not realize that they not only have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but that they may also have a legitimate right of action against one or more defendants. If you were delivering pizzas, for example, and you were subsequently injured in a serious car accident, then you would not only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also have other claims worth pursuing. Workplace injuries can be particularly challenging from both an emotional and financial perspective.  Still, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, it’s critical that you consult with an attorney who can evaluate the situation and determine whether you have actionable claims — workers’ compensation benefits alone may be insufficient to account for your losses. Arizona “No Fault” Workers’ Compensation Workers’ compensation in the state of Arizona is mandatory — employers are required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance that covers their employees.  As such, if you are an employee and you are injured in a job-related incident (on-site or off-site), then you are almost certainly entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Importantly, Arizona workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system.  In no-fault systems, it is irrelevant whether you contributed to your own injuries (so long as you did not intentionally cause your own injuries).  Further, it is not necessary to prove that the employer acted negligently […]

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 […]

Recognizing the Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States every year. Over 50,000 of these people die as a result of their injuries. Roughly 80 percent of people who sustain TBIs seek treatment in emergency rooms. The remaining 20 percent might never even realize they’ve been seriously injured. The symptoms of TBIs are varied and not always immediately apparent to the injured party. In some cases they can take days or weeks to appear. That’s why it’s essential for people to seek treatment any time they’ve sustained a head injury, even if it doesn’t seem very serious at the time. It’s also important for people to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of TBI so that they can recognize them in the event that they or a loved one has a head injury. According to the CDC, TBI symptoms typically fall into one of four categories. Cognitive After sustaining a TBI, you may have difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. You may also have trouble retaining new information. Many people report a general feeling of mental “sluggishness” when trying to think and reason after sustaining a TBI. Physical Nausea and vomiting soon after a head injury are tell-tale signs of a TBI. Later on, headaches, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light can manifest as symptoms as well. Dizziness, balance issues and lack of energy are also fairly common physical TBI symptoms. Emotional These symptoms can be […]

The Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teen Drivers

A few weeks ago, millions of Americans came together to observe Memorial Day with friends and loved ones. Burgers were grilled, pools were opened and the sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces were commemorated. In addition to being the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day marked another important annual milestone as well – the beginning of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. Statistically speaking, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the most dangerous time of year for teens to be on the road. During this period, when the weather is nice and schools are closed for the summer, teens tend to spend more time behind the wheel, increasing their risk of getting in an accident. On average, about 1,000 people die every year in accidents involving teenagers during these 100 deadliest days. The Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teen Drivers With this in mind, it’s imperative that parents of teenagers remind them about the additional risks associated with driving this time of year. According to AAA, distracted driving is the most common cause of accidents involving teen drivers. Cell phones, in particular, tend to be especially dangerous distractions for teens behind the wheel. Parents should set clear safety expectations for their teenage drivers, and do their part to practice what they preach as well. If your teenager sees you checking text messages while you drive, they’re more likely to do the same when they get behind the wheel. You can […]

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"First car accident I was in and really I had no idea what to do. I went with Jack Hirsch. There office kept me informed on everything that was going on. At the end Jack's assistant, Mickaela, worked very hard to get me additional money I didn't think I had coming. I would recommend Hirsch and Lyon to anyone."