Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 20, 2011

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A personal injury claim is a lawsuit in which a victim attempts to recover damages from the party responsible for the injury. Under the law, every person is required to behave with reasonable care to avoid injuring others. On top of that basic standard of care, doctors are expected to behave with the professionalism of reasonably competent doctors, and nursing home staff members are expected to provide a reasonable level of care as well. In the event that an individual fails to behave according to this standard, he or she can be subject to personal injury liability.

Types of ArizonaPersonal Injury Liability

There are a number of different situations where you may be able to make a personal injury claim and recover for your Arizona personal injury damages. For example:

  • You may be able to sue and recover damages if you were injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or boat accident.
  • A nursing home that is negligent in providing care may have to assume personal injury liability and pay damages.
  • A doctor who provided insufficient care, who made a mistake, or who misdiagnosed you may be responsible for your Arizona personal injury.
  • The owner of a building or a home may be responsible for any injury that befalls you on their premises.
  • The manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a product may be responsible for personal injury resulting from that product.
  • A person who owns a dog that bites you may be financially responsible for your personal injury damages.

Filing an Arizona Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, as in every state, tort law is the body of law that applies to personal injuries and that is used to determine personal injury liability. While different standards apply in certain cases, a general negligence standard applies in the vast majority of situations. This means you have to prove that the defendant breached his or her reasonable duty of care (or that the professional, such as the doctor, did not behave with the skill of a reasonable professional). You also have to prove that the breach led to the injury and that you actually were injured.

In Arizona, you have two years from the date of the injury to file your personal injury lawsuit, in most cases. This means you should consult with an Arizona personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out what you need to do to prove personal injury liability under the law, and to learn what you need to do to recover for your Arizona personal injury claim.

What Do You Have To Prove?

The standard of proof differs in different types of Arizona personal injury cases. For example:

  • In a dog bite case, strict liability applies under Arizona law. This means if you are bitten by a dog in a public place, or while an invited guest on the dog owner’s property, the dog owner is automatically liable for your injuries even if the dog has never bitten anyone before.
  • Arizona law also imposes strict liability for defective products claims. If you use a product as it was intended and are injured by it, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer can automatically face personal injury liability, even if there was no negligence.
  • Arizona law imposes three different standards for premises liability law. The highest duty is owed to invitees, or those invited to a premises for the benefit of the owner or to do business with the owner. Invited guests, or licensees, also must be provided a reasonably safe premises and must be warned of dangers.

Because different standards of proof are used depending on the type of Arizona personal injury case, it is a good idea to speak to an Arizona accident attorney to understand what you need to prove for your particular personal injury claim.

Collecting Damages

In Arizona, you are entitled to recover a full range of damages. In fact, according to the Arizona Constitution, “No law shall be enacted limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury to another.” This means that, unlike many neighboring states, Arizona imposes no limitations on punitive damages or on non-economic damages.

Typical damages for Arizona personal injury cases include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, wrongful death, and punitive damages in the event that the defendant was willful or egregiously reckless in his or her behavior leading to the injury.

Getting Help

If you are looking for an Arizona personal injury attorney, Wattel & York can help. As one of the leading personal injury law firms in the country, Wattel & York has recovered over $10 million in damages for their clients. Their experience in personal injury cases includes claims from automobile accidents, nursing home negligence cases, and product liability cases, among others. If someone has injured you or one of your family members, a call to Wattel & York can be the key to protecting your legal rights and winning your Arizona personal injury claim.