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Gilbert Personal Injury Lawyers

When you suffer an injury due to someone else’s actions, it is simply unfair for you to bear the associated financial burden. You should be able to focus on your health rather than worrying about paying your doctor’s bills or even meeting your living expenses.

Fortunately, Arizona law gives accident victims the right to pursue an injury claim against those responsible for their injuries. This injury claim allows victims to recover compensation to cover their financial and quality-of-life losses.

What Is Considered a Personal Injury?

Personal injury is a broad term that encompasses any physical or mental injury caused by someone else’s culpable actions.

All lawyers learn tort law, the basis of all personal injury claims. However, personal injury attorneys have knowledge and experience from years or even decades of handling cases on behalf of injured clients.

Tort law supplies three legal theories for pursuing an injury claim:

Intentional Torts

Intentional torts apply to injuries resulting from an intentional action rather than an accidental one. To prove an intentional tort, your lawyer must show that the other party intended to make harmful or offensive contact but does not need to prove they intended to cause an injury or even knew you would get injured.

Suppose someone throws a drink during an argument in a bar. The glass misses the intended target and hits you in the eye, permanently impairing your vision.

You can file a claim for a battery because the aggressor intended to hit someone with the drink. Even if they did not intend to hit you with the glass or blind you, they still had the requisite intent for you to pursue a civil battery case.

Negligence

Most injury claims rely on negligence. In a negligence claim, your lawyer does not need to prove intent. Instead, they only need to show that the other party knew or should have known their conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances. Examples of cases that arise under negligence law include:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Drowning accidents
  • Nursing home accidents

These cases generally result from carelessness or neglect rather than intentional actions. To prove negligence, you must show:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care
  • They breached this duty by failing to exercise reasonable care
  • You suffered damages
  • The breach caused your damages

The key to proving a personal injury claim based on negligence is the breach of duty. The duty of care is based on what a reasonable person of ordinary prudence would have done. This means the claims adjuster or jury must be convinced that the other party’s actions exposed you to an unreasonable risk of injury or death.

Strict Liability

Strict liability applies to a narrow set of claims associated with inherently dangerous activities. The two main areas of personal injury that rely on strict liability are product liability and dog bites.

When you get injured by a dangerous product, you do not need to prove the manufacturer was negligent in injuring you or intended to injure you. Instead, you only need to prove the product was defective when it left the manufacturer. This defect can arise in the product’s design, manufacture, or warnings.

Arizona imposes strict liability on dog owners for unprovoked dog attacks. This means you can pursue a claim regardless of the dog’s bite history or the reasonableness of the owner’s attempts to restrain the dog.

Even if the dog owner acts reasonably based on the dog’s history and personality, they are still liable for dog bites as long as you were lawfully on public or private property at the time.

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

After you suffer an injury, you should focus on your health. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you shift the burden of dealing with claims adjusters and insurance defense lawyers to someone with the experience, knowledge, and patience to deal with them. This frees you up to deal with your treatment and therapy. In fact, there are several tasks you can shift to a personal injury attorney:

Investigating the Accident

Insurers only pay claims supported by evidence. The attorney you hire will listen to your story and gather as much information as possible about your accident and injuries. This information will include:

  • Medical records
  • Accident reports, if any
  • Photos or videos of the incident and its aftermath
  • Witness statements describing what third parties saw or heard

This information helps the lawyer assemble your claim’s factual and legal arguments. It can also lead the lawyer to additional evidence that may be germane to your claim.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Most injury claims start with an insurance company. Examples of insurance policies that cover personal injuries include:

  • Auto insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • General business liability insurance
  • Medical malpractice insurance

Your lawyer will assemble your claim and file it. The claim includes a description of what happened and the injuries you suffered as a result. It will also include evidence to support your version of the story.

The insurance company assigns your claim to an adjuster. The adjuster also investigates your claim. However, their goal is to protect the insurance company from paying claims it has no legal obligation to pay. This means they will force you to prove your case with reliable evidence.

Responding to Claim Denials

Claims adjusters deny claims they believe the insurance company has no obligation to pay. Adjusters can deny claims for many reasons, including:

  • The policyholder did not cause your injury
  • The policyholder did not act negligently
  • Your injuries were not caused by the policyholder’s actions

When you receive a claim rejection, the insurer will usually explain how you can challenge the claim denial. In some cases, you can overcome the denial by submitting additional evidence or legal arguments.

Negotiating a Settlement

Claims adjusters offer a settlement when they finally accept a claim. However, you should not accept the offer too quickly. In many cases, the initial offer is far below the case’s value. By making a low offer, adjusters hope to accomplish two goals.

First, they want you to accept a low offer to save the insurer money. Insurance companies do not earn profits by paying out too many claims or paying them too generously.

Second, by making a low offer, they leave room for negotiation. This allows the adjuster space to still get a good deal for their employer if you reject the initial low offer and counteroffer.

As lawyers, we are trained negotiators. We also have experience negotiating hundreds of settlements and trying to get our clients the best possible offers.

Filing a Lawsuit

When an adjuster persists in a claim denial, we will advise you whether to file a lawsuit. If you choose to proceed with a lawsuit, we prepare the pleadings and file them in court. We shepherd your case through the discovery process by exchanging evidence with the other party.

Most injury lawsuits never reach trial. If your case does not settle before trial, we will present your evidence to a jury and argue for the greatest possible compensation justified by the facts and the law.

Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?

The best way to determine whether you have a personal injury claim is to speak to the Gilbert personal injury lawyers at Torgenson Law.

Since 2014, the firm has represented injured victims against the people and businesses responsible for harming them. We can assess your situation and determine whether you have a claim for your injuries.

The purpose of personal injury claims is to seek justice and compensation for injuries suffered due to the wrongful or otherwise culpable actions of a person or business. You have a personal injury claim when you meet several elements.

Injury

You must have suffered a bodily or mental injury. Bodily injuries can include new injuries caused by the other party as well as pre-existing injuries worsened by the other party’s conduct.

For example, suppose that you had knee pain from worn cartilage due to an old injury. After a car accident, you needed knee surgery to repair cartilage torn in the accident. You can likely pursue a claim for the additional damage to your knee from the crash.

Claims adjusters and juries often view mental injuries without any accompanying physical injury with skepticism. But if you can show that the incident was especially traumatic or harrowing, such as witnessing the death of a loved one, you might have a personal injury claim.

Wrongful Actions by Another

You must have a tort claim under one of the three types of torts. This means we must gather evidence showing what happened and who caused it. In some cases, like a car accident, the link between the injuries and the at-fault party is clear.

In other cases, we may need to investigate and consult with experts to piece together what happened. For example, if you were injured in a building collapse on a construction site, you may need to speak to engineers and other experts to identify how your accident happened.

Losses

We must prove that you incurred losses. If you suffer an injury, you will likely have both economic and non-economic losses, including medical bills and lost income. Any losses will support a personal injury claim.

Keep in mind that the compensation you recover will only cover your proven losses. If your losses are minimal, you will likely recover only minimal compensation.

Causal Link

We must prove a causal link between the wrongful conduct and the losses you suffered. There must be a factual and logical connection that will enable a claims adjuster or jury to say that the injuries and losses were a natural and foreseeable result of the conduct.

This does not mean the outcome was intended. Instead, it means a reasonable person would understand that the conduct could foreseeably produce the injury.

Compensation Available in a Gilbert Personal Injury Case

Your compensation will be unique to your case. It will depend on your economic and non-economic losses from your injuries. Your economic losses cover the financial impacts of your injuries. They can include both costs incurred and income you were not able to earn. Examples of economic losses from an injury include:

  • Past medical expenses for treatment, therapy, and medication
  • Future medical costs for reasonably necessary treatment and therapy
  • Past income losses from missed work
  • Future earning losses from ongoing disabilities
  • Reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket expenses

When we file your insurance claim or lawsuit, we must have evidence of your economic losses. This evidence might include:

  • Paystubs
  • Timecards
  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Receipts
  • Medical bills

Non-economic losses encompass the impact of your injuries on your quality of life. Pain, mental anguish, and disabilities can erode your happiness and enjoyment of life, separate from any financial costs.

You can pursue compensation for these losses based on the severity and duration of your injuries. Significant and permanent injuries will justify greater compensation than temporary or minor injuries.

Assessing the value of a claim is a key step early in your case. You need to know the value of your case so you can make informed and strategic decisions. By knowing the value of your case, you will know when you have received a fair settlement offer and how much to seek from a jury.

Over the past 10 years, Torgenson Law has handled hundreds of cases. Our knowledgeable Gilbert personal injury lawyers can review your situation and explain the compensation you may seek in a personal injury claim.

The Types of Cases We See Most in Gilbert

Personal injury cases can take many different forms depending on how you were injured. We accept several types of cases in Gilbert.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of accidental injury and death. Whether you were a motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist when you were injured, we can gather the evidence to pursue a claim against negligent drivers.

Premises Liability

Property owners, managers, and tenants are legally obligated to keep their premises reasonably safe for guests. We can pursue a premises liability claim when you get injured on someone else’s property due to their failure to exercise reasonable care in maintaining it.

Work-Related Injuries

In Arizona, almost all workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. But many of these workers do not know they can also pursue a personal injury case against anyone who contributed to their injuries, other than their employer.

For example, you might have a claim against a negligent driver who crashed into your work truck.

Wrongful Death

Family members bring wrongful death claims after someone dies due to someone else’s actions. These claims help you recover burial expenses, lost financial support, and other losses arising from the death.

Contact Torgenson Law’s Personal Injury Lawyers in Gilbert Today

Personal injury cases are based on justice. The people or businesses that injured you should bear the consequences of their actions. You deserve to be compensated for your losses and returned to the position you were in before your injury, if possible. A personal injury claim serves both of these goals.

Torgenson Law is 100% focused on personal injury law. The firm’s lawyers have decades of experience standing up to at-fault parties and their insurers. Contact Torgenson Law to learn how we can help you with your personal injury claim.