Questions and Answers

AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS

Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT?

A. Obtain the names and telephone numbers of all witnesses. It is usually wise not to move the vehicle until after the police arrive. The police will handle the exchange of driver information.

Q. SHOULD I TALK TO THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE ADJUSTER?

A. BE CAREFUL! Insurance adjusters are trained to gather all information which benefit their insured’s case. You may give a statement which could later hurt you in court.

Q. SHOULD I CALL AN ATTORNEY?

A. An attorney can advise you of your rights and responsibilities and help you take necessary steps at the earliest possible time, so that you do not jeopardize your rights.

Q. DO ATTORNEYS REQUIRE PAYMENT WHEN FIRST SEEN REGARDING AN ACCIDENT?

A. I charge a contingent fee, which is usually one-third of your gross financial receipt except in litigated and medical malpractice cases. Our fees are very competitive and are negotiable. See our complete fee box. However, the client will always be responsible for legal costs.

Q. WHAT IF BOTH MYSELF AND THE OTHER DRIVER ARE AT FAULT?

A. In Arizona, each driver is responsible for his own fault. Therefore, if each of you are at fault, you can recover 50% of your total damages, more or less depending on the facts.

Q. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT?

A. Most personal injury cases in Arizona must be filed within two years. But, this varies with the different kinds of cases especially any claims against governmental institutions and in different states. For this reason, it is wise to immediately contact us in order to determine the particular statute of limitations for your case.

 
 
UNINSURED MOTORISTS

Q. AM I ABLE TO RECOVER DAMAGES IF THE PERSON WHO CAUSED THE ACCIDENT HAS NEITHER INSURANCE OR SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY?

A. If you or a relative with whom you live has liability insurance for your vehicle, you have uninsured motorist coverage. It’s wise to ask your insurance agent for such coverage since it costs pennies compared to “liability” coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage provides that if a motorist who causes a collision with you is uninsured, your company provides bodily injury coverage. You should consult a lawyer even though you are dealing with your own company, because their interests are different from yours.

Q. IF I AM A VICTIM OF A HIT AND RUN DRIVER OR IF I AM STRUCK BY AN UNIDENTIFIED AUTOMOBILE WHEN A PEDESTRIAN, DOES MY AUTO INSURANCE COVER?

A. Most uninsured motorist policies provide for such coverage.

 
 
UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

Although the person at fault may have liability insurance to cover you, the amount of insurance may be insufficient for your injuries. Underinsurance solves this problem, requiring your insurance company to make up the difference. This insurance costs little and is advisable for everyone to carry it, especially motorcyclists who are more likely to suffer sever injuries.

DRUNK DRIVERS

Q. CAN I RECOVER EXTRA DAMAGES FROM A DRUNK DRIVER PLUS THE USUAL DAMAGES?

A. You can argue punitive damages against a drunk driver. Such damages serve to punish a person whose conduct is outrageous and can be very substantial.

 
 
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Q. DO I HAVE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM BECAUSE I HAD A BAD SURGICAL PROCEDURE?

A. Not necessarily. Many people have poor medical results when the doctor is not at fault. However, a doctor must have failed to do something that a reasonably qualified doctor would have done, or done something wrong which also caused injury before you can recover. Most cases involve failure to diagnose the condition in a timely manner.

Q. WHAT TYPE OF PROOF IS USUALLY NEEDED IN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?

A. It is usually necessary to find another doctor who will testify that the offending doctor whom you are suing was negligent and that the negligence caused damage.

 
 
WRONGFUL DEATH

Q. IF A FAMILY MEMBER IS KILLED, WHAT KIND OF CLAIM DO I HAVE?

A. If the death of a family member is caused by the negligence of someone else the personal representative of the estate may be able to recover damages for wrongful death. These damages include funeral expenses, medical bills, and the value of the deceased life and loss of services, including the money likely to be earned during his lifetime.

 
 
SLIP AND FALL

Q. IS A STORE RESPONSIBLE IF I SLIP AND HURT MYSELF THERE?

A. The store is only responsible if it is at fault. If the store’s staff created the dangerous condition or knew or should have known of the dangerous condition before the fall and did not take proper steps to correct the condition, the store is responsible.

Q. IF I SLIP AND HURT MYSELF AT A STORE & THEY ARE AT FAULT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

A. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses, including employees; ask the manager of the store if you can submit a report and ask for a copy of that report. Take photographs of your condition that may change in a short period of time. Make sure you learn exactly what caused your fall before you leave the store.