Minimizing your injuries is a typical thing after a car accident. People, when they don’t seem to be obviously hurt, tend to ignore the need to seek medical attention and avoid high bills. That might seem like a good idea at that time, but ignoring medical attention after a car accident can be a really big mistake. This especially applies if you suffer severe whiplash.

Whiplash is probably the most common injury we can experience in a car accident and the majority of people think that this is a minor injury from which we can recover pretty easily. Now, this might be true for most cases, but if it’s a severe case it can cause years of pain and discomfort.

When our head gets jerked front and back suddenly and with great amount of force, we call this whiplash. This jerking can stretch our neck muscles and tendons and in severe cases, it can also injure your spine. Suffering from whiplash is usually followed by:

  • Neck pain
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain

Not all of these symptoms develop all at once and some might even take weeks to manifest. Because of this, you might feel that you’re totally fine after the accident. But what appears to be a sore neck, might end up being something severe.

Complications after a severe whiplash

If you suffered a minor whiplash, you will most likely recover from it if you take care of yourself. But those that suffer severe whiplash might feel pain for years without any relief in sight.

If you suffered neck injuries in the past or you’re an elderly person, you are at particular risk of developing serious complications from whiplash. We’ve all heard stories where people claim they suffered whiplash only to get a bigger insurance settlement, but the reality is that the consequences of whiplash can be really difficult to manage and live with, including:

  • Chronic headache
  • Spine damage
  • Constant soreness
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Nerve damage and stiffened neck

These symptoms can be persistent even after you had proper medical guidance and therapy. Sometimes, the pain can be so severe that you can find it hard to move your neck without experiencing severe pain. This can all impact our ability to function and work normally. We can minimize these symptoms with medication and physical therapy, and that’s why seeking medical attention after a car accident is so important.

After a car accident

After a car accident, no matter how small you think your injuries are, you need to make sure that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injuries aren’t so severe, it’s important to be sure and alleviate all doubts and fears.

Furthermore, we highly recommend that you don’t settle with the at-fault insurance company too quickly. Some of these symptoms take time to develop, and they know this. So they will urge you to strike a deal as quickly as possible so they could compensate you as little as possible. Instead of settling with an insurance company, we recommend that you consult with the personal injury lawyer who knows the entire system inside and out and can provide the best guidance on how to handle these type of cases.

10 Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, you are going to be shaken up. Even so, there are steps that you must take to ensure the safety of all concerned and to protect yourself against false claims. Unfortunately, some people will claim for more damage than occurred in a car accident, and some people will take advantage of the situation by making false personal injury claims. Here are the steps to take immediately following a car accident.

1. Stay Calm

Whoever was at fault in a car accident, your priority should be the safety of yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the incident. Try to keep a cool head, and deal with the situation as calmly as you can. If you believe that the accident was not your fault, try not to get angry with the other driver. You will already have the motor vehicle accident to deal with, so you don’t want to add a road rage incident to your problems.

2. Check for Injuries

Immediately following the accident, you should check yourself and then your passengers for any sign of injury. Then you should find out if anyone else has been injured. If anyone has been hurt, then they should not be moved until the paramedics arrive. Someone injured in a car crash should not be moved unless leaving them where they are would put them in further danger.

3. Get to a Safe Place

If you are not injured, and it is safe to do so, you should get yourself and your passengers to the side of the road. If damage to your car is minor, and your vehicle is obstructing the road, you should drive your vehicle to the shoulder or the side of the road. If it is safe to do so, you might want to take photos of the crash site before you move any vehicles. However, gathering evidence must come second to safety. So, if your car is blocking a lane of traffic, it would be best to move the vehicle so that it doesn’t cause any further accidents.

4. Call 911

Unless the damage is minimal and you are sure that no one has been hurt, it is best to call the police after a car accident. In some states, you must notify the police about any motor vehicle accident. If the police attend the scene, they will document the accident and provide you with a police report, which your insurers may require to process your claim. If the police do not attend the scene, you can file your own accident report of the incident with the local police department.

5. Don’t Admit Responsibility

Even if you believe that you may have been at fault, it is best not to admit blame at the scene of a car accident. Immediately following an accident, you will be flustered, and you might admit fault when the responsibility lies with another party. If you think that you were to blame, then that’s only your opinion. So, stick to the facts, tell the police the truth, and avoid apportioning blame. It is advisable not to exchange small talk with the other driver either. A simple comment like, “I’m not hurt” or “no real damage done” might be used against you later.

6. Exchange Insurance Details

Following a motor accident, you should exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver or drivers. The information that should share includes your full name and contact information, and the name of your insurance company, and your policy number.

7. Document the Incident

Document as much as you can about the accident. Make a note of the make, models, license plate numbers, and colors of the other vehicles involved. Write down the location where the accident occurred. If the police attend the incident, note the names and the badge numbers of the officers attending the scene, and ask the attending police officers where you will be able to get a copy of the accident report.

8. Take Photos and Ask for Witnesses

Take photos of any damage to your car and the other car. If it is safe to do so, you should take pictures from several different angles of each of the vehicles involved in the accident. Your photos will be useful if your insurance company needs to fight a disputed claim on your behalf. If any third parties witnessed the accident, ask those people for their contact details as well.

9. Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if Necessary

In some states, you may need to notify the local department of motor vehicles that there has been an accident. Whether you need to report an accident may depend on the value of the damage to the cars. In some states, it is also a legal requirement to report all car accidents to the police, however minor. Check what you need to do in your state to make sure that you meet all the legal requirements.

10. Notify Your Insurers

You may want to call your insurers while you are still at the scene of a motor accident. Your insurer can then tell you what they will need from you when you file your claim. Whether you call them immediately or later, your insurers will talk you through the claim process and explain what will be required from you.

Conclusion

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, even the most experienced of drivers may feel flustered and disorientated. But, if you follow the above tips, you will have all the evidence you need to file your claim and protect yourself.  The crucial thing, though, is always to put safety first immediately following a motor accident.

Construction Accident Lawyer In PhoenixConstruction Accidents

Being employed as a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs that a person can have. These dedicated workers risk serious injuries or even death on the job on a daily basis. Construction accidents not only affect injured workers. They impact the fabric of entire families too.

Some Common Types of Construction Accidents

Given the heights, equipment and materials at construction sites, a variety of severe accidents can occur. Here are some of the types of accidents that are often seen on construction sites:

Falls: These are the most common types of accidents on construction sites. Improperly built work surfaces or walkways are often the causes of falls. Workers might also fall from roofs, scaffolding or ladders.

Being Struck by an Object: The higher that objects fall from, the more dangerous they can be. Falling objects on construction sites are often misplaced tools or materials. Sometimes construction workers are even struck by vehicles or heavy machinery.

Getting Caught in Between: Construction workers can get caught between a wall and machinery or a heavy piece of machinery and a vehicle.

Electrocution: The risk of electrocution is always present on a construction site. Exposed wiring or wet connections are common hazards. Overhead power lines are of particular concern because of the voltage traveling through them.

Power Tool Accidents: Careful use of power tools is critical to safety on any construction site. Aside from the risk of electrocution are the risks of a serious penetrating injury or even amputation.

Collapses: Walls or trenches collapsing can cause blunt force trauma or even bury workers. They must be quickly rescued, especially in the event of a trench collapse.

Violation of Safety Regulations

Both state and federal agencies have put regulations in place to protect construction workers from unnecessary risks of harm. Sometimes, it’s the workers themselves who ignore safety regulations and get seriously injured because of a violation. At other times, it’s a foeman or a manager who circumvents the rules. Unfortunately, it’s usually the workers themselves who are injured under the circumstances. Here are some of those violations:

Improperly erected scaffolding.

Improper fall protection.

Failure to use appropriate safety gear like a hardhat or eye protection.

Failure to provide workers with adequate breathing protection.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The general rule across the country is that a worker who is injured in the course and scope of his or her employment by an anticipated and foreseeable consequence of that employment is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits are usually the injured employee’s sole and exclusive remedy.  They ordinarily consist of the following:

Payment of all reasonable medical bills in connection with the accident and injuries.

Temporary total disability to be paid to the worker while he or she is recovering from the injuries and unable to work.

Permanent partial disability for any permanent loss of a percentage of the person as a whole.

Personal Injury Lawsuits in Construction Accidents

An exception to the sole and exclusive remedy rule exists when an employee of one company was injured by a third-party entity on the same job site. Under those circumstances, the injured construction worker can file a personal injury lawsuit at the same time as workers’ compensation benefits are being received. That lawsuit would avail the construction worker to additional damages not contemplated by workers’ compensation laws. Usually, the personal injury case is significantly more valuable than the workers’ compensation claim. As the legal rules under such circumstances get complicated very quickly, it’s recommended that any injured worker seek the sound advice of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer.

Construction workers must realize how dangerous it is every time that they set foot on a construction site. There’s always a risk of being seriously injured. Nearly all personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to construction accident victims. If you or a family member have been injured in a construction accident, take advantage of a free consultation and case review. The more information that you receive, the more you’ll realize how legally complicated your situation is.

Ways to Prevent Motorcycle AccidentsRiding a motorcycle does provide a certain sense of freedom. Although we need to remember that they are not as durable and crashworthy as closed vehicles like cars. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists are actually 27 times more likely to be killed in an accident.

Now, you might have excellent driving skills and you have been driving a motorcycle for years, but it’s still important that you know how prevent accidents and stay safe. By taking necessary precaution you can significantly reduce the risk of being seriously injured or killed in a motor accident.

Way to prevent motorcycle accidents

In order to prevent motorcycle accidents from happening, both the motorist and motorcyclist should abide the traffic rules and practice caution every time they are on the road.

Equipment

Probably the most important thing any cyclist can do aside from following the traffic rules, is to make sure that he/she wears the necessary safety equipment. The right type and quality equipment can protect you from injuries or minimize them, increase your visibility of the road and make your ride less exhausting.

Wearing a properly fitted motorcycle helmet and good quality boots will provide necessary protection for your ride. You can also consider getting a reflective jacket or west so other motorists could easily see you at night or in bad weather.

Traffic regulations

When on the road, both motorcyclist and motorists should abide the traffic regulations. Even though riding a motorcycle can be exciting and exhilarating, speeding down the road can be extremely dangerous. Maintaining proper control of your motorcycle is crucial and as your speed goes higher, the level of control is lower so you won’t be able to steer as accurately as you should nor you will be able to stop the motorcycle in time.  So when you’re out on the road, make sure that you follow the posted speed limits.

During bad weather, when the roads are either icy or slippery, make sure that you ride at lower speeds and as you approach corners, curve slowly and only speed up when you emerge. Turning too fast could cause you to lose control of your motorcycle and crash into obstacles.

Remain vigilant

The main cause of motorcycle accident isn’t because the motorcyclist isn’t abiding the traffic regulations. Most of the accidents are actually caused by those that are driving near the motorcyclist on the road. So when out on the road, you should always be vigilant about the traffic around you. This is why you should come to a full stop at stop signs, look both ways before crossing an intersection etc.

Car doors and blind spots

At some point you will be travelling through and area where cars are parked alongside roads. You should avoid these areas or practice extra caution because vehicle owners might not see you and open their car doors directly in your path. In other cases, pedestrians might step out in front of you and you won’t be able to stop on time thus cause an accident. And while on the road, make sure that you stay clear of other vehicle’s blind spots. Position yourself towards the front of other cars. This way they will easily see you since you won’t be in their blind spot.

Motorcycle maintenance

Just like with cars, you need to take good care of your motorcycle and keep it in good shape. This means doing regular maintenance in order to make sure that you’re not riding on worn out tires, having burned out lights or soft breaks, all make your motorcycle unreliable and riding it is a real risk.

After a motorcycle accident

Even if you follow all the traffic laws, motorcycle accidents can happen. If they do, there are a few things you should focus on. First, you need to make sure that you call the police so that they could make a detailed report of the accident. Make sure that you also take photos of the accident and vehicles or ask someone to do it for you if you’re not able to. Then you should collect names and contact information of witnesses and exchange information with the other driver.

Once the police arrive, ask for medical treatment even if you feel fine. You never know if there are some underlying injuries.

5 mistakes you shouldn’t do after a dog biteDogs will show you unconditional love and they are friendly even if they are not yours. We can agree that they are wonderful. But sometimes you can’t really tell if a dog will react negatively to your movement and this might lead to harm.

If you see a dog on the street and you don’t know the owner, you can’t be certain that the dog had any proper training or if it’s even friendly. From all the dog bite cases, most common are the ones that happen to children and postal workers, and their injuries can be severe. In case you or someone you love suffered from a dog bite, make sure that you don’t make the following mistakes

Avoiding medical attention

Pretending that a dog bite isn’t a serious thing and not seeing a doctor is probably the worst thing you can do. In order to quickly address your injuries, you first need to evaluate them by a medical professional. The doctor will make sure that your injuries get the proper treatment so you could recover faster. If you avoid seeing a doctor, you risk making your situation worse and causing more problems.

Not calling the police

In order to have a record of the accident, you need to call the police. The police officer will generate a report and even they might not be able to assign blame to the owner of the dog, they can collect statements from you and the witnesses.

The police report is important. Because without it, you won’t have witness statements documented and proving your injury will be very difficult.

Not taking photos

Not every dog bite is the same. Some can be mild and some can be pretty severe. No matter the seriousness of the injury, it’s important that you take photos of the scene and injury.

Photos of the scene or your injuries help personal injury lawyers in Arizona to make your case even stronger and guarantee that you receive the compensation. Proving the extent of the injuries is pretty hard without visual proof e.g. photos.

Insurance Companies

If you think that insurance companies are looking after the best interest of their clients, you are wrong. Insurance companies, first and foremost, think about their bottom line and that’s not always in line with your interests.

When you speak to an insurance company, that conversation will likely get recorder and you can end up saying something like you ran towards the dog or you started playing rough with it before it bit you. These can all server as proof that you provoked the dog which in the end can reduce your compensation. So it’s best to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you speak to an insurance company.

Not consulting a personal injury lawyer

Getting better after a dog bit is imperative and if you’re not at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for any of the recovery. That’s why it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer to see what compensation can you get. Personal injury lawyers can help you receive compensation for

  • Lost wages (if the dog bite puts you out of work for a short while)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Medical bills

Insurance companies will try really hard to force you to settle for a lower settlement. Don’t agree to anything until you speak with an experienced lawyer.

Fourth of July or Independence Day, one of the biggest holidays in the US is just around the corner. As is it for many years now, we can expect the sky to light up with amazing firework displays all over the country.  And even though we at Schenk Podolsky wish that you have a festive time with family and friends, it’s important that you stay safe when handling fireworks in order to avoid getting injured. Before you sit on your lawn chair and ignite those fuses, please keep in mind the following fireworks safety tips:

  • Do not mix alcohol and fireworks. Alcohol Is well know that it impairs our judgment and focus. So make sure that the one responsible for your fireworks display is a sober adult.
  • One at a time – When using fireworks, make sure that you do so one at a time. Savor the moment, enjoy every firework display. It will keep the night sky lid up for a longer period of time.
  • Be aware of the ‘duds’ – Not all fireworks are duds as soon as they go off. So in order to avoid injuries, make sure that you wait at least 20 minutes before soaking the fireworks in water.
  • Be prepared – Make sure that you have a bucket of water or a water hose ready, just in case you need it to put out potential fires.
  • Keep an eye on your children – You might want to let your children handle snapping fireworks. However, keep in mind that even sparkers can cause injuries.
  • Pet are important too – Loud noises and flashes can terrify your pets. They can get frightened and run away. So if you can, keep them indoors until the fireworks are done.
  • Remaining fireworks – Even though it’s highly unlikely that you will be left with some unused fireworks, but in case you do, make sure that you dispose them or store them somewhere safe. Douse them with water and place them in a metal trashcan.

Thousands of burn injuries are treated every year right around the 4thof July. So we hope that these tips will keep you and your family safe during the upcoming festivities.

Truck accidents are one of the most serious kind of accidents on motorways which can cause severe injuries or even death. Truck accident types in ArizonaIf the truck accident causes serious injuries, the truck driver might be liable and could pay a significant compensation to the victims of the accident.

In order to know what to do after a truck accident you first need to be familiar with the type of accidents there are and what may cause them.

What is a truck accident in Arizona?

In Arizona, trucks are defined as motor vehicles that are being used for carrying property for another entity, not for personal property. Usually, when people speak about trucks and truck accidents, they are referring to massive commercial trucks, for example:

  • 18-wheeleers
  • Semi-trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Gas trucks
  • Delivery trucks etc.

Common injuries caused by truck accidents

In the US, the average car weighs about 4,000 pounds while an average truck can weight 20 times more, so around 80,000 pounds. Because of the serious size difference, the injuries sustained in a truck accident are pretty serious. These normally include

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries and
  • Amputations

What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

Even though truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons, usually they are grouped into two main categories: poorly maintained truck and the negligence of the truck driver. But if we break those down, we get a list of most common causes of truck accidents:

  • Poor road conditions
  • Distracted driving
  • Blind spots
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Trucking company negligence
  • Unreasonable driving schedule

After conducting some investigation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has identified a specific list of actions that lead to commercial truck accidents. These include

  • Decision – In 38% of the cases, the truck driver was making poor decisions while driving (driving too fast, tailgating, misjudged a situation ect.)
  • Recognition – In 28% of the cases the truck driver didn’t observe the entire situation before the accident properly because he was distracted by something.
  • Non-performance – 12% of truck accidents occurred because the driver either fell asleep due to fatigue or had a medical emergency or was physically impaired.
  • Vehicle – 10% of truck accidents occurred because the truck experienced some sort of failure
  • Performance – 9% of the accidents occurred because the truck driver wasn’t prepared for a certain scenario on the motorway, panicked and made a bad call
  • Environment – 3% of cases suggest that a truck accident occurred because of poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog

If you or your loved one was a victim of a truck accident in Arizona and you need legal advice, contact Schenk and Podolsky today and let us help you review your case and see if the accident was caused by negligent actions of others.

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted many areas of our lives, it has also effected the way we and our work as well.

Policies regarding shutdowns non-essential work, social distancing and remote work, have impacted both employers and workers around the world. Some industries, which have been heavily affected by the outbreak and where the risk of exposure is much higher, are now working even more. And it’s only natural that workers in these industries have concerns about their health and the risks they are exposed to at work.

Covid-19 & Workers’ Compensation in Arizona

During these uncertain times, the ICA (Industrial Commission of Arizona has noted that workers who contract the Covid-19 may be able to establish that they contracted the illness at their place of work and thus qualify for a work injury compensation.

With this possibility, employers will be further motivated to minimize the presence of employees at the workplace who display symptoms of Covid-19 or that have been diagnosed with the illness.

Response to workers’ compensation claim is possible. If an employer wants to challenge the claim’s validity, he can do that through the employer report of injury and needs to provide the insurance carrier the necessary information and document which will support the challenge.

Who’s eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

In time of this crisis, when the cause for concern is a quick-spreading virus, the workers that contract the virus are having a very hard time to establish how they contracted the virus and with that uncertainty, they might not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

But in cases of public safety workers, it’s presumable that they contract the Coronavirus, or any other serious disease while doing their job and responding to a situation like this epidemic. So naturally, it’s highly likely that their illness is related to their employment. And as such, they are entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits.

But what happens to those workers that aren’t in the public safety profession? Well, at the moment, there’s no presumption for compensability. This is mainly because it would be very hard and difficult to prove the connection between their work and their illness. So they might need to explore other possibilities for compensation.

If you fall into a category of employment which is not related to public safety, and you need legal counsel on what type of compensation benefits you’re eligible for, contact us today and let us help you.

Auto insurance is not just a legal formality and requirement. It’s also a very important aspect in protecting your financial stability and health.Questions you need to ask your auto insurance policy

Before picking an auto insurance company, you need to know what type of insurance is there, what coverage they offer and what will happen to your premium if you get into a car accident. And in case you were in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to say and not to say to your auto insurance company. These things can have a big effect on your insurance claim.

What auto insurance coverage do you need?

There are a number of auto insurance forms and not all of them are mandatory. Some are even voluntary. For example, auto insurance in Arizona includes:

  • A minimum of $15,000 per person OR a $30,000 per accident in bodily injury
  • A minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage

This sounds pretty generous and reasonable. Except when you find yourself in an accident where the damages are much higher. This can impact your financial health, because you will have to pay for the extra costs out of your own pocket. So that’s why we highly recommend that you maintain higher level of protection with your auto insurance so that you are sure that you have sufficient coverage. These voluntary coverages include:

UIM or Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage – If you’re in a car accident and the person responsible flees the scene, or is underinsured or uninsured, you will be left without any recourse unless you have an UIM.

Comprehensive coverage – This type of coverage is great if you want to protect yourself against damages from vandalism or car theft, basically from things that are out of your control.

In order to make sure that both you and your loved ones are insured, locate your auto insurance policy, look it over and if necessary, increase your coverage.

Speaking with an insurance agency after the accident

When you get into an accident, you need to contact your auto insurance company in order to report it. The other driver’s insurance company might also contact you. Communicating with both insurance companies is crucial, because one misstatement can make your insurance claim invalid and will dramatically reduce the amount of coverage you can receive. That’s why it’s important that you limit your communication with the auto insurance companies in very specific ways:

Communicate only about facts – You need to understand that the goal of every auto insurance company is to settle the case for as little as possible. That’s the job of the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjuster are representing the insurance company, so no matter how pleasant they sound, keep in mind that they are not representing your best interest. So when you communicate with an insurance adjuster, speak only about facts, without providing ANY opinion, evaluation or to admit anything.

Admitting fault – Often will insurance companies claim that you were the person at fault. If they try do to that, just say nothing. You can’t really know whether you were the one at fault or not, without being fully aware of all the aspects of the accident. For example, you don’t know if the other driver was under any influence, distracted, violating some other law etc. These are all important things required to determine who is at fault.

Calls with insurance companies – When you’re on the phone with an insurance adjuster, keep in mind that the entire phone conversation is being recorded and noted down. This information can be useful in further minimizing your insurance claim. So make sure that you pay extra attention to what you tell the adjuster. Choose your words carefully.

Hiring a lawyer – Since the insurance claim can be a bit complex and complicated, the safest bet would be to hire an attorney who will advocate on your behalf. And if you sustained some type of injury due to the accident, we recommend using a personal injury lawyer as the best option. Lawyers are well-versed in these cases, they know the procedure in and out and will be able to navigate more efficiently in order to get you the highest claim possible.

If you were in an auto accident and you need help filing an insurance claim with your auto insurance company, contact us today and let us help you out!

 

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Sometimes, we lose someone we love due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior. Wrongful Death – 10 most common questionsIn those situations, it’s important to know a few things about filling a wrongful death lawsuit. There are a lot of questions about this and the process might not be simple. So we decided to share with you the 10 most common questions about wrongful death lawsuits to help you better understand the process.

What’s exactly a wrongful death claim?

Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims are very closely related. They both allow you to seek compensations when someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence.

With a personal injury lawsuit, the law allows the injured victim to file a claim and seek compensation from the responsible party. This compensation is to cover the injured person’s losses.

But with a wrongful death claim, the injured person is not alive anymore so he/she cannot file a claim. So in this instance, another person steps into the place of the injured person and files a claim in his/her name to seek compensation.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

This question depends on a specific state and its legal system. In general, most states allow the personal representative to file a wrongful death claim and this mostly refers to a close family member. In Arizona, wrongful death claims can be filed by:

  • The spouse of the deceased person
  • Children of the deceased person
  • Parent or legal guardian of the deceased person
  • Personal representative of the deceased person’s estate

Wrongful death claim – Do I have a case?

Determining if someone has a wrongful death case or not isn’t so easy to determine. Each case has a unique set of circumstances and facts. So in order to determine if you have a case, you will definitely need to speak to a lawyer. A personal injury or wrongful death lawyer should be able to help you.

How to file a wrongful death claim?

As before, this also depends on the state you wish to file a lawsuit. Usually, you first need to determine if you’re eligible to file such lawsuit. Then you need to work closely with your wrongful death or personal injury lawyer so you could file the claim before statute of limitation expires.

How to prove wrongful death?

Each US state has its own set of laws when proving wrongful death, but in general, the plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased
  • The defendant breached said duty
  • Breaching duty of care resulted the death of the deceased and
  • Damages that resulted

How long do you have to file the claim?

The time you have to file a wrongful death claim (or any type of claim basically) is called the statute of limitations. This is not the same for all states, so you should definitely check with your personal injury lawyer. For example, in Arizona, the statute of limitation for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. Same applies for New York, California, Florida, New Jersey and many other states.

How much can you sue for in a wrongful death claim?

Usually, wrongful death claims allow you to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. These compensatory damages should compensate the party for loses and the usually include

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages for the time the deceased was in the hospital
  • Future wages
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
  • Burial and funeral expenses and
  • Loss of companionship

Average settlement for wrongful death

Since every wrongful death case is unique, with its own unique facts, it’s really difficult to determine what’s the average settlement. But when you consult your personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer, he will be able to give you a rough estimate of the settlement.

Attorney fees

When hiring a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, you can discuss that he takes your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that he/she will only be paid if you will the lawsuit and you get compensated.

Is a lawyer really necessary?

Since wrongful death cases can be pretty complicated, we highly recommend that you hire a wrongful death lawyer. He/she will advocate for your best interest and if you have additional questions you can always ask him/her.