Accidents and other incidents involving adults usually result in a personal injury case. But what about cases when a child causes the injury or ends up being injured? According to Personal injury law, children don’t yet have the same well-formed judgment that adults do. And because of this, Personal injury law has created rules for compensation and liability regarding accidents where a child was involved.

Injuries to children

Accidents can happen. Every parent can confirm this. However, some injuries to children can result in a personal injury claim, especially when the cause of the injury is someone else’s carelessness. For injuries caused to your children, a school might be liable. That’s just one example.

Even though getting compensation for a minor (generally a person younger than 18) can be different from state to state, in general terms, a minor has the right for compensation for the same types of injuries/damages you will find in a personal injury claim for an adult. This includes, but it’s not limited to, payment for pain and suffering, permanent injury, emotional distress, and disability. Furthermore, the parent of the injured child can also have the right to be compensated, for medical expenses paid on behalf of its child.

Since a child cannot negotiate a settlement for a personal injury case, the parent usually negotiates on behalf of the child or hires an attorney. Some states require a judge’s approval before the claims can be settled. The approval process is usually very simple and straightforward. You fill out a few simple forms and file them with the court for approval.

Accidents Caused by Children

Liability for accidents caused by minors is established on the same idea of care and carelessness as accidents caused by adults. However, the same standards of care, that are normally expected from an adult, cannot be expected from a minor. Furthermore, carelessness implies that someone understands the risks, and minors don’t comprehend risks the way adults do.

When it comes to establishing liability for accidents caused by a minor, the law applies different standards to different age groups. Very your children (younger than 7) are generally not liable for accidental injuries. They’re simply too young to comprehend that they were careless and in what manner. This of course, doesn’t exclude the child’s parents or legal guardians for negligence and failure to control the child.

The child can be held liable for injuries it causes intentionally, once he/she is old enough and able to tell right from wrong. If one child intentionally hurts another child or causes material damage to a vehicle by throwing a rock at it, both the child that committed the intentional act and the negligent parents, may be liable.

In case of older children, they can generally be considered as liable for their negligent conduct and if they don’t behave carefully, which is measured by what their peers consider reasonably careful. Once the child reaches its mid-teenage years, he / she is held to almost the same standards as adults. For example, when driving a car, the minor is held to the exact same standards as adults are.

Since children don’t normally have a lot of their own money, and in case a minor is found liable, there are various ways an injured person can be compensated. First and foremost, actions caused by minors are usually covered by insurance. So if a minor is driving a car, the minor’s own car insurance or the owner’s car insurance (if the car is owned by the parent or employer) will cover the accident.

In cases where the accident doesn’t involve a vehicle, the homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the accident. In those cases, the victim will be dealing directly with the parent’s insurance company.

When there is no insurance that covers the minors conduct and you are seriously injured, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the minor. If you get a judgment from a court which says how much the minor owes you, he/she will be paying for the damages as soon as he/she turns 18 (in most states) and starts earning income. However, these processed can take long and are only worth pursuing when the injury is extensive. In these cases, this will require help from a skilled attorney.

Parents’ Liability for Minors’ Car Accident

Minors driving a car or a motorcycle are usually covered by the vehicle’s insurance policy or if the car/motorcycle is owned by their parent, by the parent’s insurance policy.

When a minor is the registered owner of a vehicle but has no insurance, the majority of states hold the parents liable for the damages (from $5,000 to $25,000) caused by the minor. So when you’re involved in a car accident when the minor has no coverage or very little, you might be able to collect compensation from both policies (parent’s and child’s).

In 2020 What Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include In Arizona?

Losing a loved one is a trying and difficult reality that many of us will face as sometime in our lifetime. Not only is it an emotional burden but deaths, especially unexpected ones, can be financially cumbersome. If you believe that someone else is at fault for the death of family member then you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Definition

Wrongful death claims are made when a defendant has allegedly caused someone’s death either negligently or through intentional harm. Wrongful death is a civil action that allows the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party that is liable for the death. The suit is typically filed by an attorney on behalf of the surviving family members and other affected parties.

What Kind of Deaths Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include?

A good way to think of when a wrongful death claim is applicable is to ask, “Would the victim have filed a personal injury claim had they survived the offending incident?” This can come in a wide variety of forms including when, The victim was intentionally killed, murder is a criminal trial, but you can still seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one despite the outcome of a criminal trial. For example, OJ Simpson was acquitted in a criminal child for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, however he was still found liable in a civil wrongful death case. The case was based on an intentional act. These specific civil lawsuits were brought by the victims’ families and separate from the state’s criminal case.

Medical Malpractice

If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or if a doctor is careless to the level of incompetence then they may be open to a wrongful death lawsuit. Common examples include doctors being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and doctors dismissing patients without giving a thorough examination.

Car Accidents involving Negligence

If a victim dies as a result of a car accident injuries, a wrongful death claim may be brought to the courts. The driver might be deemed negligent if they were intoxicated, texting or simply not paying attention while behind the wheel of the car.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is usually filed by a representative of the estate of the deceased victim. This is done on behalf of those who had a relationship with the victim, and it can vary depending on the state. In all states, a spouse may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his or her deceased spouse. Also, parents of minors can also bring a action forward if one of their children is killed. Similarly, minors can collect if their parents were killed. As the extended family reaches further and further, the states begin to differ as to whether those members have the right to file these suits (think distance cousins, aunts, etc…).

In some states, marriage is not a requirement to file a wrongful death claim, as long as you can show financial dependence on the deceased. If you think you are dealing with a wrongful death claim, give our office a call. We would be happy to help you file if necessary.

 


Contact Your Mesa Injury Law Firm Today

4140 E. Baseline Road Suite 101
Mesa, Arizona 85206-4677

We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.

Email Us: [email protected]

Phone: (480) 757-5000

Fax: (480) 471-5181

Hours of Operation

Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm





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When dealing with a personal injury case, it’s nice to know what’s going on. This allows you to have confidence in what’s occurring during your case and not just trusting an attorney blindly. Although it’s important to pick an attorney that’s good at what they do and whom you can trust, it’s still important to be prepared and knowledgeable yourself. Having tabs on your own case and understanding the steps as they come allows you to make an informed decision when presented with one. Below covers some topics on personal injury cases when you are the one who has sustained the injuries.

What Does a Typical Personal Injury Case Look Like?

When an injury occurs at the negligence of another party, most states have laws that allow the person injured to recoup costs. This can include emotional trauma connected to the injury. Negligence can be from a workplace being unsafe or not kept up to code which resulted in an injury. Negligence can also include careless driving, malpractice by a doctor, and more. A typical case will have an injured party and a negligent party seeking to prove whether negligence was indeed the issue.

What Happens After Filing a Case?

The assumed negligent party is then served papers of the notice and becomes the defendant while you become the plaintiff. The next step is called “discovery” as lawyers on both sides gather evidence, ask questions, and build a case. Once this mode has ended, offers can be made before the case is taken to trial. If the offer is refused, it will go to trial and be decided by a judge. However, it’s common for personal injury cases to be settled outside the courtroom.

What Happens if I Win?

A judge or jury will decide an amount for damages and you will be rewarded this amount of money. Those deciding the amount will take into account the injury, grief caused by the injury, future wages lost, etc. All angles will be considered in order to fully cover the plaintiff. This is why cases like this are often settled outside of court.

How Long Do I Have to File a Case?

Each state differs on the length of time following an injury that you have to file a claim. This is referred to as the “Statute of Limitations.” Your attorney should be able to help you with this amount of time for your state. However, it’s always best to file a claim as quickly as possible following the injury. This often helps with evidence trails and the case in general.

Some other important notes to consider are that the defendant of the case isn’t punished. Other than paying out what’s rewarded to the plaintiff if they lose the case, a defendant won’t have to worry about aspects such as probation, jail time, etc. Further, if you decide to settle a case outside of court, this is when you and the defendant agree on a specific outcome of the case without a judge or jury. Your lawyer will handle the details.

You may have heard of an umbrella policy when discussing insurance. However, many people are unaware of what it actually is and how to utilize it. Because of this, umbrella policies may not be purchased or even used. When it comes to personal injury cases, it’s important to know what your umbrella policy will cover. After all, there’s no sense in having the policy if it’s not going to be of some use to you down the road. Keep reading for the basics of personal injury coverage with an umbrella policy.

What Does an Umbrella Policy Cover?

An average umbrella policy is basically an add-on to the policies you already have. This means it covers above what your normal policy covers. Bodily injury, personal injury, property damage, and landlord liability is what an umbrella policy more commonly covers. Umbrella policies don’t cover things like business losses, written or oral contracts, personal belongings, etc.

How Does an Umbrella Policy Work?

As mentioned above, an umbrella policy kicks in when your normal policy isn’t enough. It acts as a band-aid of extra coverage just in case your usual policy isn’t enough. For example, if you were in a car accident that was your fault, and the other party was injured in the incident, your normal car insurance will cover up to a certain amount. However, if something happens and the case ends up calling for more than your car insurance will cover, the umbrella policy will begin covering the amount that went beyond the coverage of your normal car insurance.

Perspective

Many people think having an umbrella policy isn’t worth it. However, here is a scenario to put it into perspective. Car insurance policies will only cover so much and you can’t purchase any more than their highest limit. Therefore, the only way to get extra coverage is to go for an umbrella policy. When personal injury cases are presented, aspects such as lost wages, grief, etc. are covered outside of the cost of medical bills for the injury itself. Say you hit a doctor and he sues you for lost wages on top of everything else. You could be looking at a million-dollar payout for damages with your car insurance only covering $500,000 of that. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, the judge and jury won’t care. You will still have to find a way to put the leftover damages amount. This can result in garnered wages, loss of property, home, other belongings, and more.

Umbrella policies aren’t necessary or required by law. However, they can prove to be quite the backup in such a sue-happy world. Umbrella policies commonly can be purchased in one million increments for up to five million in coverage.

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim In Mesa Arizona

When it comes to a personal injury case, the biggest factor that must be proven is negligence. Many people think of medical cases when this word pops up. However, this word applies to all personal injury cases. No matter the case, negligence must be proven. Keep reading for a further breakdown of what negligence means and how to prove it.

Duty – This refers to the duty a person had towards the person who was injured. For example, in a pedestrian accident involving a vehicle, the driver and the pedestrian have laws to uphold which is their duty to the people around them. In each particular case, it will be assessed whether or not the defendant had a legal duty in some way to the plaintiff. This is the first step.

Breach – Did the driver or pedestrian breach these duties? In other words, did they break the law and therefore fail at upholding their duty? It then must be proven that the duties the defendant had towards the plaintiff were breached or broken. However, it must be proven that this breach was done so in a manner that any reasonably prudent person might choose. There is a basic guideline that acts as a guideline for pointing out how the average person may breach their legal duties. If the attempted explanation of the breach doesn’t fall within these guidelines, then the defendant isn’t considered negligent. 

Causation – What caused the accident and was it because those duties were breached by either party? Once the other two steps are proven, the final step is to prove the injuries in question were actually caused by the breach of legal duties. For example, say someone sprained their knee a few days before the accident and then tried to pin that sprained knee on what occurred with the defendant. The way to prove this is by keeping detailed records of the injury. Take photos right away, go to the doctor to have official medical documentation, have witnesses, etc. This is the best way to prove how bad the injuries were and that they were definitely caused by the incident. An important factor to point out is that the defendant may be able to prove that they had no idea their actions would or could cause injury. For example, say a random act of nature was involved. If this is the case, then the liability wouldn’t fall on the defendant. 

Damages – What was the injury, or injuries, that were a cause of the accident? Did the vehicle sustain damage, did the pedestrian break their leg, etc. If so, did any of these incur medical charges or repair bills? If awarded, the plaintiff would receive damages for all of this. Often included is also emotional or psychological damages. Of course, damages are commonly in the form of money which goes to cover the expenses involved with the incident. Sometimes, damages can be other things, but it’s not as common as monetary sums.

If you or your loved one need help in proving negligence concerning a personal injury case, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

Contact Schenk Podolsky Attorneys at Law today, your Arizona Injury Lawyers in Mesa and Phoenix.

We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.

Email Us: [email protected]

Phone: (480) 757-5000

Fax: (480) 471-5181

Hours of Operation

Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm





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Although the name of a personal injury lawyer seems to speak for itself on what type of cases they might cover, it may not be descriptive enough. Personal injury cases can come in multiple forms which could leave people questioning what kind of lawyer they might need. If you’re unsure whether a personal injury lawyer is what you need or not, here is some information to clear things up for you.
 
Dog Bites
 
Getting bit by a dog can be a scary ordeal. Sometimes, you hate to blame it on the dog, but it is what it is. A dog bite can be severe and leave lasting scars and medical issues for the rest of a person’s life. 
 
Vehicle Accidents
 
These are perhaps one of the more popular types of cases a personal injury lawyer will take on. Accidents involving vehicles happen every day. This includes accidents where there was only one vehicle involved. In other words, maybe the car hit a pedestrian or a cyclist. These cases would be covered as well.
 
Work Accident
 
It’s no secret that many workspaces and areas can be a hazard to health and be very unsafe. However, what many people don’t know is that the law protects them from this. If there is ever an accident at your place of work and an injury results, don’t let them bully you into being quiet or sweeping it under the rug. Hire a personal injury lawyer since they specialize in all the laws that protect you from employers. 
 
Premises Liability
 
Were you walking through a store and then slipped on a puddle of water you didn’t see, and it resulted in a trip to the hospital? Then you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. When someone opens up their business, they ensure a certain level of safety. If you are harmed on someone else’s property, due to negligence, there are laws to protect you, and a personal injury lawyer can help.
 
Nursing Home Negligence
 
It’s not unheard of for nursing homes to provide less than adequate care for the residents in their care. It’s quite shocking to learn of and requires immediate action. Some of these more prominent companies and organizations will attempt to bully people into backing down. Be firm and hire a personal injury lawyer to be the voice of your loved one you trusted to be cared for by others.
 
In general, if your case involves an injury to yourself or a loved one, a personal injury lawyer can cover it. Regardless of what the details are surrounding the case, if you have an injury at all resulting from the circumstances, then you need to hire a personal injury lawyer who will be able to represent you and guide you appropriately. 

Why the increase in pedestrians deaths in Arizona? There are many things going on while we are driving or walking on the road and sidewalks. It is quite easy to be distracted, and normally if you are only looking away for a second, nothing too bad happens. Though there are times when it is just that

1 second that it’s all it takes for a really bad accident to occur. It is not just being behind the wheel and concerned about others in their vehicles, but it’s also the pedestrians walking around.

New research done by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that Arizona is rated third highest state for a number of fatalities per population. Phoenix/Arizona has been high on the lists for about 20 years now and seeing a consistent increase. With everything being at your fingertips, it is reasonable to say that 11% of the increase is due to cell phones. “You’re always on that phone!” might actually cost you your life. It’s not that being on your phone is the cause of all bad things, but it does assist in distractions for both drivers and pedestrians. Last year in Arizona, there was almost 200 people, statewide, who did not survive their injuries in these pedestrian accidents.

Awareness To Pedestrian Safety

In attempts to try and bring awareness to the increase we are seeing, new education is being explored. Arizona has received funding from the government to work towards programs and initiatives that will keep pedestrians safer. Over the course of the next few years, you will start to see new ads, and new resources to help keep drivers less distracted. When you are in transition from one place to another try to stay focused and present in the moment. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes but make sure you are in a clear-headed space make all the difference. Everyone needs to work together to keep the streets safe and maintain a hyper-awareness of your surroundings, both as the driver and as a pedestrian.

Life is delicate, and knowing the right people to contact in times of trouble is crucial and sometimes difficult to navigate. When the programs are not enough, and when you find yourself amidst the situation yourself, it is important to have the right lawyers. It is not always death that happens, but sometimes very serious injuries or someone you know might have gotten hurt, and you will want the right representation. When you are facing adversity, we will face it with you, fight for you, and make sure that your safety is our priority.

Additional Resources on Pedestrian Accidents

Contact Schenk Podolsky Attorneys at Law today, your Arizona Injury Lawyers in Mesa and Phoenix.

We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.

Email Us: [email protected]

Phone: (480) 757-5000

Fax: (480) 471-5181

Hours of Operation

Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm





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Relevant Evidence for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

When it comes to various types of cases, there will almost always be the evidence needed to prove the information being offered. If a person has all they need, they should be able to present a pretty clear and seamless case. However, it’s important to know the evidence needed for each type of case to be prepared, and that’s where many people falter. Personal injury cases are quite popular and have an entire list of evidence that will be relevant across most of these types of cases.

Police Reports

If at all possible, always involve the police, so there’s an official report corroborating your story. You’ll want to have an official copy of the police report since this is a strong piece of evidence giving details on the incident, who was involved, times, and other minor details.

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence will play a heavy role in personal injury cases. For example, say a business had a hole in their floor with no warning sign. Someone didn’t see the hole in time and tripped, hurting themselves. Getting the police involved to preserve the physical evidence is an option or a photo following the incident within a couple of days, at most is also a great example of physical evidence. Anything involved in the accident that could be used as physical evidence should be preserved. In other words, if you have clothes that serve as evidence, don’t wash and fold them, preserve them, and so on with any other physical evidence.

Photos

Get all the photos and videos that you can. Many times, these can be compared to security cameras or other photos taken around or at the time of the incident. Word alone doesn’t hold much weight in a personal injury case; however, photographs and physical evidence do. Prints of photos are best. Not photos you can show someone on your phone. Taking the photos with your phone is perfectly fine; however, you’ll want to have tangible copies of those photos and a hard copy stored somewhere just in case.

Record of Injury

Whether it’s hospital bills, doctor notes, photographs of the injury, etc. all of these are pertinent to a personal injury case and lend proof to the injury caused. Since the injury itself is a large part of the case, being able to see the injury or have a document from a medical professional will only solidify the case further.

Returning to the Scene

If need be, return to the scene of an incident as soon as possible and gather any evidence needed. This could be items left behind, photos of the damage caused, photos of the problem that caused the incident, etc. If this is a severe case, you’ll want to check with local law enforcement to ensure there’s no issue with you visiting the scene.

If you ever have any questions about what evidence you’ll need to gather for your personal injury case, it’s best to talk to an attorney. They’ll be able to help you with your specific circumstances.

Pedestrian Accidents

Across the United States, pedestrian accidents are becoming more commonplace. With roads constantly buzzing with distracted drivers, there’s plenty of room for incidents involving those on foot. Over 500,000 pedestrians die every year from incidents involving motor vehicles. Another 76,000 suffer injuries from the same types of accidents. Arizona’s 7th congressional district was just named the most dangerous area to walk. This covers most of Phoenix and parts of Glendale. Around five citizens per 100,000 in this district, died due to pedestrian accidents. With numbers so high, it’s important to know your rights as a pedestrian as well as a driver involved in a pedestrian accident.

Is the Driver Always at Fault?

Many people believe that because there was a vehicle involved, the fault lies with the driver. However, this isn’t always the case. Both the driver and the pedestrian have to be within the law when incidents occur. Of course, it’s always wise for those driving vehicles to be aware of those around them. However, with busy streets such as the ones you’ll find in Phoenix, it’s not always so cut and dry when avoiding pedestrians. Many times, once a pedestrian is seen, especially in an area they’re not expected to be, there’s not enough time to slow down or react to avoid an accident. Both sides will be taken into account when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, there are other factors where the driver is handed more responsibility. This often lies with the age of the pedestrian in question.

What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?

There is a basic code of conduct that should always be followed in accidents, including a pedestrian accident.

  1. Always call the police and an ambulance if needed. This should be your first focus.
  2. Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene, even if you think everything is under control. Get released by an officer before leaving.
  3. Don’t start talking and offering stories to other drivers, pedestrians, or random people standing around. Keep your words to yourself until you can talk to an official.
  4. The only talking that should be occurring is getting the names and numbers of witnesses that may be able to affirm what occurred.

Duty of Care

There is a certain level of care that is referred to as “duty of care” for those that could be involved in a pedestrian accident. Of course, a driver’s duty of care is to pay attention, not drive while distracted, follow traffic laws/signs, and practice extra caution in work, play, school, etc. zones. A pedestrians duty of care is not to walk where the law prohibits, follow signs, not disrupting the flow of traffic, walking out in front of moving cars, etc. In other words, common sense and following basic law go a long way when it comes to pedestrian accidents.

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, whether you were the pedestrian or the driver, be sure to ask an attorney about your rights and how to move forward.

It’s already difficult enough if we or a loved one are going through a medical issue. Much less, to find out that a doctor could have saved some of that grief had they diagnosed the issue in the first place. Although this can be frustrating, a doctor can only do so much. Sometimes, they don’t have all the information they need in order to make a diagnosis. In this case, they will shy away from officially diagnosing it because a false diagnosis can be just as disastrous as not diagnosed at all. However, when a doctor has plenty to go on and misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose occurs and there are dire consequences, malpractice laws are in place to ensure a patient and their family receive justice.

Proving Malpractice

Although it can be frustrating to pay large sums out to doctors and get no answers only for major issues to arise, it’s not always in the lap of the doctor. However, many times it can be. In order to prove malpractice, a person must do three things.

  1. Prove the doctor’s behavior was at the level of negligence
  2. Prove the patient involved had issues arise from the proven negligence
  3. Prove the doctor had an established relationship with the patient to show they had the necessary information to make a proper diagnosis

Proving Negligence

In order to prove a doctor was negligent, the information they had at the time is taken and compared to another competent doctor would have diagnosed. In other words, if there was an apparent mistake on behalf of the doctor that resulted, or could have resulted, in the patient suffering harm, this is considered negligence. Examples of a mistake along these lines can include, interpreting a test incorrectly, delaying diagnosis or dragging their feet on an important matter, leaving out important medical information on a chart, etc. There are many ways in which a doctor can be negligent however, it has to be legitimate negligence. For example, sometimes misinterpreting a test can happen if it’s a tricky prognosis. However, if any competent doctor would have caught a diagnosis that was missed on a test, this is where negligence can be proved.

Along with proving negligence, the standard of care must be proven as well. This means that it must be proved that the needed diagnosis is something that would have been given under any standard care of the average doctor. Lastly, they must prove that this lack of a diagnosis or misdiagnosis was the root cause of the harm a patient suffered.

To sum it up, yes, a person can allege malpractice on the grounds of failure to diagnose. However, it must be under certain terms and be proven without a doubt.