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





Please prove you are human by selecting the Flag.

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.

As seasons change and various weather patterns come and go, new accidents and dangers present themselves. It’s common for some types of accidents to happen more often during certain seasons than others. One season that is popular for housing a large amount of accidents is summer. Kids are out of school, families are going on vacation, and people are more active than usual. This all is a recipe for fun and memories, but it’s also a recipe for accidents galore.

Pool or Water Accidents

Of course, you had to know this was going to top the list. Water is a large focus of fun when it comes to summertime games and time killers. However, water can be dangerous with slips, falls, head injuries, drowning, etc. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of death with a fifth of those accidents being children under the age of 14. Pools, lakes, and the beach can be a blast, but be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible to keep you and your family safe.

Sport Injuries

As mentioned above, summer is a great time for getting active and many people utilize their fun in the sun for sports. There are many summer leagues involving sports for children as well. A sport injury can be anywhere from a sprained ankle to head trauma. Sports can leave a window of uncertainty open on when or how a child could be hurt. Be sure to have all the proper safety gear in place for your child and get regular checkups to ensure there are no hidden issues that could arise from their sports involvement. Of course, don’t forget that adults aren’t exempt from sports injuries as well and should be cautious and not overlook safety guidelines suggested for the sport they’re involved in.

Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents

When it comes to summer, there’s a lot of traveling occuring. On top of this, people like to utilize various modes of travel that aren’t possible or as popular during the cooler months. This includes mopeds, street bikes, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. These types of transportation have to share the road with motor vehicles which can get dangerous at times, especially in heavy traffic. With as busy as people are during the summer months, crashes involving these types of transportation tend to go up in number. Be careful when driving and sharing the road with these modes of transportation and ensure you’re wearing and covering as many safety precautions as possible if you operate one on a roadway.

Car Accidents

As mentioned, the amount of travel people are doing goes way up when the summer months hit. Due to this, the amount of car accidents also rises throughout summer. Be aware that you’re not the only added traveler when summer hits and prepare/e aware of extra drivers on the road.

It’s always smart to observe safety parameters during any activity we might be involved in. This doesn’t just go for summer, but throughout the year. However, the accidents listed above are prone to happen more often and frequently when summer hits so, it’s good to be aware of this timing and up the awareness to compensate.

After a traumatic incident occurs, it can be difficult and even confusing to know what the next step is, if any. It’s common for those involved in traumatic incidents to lack proper information into the rights they possess. Knowing what rights you have can help incidents like a traumatic brain injury, feel a little less overwhelming. If you or a loved one has gone through this experience, here is a bit of information on your rights and the steps you should take during the process.

Your First Steps

If you hit your head and there are symptoms arising afterwards, seek medical care as quickly as possible. Even minor head injuries can be quite serious and cause other issues if left untreated. Further, if your incident occurred at work, in a car accident, or other place where someone may be held liable, getting medical care will provide proof of the injury and help with the timeline of events. Sometimes, incidents may occur that do not involve the liability falling on another person. However, brain injuries can be a life-changing event and are often caused at work, in car accidents, etc. This means you shouldn’t be the one to handle all the burdens a brain injury can lay in your lap.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer ASAP

It can be common for people to move quickly in order to protect themselves when it involves an incident they may be liable for. This is why it’s important to protect your rights as soon as possible. Bringing in an experienced lawyer as soon as everything starts to happen can ensure things are handled properly from the beginning. An experienced attorney can ensure your rights are protected and followed to the letter while you go through such a burdening event.

Listen to Professional Advice

We often times want to argue with our doctors and lawyers about certain matters. Sometimes this is warranted however, other times we need to listen to the professionals. We hire them for a reason and it’s because they know what they’re doing. This means you’ll want to follow the treatment and medical plan given to you by your doctor. Some hiccups can occur if a patient during a case doesn’t follow a treatment plan. Further, listen to the tips your attorney will offer you. For example, he/she might tell you to avoid discussing matters freely on social media or with friends and family. This often can also cause hiccups and make the process harder or longer. It’s important you stay aware of your actions and think about how those actions can interfere with your case.

If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Not all incidents involving brain trauma require cases however, many do and you’ll want to make sure your rights are covered.

 

When you or a loved one is seriously injured in an accident or due to another’s negligence, it is important that you seek quality representation from a dedicated legal staff. Our attorneys understand that the legal process can be daunting and overwhelming. By interviewing any witnesses, ensuring that your injuries are well documented, and standing up for you in front of insurance companies, we make sure that your case is thoroughly handled.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s reckless behavior, we can help you file a claim in pursuit of maximum compensation.

In a personal injury case, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, as well as punitive damages for your pain and suffering. Additionally, if you suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one in an accident caused by negligence, you can pursue compensation and justice in a wrongful death claim.

It is important to remember that in Arizona, most personal injury claims must be filed within two years from the date the injury took place. Do not delay in securing the legal representation you need!

Calculating Your Personal Injury Settlement

Suffering a personal injury can have devastating, long-lasting effects. Recovering from physical pain is only the tip of the iceberg. Rehabilitation, loss of wages from missed work, loss of personal property, disruption of your daily life, stress and worry all weigh heavily on victims. It is the magnitude of the sum total of all of these factors that must be considered when attempting to quantify the amount of personal injury compensation.

Special Damages – Bills and Financial Costs

While every case is different, courts and insurance companies both must use some sort of equation to determine how much a personal injury claim payout should be. In order to find the right number, they must gather a straight-forward, objective list of all expenses incurred from the injury first, then add in the more subjective factors to arrive at the final compensation amount.

The first part of the equation is simple. A sum total of every provable financial expense that was a direct result of the accident or injury is calculated. This number usually includes, but is not limited to:

  •     Medical Bills
  •     Damaged or Lost Property
  •     Cost of Medication
  •     Hospital Stay
  •     Rehabilitation
  •     Lost Wages
  •     Cost of Medical Equipment
  •     Expenses Paid Out of Pocket

Once these items are added together, that gives you a starting dollar amount. These items are the first half of your overall Damages. Some courts refer to these quantifiable dollar amounts as Economic Damages, Medical Special Damages or even just “Specials.” This number is straight-forward and easy to prove.

General Damages – Pain and Suffering

The other half of the equation is harder to pinpoint because of it more difficult to assign a dollar amount to emotional turmoil and pain and suffering. The term General Damages encompasses all of the more subjective sufferings as a result of your injury. These General Damages can include:

  •     Emotional Turmoil
  •     Physical Pain
  •     Stress
  •     Disruption of Daily Lifestyle
  •     Loss of Enjoyment
  •     Loss of Consortium
  •     Recklessness or Gross Negligence (for injuries resulting from another party)

Each Case Is Different

It is important to note that every case is different and many insurance companies will not want you to know that they are using a formula like this one to calculate your payout. It could work to your benefit to have this information, but not share it so the other party will not know if you value your own multiplier as less than they would.

Your best bet is to hire a Personal Injury Lawyer who can help you gather the information you need to accurately calculate and argue for your highest compensation payout.

Many different types of personal injury cases can be classified as premises liability cases, including:

  • fires, explosions or electrocutions;
  • negligent security at hotels and bars resulting in violent crime;
  • porch or other structure collapses;
  • elevator and escalator injuries;
  • injuries at camps, health clubs, and places of amusement;
  • injuries at swimming pools;
  • injuries from snow and ice;
  • dog bites and other animal-related injuries;
  • defects in stairways and walkways resulting in falls;
  • slips, trips, or falls in stores or supermarkets;
  • mold or other toxic injury;
  • injuries to tenants and their guests in rented space or common areas;
  • slip and fall cases;
  • snow and ice accidents;
  • inadequate maintenance of the premises;
  • defective conditions on the premises;
  • inadequate building security leading to injury or assault;
  • elevator and escalator accidents;
  • water leaks or flooding, and
  • toxic fumes or chemicals.

Premises liability cases include a wide range of fact scenarios. Even dog bite cases fall under the umbrella of premises liability because they involve an unsafe condition on someone’s property (the presence of a potentially dangerous dog).

Here is how a premises liability case works:

Investigation

The first steps in your case will be for your attorney to investigate your accident. He obtains evidence proving the other party’s negligence, and collect your medical records, medical bills, wage loss documentation, and other proof of your damages. This will help him to evaluate the strength of your claim and how much your claim is worth.

Maximum medical improvement

Your maximum medical improvement is the stage in your medical treatment where you have recovered as fully as possible. You need to reach this stage before moving on with the settlement of your claim to be certain that you know your prognosis and what future medical and wage loss damages you will incur. This is so that these amounts are included in the settlement.

Demand package

Your attorney will send a demand package to the insurance adjuster outlining the other party’s negligence, your injuries, your medical treatment, and the amount you are entitled to in settlement. Then there will be a period of negotiation where your lawyer would try to settle your claim without the need for litigation.

Litigation

If your attorney is unable to settle your claim or the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit is about to expire, he will file a complaint and litigate your case. Once the answer to the complaint is filed, your attorney will engage in a lengthy discovery phase where written questions are answered, documents are provided pursuant to requests for production of documents, and depositions are taken. He will also try to settle your case at various times, and at some point it will most likely be resolved. If not, your case would be decided at trial.

Like anything in law or life in general, getting to a successful result in a premises liability case is not always simple, and it certainly should not be viewed as simple by your personal injury lawyer. Successful prosecution of a property-related accident case requires knowledge, resources, and experience in the multiple legal specialties and sub-specialties involved in bringing such cases.