If you were severely injured in an accident in Phoenix, you likely have costly medical expenses and other losses you never planned for. If you aren’t able to work while recovering, you could also lose your primary source of income. As expenses start to pile up, you can quickly find yourself struggling to keep up financially after an accident.
If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you shouldn’t be responsible for any costs related to the accident. You may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault party through a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. To bring a successful claim or lawsuit, it is crucial to secure the help of an accomplished personal injury lawyer.
At Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer in Phoenix, we have the knowledge and experience to help you hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation in Arizona
There are several types of personal injury compensation, also referred to as “damages.” The primary types of personal injury damages are compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages can be broken down into three categories: special, general, and wrongful death.
Compensatory damages are designed to help reimburse you for the financial and non-financial losses you suffered due to the accident. Receiving compensatory damages is the main goal of every personal injury case. This type of compensation is available to those injured by someone else’s negligence. The three core types of compensatory damages cover the following:
Special Compensatory Damages
Special compensatory damages are commonly called “economic damages.” Special compensatory damages are meant to compensate you for the financial losses you incurred due to your injury.
Some examples of special compensatory damages include the following:
- Medical expenses – You can recover compensation for present and future medical costs associated with your recovery. Hospital bills, rehabilitative care bills, the cost of medical transportation, prescription medication expenses, in-home care costs, and medical equipment costs could all be covered.
- Lost income – If you had to take time off from work to recover from your injuries, you likely lost income that you would have been able to earn otherwise. By presenting evidence of missed work along with your medical records, you could claim compensation for lost wages.
- Future lost earnings – If you were temporarily or permanently disabled due to the accident, you might not be able to perform the same job or might be placed on light duty, which could mean a decrease in income. You could pursue compensation for reduced earning capacity in these cases.
- Other financial losses – If you lost a valuable family heirloom, had to cancel a vacation, or incurred other monetary losses due to the accident, you could recoup those financial losses as well.
- Property damage – If you suffered personal property damage in the accident, such as damage to a vehicle, you could recover the cost of vehicle repairs or replacement from the at-fault party.
General Compensatory Damages
In addition to your financial losses, you can also recover compensation for certain non-financial damages you suffered after the accident. These losses can be more difficult to quantify, but a skilled personal injury attorney will have the tools to help you figure out how much you should demand. Examples of general compensatory damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering – You can be compensated for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish you suffered because of the accident. Pain and suffering damages also cover post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other psychological injuries.
- Loss of quality of life – Many injury victims cannot enjoy the same activities that they enjoyed before an accident. For example, you could pursue damages for loss of quality of life if the accident left you unable to walk.
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you could be entitled to recover certain special and general compensatory damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common examples of wrongful death damages include the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses – Special compensatory damages can help offset funeral and burial expenses.
- Medical costs – If your loved one required medical care before they passed away, you could obtain special compensatory damages for their medical expenses.
- Loss of consortium – The spouse of someone lost due to negligence can seek compensation for loss of consortium or companionship.
- Loss of income – If you relied on your loved one for financial support, you could pursue compensation for their lost income.
- Pain and suffering – You and your family could pursue pain and suffering damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, PTSD, and other types of mental and emotional suffering you endured from your loved one’s death.
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to “punish” the at-fault party for outrageous misconduct or malicious intent. The purpose of awarding these damages is to deter the defendant from future similar behavior. The standard of proof for punitive damages is much higher than for compensatory damages. To obtain punitive damages, you have to prove that the defendant acted with malicious intent, which can be challenging. As a result, punitive damages are rarely awarded.
Arizona’s Negligence Laws
Arizona is a comparative negligence state. In Arizona, you can recover personal injury compensation even if you are partly at fault for an accident. However, the amount you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if a jury finds that you were 25 percent at fault for an auto accident, the at-fault driver will still be responsible for 75 percent of your total losses.
Because Arizona is a “pure” comparative negligence state, you can even pursue compensation if you are at fault for 99 percent of an accident. You would only be entitled to compensation for one percent of your total damages, though.
Is There a “Damages Cap” in Arizona Personal Injury Cases?
While some states place a cap on the amount of damages an injured person can recover after an accident, no such damage cap exists in Arizona. Arizona state law prohibits placing limits on compensation that can be recovered.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Phoenix, AZ Today
If you were injured in an accident that another person caused, you have a legal right to seek financial relief. The Phoenix-based legal team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer has the resources to conduct a full investigation of the accident, document your damages, gather evidence to back up your claim, and aggressively seek the compensation you deserve.
Call us or visit our online contact page for a free case review.