A tort is a type of civil wrong that causes a plaintiff to suffer harm or loss, which results in the legal liability of the person or entity who committed the tortious act. Personal injury law is meant to redress a wrong done to a person and provide them financial relief from their damages. If you have been injured by another entity’s intent, criminal negligence, or recklessness, you have certain rights and protections under the law.
Unfortunately, the law can be very confusing for people — especially after an injury has uprooted their lives. It can be hard to know what to do next and the proper steps. If you find yourself in a situation where another’s actions or inactions have harmed you, you should speak to a personal injury attorney right away.
Choose Mike Agruss Law For Your Personal Injury Needs
With a five-star rating from over 1,400 reviews, you can trust Mike Agruss Law to provide a positive experience and keep you up-to-date with everything related to your case. Our former clients appreciate that we got them the settlement they wanted; we’re honest and stopped their harassing phone calls from debt collectors and healthcare providers. We pride ourselves on our excellent communication skills and prompt follow-ups so that our client’s questions or needs are answered immediately. We serve the Phoenix Metropolitan Area to provide legal advice on your rights under Arizona law.
Common Personal Injuries in Phoenix
Many types of accidents and injuries arise from negligence or recklessness. The following are some of the most common types of personal injuries.
Head, Neck, and Spine Injuries
When the head is flung back and forth in a car accident, or side to side, it puts a lot of strain on the muscles in the neck and spine. The spine is made up of moveable vertebrae or discs that are about an inch thick and have bony protrusions from the back and sides. These protrusions help to connect the vertebrae to each other and are covered with cartilage to reduce friction. They are also protected by a sack or capsule that lubricates the joints. These capsules contain several nerve fibers that send signals when the joint has become injured or displaced. When an accident causes body weight to shift unevenly, it can damage the facet joints, the cartilage, or the joint capsule. This irritates and inflames the joint and stiffens the muscles, which is why victims of whiplash have terrible headaches and can’t move their necks.
Spine Cord Injuries
The most common cause of spinal cord injuries in a car accident is a rollover accident. The lumbosacral spine is the most commonly injured region of the spine, and the majority of victims are the drivers. Spinal cord injuries are different from spine injuries because spine injuries refer to the bones or discs of the spine, whereas the spinal cord is the column of nerves that run down your spine and extend out to the rest of your body. Spinal cord injuries often lead to permanent loss of strength, sensation, and function below the injury site due to the nerves being severed or broken. Victims often require rehabilitation and assistive devices to lead a productive and independent life. Spinal cord injuries often require surgery to stabilize the spine and expensive prescription medications for the victim’s comfort.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is usually caused by a penetrating injury to the head, or a blow or jolt to the head. These injuries can occur during a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or an assault. TBI is broken down into three types:
- Mild TBI, or concussion
- Moderate TBI
- Severe TBI
Most victims of accidents with a mild TBI or concussion can recover safely at home over several weeks or months and will only need a few medical checkups. Moderate TBI results in long-term health problems that could be very costly over a person’s life. Symptoms of moderate TBI include loss of consciousness for several minutes or hours after the accident, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, clear fluid draining from the nose or ears, nausea or vomiting, convulsions, seizures, and headaches. Severe TBI can lead to coma, lifelong physical or cognitive impairment, and lifelong bouts of alterations of consciousness. They may even prove fatal.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Broken bones are common after a car accident. The most common broken bones are:
- Pelvic bone fractures
- Hip fractures
- Skull fractures
- Spinal disc fractures
- Rib fractures
- Fractured clavicles
- Fractures of the arms, wrists, knees, and other joints
Trauma from the impact can rupture blood vessels in the body, and when those blood vessels aren’t able to repair themselves, and the blood is not able to clot, it leads to internal bleeding. The symptoms of internal bleeding may not be obvious at first until the bleed is extensive. Then the victim may notice symptoms of lightheadedness, fever or chills, and stomach and abdominal pain. Medical intervention and surgery are required to stop the bleeding and repair the blood vessels.
Why do I feel fine after my car accident? Do I still need to see a doctor?
The acute stress reaction is the body’s natural defense against a particularly stressful event. The symptoms come on quickly and do not last very long. Also known as the “fight or flight response,” is the body’s way of helping a person survive in any situation that threatens their physical health, such as a natural disaster, physical assault, or car accident. The adrenaline running through your system can often mask the symptoms of serious injuries, but a doctor will be able to notice the signs of severe injuries, such as internal bleeding.
Statute of Limitations in Arizona
Even though the statute of limitations in Arizona is two years for all personal injury claims, you want to start talking to an attorney within hours or days of your accident, not weeks or even months later. Here’s how the insurance company sees it:
Whenever a person is injured and in pain, they seek relief immediately. Car accident injuries are usually painful enough, even if they are minor injuries. The thinking goes that if someone is hurting, they will go to the emergency room not only for pain relief but out of fear that something is seriously wrong with them and will only worsen over time. Therefore, according to an insurer, if someone takes too long to go to the emergency room, that raises suspicion regarding the validity of the pain.
The insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. They are more focused on fraud detection and ensuring that they don’t have to pay more than they need to. The longer you wait to see a medical professional, the more it makes them suspect that your injuries were not that great and that you only went to an emergency room because you found out that there is a way to make money off of a car accident.
On the other hand, your attorney has worked with individuals who have been severely injured, whose family lives have been completely disrupted, and who are facing overwhelming debt because they cannot work.
Calculating Damages in A Personal Injury Claim
Economic damages are easier to calculate than non-economic damages, but one method of determining how much you will receive in your settlement is based on the severity of your injuries.
Let’s start by understanding the differences between these types of damages. Economic damages are your tangible financial losses stemming from a car accident. Non-economic damages are your intangible losses such as pain and suffering.
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses: Your ambulance ride, hospital stay, surgeries, prescription medications, follow up visits, diagnostic testing, and rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Lost wages: compensate you for your lost earnings while you were off work due to your injuries
- Lost earning capacity: if your injuries prevent you from going back to work in your previous occupation
- Property damage: damage to your vehicle and other possessions
- Out-of-pocket expenses: These include child care, transportation, grocery services
These are totaled up to come to a specific dollar amount. But pain and suffering are not economical and are calculated differently.
Non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Physical disfigurement
- Loss of the use of a limb or an organ
- Loss of consortium
- Lots of enjoyment in life
Insurance companies often use a multiplier method to come to an amount to compensate effectively for pain and suffering. After calculating the total expenses from your economic damages, they will multiply that amount by any factor between 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of your injuries. Although no money can truly compensate you for such losses, personal injury law makes compensation available to victims for their suffering.
An Example Of How Damages Are Calculated
The following example can illustrate how this works and practice.
John, a father of two, is an aircraft mechanic who was hit in a left-turn accident by a speeding driver. Unfortunately, John suffered severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and injuries below the knees, when he was crushed in his car. He was airlifted to a local hospital that was able to control his brain bleeding and stabilize his health.
Unfortunately, his leg had to be amputated below the knee. An otherwise-normal day turned into the worst day in his family’s life. His children have developed anxiety whenever one of their parents is driving and are emotionally impacted by their father being in the hospital. John will have to learn how to walk again and will also need to find a new career path since he can no longer perform manual labor.
The repercussions of this accident extend beyond just his physical pain and suffering to include his family, personal life, and professional life. Because this accident was such a huge disruption to his life, the multiplier in his case could be as high as five. If his total expenses came to $150,000, multiplied by a factor of five, he could receive $750,000 in his settlement.
Get The Representation You Deserve
When facing the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should contact Mike Agruss Law as soon as possible. Not only will we explain the process of filing a claim for your car accident injuries, but we will also provide specific answers to your questions and ensure that you understand your rights.
If you or someone you loved suffered physically, financially, mentally, or emotionally because of another person or entity‘s negligence, recklessness, failure to act, or criminal intent, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses from the liable party under Arizona personal injury law.
We have helped over 6,500 people and their loved ones over the last 10 years who have been injured by:
- Car accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Bullying and hazing
- Escalator accidents
- Elevator accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Boat accidents
- Negligent security
Our legal team cares and leaves no stone unturned when trying to obtain the maximum settlement possible in your personal injury claim.
Contact the Mike Agruss Law at 888-572-0176 to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation with a Phoenix personal injury attorney.