Arizona Personal Injury Law
Some personal injury lawsuits don't involve bodily injury. Damages can take on economic and noneconomic forms. For instance, maybe you were unable to make deliveries for your small business and had to take out a loan on a new delivery van after the last one was totaled by a drunk driver. Or maybe a former lover's constant harassment caused your current marriage to fall apart.
Personal injury comes in many types and forms. Arizona's personal injury laws accommodate every type of claim and protect the rights of both the plaintiff and the defendant.
If you've been injured in Tucson, Phoenix or Mesa, use LawInfo's Arizona personal injury articles to learn about the laws surrounding your case and to find a qualified attorney.
Proving Negligence in Arizona
Most personal injury lawsuits in Arizona require proof that the defendant's actions surrounding the injuring incident were negligent. Proving negligence is often a complex task, though, as the defendant's rights need to be protected just as much as the plaintiff's rights. There is a multitude of methods Arizona courts may use to determine negligence.
One of those methods is called the four elements of negligence. The first three elements determine whether the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff's safety, if they breached that duty and whether the breach caused the plaintiff's injury. A key factor in this determination is whether the plaintiff's injury was foreseeable and preventable as part of the defendant's duty of care. Finally, the fourth element determines whether the plaintiff's injury qualifies as actual damages that the defendant is liable to compensate.
Another method is the "reasonably prudent person" principle. A court determines whether the defendant's actions were negligible if they deviate from the actions of a hypothetical person who acts reasonably in a similar situation.
Arizona Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations (§ 12-541 through 12-558) limits how much time after an injury occurs that a plaintiff has to pursue legal action against a defendant. Once the statute "runs out," a lawsuit cannot be pursued. Arizona's civil statute of limitations includes:
- Three years for fraud.
- Two years for wrongful death.
- Two years for personal injury.
- Two years for medical malpractice.
- Six years for written contracts.
- Three years for oral contracts.
- Two years for injury (or damage) to property.
Product Liability in Arizona
Product liability lawsuits focus on personal injuries resulting from a faulty product or a manufacturer's negligible practices. Plaintiffs can claim that a manufacturer is liable based on:
- Negligence—Did the manufacturer do something unreasonable or malignant during production to make the product unsafe?
- Strict Liability—The plaintiff only needs to prove that a manufacturing or design defect in the product exists.
- Breach of Warranty—Did the manufacturer provide insufficient warning about foreseeable injuries the product may cause if it was used in an unreasonable manner?
All product liability lawsuits must be commenced within two years after the plaintiff sustains their product-related injury. However, strict liability and breach of implied warranty lawsuits are barred if they are commenced later than 12 years after the product was first consumed or bought by the plaintiff. Negligence and breach of express warranty lawsuits are not limited by the 12-year rule.
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.
Additional Personal Injury Articles
- Arizona Personal Injury Laws
- Who Is Responsible When A Person Is Injured?
- How Do I Decide If I Need To Hire An Attorney?
- How Will My Claim Be Processed?
- How Long Do I Have To Hire An Attorney?
- What Damages Can I Recover?
- How Can I Determine How Much My Claim Is Worth?
- How Much Will An Attorney Cost?