Frequently Asked Questions

The concept of being repaid for an accident that wasn’t your fault seems simple. Still, the laws governing responsibility and compensation can be very complicated. At the offices of Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff personal injury and business law attorneys Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally, P.C., we understand how confusing the legal process can seem.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a legal term used to describe the duty of care that property possessors owe to their guests and visitors. Under premises liability, the owner or occupant of a property must either remove or warn visitors of a known, unreasonable hazard. Visitors include those who have been invited or allowed to enter the premises for business or social matters. Trespassers, however, are generally not covered by premises liability laws.

What is Personal Injury?

In tort law, a personal injury is considered to be any physical, mental or emotional harm done to an individual as a result of another party’s negligence. Personal injuries do not include damage done to property. If you have been a victim of personal injury, then it is important that you take action right away against the party responsible for your pain. Victims may be awarded damages in successful personal injury cases to compensate for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.

What is Negligence?

In the legal realm, negligence is a term used to describe a party’s failure to use reasonable care when performing an action. When negligence results in injury to another individual, the party at fault may be required to pay damages. Negligence may be used to describe situations in which an individual either fails to use the amount of care a reasonable person would use under the same circumstances as well as situations in which an individual take actions that a reasonable person would avoid.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a term applied to situations in which a health care provider exhibits professional negligence when handling a patient. In these cases, professional negligence includes carelessness, recklessness, and failure to perform up to certain, industry-set standards. Medical providers should have the training, knowledge and experience necessary to practice at the same level as others in their field. Examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, unreasonable delay in treatment, hospital negligence, birth injuries, and pharmaceutical errors.

What are Damages?

Damages is a term used to describe the money awarded to an individual who has filed a successful civil action claim. For example, if a car accident victim makes a successful claim against the negligent party responsible for the wreck, then he or she may receive damages. In general, there are two types of damages – compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages, also known as actual damages, are paid to reimburse one for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and damaged property. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are awarded in an effort to reform or punish the party at fault.

How Long Will My Case Take?

There is no way to tell how long a specific case will last. Depending on each unique set of legal and physical circumstances, one case could last much longer than another one. Factors that play a role in this include the complexity of the situation, the amount of disagreement between the two parties, and whether or not the settlement is reached inside or outside of the courtroom.

How Do I Determine Responsibility?

In order to determine whether or not another party is responsible for your injury, you must prove that his or her negligence contributed to your injury. To successfully do this, four factors must be present:

  • The supposed party at fault owed a duty of care to the injured party (or to the general public as a whole)
  • This duty was breached
  • The breach of this duty resulted in injury to the plaintiff
  • Damages were incurred

How Do I Determine Responsibility for My Injury?

Determining responsibility for your situation may be difficult because oftentimes these cases are fairly complex. As the victim, it is up to you to decide and prove which party is at fault. To have a successful personal injury claim, one needs to prove that another party behaved negligently, that this negligence resulted in your injury, and the damages that were incurred. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine responsibility for your situation and make the strongest legal argument possible.

Can I Settle My Case Out of Court?

You can always settle your case outside of court. Many times, personal injury cases are resolved outside of court between each party’s lawyers or between a lawyer and an insurance company. If you have suffered a personal injury, a qualified attorney can help you settle outside of court for the amount of money you deserve.