What to do when you’re hurt in the Grand Canyon State
Arizona is a large state with its fair share of accidents, personal injuries and other incidents. Maybe you were the one who was in an accident, or maybe you want to help out a loved one who needs a support system. If you or someone you know are bringing a personal injury suit in the state of Arizona and need more information, Enjuris has answers.
In Arizona, you have two years to bring both personal injury claims and property damage claims. That doesn't mean the entire lawsuit must be finished in two years; you just need to have filed the initial paperwork.
Arizona prohibited damage caps in their state Constitution. Article 2, Section 31 states that "[n]o law shall be enacted in this state limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury of any person."
This state follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which means that if you are found to be partially at fault regarding an injury, your damages will be lowered accordingly.See A.R.S. § 12-2506.
Punitive damages (damages intended to punish) are allowed, though there are specific rules that must be followed. They are allowed in the most egregious cases, where "an evil hand was guided by an evil mind." See Rawlings v. Apodaca, 151 Ariz. 149, 162 (1986). The plaintiff must prove there is clear and convincing evidence of "spite or 'malice,' or a fraudulent or evil motive." This must be even more than gross negligence on the part of the defendant. Id. Additionally, there are also no punitive damages allowed against any municipality in Arizona.See A.R.S. § 12-820.04.
Hiring a lawyer in Arizona
Consultations for personal injury representation are normally free of charge -- at least, they are during the first meeting.
After that, lawyers work on contingency, which means that their office will receive a third of whatever the client receives, including office expenses. If the case ends up going to trial, the number might rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment.
These numbers aren't set in stone, so don't be taken aback if your lawyer suggests something different.
Intermediate economic loss rule (Salt River Project Agr. Imp. & Power Dist. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 143 Ariz. 368, (1984))
Cases of interest in Arizona
These are some of the most important Supreme Court cases to come out of the state of Arizona in the past 50 years:
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 486 (1966): These United States Supreme Court actually addressed four separate cases regarding questioning of suspects by police during custodial interrogation without having had their rights read to them. These eventually became known as "Miranda rights," and the Court stated that statements by suspects who have not been properly Mirandized could not be used in a court of law.
Arizona v. United States, 641 F. 3d 339 (2012): This was the "show me your papers" law that was so talked-about around 2010. This provision allows law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they pull over or arrest, if they have reason to think that person is in the country illegally. The court upheld the most controversial provision of the law.
Arizona v. Arias, 1 CA-CR 15 0302: Jodi Ann Arias shocked the nation when stories came to light that she stabbed her boyfriend almost 30 times, shot him in the head, and slit his throat from ear to ear. She is now serving life in prison.
There are many issues you can solve on your own if you know where to look. And if you don't, a law librarian will always be available to help you. They are generally legally trained and can help you both with texts or online sources like LexisNexis or Westlaw.
Are you or a loved one still reeling after an accident? You need real answers to help you deal with real life challenges facing your recovery. Get started here to learn about the core pillars of personal injury law and the common questions surrounding them.