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What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are “awarded in a lawsuit when the defendant’s willful acts were malicious, violent, oppressive, fraudulent, wanton, or grossly reckless” Click here to view the Legal Dictionary. But what does that mean in English? Punitive damages are when the other side has intentionally done something wrong. They are designed to stop bad behavior by punishing the offender. In most accidents the other side made a mistake, but did not intend to hurt anyone. So there is no option for punitive damages. However, sometimes the other side intended the harm, which an experienced plaintiff’s firm like the Accident Law Group, can use to your benefit.

Examples that open the defendant to punitive liability include drunk driving or fleeing the scene of an accident. However, the defendant’s insurance company can also act badly, opening itself up to punitive damages. Sometimes the insurance company acts in “Bad Faith” when it intentionally hides or destroys evidence.

Recently, a jury in Oregon found the insurance company to have acted badly, to the tune of a 1 million dollar punitive damages award. There, the initial injury happened when an 84 year old man fell in a Safeway store. However, the company “engaged [in] evasive tactics, including failing to preserve video surveillance footage despite a request to do so”. Click here to view the ABA Journal  The compensatory damages award to the plaintiff was $ 132,000.00 for his injury, while the punitive damage was $ 1,000,000.00 for the company’s bad behavior during the case. This is an example where an experienced accident attorney can make all the difference.

If you have questions about a possible punitive damages claim, please call the Accident Law Group immediately. These cases need an experienced accident lawyer to investigate and build from the very beginning. Call the Accident Law Group today at (602) 262-4254 for a free consultation.

Posted on June 8, 2016

Arizona Supreme Court does not answer long awaited question on AHCCCS liens.

Plaintiff personal injury lawyers have watched this case wind through the court system, and will continue to watch as the Arizona Supreme Court does not answer whether it is unlawful for hospitals to file balance bill liens after receiving payment from AHCCCS. Thus, some of the most vulnerable car accident victims are still subject to the possibility of the hospital receiving payment from AHCCCS, and then also trying to collect more money from the car accident settlement. Learn more here: AZCENTRAL Article.

Posted on May 25, 2016

What does a car accident lawyer cost?

Here at the Accident Law Group, we understand that after a car accident, everything gets more difficult. You may be unable to work, and bills start piling up.  That is why, we only work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid anything if we win your case. Working on a contingency means we take on all the risk of your case. It means we are on the same team.  We want to build you the best case possible and get you the best result possible, because we all win or lose together.

The Accident Law Group cares about making sure you do not have to worry about the added expense of legal fees as you recover from your accident injury. That is why we at the Accident Law Group instituted our ALG Guarantee, which no other law firm in Arizona can match.  We guarantee that your portion of the settlement will always be more than ours, and we will reduce our fee to whatever percentage is necessary to make that happen. So, hiring the Accident Law Group to protect you while you recover from your accident injury is no risk to you whatsoever!

Posted on May 9, 2016

Why is it better to meet with a lawyer than a paralegal?

You came to a law firm to meet with a lawyer, not an assistant. We at the Accident Law Group are astonished that other law firms do not understand the importance of your meeting with an actual lawyer.  Many law firms shuffle you from assistant to assistant, who simply fill out forms.  That is not good enough.

At the Accident Law Group, when you arrive for your new client meeting, you will sit down face to face with one of our lawyers.  During that in person attorney-client meeting, our lawyers diagnose the potential issues you face and demonstrate what we can do to achieve the best possible results.  While other firms have gimmicks like sending an assistant to your house to sign forms, we believe your questions are important and should be answered by an experienced car accident lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident please call the Accident Law Group today.

Posted on May 3, 2016

Multi-car accident issues

We see them almost every day, the highway accidents with four, five, even six cars all getting rear-ended in an accident. These accidents with multiple cars and multiple injured claimants add not just the extra layer of complexity due to the number of people involved in the accident, but also often an extra layer of complexity due to policy limits issues with the at-fault driver.

The minimum legal limit of car insurance in Arizona is a 15/30/10 policy.  That means, $ 15,000.00 per person maximum, or $ 30,000.00 per accident maximum for everyone involved, as well as a $ 10,000.00 per accident maximum on property damage.

That means, the at-fault person’s insurance may only have $ 10,000.00 to provide for all cars involved in the accident.  The limits issue here not only means they won’t be able to fully compensate you for your car, but also that they need estimates from every car involved, so that they can pay out proportionally.  This often means waiting very long for all cars involved to provide estimates. This loss of control on the timing also extends to the bodily injury portion of the case as well.

The lesson learned here is the importance of protecting yourself before the accident happens, with collision coverage as well as medical payments coverage. Car accidents happen, and you cannot rely on the other driver having quality insurance coverage. To avoid being stuck waiting on multiple people getting all their information in, make sure you have collision coverage to cover your car and medical payments coverage to cover your immediate medical expenses. The law partners at the Accident Law Group are happy to schedule you an appointment to look over your insurance policy now, so you are prepared before the accident happens to you. Call the Accident Law Group today.

Posted on April 25, 2016