Frequently Asked Questions
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage will protect you in the event of a non- fault accident in which the other individual has no insurance.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage will protect you in the event of a non- fault accident in which the other individual has insurance but not enough to cover your medical expenses.
- Immediately call the police and file a report.
- Always take photos of the damages to your vehicle and the other individuals vehicle. Take photos of the other individuals drivers license and license plate.
- If you were injured, seek medical treatment.
- Treat through your health insurance when possible.
- Report your car accident to your insurance company and the other individuals auto insurance.
- If you have collision coverage on your insurance, your insurance company will fix your car and will work with the other driver’s insurance to ensure they cover the costs.
- If you have rental insurance, your insurance company will gladly assist you in finding a rental.
- If the at fault insurance company reaches out to you and you are uncomfortable answering their questions contact an attorney.
- Do not accept any check for your injury and do not sign anything from an insurance company without getting an opinion from a personal injury attorney.
A medical malpractice case involves a claim where your physician, or other medical care provider, was negligent in the care provided. This means that you suffered an injury as a result of their negligence. The physician may have had a flawed diagnosis, ineffective treatment plan, or poor overall management before and after the treatment. In contrast, drug injury litigation targets the drug manufacturer specifically. Medical device litigation, much like drug injury litigation, is focused on the device manufacturer and an issue with the product, not the physician.
We do not file a complaint unless we need to do so due to time limitations on your claim. Filing incurs costs that come out of your settlement, and it does not speed up the resolution of your claim. The cases that are important to get filed are those that may be bellwether cases. We usually try to avoid bellwether cases.
The term bellwether refers to the sheep at the head of a herd who wears the bell. In the context of a Mass Tort, it is the case or cases that are tried first and whose outcomes shape or determine the settlement value of the other cases. The Plaintiff’s attorneys want the very strongest of the cases to be the bellwether cases, so the verdicts are very high. The defense attorneys of course want the opposite. If your case is not filed, it will not be considered in determining bellwether trials. If you have a good claim, but there are issues, we may advise that your case not be filed unless required due to time limitations. If your case is selected as a bellwether, you must give a deposition, respond to significant discovery, have your doctors deposed, and attend a trial that may last several weeks and will likely not be in the state in which you live.
You can, however, it is not likely your case will remain there. There are very few pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturers who are based in Arizona. When the plaintiff and defendant in a case reside in, or are citizens of different states, the defendant has the right to have the action removed to Federal Court. When an Multi District Litigation is involved, defendants usually petition to have the case removed from the State Court to the Federal Court. Once the action is received by the Federal Court, it is automatically transferred to Multi District Litigation.
In Arizona, if you have been injured by a product, including a drug or medical device, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of injury. However, some cases mandate a specific date. Oftentimes, however, you may not realize that a drug or medical device is the cause of your symptoms. For example, in many of our mesh claims, women experience pain and infections for months or even years prior to learning that the symptoms were a result of the mesh eroding. Under these circumstances, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date that you “knew or should have known” that you suffered an injury related to the product. Again, this is not always clear, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that you do not wait too long to file your claim.
Mass torts involve large numbers of claims that are associated with a single product. Mass tort actions are different from class actions. In a mass tort action, each plaintiff has an individual claim as a result of distinct damages. Each plaintiff receives his or her own trial if the mass tort action has not been settled. In a class action, there are many plaintiffs who are typically not considered individually, and there is only one trial. You will also hear mass torts referred to as MDLs. This stands for Multi District Litigation which means that it is litigation involving cases from many districts throughout the nation consolidated into one action under one judge.
Mass torts may be resolved through an organized settlement, or each case may be tried separately. In most cases, there is a global settlement where each plaintiff has the choice to participate in the settlement or pursue their individual claim. If there is not a global settlement, each case is remanded, or sent back, to the federal court for trial in the state where the Plaintiff resides. If your case is not remanded, you still have the benefit of the discovery and preparatory work that was done in the Mass Tort Action or Multi District Litigation. Mass tort settlements vary, but oftentimes a settlement magistrate will be appointed to help the parties work out a system for resolving all claims in an organized and efficient manner. Unlike class actions, in a Mass Tort action, each person has their own unique claim. These claims can range from catastrophic injuries to anxiety and stress. For each category there is a range of values, and it is our job as your attorney to argue for the highest value category and the highest value within that category.
Medical records have become big business in recent years, and most care providers out-source record retrieval. There are numerous companies whose sole purpose is to copy medical provider’s records which include a “retrieval fee” and copying charges. The retrieval fees can vary anywhere from $15 to $100+ because oftentimes copying charges can vary from $0.15 to $25 per page. We first order the records, then we issue the check, mail it and follow up. It is also important that we ensure that we are ordering the records that are relevant to your case.
On July 1, 2020, the State of Arizona increased the state minimum required on liability insurance for auto policies from $15,000 per person to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Property Damage Coverage- This coverage will protect you in the event you are found at fault for an accident and a claim for damages to someone property is being presented to your insurance company. The new minimum requirement is $15,000.00.
Of course, these minimum levels of coverage are far too minimal for most local residents. It is critical to have proper insurance to provide support for all of your losses, no matter what may strike. You insurance agent can provide details on each type of coverage (including the cost), but some of the most common include: collision insurance, uninsured motorist protection, comprehensive insurance, and gap insurance.
Medical payments coverage (often referred to as Med Pay) provides support that is different than that available under regular health insurance. That is because there are various costs that you may incur related to your medical care following a car accident that actually are not covered by your regular health insurance.
More specifically, Med Pay can cover any number of immediate expenses, such as deductibles and co-pays. In addition, you may need certain procedures or health support that is not covered under your health insurance plan. Medical payments coverage can fill this gap, ensuring that you receive the treatment that you need exactly when you need it, without the stress of coming up with several thousand dollars in the immediate aftermath of an accident. The coverage usually applies no matter who causes an accident.
Many agents will not recommend purchasing med pay, because it is usually not a moneymaking policy for the business. Med Pay support in the amount of $5,000 (usually sufficient for many) can often be purchased for no more than $10 every six months or so. Check your policy to see if you have this coverage and if not, consider adding it to your policy.