Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal Injury Lawyer in Phoenix
Scott Griffiths is the best Phoenix personal injury lawyer, who runs the results-focused personal injury law firm that handles a wide-range of injury claims, from car accidents, workers compensation claims, and dog bites to catastrophic injury and deaths. Since he began practicing law, Scott has helped recover millions of dollars on behalf of his clients against insurance companies and individuals.
From the moment that a client calls to schedule a consultation, Scott begins learning about you and your case. This includes getting to know the underlying facts and causes of the accident and learning about your injuries and what you want from the case.
Before your consultation, he will research applicable statutes and case law that will impact your case. You can rest assured that at the consultation he will be prepared to discuss your case and how best to proceed, whether in settlement or litigation.
During your consultation, Scott will take time to learn about you and all the ways that you’ve been injured, including physical pain and suffering, emotional or psychological harm, lost wages and other incurred costs, and diminished property value. At the conclusion of your consultation, #1 Phoenix personal injury lawyer will outline a plan for success.
Although every case is different, your car accident case plan may look similar to this:
After your consultation, Scott and his team will follow-up with you regularly to ensure that your medical care is meeting legal expectations.
If you happen to face any medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to call your Phoenix medical malpractice attorney.
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Do I Need a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer?
“WHAT WILL A PHOENIX PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER DO THAT I CAN’T?”
You should contact the Law Office of Scott Griffiths as soon as you are injured or believe that you may have a case. An attorney will get some basic details and research your case and claims. Then we will meet with you personally to discuss the case and make a plan for success. Our staff will get to work, contacting the insurance companies and evaluating every piece of the case and potential recovery. We will work with you to recover lost wages, aggravation and frustration, your pain and suffering, and the diminished value of your vehicle.
Contacting Phoenix personal injury lawyer just makes sense – most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t charge you up front and take a percentage of the total recovery when the case is over. Attorneys front the cost of the records, reports, expert evaluations, and more. We don’t get paid a dime unless you win.
“I WANT TO USE DOCTORS THROUGH MY HEALTH INSURANCE”
Primary care physicians are great resources for general health care and maintenance. But very few primary care physicians are trained to identify issues or treat conditions that arise from car accidents or other types of injury cases. This isn’t saying your doctor shouldn’t know about your case or injuries. You should definitely tell your primary care doctor about the accident.
But when it comes to treating injuries that occurred in an accident, we would recommend you see a medical provider who routinely treats car accident cases. They will typically see you on a weekly basis to check in on your recovery and make sure there aren’t new problems to address. Our trusted medical providers will make sure you’re on the road to recovery and will document everything needed to file your medical claim with the opposing insurance carrier.
“I WILL BE FINE, MOST LIKELY”
Occasionally victims of accidents do not call an attorney or seek medical attention right after an accident. Instead, they go home, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and hope that the pain will go away in a few days. They’d be lucky if it did. The truth of the matter is that as we get older, we are slower to recover from accidents. Even low speed and minimal impact accidents can cause significant and debilitating injuries that impact your daily life for weeks, months, and even years.
Many of my clients call for help weeks after an accident. Of course, I am happy to help them out when I can. But the real magic in personal injury cases is getting appropriate medical treatment as soon as the accident happens. Skilled medical providers can quickly identify areas of concern and start treatment. Their course of treatment will often get you back on track faster than if you treat conservatively at home.
“NO GAPS OR THE CASE WILL COLLAPSE”
Another reason to seek counsel immediately is that insurance companies believe that if you don’t seek medical treatment right away, or if you miss medical appointments, then you must not have been that injured. It’s not true, of course. But that’s how they push back when it comes time to settle the case.
Skipping medical appointments makes the adjuster’s life easy because they can use the missed appointments to pick apart your pain and suffering case. This will mean that you will get a very low opening offer to settle your case. Don’t let this happen to you. An experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer and staff will keep you on track and do whatever we can to help you make your medical appointments.
“I DON'T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, HOW CAN I PAY THE DOCTOR BILLS?”
We can and do work with hospitals,emergency room doctors, and ambulance companies to pause collections activities while your case is going on. Our office works closely with medical professionals of all disciplines to ensure that you have access to medical care at a location that is convenient for you. Also, we ensure you won’t deal with the medical malpractice and won’t need a Phoenix medical malpractice attorney. Our trusted medical providers work with us to delay billing until your case is over. Currently we have trusted medical providers who offer treatment in the following areas:
Of course, you aren’t obligated to use our referred medical providers, but in the event that you do, we can usually refer you for a first medical evaluation within 24-hours.
If you choose to use your own medical providers or access health care through your health insurance, we can work with you on that as well, just know that until we get to talk with them we will not know how their billing processes work.
“I CAN SAVE THE PHOENIX PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER’S FEES IF I DO IT MYSELF”
This one is our favorite – because it almost always backfires. A National Insurance Council study found injury victims with lawyers received on average 2.5 times more money in their pocket, after attorney fees, than people who did not hire a lawyer. If you think about it, a personal injury attorney tracks the value of all of the cases and different types of injuries they work with on a daily basis.
In other words, a personal injury attorney knows what your case is worth. A person who reads a DIY blog on the Internet will not know the value of his or her case. So when it comes time to settle the case, that person will either demand an unreasonable amount to settle their own case or will take the first lowball offer.
We understand why people make gigantic demands – your accident and resulting injuries have impacted you and your life. But if you overvalue your case and demand too much, the insurance company will simply refuse to negotiate and force you to file a lawsuit. Most attorneys won’t touch your case on a contingency basis at that point – so you’re either paying an attorney by the hour or you’re learning to litigate a personal injury case. The case will likely drag out for years.
Likewise, insurance adjusters love to undervalue your case to see if you’ll take their first offer. Many people do and insurance companies love to take advantage of that fact. Recently, we heard of an insurance adjuster who offered to pay off the victim’s medical bills and gave them $600.00 for pain and suffering. When we looked into it for them, we could have easily submitted a proper demand letter and netted the client closer to $5,000.00 after the medical bills and attorneys’ fees were covered. By the time that person found us, it was too late to help them.
Finally, you should have an attorney because attorneys are familiar with the medical and health insurance industries. As a result, an attorney can work with your doctors and health insurance companies to maximize your recovery. Attorneys are also familiar with auto and home insurance policies and policy riders that could also increase your recovery.
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When Do I Hire a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer?
Next to getting to emergency care, hiring the right Phoenix personal injury lawyer is the most important thing you can do after an accident or injury. Here are three reasons why you should call us:
Insurance companies don’t care about you or your case. They will start calling within just a few hours of your car accident case to pressure you to tell your side of the story with a recorded statement. The adjuster will be professional and nice. But the adjusters are trained to ask questions that are in the insurance company’s best interest – not yours. This tactic is unfair and answering their questions may hurt your case when it goes to trial or during negotiations.
Evidence must be preserved. In most cases, a collision report is provided to you at the scene of the accident. But the collision report doesn’t have the important formation you might need at trial. Witnesses must be contacted to get their recollection of events. Or a car’s computer may have crucial information on it that needs to be preserved and evaluated. Or if a distracted driver hits you, cell phone records must be preserved
No up-front or out of pocket costs until your case is won. Phoenix personal injury lawyers usually work on a contingency basis, meaning that we don’t charge you and we don’t get paid unless there’s a recovery in your favor.
Attorneys at the Law Office of Scott Griffiths are trained and ready to protect your rights. We handle all communication with the insurance company adjusters and will not let anyone take advantage of you or mislead you in any way.
What Is Considered a Personal Injury
As you might imagine, a personal injury case isn’t limited to just car accidents. In fact, a personal injury case could arise from any intentional act or negligent act of another party. Over the years, we have helped clients who have suffered injuries at work, stores, restaurants, golf courses, walking on the sidewalk, police brutality, physical or sexual assault, and more.
Although every case is different, attorneys typically look for the following items to determine if you might have a case:
1. A duty to act or behave in a reasonable way toward third parties
2. A violation or breach of that duty
3. A causal relationship between their actions or behaviors that causes
4. Physical, emotional, financial or other harms
For example, in a car accident case it is recognized that another driver has a duty to others to drive their car in a reasonable manner (#1) that doesn’t cause harm to others. If that driver rear-ends you (#2), then he has breached his duty. If you suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm (#4) that was caused (#3) by the rear-end accident, then you probably have a case.
That said, just because there is an injury, it does not mean there is a good case. A skilled Phoenix personal injury lawyer will review your case and help you understand if your case has merit and will help you through the next steps.
How are personal injury settlements paid out? And what is mine worth?
When people call, they often ask us what their case is worth. While there’s no way to know exactly, here are some things that we consider when guesstimating your case value:
- The severity and permanence of injuries
- Whether anyone died in the accident
- The severity of any property damage
- The amount and cost of medical care
- Lost wages and other incidental costs
- The insurance policy coverage(s)
Once you’ve retained the Law Office of Scott Griffiths, we will work as diligently as possible to maximize your recovery.
WHY DO YOU ASK ABOUT MY INSURANCE COVERAGE
Personal injury cases are almost always paid for by insurance policies that are purchased to protect ourselves, our property, and our loved ones. For that reason, our attorneys will want to know what insurance you have in the event that the opposing party does not have adequate coverage. Here is a basic primer for insurance coverage.
“WHAT IS STATE MINIMUM COVERAGE”
Like most states, Arizona requires drivers to have liability coverage designed to protect other drivers and other drivers’ property. This policy is commonly called the “state minimum” and in Arizona, the state minimum insurance is:
Bodily Injury – $25,000 / $50,000. This coverage is available to cover personal injuries or income lost by others who are hurt by you. This policy covers other drivers and their passengers, your passengers, or pedestrians. It does not cover your injuries if you are deemed at fault.
For bodily injury, the state minimum is $25,000/$50,000. This means that each person that you injury can get a maximum of $25,000 in recovery for their injuries and lost wages BUT the total payout for the entire accident will not exceed $50,000. So if you are liable for an accident and cause more than $25,000 in medical/wage losses, you may be at risk for being sued for the excess.
Property damage – $15,000. This coverage will cover another person’s vehicle and/or lost wages related to a collision. It does not cover your vehicle. Like the bodily injury coverage, if you are at fault for an accident and cause more than $15,000 in damage, you may be at risk for being sued for the excess.
Note: when you purchase insurance, you can choose much higher limits for bodily injury and property damage. It is very common to see policies with $50,000/$100,000 (up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 max payout per accident) or $100,000/$300,000 (up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 max payout per accident). This will increase the amount you pay in premiums, but will definitely protect you in the event you cause an accident.
“WHAT OTHER INSURANCE OPTIONS CAN PROTECT ME?”
Unsurprisingly, there are a number of insurance products that you can purchase that will protect you and your passengers if someone else causes an accident. We recommend that you consult with an insurance broker or salesperson in order to find the right coverage for you.
Medical Payments (coverage can be selected)
Medical Payments, also called “MedPay,” is designed to pay medical bills incurred by you or your passengers – regardless of fault.
For example, pretend you have $10,000 in MedPay coverages and are involved in an accident and go to the hospital where you incur $15,000 in medical bills. MedPay would permit you to pay the hospital up to $10,000 toward the bill.
In order to use this insurance, you simply submit your medical bills to your own insurance company and they will issue a check to you or the provider. MedPay is a fantastic option to have since it permits you to pay your medical bills off while your personal injury case is still being settled.
Underinsured/Uninsured (coverage can be selected)
Underinsured motorist coverage will protect you and your passengers in the event that another person causes injuries to you that exceed their liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that the person who causes the accident does not have any insurance.
For example, pretend that another driver has the state minimum insurance ($15,000/$30,000) and he causes an accident that injures you and your three children. After the accident, you all go to the hospital and each of you incur $15,000 in bills. When these bills are submitted, the other driver’s insurance policy will not have enough coverage to pay the bills ($60,000) or pain and suffering ($ varies per case.) You would be able to utilize your own underinsured motorist insurance to pay the remaining bills and get some compensation for pain and suffering when the other driver clearly does not have enough coverage.
During your consultation and intake, our staff will ask about your automobile and health insurance coverage. We do this to know how you can get medical treatment in the event that the other driver does not have adequate coverage. And we will use your insurance policies to maximize your recovery whenever possible.