Whether you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian in a motor vehicle collision or had a ladder collapse or piece of equipment malfunction we can help you with your personal injury claim. Our Tucson accident injury lawyers have the experience and expertise to evaluate your personal injury claim and, if a settlement cannot be reached, to litigate the matter to completion. We handle most personal injury and accident cases on a contingency basis.

Our lawyers can help you with all aspects of personal injury law, including:

  • Auto accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Slip-and-falls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death
  • Dog bites
  • Hazardous chemical injuries

Do I Need An Attorney?

Personal injury is a legal term for an accident resulting in injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. This area of law covers many types of injuries, from the most common automobile collisions to more unusual such as dog bites or exposure to chemicals. Personal injury laws usually provide people with the right to compensation when another person harms their legally protected interests.

If you have been hurt in an accident and have suffered not only physical but mental pain, you should consider getting a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can evaluate your potential claims, negotiate with the insurance companies or other lawyers and hopefully help you win your case.

At West, Longenbaugh and Zickerman P.L.L.C., we understand how traumatic accidents and injuries can be and we are here to help you with your personal injury claim. We can offer you peace of mind so you can focus on your family and recovery. If you think you may have a case for a personal injury settlement, contact one of our lawyers for more information.

Personal Injury FAQ

1. If I lose, do I have to pay you?

Personal injury cases are usually taken on a contingency basis, meaning attorneys' fees are paid from what you recover, not from your pocket.

2. How much do you charge to do a personal injury case?

Our standard fee is 33.3 percent, but it does vary based on the type of case and the amount available for the client. The skill of the attorney and the facts of the case help determine the results.

3. How much is my case worth?

No attorney should ever tell you the value of the case when you first come in. If the attorney does, the attorney is guessing. To get the true value of the case, you need to know a lot of detail.

4. How do you value my case?

You have to look at the injuries, the costs for medical care and treatment, the lost income and the impact the accident has had on your life. Then you have to understand what juries are doing in your locale and how they react to certain claims.

5. How long will the case take?

Each case has its own timetable. To go to court, the average wait time is 18 months, but many cases settle long before then. If it is a small matter going to arbitration, it goes much faster.

6. What is the limit for arbitration?

In Pima County, any case valued at $50,000 or less must go to arbitration.

7. What if you do not like the arbitration decision?

You have the right to a new trial in superior court. The Arizona Constitution guarantees that right.

8. How much time will it take me?

You will need to spend time with your attorney and, if in litigation, in deposition and trial. Much can be done by email, lessening the time spent in a lawyer's office. The amount of time depends on the complexity of your case.

9. My car is totaled. How do I get paid for it?

If you have insurance, it is sometimes easier and faster to go through your own carrier. Your deductible can be recovered sometimes by your own carrier, but many times by the attorney handling your claim. If you do not have insurance to cover the loss, it must be included in your claim at the same time as your injury claim. Many times, the defense carrier will offer to settle the property damage and keep the bodily injury claim open so you can get a car. It does not want to be hit for car rental.

10. What about my medical bills?

If you have medical insurance, you should use it. Some insurance coverage like Medicare must be paid back, but only if you win and get money. Better to get all the care you need than skimp because of cost. Often, we can work with the provider and it will treat you until the case resolves without requiring payment.

11. What is a medical lien?

There are various types of medical liens, including consensual liens, where you sign a form at admission allowing for a lien; liens by law such as Medicare and ERISA plans; and what medical providers call "balanced billing" liens. Some liens, like Medicare and ERISA liens, must be paid from any proceeds. Some may not be valid liens and must be examined carefully. Each one is unique.

12. What if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured?

When you purchase insurance for your own vehicle, you should always buy uninsured and underinsured coverage. The cost is nominal and the benefit great. You cannot get blood out of a turnip, so if the defendant driver has no assets, you need your own coverage.

13. Will a claim on my underinsurance coverage or uninsured coverage raise my rates?

That type of coverage claim should not increase your rate as it is based on someone else being at fault.

14. As a passenger, do I have to sue the driver of the vehicle I was in?

You do not have to sue the driver of the vehicle you were in, but you may have to consider it if the other side says your driver was negligent and alleges nonparty at fault.

15. What is a nonparty at fault?

A person who is not named in the lawsuit, but who is believed to have caused or contributed to the accident is usually identified as a nonparty at fault.

16. What if I was hit by more than one car?

There is no simple answer. If the car behind you was legally stopped and pushed into you, that driver may not be liable. If the car behind you hits you and then another car hits that car, causing a second impact, both may be liable.

17. What do I do if I am in an accident?

First make sure everyone is OK. If need be, get out of the vehicle to safety. Call 911 and report the incident and if injuries require medical care, ask for it. If there are witnesses, try to get their names and numbers. After getting information from law enforcement, seek medical care if not transported from the scene. You may not realize how hurt you are. DO NOT assume you are not injured because you do not feel any pain. Adrenaline hides pain. Call a lawyer before speaking to the other side's insurance company. They are not your friend.

18. I am a veteran and get my medical care at the VA. Do I have to pay them back?

The VA has an automatic lien for any services provided as a result of the collision. You only have to pay back the amount of services received and only if you recover from a third party or your own uninsured or underinsured policy. You do not have to pay out of your own pocket.

19. Can we settle without going to court?

Yes, cases do settle. Statistically, more cases settle than get tried. But whether your case will settle depends on many factors, including the amount of injury, the medical bills, pre-existing injuries and, of course, liability. It is a process that is ongoing throughout litigation.

20. Why do I need a lawyer?

No insurance adjuster will pay you a fair amount without one. They are not in the business of paying out premiums, only collecting them. The adjuster's job is to reduce the amount of loss.