The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Maricopa County, AZ

“In 2018, the state of Arizona alone saw over 127,000 traffic collisions. Sadly, over 900 of these accidents resulted in fatal injuries.”

Unfortunately, many people are injured every day in Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding areas. Most citizens are unfamiliar with the personal injury claims process until it becomes pertinent to their lives.

Various personal injury cases are brought to court, including cases in connection with car accidents, slip and falls, and dog bites. Car accident claims are by far the most common personal injury claims in the nation. In 2018, the state of Arizona alone saw over 127,000 traffic collisions. Sadly, over 900 of these accidents resulted in fatal injuries.

When an accident or injury is caused by another party’s negligence, the victim has the right to pursue financial recovery. If you have been injured in Phoenix, AZ, it is important to secure Maricopa County attorney victim services.

Speaking with a Maricopa County attorney is the most effective way to recover the compensation that you are owed. The lawyers at Goodnow McKay have the knowledge and experience needed to fight for the rights of injury victims and win.

If you have been hurt in an accident, it’s important to understand the process for filing a personal injury claim. Below, we will discuss a few of the most important steps in the claims process. Please remember that every personal injury case is unique. A personal injury attorney in Maricopa County can ensure you file the necessary forms to pursue your claim.

Court Systems in Maricopa County Phoenix AZ

Once you have decided to file a personal injury claim, you will need to choose which court system is best for your case.

There are three distinct court systems in the state of Arizona. They are:

  1. The Justice of the Peace Courts of Arizona
  2. The State-level Superior Courts of Arizona
  3. Federal Courts for Arizona and the Ninth Circuit

Most personal injury cases in Phoenix, AZ, are filed with the Superior Court of Maricopa County.

In some instances, a personal injury claim may be more appropriate for one of the other court systems. Speak with a Maricopa County attorney to learn which court system is best for your injury case. Each of the three courts in Arizona hears cases of different types and sizes.

The Justice of the Peace Courts

These courts have limited jurisdiction in Arizona. The Justice of the Peace Courts of Arizona is only empowered to hear certain kinds of cases and claims. Some examples of these cases include:

  • Traffic law violations
  • Civil protection orders and violations
  • Domestic restraining orders and orders of protection
  • Tort claims not exceeding $10,000

The small claims division of the Justice of the Peace Courts of Arizona only hears cases involving up to $3,500 in damages. Small claims cases do not require the plaintiff and defendant to secure the services of Maricopa County lawyers.

In a small claims court, the proceedings are more informal. The proceedings are still subject to the civil rules of procedure, and traditional laws, but there is less formality. This is true in terms of both formal procedural rules and the use of attorneys. If you lose a small claims case, you do not have the right to appeal the decision.

Very few personal injury cases are filed through the Justice of the Peace Courts of Arizona.

The Superior Courts

Every county in the state of Arizona has one or more superior court systems, including Maricopa County. These court systems hear a very wide range of cases. The Superior Court of Arizona adjudicates both civil and criminal cases.

To file a claim with the Superior Courts of Arizona, you must seek at least $1,000 in damages. There is no upper limit to the amount of damages you can claim in this type of court system. Even if your case involves a six-figure sum, the Superior Courts of Arizona will hear your case.

Most personal injury claimants seek damages of $1,000 or more. The cost of a personal injury can often be incredibly high for victims. Speaking with a Maricopa County attorney can help you to determine the value of your claim.

“Speaking with a Maricopa County attorney can help you to determine the value of your claim.”

The Federal Courts

The U.S. District Court for Arizona represents cases involving federal law or state law with procedural issues that remove the case to federal court. This type of court hears cases involving constitutional violations, federal law infractions, and complete diversity.

A case falls under the category of “complete diversity” when:

  • The plaintiff and defendant hold residencies in different states AND
  • The total amount of damages in question is over $75,000

Speaking with a Maricopa County attorney can help you to determine the best court system for your case. Even if your personal injury case qualifies for federal court filing, you may choose to file in the superior court system.

Appellate Courts

Claimants do not file initial claims with the Arizona Court of Appeals. Rather, these courts reaffirm or overturn the decisions of the Superior Court system.

If you file a personal injury claim, you may not be satisfied with the court’s decision. In this case, you can seek to appeal the decision and have it overturned in the Appellate Courts. A skilled legal professional can assist you with this process.

The appeals process can continue further if you are unhappy with the decision of the appellate court. You have the option to seek a hearing from the Arizona Supreme Court to rule on your case.

Statute of Limitations on Phoenix, AZ, Personal Injury Cases

“A “statute of limitations” is the time frame within which legal action may be initiated. After the statute of limitations has passed, a victim will have difficulty seeking the compensation that they need and deserve.”

A “statute of limitations” is the time frame within which legal action may be initiated. After the statute of limitations has passed, a victim will have difficulty seeking the compensation that they need and deserve.

The statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Arizona is typically two years.

Dog bites pursued under specific dog bite statutes have a one-year statute of limitation. Certain limited circumstances may pause these statutes of limitations from running or shift the date. If you fail to file a claim within that time frame, you will be unable to recover financial compensation for your damages. This is rarely an issue since most victims are confronted by massive costs immediately after their injury.

Contact Maricopa County Attorneys Goodnow McKay

To be sure that your claim is filed and processed in time, speak with a qualified legal professional. The personal injury lawyers at Goodnow McKay can help you secure the maximum compensation possible in your case. Schedule a free consultation to review your case today.

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