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Monday, September 15, 2014

Answer: Compensatory damages compensate the injured party (plaintiff/claimant) for all of their damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, etc).

Punitive damages punish the at-fault party (defendant) for their behavior so as to deter such behavior in the future.

Punitive damages only apply in specific circumstances, usually drunk driving or other conduct that exhibits a blatant disregard for human safety.

Although punitive damages are imposed upon a defendant, they are paid to the plaintiff.

While some liability insurance policies do, most liability insurance policies exclude coverage for punitive damages, meaning the defendant would be personally responsible for paying any punitive damage imposed against them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Answer: Can you talk to the police after an accident? Should you? What do you tell them?

Ok, let's be clear on this. When an accident occurs, you should ALWAYS cooperate with the police. You should answer their questions, you should provide them your information and you should tell them your version of the accident.

Be honest about the facts and be honest about your injuries. The police are there to assist, and generally, not to "judge".

They are there to investigate and record the facts at the scene and related to them by parties and witnesses.

If involved in an accident, I am not sure why anyone would refuse to talk to or cooperate with the police. 

Especially if you did nothing wrong, you want the police to understand all of the accident facts. On this same note, if you are the one to call the police, you should be ready to tell them everything that occurred.

A police officer at an accident scene will prepare a report based upon the investigation. Your conversation with the officer will form the basis for his report and conclusions.

It is important that you speak with the officer to make sure that your version of the accident is communicated.

Otherwise, if the officer only hears the other side's story, you may not like the conclusions drawn. As a phoenix car accident lawyer, I've seen examples of this time and time again. Make sure you protect your rights.

Have a question? Be sure to visit Zachar Law Firm: 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Answer: First and foremost, if involved in an accident, make certain the investigating officer knows your version of events.

If there are witnesses, do your best to get their names and numbers before they leave the scene.

If you speak to the driver or passengers in the other vehicle(s), recall what is said.  Statements by parties at an accident scene are admissible in court.  

After an accident, you are likely to be contacted by insurance companies.  Be careful in your communications with them.  When insurance companies get involved, their main interest is protecting their money. 

They will seek information that they will use to assist them in protecting their money.  That may not be in your best interest, so you must be careful here.  

They are in the business---you are not.  Any statements made by you will form the foundation of the entire case.  Be careful.

If liability has not been determined, then it would strongly behoove you to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. 

 An experienced injury attorney can guide you through the process, can step in to control the communication between you and the insurance companies.  If liability is disputed, likely you will need counsel to assist in the case.  

Get an experienced injury attorney involved early.  An early investigation may be crucial to the case---particularly when the facts are denied by the other driver.  

For more information you can visit us at to speak with an experience phoenix personal injury attorney. Get the facts. Stop guessing. Protect your rights.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Answer: These are two completely separate concepts. They can be combined, but need not be.

A medical malpractice claim involves a failure of proper medical care by a trusted medical provider, which results in injuries or physical damages.

The injuries may be minor or they may be fatal. If fatal, you would have a right to bring a claim for “medical malpractice wrongful death”.

A wrongful death claim is when a person’s negligence results in the death of another.

Negligence can be action or inaction. It can be doing something you shouldn't (text and driving) or failing to do something you should (stop for a stop sign).

If the negligence causes the death of someone else, then a claim may exist for the “wrongful death” of your loved one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I was walking in the store and ended up slipping on a shirt that happened to be on the floor. I didn't notice it and ended up with back pain and bruising. What can I do?

Store injuries can be complex.  Ask yourself: Did the store do anything wrong? If the answer is no, then the store likely has no responsibility.

Remember, not all cases are straight to the point. There are many variables that are involved as far as who will be liable for your injury in a store. Whether it being a slip and fall injury or other form, make sure you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.