Arizona Personal Injury Verdicts

The average jury award in Arizona personal injury cases is $820,486. The median compensatory award for personal injury trials in Arizona is $30,000. Plaintiffs struggle on liability in Arizona: plaintiffs received damages in 40 percent of personal injury cases that go to trial. The national average is around 53%.

Arizona Personal Injury Verdicts and Settlements

$31.5 Million Verdict (2023 Arizona): This is a childbirth malpractice claim. The plaintiff’s birth injury lawsuit alleged the healthcare provider inappropriately administered Pitocin during her labor despite signs that her son was in distress and suffering from oxygen deprivation. The child developed cerebral palsy as a result of loss of oxygen to his brain. The jury found Banner Health 57% liable, with the remaining liability attributed to a physician who reached a confidential settlement prior to the trial. Banner Health did not make any settlement offer.

$15,000 Verdict (2023 Arizona): The plaintiff was stopped at a red light at an intersection when the defendant allegedly ran into him from behind. The plaintiff suffered unspecified personal injuries (which usually means soft tissue things like sprains).

$216,000 Verdict (2023 Arizona): The plaintiff was reportedly a patron at a convenience store owned, operated and managed by defendant Circle K Stores Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz., to purchase ice. The plaintiff said when he was walking in or near the store’s freezer, he slipped and fell on ice that was present on the floor.

$1,250,000 Verdict (2020 Arizona): A man was T-boned by a pickup truck, suffering severe injuries. The jury ruled in favor of the man, awarding him $1,250,000.

$220,000 Verdict (2020 Arizona): A man was struck in a hotel parking lot, resulting in a torn left rotator cuff. The Maricopa County jury found the at-fault driver 90 percent liable and awarded $220,000.

$250,000 Verdict (2019 Arizona): A veterinarian providing care for a dog at its owner’s home was mauled, suffering severe bite wounds. The Pima County jury awarded $250,000.

$5,000,000 Verdict (2019 Arizona): A 22-year-old man was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer. His parents and wife, alleging the truck driver’s negligence, were awarded $5,000,000 by a Maricopa County jury.

$24,100,000 Verdict (2018 Arizona): A 57-year-old man operating a helicopter suffered a crash due to transmission failure. Resulting in paraplegia and multiple injuries, a Maricopa County jury awarded $24,100,000.

$7,000,000 Settlement (2017 Arizona): A 40-year-old woman suffered permanent brain damage and quadriparesis due to the VA staff’s alleged negligence in respiratory therapy. The case settled for $7,000,000.

$500,000 Verdict (2014 Arizona): A dental office manager accused her employer of sexual harassment and wrongful termination. A Maricopa County jury awarded her $500,000.

Arizona Personal Injury Law

Below is a summary of some of the key personal injury laws in Arizona.

2-Year Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. For most personal injury cases in Arizona, including those involving negligence, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury (Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542). This is the same statute of limitations for medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death claims.

Discovery Rule: If the injury was not discovered (and could not reasonably have been discovered) immediately, the statute of limitations may begin from the date of discovery instead of the date of the incident.

Minors: If the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin until they reach the age of 18. However, there are specific rules and exceptions, especially in medical malpractice cases.

Mental Incapacity: If the injured person is mentally incompetent at the time of the injury, the clock on the statute of limitations may not start until the disability is lifted.

Lawsuits Against the State

Special rules and time limits apply if you are filing an injury lawsuit against any Arizona state government entity—be it a city, county, or state—or a government employee must occur within one year following the date of the injury (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-821).

Moreover, if you possess a claim against the government, a government employee, or a public school, it’s essential to provide written notice of your claim, typically within 180 days from the injury date (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-821.01). Notably, this written notice requirement stands distinct from initiating a lawsuit. It is a prerequisite before you can proceed with filing a lawsuit. Failure to comply with this notice requirement as mandated by law prohibits you from pursuing your case in court.

Pure Comparative Fault

Arizona follows the principle of pure comparative negligence. In this framework, if an individual is found partially responsible for their injuries, the recoverable damages are reduced proportionally to their share of fault. However, as long as one is not entirely at fault (100%), they can still seek damages. Here’s an illustrative example:

Let’s consider an auto accident scenario. You file a lawsuit against the other driver (the defendant) for damages. The defendant argues that you also bear responsibility and requests damages against you. Following a trial, the jury determines your total damages as $50,000 and assigns you 30% of the fault for the accident. They attribute 70% of the blame to the defendant, calculating the defendant’s damages at $40,000. Here’s the breakdown of damages each party would collect:

As you were found 30% at fault, you can recover 70% of your $50,000 in damages: $50,000 x 70% = $35,000. This amount would be obtained from the defendant’s insurance company.

In contrast, since the defendant was assigned 70% of the fault, they can collect 30% of their $40,000 total damages: $40,000 x 30% = $12,000. Your insurance company will issue a $12,000 payment to the defendant.

Arizona Dog Bite Law

Arizona has a strict liability standard for dog bite injury cases (Arizona Rev. Stat. 11-1025.) This standard holds dog owners responsible for any biting incidents, regardless of whether they had prior knowledge of their dog’s potential to cause harm. This differs from states following a “one-bite rule,” offering more leniency to owners unaware of their dog’s potential danger to others.

Moreover, this same strict liability standard extends to injuries inflicted by dogs deemed “at large.” In legal terms within Arizona, an “at-large” dog refers to one not under leash control or confined within a secure area like a fenced yard. Should an at-large dog cause an injury, liability can be attributed to the owner or the individual responsible for the dog, such as a dog-walker or a friend pet-sitting.

Crucially, the law encompassing at-large dogs covers injuries beyond mere bites. It includes scenarios like a person being knocked over by an exuberant large dog, resulting in injuries like a sprained ankle or a broken wrist. Additionally, it applies to property damage caused by an at-large dog.

Arizona’s strict liability rule does not apply to every circumstance in which a person sustains injuries due to a dog. For instance, these laws do not cover incidents where someone is injured—though not bitten—by a dog that is not “at large.” Consider a scenario where a friendly dog, while leashed, causes an injury like a broken wrist after knocking someone over. In these non-bite dog injury cases, general negligence rules apply.

Arizona Mass Tort Cases

Our firm is handling a number of product liability / mass tort cases that impact Arizona residents including:

Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits

AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

Arizona Medical Malpractice

Arizona has a number of special laws and rules that apply only in medical malpractice cases. A medical malpractice case includes any tort claim for injuries brought against a licensed healthcare provider or hospital. In Arizona, you may bring a medical malpractice lawsuit for an injury you suffered for negligence by any licensed healthcare provider. This includes doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc.

Expert Certification Requirements

To file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Arizona, it’s required that you (or your legal representative) include a certification indicating whether testimony from a medical expert is essential to substantiate the defendant’s negligence. This is significantly different from the rules in most states, which require the plaintiff to obtain certification from an expert witness before filing.

If expert testimony is necessary, the plaintiff must then furnish at least one preliminary affidavit endorsed by a qualified medical expert witness. This affidavit must contain the expert’s viewpoint regarding the actions, errors, or oversights of the health care provider that breached the appropriate standard of care. Additionally, it should explain how these actions or inactions resulted in your injuries and subsequent damages. The affidavit must be filed and served on the defendant within 30 days of the defendant filing a response to your lawsuit’s initial document.

If the certification states that expert testimony isn’t required, the defendant may request the judge to mandate submission of an expert affidavit before proceeding with the lawsuit. The judge will then determine the necessity of the affidavit and, if deemed essential, issue the directive.



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