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Personal Injury FAQs

What is Negligence?

Can I Get Compensation for My Injuries if an
Accident Might Have Been Partly My Fault?

Can I Get Compensation for My Accident Injuries if
I Have a Preexisting Medical Condition?




What is Negligence?
  

If you have been injured in an accident of some kind you may have a claim for the personal injuries you have suffered. When you have a personal injury action, you must understand “negligence.” Negligence may have caused your injury. However, if you were injured as the result of your own negligence, this may also affect your claim. Negligence is failing to provide reasonable care for the safety of others or yourself. The court considers the level of care a “reasonably prudent person” would have employed in the same circumstances. If an individual fails to act as a reasonably prudent person would, he or she may be shown to have failed to protect others (or him or herself) against foreseeable harm and may be seen as contributing to the injury that occurred as a result.

 

Can I Get Compensation for My Injuries if an   
Accident Might Have Been Partly My Fault?

If you are partly to blame for your injuries, you may or may not be able to recover damages. A minority of jurisdictions follow contributory negligence rules. Under this rule, if your own negligence caused your injury, or played a part in causing your injury, you may not be able to recover for your injuries. However, the majority of jurisdictions follow comparative negligence rules. In comparative negligence you may still recover damages for your injuries if your own negligence was a partial cause of those injuries. The amount of recovery you receive will be lessened in comparison to the amount of your own negligence. You will still be able to recover for your injuries, but the sum is contingent on the apportionment of fault.

 

Can I Get Compensation for My Accident Injuries if   
I Have a Preexisting Medical Condition?

If individuals have a preexisting condition; they may not recover for these injuries. However, if the preexisting condition is made worse and the exacerbation can be proven, the worsening is compensable. The preexisting condition does not bar an injured person from recovering damages that were caused by the accident and not related to the preexisting condition. For example, if a person has a permanent back injury and is hit by a car while crossing the street, that person may recover damages for injuries sustained from being hit by the car, but not for the previous permanent back injury. Likewise, if a person already has a condition that is worsened by an accident, he or she may be able to recover damages for worsened condition and medical treatment for the worsened condition, but not the original condition they already had.

 


 

 

Family Law FAQs

What are Grounds for Divorce?
What is an Annulment?
What are Residence Requirements?
What is Domestic Violence?
Who Should File?
What is Conciliation Services?
How long is the Waiting Period for a Divorce?
What is Custody?
How Does Visitation Work?
What are the Guidelines for Child Support?
How is Property and Debt Division Determined?
What is an Uncontested Divorce?


 

What are Grounds for Divorce?  

Arizona is a "no-fault" State, meaning that the only grounds necessary to obtain a divorce in Arizona is that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" with "no reasonable prospect for reconciliation." 

 

What is an Annulment?  

In Arizona, the grounds for a legal annulment are that the marriage is null and void due to some impediment that prevented a valid marriage from ever taking place.  Generally, the grounds for annulment are difficult to show except in very specific, narrow circumstances.



What are Residence Requirements?  

The residency requirement is that at least one of the parties (not necessarily both) have lived in the State of Arizona for at least ninety (90) days prior to filing the divorce action. If only one of the parties lives in Arizona, and the other party has not lived here at all, the Court will be limited in what property it can divide and what orders it can enter against the non-resident spouse, but the Court can dissolve the marriage for the person who lives here.

 

What is Domestic Violence?  

If your spouse has been physically abusive to you, you can obtain an Order of Protection from the Court before or after filing for a divorce. You do not need to also file a divorce action to obtain an Order of Protection, although they can be filed at the same time.

 

Who Should File?   

Currently, there is no legal significance with respect to whether the husband or the wife files the Petition.

 

What is Conciliation Services?   

Arizona offers Conciliation Services free of charge through the Court system. This process can be used by either party in an attempt to reconcile. If reconciliation is not an option, Conciliation Court will also help you and your spouse mediate child custody and visitation issues. Mediation is an attempt to get the parties to agree to custody and a parenting-time plan. Conciliation services do not discuss or mediate support or property issues, although private mediation services are available for those issues at a cost to you.

 

How long is the Waiting Period for a Divorce?   

No divorce can be granted until at least 60 days have passed since your spouse is served with the Petition. This is a minimum period of time. Most uncontested matters are completed three to four months after service. Contested matters can take as long as 12-18 months or longer, depending on the court's calendar.

 

What is Custody?  

There is no legal presumption in Arizona favoring either parent for custody of the children, nor is there any legal presumption in favor of joint custody or sole custody. Each case is determined on its own merits. There are two types of joint custody, "joint legal" and "joint physical" custody. Joint legal custody typically means that one parent is the "primary residential parent" and generally has the children more of the time, subject to visitation by the other parent. Joint physical custody typically means an almost 50-50 division of the children's time. In either type of joint custody, the parents are expected to communicate and confer regarding major decisions about the children, such as education, childcare, medical and religious decisions. The Court requires both parents to attend mediation at Court, without attorneys, to discuss the settlement of all custody and visitation disagreements before those issues can be heard by a judge.

 

How Does Visitation Work?  

If you and your spouse can agree to the details of visitation, the court will usually approve the plan you have worked out. Visitation must state specific schedules including days and times, and must account for major holidays.

 

What are the Guidelines for Child Support?  

Child Support Guidelines have been prepared for the State of Arizona which apportions child support based on the gross incomes of both parents. The Guidelines may be deviated from if both parties agree and if a Court determines that a deviation is in the best interests of the children.

 

How is Property and Debt Division Determined?   

There is no fixed way to determine how you or the Court should decide how to divide your property, although our law says the division should be "equitable" and equitable almost always means equal. Other factors include whether or not property belongs to the marital community or is the sole and separate property of one of the parties. If you and your spouse agree on a division of property, the Court will usually approve your written agreement. If you cannot agree, the Court will equitably divide your property and debts.

 

What is an Uncontested Divorce?  

Even if you and your spouse both agree you want a divorce, the divorce is only "uncontested" if you agree to every provision concerning custody, visitation, support, maintenance, and division of property and debts.  If any of these matters are disputed and cannot be settled through negotiations with the attorneys, your divorce is NOT uncontested and a trial will be necessary.

 

 

 

Call Us Today at 1-800-777-8529 if you think you are in need of a qualified Family Law Lawyer, Personal Injury Lawyer, or Car Accidents Lawyer Phoenix AZ
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