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  Transportation &
Motor Carrier Law
Accident, Personal Injury, & Insurance Defense

Baumann, Doyle, Paytas & Bernstein, P.L.L.C. offers a full-range of personal injury and medical malpractice services.  The firm’s attorneys have litigated cases involving motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, industrial accidents, motorcycle accidents and medical negligence. 

Our attorneys are experienced in litigating injury cases ranging from wrongful death to soft-tissue injuries (often attributable to “whip lash”). 

The firm maintains an extensive library concerning all facets of truck accident litigation.  We have represented trucking companies, truck drivers and insurers related to accidents involving tractor-trailers and other heavy road equipment.  The firm has experience with regulatory litigation involving the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and maintains a relationship with experts in the field of truck safety who serve as consultants to the motor carrier industry.

For the claimant or plaintiff (the injured party):
There is no fee unless there is a recovery.  Sometimes expert witnesses and other costs arise and whether these fees are paid for in advance by our law firm or the client is decided on a case-by-case basis. 

Our legal fees are based upon our percentage of the gross recovery and are on a sliding scale – usually depending on whether the case is resolved before a lawsuit is filed, after a lawsuit is filed but before a trial or after a trial.  Our fees are competitive with every other personal injury law firm in Arizona.

For the tortfeasor or defendant (the allegedly negligent party):
Our fees and costs are billed at an hourly rate.  Sometimes a retainer (an advanced fee) is required, depending on the circumstances.

Frequently asked questions concerning accident, personal injury and insurance defense.


Question:   Do I need an attorney? 
Answer: That depends upon the extent of your injury and property damage.  Generally,  it is not necessary to retain an attorney when an individual has sustained a physical injury that does not require emergency care or hospitalization.  However, some soft tissue injuries (typically muscle or ligament injuries arising from a collision involving “whip lash”) can be complex and if your injuries are not resolved within a day or two following a collision, then it is probably in your best interests to consult with an attorney to sort out your rights, options and your future. 
Question: If the other driver does not have insurance, can I be compensated for my property damage or bodily injury? 
Answer: If you do not have uninsured and underinsured coverage and the driver the causes the collision is uninsured or has a policy with low damage limits, then you may not be able to recover for all of your injuries.  Arizona law requires your insurance carrier to inform you of uninsured and underinsured endorsements to your liability insurance policy.  These coverage provisions are extremely important for you to obtain and they are usually affordable.   
Question: What do I do immediately after a collision?
Answer: You should proceed with care because your actions may have a significant influence on the amount of compensation you receive.  Typically an insurance company, once they are advised of the claim, will take a recorded statement from you.  If there is any question whatsoever about the cause of the collision or the nature or extent of your injury, then you should contact an attorney prior to contacting either your insurance carrier or the adverse driver’s carrier. 
Question: Should I always go to a doctor after a motor vehicle accident?
Answer: If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should see a doctor right away, even if you are not able to discern the extent of your injuries (unless you are absolutely certain that you sustained no injury whatsoever).  If you decide to bring a legal claim against the at-fault driver or someone else who may have contributed to the collision, you will need documentation of your injuries and what you did to fix them. 
Question: Do I have to go to court if I want to recover monetary damages?
Answer: Maybe.  However, the majority of lawsuits are settled before a lawsuit is even filed, and even after lawsuits are filed, most are settled before they get to trial. 
Question: How much is my personal injury case worth?
Answer: Your attorney can speak with you about this, but in general, the value of a personal injury case is directly attributable to the extent of your property damage and bodily injuries, including, but not limited to your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, future economic losses and loss of enjoyment.  In addition, the circumstances of the accident, the physical and mental state of the drivers involved (impaired by alcohol or otherwise, for example) and the insurance companies involved also influence the outcome. 
Question: How soon do I need to bring my legal claim against the other driver?
Answer: The time limits for taking legal action vary by state and in some instances, can be affected by what individual or entity it involved.  For example, if the legal claim involves a vehicle operated by a governmental entity, then the time limit for making a claim in Arizona is different than if a claim is against a private individual. 
Question: What if the insurance company offers me a check right away?
Answer: Whenever an insurance company offers a settlement check right away, it is usually accompanied by a settlement agreement that requires you to sign away all of your legal rights and options for future compensation for your injuries.  If you accept and endorse the check without signing any other documents, this act may mean that you are giving up your right to file a lawsuit later.  It is very important that you consult an attorney before you negotiate with the insurance company directly.
Question: Are there other parties who may be at-fault in addition to the adverse driver against whom you may be able to take legal action and recover damages?
Answer: There may be parties other than the at-fault driver who share responsibility for what happened.  There may be a vehicle defect that contributed to the collision.  Arizona has a “dram shop” law that may allow you to hold a bar, tavern or nightclub liable if the accident occurred because the driver was drunk who caused the collision and was severely impaired by alcohol consumed at a business premises that served intoxicating liquor.   
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Baumann, Doyle, Paytas & Bernstein, P.L.L.C.     2929 N. 44th Street      Suite 120     Phoenix, AZ 85018-7239     Phone (602)952-8500       Fax (602)667-6552

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