Spoken Language: English
Business: Business and Society, Lawyers and Law Firms
Wattel & York is a highly successful personal injury and property damage law firm in the United States, boasting more than 50 years of combined experience in litigation. We can help you with the following legal issues:
- Personal injury
- Automobile accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating injuries
- Slip and falls
- Product liabilities
- Dog bites
- Nursing home neglect cases
- Diminished value claims
At Wattel & York, we pride ourselves as one of the leading personal injury and property damage law firms in the nation and can cite more than 13,000 satisfied clients. We are aggressive advocates for the consumer and his or her rights, and if you hire us we will fight hard for you when your rights have been infringed.
If the company refuses to pay what the case is worth, we will file suit and fight until they do so, whether by settlement or judgment. We have a sparkling record in gaining appropriate settlements: more than 95% of our clients have gotten more money offered or awarded than what the insurance company initially presented. That fact should convince you that litigation is the smart way to go and Wattel & York is your vanguard in being treated fairly.
Wattel & York services<
Through attorneys who are licensed in the states of Arizona, California, Washington, and Nevada, as well as our relationships with counsel throughout the country, we can assist you virtually anywhere in the United States. We pride ourselves in being aggressive litigators who work hand-in-hand with clients to dictate the value of each individual case rather than let it be dictated by an insurance company.
At Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law, our Arizona personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in handling accident cases and make it a point to investigate every possible contributing cause of an accident to make sure you receive full compensation.
You take the time you need to recover from the trauma of your injuries while we take over the investigation. We will help you find the right medical specialist for your injuries, and will work with the specialists so that any payment to them can be delayed until your case is completed, whether it is by settlement or trial.
In the case of car accidents, fault is usually determined by the law of negligence. If a person negligently operates a vehicle and damage is caused to another person or property, that person may be required to pay any incurred damages. People must exercise a standard called “reasonable care under the circumstances” when driving a car. Failure to do so is often the basis in determining damages that are caused by an accident.
Many factors can contribute to the question of whether a driver was negligent, and courts look for these in determining fault. Some of these factors, but not all, are:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving too fast or too slow
- Not signaling when turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Ignoring traffic signs or signals
- Failing to drive on the proper side of the road
Liability may also be found when an accident is caused by intentional or reckless conduct. A reckless driver is one who drives in an unsafe manner and with willful disregard to the possibility that the driving may cause an accident and injure someone.
Accidents can also be caused by factors that are unrelated to a driver’s conduct. Under the law of product liability, an automobile manufacturer or supplier may be held responsible for damages that result from an accident. A product liability lawsuit can be brought against the seller or manufacturer of a product if it is deemed defective and played a role in an accident. This goes beyond a defective part, however – if the design, development, and/or labeling of the product is at fault, the manufacturer is liable for damages.
Other examples of possible product liability cases include faulty vehicle repairs by mechanics, malfunctioning traffic signals, poorly maintained roads, and the improper design, construction, maintenance, lighting, etc., of a highway. Lastly, a drinking establishment may be liable for damages if they continued to serve alcohol to a guest who is obviously intoxicated and who ultimately drives and causes damage in an accident.
Negligence and consumer product defects bring bodily and emotional harm to millions of Americans each year. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that each year 27.7 million Americans visit emergency rooms for unintentional personal injury. A shocking 121,599 people die each year from those injuries. A bit of frayed carpet, an improperly executed repair, an irregular stair step, a loose handrail, an automobile accident caused by another driver’s negligence, a defective consumer product -- each threatens to cause serious personal injury.
It is important to understand the terminology involved in a personal injury claim. A claim of personal injury refers to a variety of tort lawsuit (a lawsuit that addresses civil wrongs) alleging that a plaintiff’s injury has been caused by one type of negligence or another. In other words, personal injury law grants you compensation when another person’s intentional misconduct, recklessness, or carelessness injures or damages you or your personal belongings. Injuries in personal injury claims can refer to any damage to the body, mind, or emotions. Medical and dental accidents also fall under personal injury and usually lead to medical negligence claims.
Personal injury claims are frequently filed for automobile accidents caused by negligence. Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of personal injury and death in the United States. In 2008 an estimated 37,261 people were killed, and another 2,350,000 injured, in traffic accidents.
When it comes to automobile accidents, fault is usually determined by the law of negligence. Drivers must exercise a standard called “reasonable care under the circumstances” when behind the wheel. If a driver fails to exercise this standard and negligently operates a vehicle, the law of negligence dictates that compensation for any damages to another person or property become the responsibility of the guilty party. Negligence can be attributable to a number of factors, including:
- Excessive speed
- Failure to heed traffic signals or signs
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Consumer products can also cause personal injury. Imagine you just purchased a new riding lawnmower, but upon using it for the first time, the seat comes loose, causing you to fall off and to break your wrist. This scenario offers an instructive illustration of how product liability and personal injury intersect: a product proves defective and causes injury to your person. In such a case, you’ll most likely file a claim of strict liability.
A claim of strict liability focuses on the defective product rather than any negligence on the manufacturer’s part. A claim of strict liability decrees that the manufacturer is responsible for a defective product even if there is no evidence of negligence. If you suffer personal injury from a defective product, and strict liability applies to your case, then any of the following parties could be held responsible for your injuries:
- The business where you rented or purchased the product
- The business where you were supplied with the product to use on the business’s premises
- The manufacturer of the product
Most states have laws on their books that limit how long after the product has been sold to the public that the manufacturer or seller can be subject to liability laws.
It is vitally important that you seek legal counsel if you have suffered personal injury as a result of an accident or a product defect. State law dictates that personal injury and negligence claims must be made within a certain period of time.
At Wattel & York we use our extensive experience in personal injury litigation to ensure that you receive adequate compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of a personal injury accident. The personal injury attorneys at Wattel & York will work with you to determine the cause of fault in your personal injury claim.
But our services go beyond simply ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for the pain and suffering your injury has caused you. The Phoenix injury lawyers< at Wattel & York will also find the right medical specialist for your injuries, and we will work with that specialist to ensure that payment for his or her services is delayed until your case is completed by settlement or trial.
Because insurance is regulated on a state-by-state basis, the following information is generalized.
Contract of insurance (“policy”):
It is important to know that your insurance “policy” is actually a legally binding contract with specific terms and conditions governing you and the insurer. As it relates to property damage, there are two important parts of the insurance contract – liability coverage and collision coverage (damage to your automobile).
Liability coverage pertains to damage done to someone else’s property in the event YOU are at fault in an accident. Under the liability coverage portion of your insurance contract, your insurer promises to either PAY for the damage on your behalf or DEFEND you (the policy holder). In the event of an accident where you are at fault, the insurer’s obligation is to YOU (the policy holder) – they have no direct responsibility to the “victim” of the accident. Worth noting is that the same rules apply when YOU are the victim of an accident – if someone else was at fault and damages your vehicle and/or injures you, the other person’s insurance company has no direct obligation to you.
Collision coverage is additional coverage and must be purchased separately. This coverage is typically mandatory if there is a loan on the vehicle or if it is a lease. Collision coverage (sometimes referred to as “full coverage” because it often includes comprehensive coverage for fire, theft, glass, etc.) covers damage to your automobile. If you have this coverage, your insurance company is directly responsible to you and must either replace, repair, or pay for damages to your covered vehicle.
THIRD PARTY CLAIMS (when you are the victim of an accident). Some aspects of a third party claim:
- You were not at fault
- There is no deductible
- You are typically entitled to a rental car or loss-of-use compensation
- The other person’s insurance company is NOT directly responsible to you
- The insurance company technically owes $0
- The insurer has no right to control the claim or repairs
- You are entitled to compensation for diminished value
- Third party claims are governed by tort law
The basic concept of a tort is that the negligence of one individual has led to loss or damages to another. It is a general rule that the law of torts attempts primarily to restore the injured party to as good a position as he held prior to the tort.
Since the insurance company most likely wasn’t driving the vehicle that caused the damage, the insurance company is NOT directly responsible to you – their duty is to their insured as discussed above. Because they know they are not directly responsible, sometimes the insurer will attempt to take liberties to which they are not entitled. Knowing what your legal rights are is imperative to making sure you don’t get taken advantage of.
FIRST PARTY CLAIMS (coverage afforded by YOUR contact of insurance). Some aspects of a first party claim:
- You were at fault, hit by an uninsured motorist, it is a comprehensive claim, or you wish to assert the rights afforded you by the contact of insurance
- Your deductible may apply
- Depending on additional riders, you may not be entitled to a rental
- The insurance company is directly responsible to you
- The insurance company owes $$$
- With a few exceptions, you are usually not entitled to diminished value compensation
- First party claims are governed by insurance regulations and contract laws
Because of the power of the (legally binding) contract, it is our position that consumers should ALWAYS file a claim with their own insurer whenever coverage is available.
Some consumers might question the logic of using their own coverage when they are not at fault. Questions like:
- “Why should I have to pay my deductible if I wasn’t at fault?,”
- “Will my insurance go up?
- “How do I get a rental car if I don’t have coverage on my policy?
- “I can’t collect for the loss of value if I use my coverage, can I?
and more make filing a claim with your own insurance company seem like the wrong decision. But, rest assured, we know what we’re saying – we’ve been doing this for well over a decade, and we fully understand the claim process as well as the laws surrounding property damage claims.
If you were not at fault, it is often possible to get the other person’s insurance to pay for the rental even if you file to have the repairs done under your own coverage – and if the accident was verifiably someone else’s fault you will get your deductible back. Having your damaged automobile repaired under your own coverage doesn’t prevent you from presenting a claim for diminishment to the adverse carrier. Worth noting is that it is illegal in most states for an insurer to raise your rates if you were not at fault and the negligent party is known.
Traffic accidents damage thousands of motor vehicles each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motor vehicle collision happens every ten seconds in the United States.
The financial consequences of an automobile accident can last long after your automobile is repaired. An automobile involved in an accident is permanently diminished in value. Diminished value happens when a vehicle involved in an accident suffers physical damage structurally, cosmetically, or both. Even if the vehicle is repaired to an immaculate, like-new condition it is still worth less money than it was before the automobile accident occurred.
The diminished value of a vehicle becomes apparent when an individual attempts to sell it. Many states require full disclosure of any and all accidents in which a vehicle may have been involved. As most buyers prefer vehicles that have not been involved in an accident, an owner of a vehicle involved in an accident will receive less money for his or her vehicle than if the vehicle were never involved in any accidents at all.
Three main types of diminished value apply to diminished value claims. However, not all three types of diminished value are used when legally compensating individuals for the diminished value of their vehicles. These three main types of diminished value are the following:
- Immediate diminished value: This type of diminished value refers to the difference in resale value of the vehicle because of a motor vehicle accident.
- Inherent diminished value: This type of diminished value refers to the loss of a vehicle's market value. It is the most widely recognized and accepted form of diminished value and is also the most common basis upon which any supplemental forms of diminished value would be added.
- Repair-related diminished value: This type of diminished value refers to the depreciated amount of a vehicle as a result of improper or incomplete repairs, poor quality repairs, or items left unrepaired. Typically, the amount of repair-related diminished value is determined by the overall quality of the repairs.
Diminished value claims have been paid out in every state and by every major insurance company. Nearly every state allows individuals to file a claim of diminished value if their vehicle has been involved in an accident that is not their fault. And even if the other party does not have insurance, individuals who carry uninsured motorist coverage on their policy may be able to file a diminished value claim under their own policy.
Be aware that there exist two different types of diminished value insurance claims: first party insurance claims and third party insurance claims.
- First party insurance claims occur when individuals damage their own car and their insurance company pays the claim. In first party insurance claims, individuals may still recover the lost value of their vehicle as long as their insurance company does not specifically exclude coverage for diminished value.
- Third party insurance claims occur when a negligent driver damages another party’s car and the negligent driver's insurance company pays the claim. In third party insurance claims, all state courts generally support claims for diminished value as long as the loss can be proven.
Several factors may affect the calculation of your vehicle's diminished value, including:
- The vehicle's condition before the accident
- The vehicle's age
- The vehicle's value undamaged
- Prior accidents
- Marketplace demand
It is important to keep in mind that every vehicle is different, and that the amount of diminished value will vary accordingly. A systematic calculation of your vehicle's diminished value is therefore difficult. An individual can also pursue a diminished value claim on his or her own by requesting that his or her insurance adjuster address the diminished value of his or her vehicle. But unless that individual is trained to handle diminished value claims, his or her request will most likely be turned down by the insurance company. That's why you should contact Wattel & York. Only the attorneys at Wattel & York have the expertise and experience necessary to accurately calculate your vehicle's diminished value following an accident.
An initial consultation is free of charge. If we take your case, we work on a contingent-fee basis -- which means you pay us only if you receive a monetary reward or recovery of fees. Don’t hesitate any longer; a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations in your state expires. So call us now. You may have a valid claim entitling you to compensation for diminished value caused by an automobile accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury<
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):
- Memory Loss
- Word recall problems
- Difficulty focusing
- Executive function issues
Loss of consciousness is not necessary to sustain minor brain injury. However, longer loss of consciousness usually implies greater injury to the brain. Testing and evaluation by a neuropsychologist/neurologist is essential early on. Often times many providers, family physicians and otherwise, overlook the severity of these issues thinking you only have neck pain causing these headaches when in fact you have a traumatic brain injury. If not addressed and treat, TBI can cause ongoing problems.
Without early attorney involvement, cases are not well documented which limits your ability to collect your settlement early. At Wattel & York, our brain injury lawyers understand how to present diagnostic information to give your case a greater chance of success.
The loss of a loved one can be tremendously difficult. It is understandable why the need for grieving sometimes causes people to wait for pursuing wrongful death claims. Time may be of the essence for investigation and information gathering thus, even though a family member may be lost, the time for pursuit, or at least hiring an attorney, should be done promptly.
In most states, surviving children, parents and spouses may make a claim for wrongful death. Each individual has a claim, though often times they are brought jointly by other surviving family members. A wrongful death claim is created by statute. Often times claims to be made are that for medical expenses prior to the death that lead up to the death and following the loss, lost wages past and future for those relying upon support such as wife, husband and/or children and lost of love, affection, society and companionship.
Recoveries for wrongful death may be significant. Each case though is fact specific. A surviving spouse who's husband/wife was making a significant amount of money is likely to have a much larger claim than a husbands/wives surviving parents. Regardless, our personal injury lawyers at Wattel & York will evaluate each case and determine appropriate value.
Our Tucson wrongful death lawyers handle wrongful death claims. We have successfully handled every wrongful death case thus far to date. We recognize the importance of recovery, for often times the surviving spouse and/or children are left without the means to appropriate compensation. We have great compassion and understand the difficult nature of pursuing a wrongful death claim. We are ready and willing to help.