Arizona Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury – 2 years from the date the injury was discovered.
- Damage to Personal Property – 2 years
- Medical malpractice – 2 years from the date of discovery
- Legal malpractice – 2 years
- Other professional malpractice – 2 years
Where to Sue:
- Personal injury claims under $2,500 – Arizona Small Claims Court
- Personal injury claims from $2,500 to $10,000 – Arizona Justice Court
- Personal injury claims over $10,000 – Arizona Superior Court
How to Sue:
Small Claims Court:
- Forms: File your Arizona civil suit
online. This website will provide you with the Summons and Complaint you will need to file your suit and detailed instructions for doing so.
- Where to file: Where the defendant resides, or where the injury occurred.
- How to notify the defendant (service): Certified or registered mail return receipt requested with copy of an Arizona Complaint and an Arizona Summons; or, have a county sheriff or registered private process server personally serve the defendant.
- Proving the defendant was notified: Either the plaintiff should file the registered mail card proving service with the clerk of the court, or the process server or sheriff should endorse and file a Return and Proof of Service with the county clerk.
- Attorneys: Lawyer representation at the trial is not allowed in Arizona Small Claims Court.
- Appealing a small claim: Arizona does not allow appeals from an Arizona Small Claims Court. If either of the parties feels that the judgment was in error, he or she should move to vacate the judgment.
Arizona Justice Court: Consult a qualified Arizona personal injury attorney for help. Filing a personal injury suit is complex. Mistakes may result in the dismissal of your claim, court fines, or the loss of your claim.
- Forms: Forms to file your personal injury claim with the appropriate Arizona Justice Court can be obtained
online. Make copies for yourself, for the defendant, and for the court.
- How to File: Forms may also be filed
- Attorneys: Attorneys are allowed for both the plaintiff and the defendant in Justice Court in Arizona.
- How to Notify the Defendant: A sheriff or registered process server must give the stamped forms to the defendant personally, endorse the process, file a copy with the clerk of the Justice Court in the appropriate jurisdiction (See Where to File above), and keep a copy.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- Time to respond to a Summons in Arizona: 20 days.
- Consult an attorney immediately.
- Tell your insurance company if the injury occurred at your home or business. If you are covered for your claim, your insurance company should provide you with an attorney.
What to Do if a Judgment Was Entered Against You:
In Arizona, if you do not reply to a summons and complaint within 20 days, a default judgment may be entered against you, resulting in the plaintiff winning the suit and you having to pay whatever the plaintiff claims you owe in damages.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in Arizona:
- An Arizona Justice Court may set aside a judgment for up to 30 days.
- Consult an attorney if a default judgment has been entered against you.
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- If you are successful in your Arizona personal injury lawsuit, you may collect your judgment by serving a demand letter on the defendant. If the defendant does not pay the judgment, you must serve a Writ of Garnishment on the defendant, or file a Writ of Execution with a constable to place a levy on the defendant’s personal property.
- Obtain aid from an Arizona debt collection attorney to collect your judgment.