Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers
Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?
If there’s one thing that genuinely scares people about car accidents, it’s the impact they can have on a person’s life and the fact you can’t always prevent them. The most skilled driver can find themselves in a car crash. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when you find yourself in one before you get in one.
What should you do if you’re involved in a car accident?
The first thing you should do is call the police, then call a Phoenix car accident attorney.
If you can leave the car, take photos of the accident and call your insurance company. Having the right car accident attorney on your team will make your life easier and protect your rights.
Getting into a car crash isn’t something people ever plan to do. However, knowing what works and how you can make your life easier should it ever happen to you is vital to your safety, financial security, and sanity.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in A Car Accident?
Above all, you need to stay calm and think rationally. It’s best to do the following things, in this order:
- Check to see if you and other individuals involved are okay. If someone is seriously injured, do what you can to provide reasonable assistance. Just take note of the injuries. Don’t apologize to them, as this could be interpreted as admitting fault.
- Call the police. Tell them there’s a car accident. Address any injuries that may have happened. The police will take a report detailing the number of people involved, the location, damage to the cars, injuries reported, as well as any noticeable damage that’s over $1,000 in value.
- Document everything. Get a police report, take photos using your cellphone camera, and make an effort to get the policeman’s badge number. Trade insurance information with the other individuals involved.
- If there are any witnesses at the scene, make a point to gather their information. They may be required to make a statement or show up in court to help legal teams determine who’s at fault.
- Call a lawyer. It’s best to have a trusted lawyer in your phone, just in case. Your lawyer will guide you when it comes to the call with your insurer, if necessary. Having a car accident lawyer that Phoenix locals will recognize and trust can be a huge help.
- Call your insurance company. Don’t admit fault or apologize for anything. Make a claim and give them the basic run-through of what happened.
Should I Tell Police What Happened?
Police have the right to ask questions about the accident, which means you have to answer them. However, you don’t need to answer any questions involving things outside the accident. For example, things like substances in your car, as well as being under the influence while driving.
If the police issue you a citation after their report is filed, you need to accept it. Getting a citation is not an admission of guilt. Refusing to accept the citation, however, can get you criminal charges.
How Long After A Car Accident Do You Have to File A Claim?
With most insurance companies, there’s a “cooperation clause.” This clause requires all insured people to file a claim as soon as an accident happens. So, the best time to file a claim is immediately, as soon after the accident as possible. If you can’t for one reason or another, file it as soon as you possibly can.
On a more technical note, Arizona’s statute of limitations gives people a total of two years to file a claim. So, if you were grievously injured or lost a family member, you have two years to file a claim against the person who did it.
Recognizing Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Part of figuring out what to do when you’re in a car accident involves identifying common injuries you may have received. You should always let a professional medical team examine you, and you should keep an eye out for symptoms of these injuries below as well:
- Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your neck snaps quickly back and forth, usually due to an impact injury. If you notice soreness in your neck, you probably have it. Whiplash may only show itself after several days.
- Scrapes, Bruises, and Cuts. If your car accident involves severe impacts or shrapnel, there’s a chance you may have cuts and bruises resulting from your accident.
- Broken Bones. The most common bones that may be broken in a car accident include shoulder blades, ribs, and limbs. However, it’s also possible to get broken bones elsewhere, including on your face.
- Head Injuries. Head injuries can leave lasting damage and can even be disfiguring. Reconstruction surgery and specialized therapy may be required to fix everything fully.
If I Don’t Know If I’m Injured, What Should I Do?
Do you feel a little achy and sore? When you aren’t sure whether you’re injured, it’s perfectly alright to request an ambulance to have your body checked. In most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Most competent Phoenix car accident attorneys will tell you to get checked out regardless of whether you feel damage or not. This way, if you do get belated symptoms (from something like whiplash, for example), you can add it to your claim with evidence.
What to Do If You Might Get Charged with Drunk Driving?
Drinking then going behind the wheel of a car is a serious offense that may not just result in civil penalties. If you’re being charged with a DUI, getting a car crash attorney specializing in civil losses might not be enough.
Anyone who’s been charged or arrested as a result of a car accident should look into a criminal defense attorney to help reduce their sentencing. However, criminal matters can still require a standard civil attorney to cover fees.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Arizona
In Arizona, traffic can be challenging. Car accidents come in a wide range of different circumstances. Some of the most common include:
- Two-Car Crashes. Maybe someone didn’t see a stop sign. Or perhaps it was just bad luck. Whatever it is, two cars crashed into each other.
- Parked Car Accidents. Did you crash into a parked car? If so, you will need to locate the driver or leave a written note on their vehicle to get your claim moving forward.
- Single-Car Accidents. These kinds of accidents happen when you crash your car into a road divider, a telephone pole, or another inanimate object.
- Pedestrian Accidents. If your vehicle hits a pedestrian or a bicyclist, your accident fits under this category.
- Pileups. Usually, the worst possible outcomes are due to an accident involving multiple-car pileups. This causes a higher risk of human life and a higher amount of financial damage to all parties involved.
- Uninsured/Underinsured. Many people start to panic if they hit an underinsured or uninsured motorist while on the road. While relatively rare, it still does happen.
- Drunk Driving. An accident involving a DUI isn’t just a civilian matter; it’s also a criminal one.
What If You Got into An Accident in An Uber or Lyft?
Many people who ride in Ubers and Lyfts don’t realize how common accidents can be. If you’re in an Uber vehicle you’re driving, you should follow the protocol above and also call your rideshare platform’s helpline.
If you’re a rider in the accident, then you’re a victim. You won’t be held liable, but you still need to make a claim. Calling a lawyer and letting a medical team examine you is the best course of action.
What Happens In An Accident with An Uninsured Individual?
With most car crashes, you have two insurance companies that work together to cover both parties’ costs. If you hit an uninsured individual, your uninsured/underinsured coverage will kick in.
Arizona requires drivers to have a minimum of $15,000 per person/$30,0000 per accident in terms of uninsured coverage. You should make an uninsured motorist claim with your insurer as soon as you confirm the other driver isn’t insured.
Another option would be to sue a third party who may have contributed to the accident, such as a city that left their roads slippery due to an oil spill. Your lawyer will help walk you through this process.
Understanding Your Insurance Claim
When you’re involved in a car accident in Arizona, you need to understand your rights as an insurance holder. Here’s what you need to know:
- Liability insurance covers the damages you incur as a result of being held liable. This includes medical bills and property damage incurred as a result of the accident if you’re found to be at fault. It’s good to have a policy that has a high liability insurance limit.
- Collision coverage is what pays for repairs to your car. If you have a total loss from an accident, this will help you get reimbursed for your loss.
- Comprehensive coverage is only for things that aren’t related to an accident. So, if your car is stolen and damaged, this will be what works in your favor. It will not do anything for a collision.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will cover your medical bills and your passengers’ bills, regardless of who’s at fault. This is a great add-on to have when you’re out on the road. In a collision, medical bills can add up immensely.
- Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP) covers damages not covered through the other parties’ insurance. This will help with expenses if the motorist you hit doesn’t have adequate insurance protection.
What Should You Do If Insurance Isn’t Paying You?
The best thing you can do is call a car accident lawyer Phoenix personal injury firms recognized as qualified to handle insurance claims. There are cases where companies just don’t want to pay out. Having a lawyer who can advocate on your behalf can be an immense help.
My Medical Bills Are Piling Up! What Can I Do?
If you’ve been getting medical bills and collection calls as a result of your accident, call your lawyer. Your lawyer can negotiate with the hospital, explain the situation, and get the calls to stop until you’re capable of rebuilding your life.
How to Protect Your Rights After A Car Accident In Arizona
When you end up in a car accident, your rights are in more jeopardy than you may realize. Here’s how to protect them in the best possible way:
- Get a lawyer ASAP! The easiest way to make sure your rights are respected is to hire a car accident lawyer that Phoenix locals recognize as an expert. They’ll be able to coach you and help you understand the legal process. They also will be able to explain what rights you have.
- Don’t admit fault to anyone at the scene of the accident. Honesty is usually the best policy, but admitting fault to anyone who’s at the scene of the accident can cost you. It’s best to let insurers make their own conclusion. In many cases, you might not be as guilty as you think you are.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The easiest way to protect your rights after a car accident is to follow the state laws. Don’t drink and drive. Use your traffic signals. Know which drivers have the right of way. Use your seat belts, since not using them can be seen as a cause of injury!
- Listen to your attorney. The best way to protect your rights is to listen to the legal advice given to you by a qualified lawyer. It’s that simple.
How Is Fault Determined in A Car Accident in Arizona?
Arizona’s car accident laws make it pretty clear-cut who’s at fault when it comes to car accidents. Car accident fault is primarily determined by negligence, which is defined as neglecting to follow the laws and stay attentive to the road while behind the wheel.
Insurers will make decisions based on whether or not their clients were negligent and at fault for the crash. Negligence can take many different forms. Being negligent can mean:
- Texting and driving. That’s right. If you’re texting or calling someone on your phone, it’s a form of negligent driving. Put that phone down!
- Not wearing seatbelts or not wearing your motorcycle helmet. This is a significant issue that can lead to serious losses. In some cases, it can render medical bill claims null and void.
- Not respecting the right of way. If you decide to take your turn out of order, then you may be viewed as negligent.
- Aggressive driving. Road rage, tailgating, speeding, and “brake checks” all fall under this category.
- Not having a child in a car seat. Along with technically being a form of child endangerment, this can be enough evidence to suggest you were a neglectful driver.
- Drunk driving. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you’re charged with a DUI, the chances are high that you’ll be found to be at fault.
- Other similar issues. Simply put, if the car accident is caused by a lapse of good judgment or neglecting to notice what’s in front of you, it’s your fault.
What Is Used to Determine Fault?
In most cases, there will be some forensic work and accident statement testimonies from each driver. Usually, this is what makes the base of a fault determination. However, there’s more that can go into figuring out who’s at fault, including:
- Witnesses. Witness testimony remains one of the most powerful indicators of fault, especially if it’s through a neutral party.
- Injury Assessment. Injuries can tell a lot about the true nature of a car accident’s impact, even if both parties don’t admit to what happened. As a result, medical examiners can often get called into a case.
- Police Testimony. Police testimony is heavily relied upon, especially if police were at the scene during the crash.
- Dashcam Evidence. Video and photographic evidence is deemed court-admissible in the state of Arizona.
Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence
In Arizona’s laws, the concept of pure comparative negligence is alive and well. This says that both parties can ask for damages if there’s evidence both parties had some measure of fault for the crash. This is true, even if the “innocent party” had at least one percent of the fault.
Are you having a hard time with this concept? Let’s take a look at an example.
Joe and Sally were in a car accident. Joe was caught driving drunk when he hit Sally. Sally sued him for $100,000. Sally, however, was later caught texting at the time of the crash. Joe is found to be 70 percent at fault. Consequently, Sally will only get $70,000 due to the deduction of her percentage of fault.
The critical thing to realize about this concept is it should motivate you to gather evidence. Assuming you’re one-hundred percent innocent can cost you in court. Proving you are is the only way to defend your right to collect.
What Kinds of Damages Can You Pursue?
Car accidents can cause a lot of different damages, regardless of where you live. In Arizona, state laws allow you to pursue parties for a wide range of various damages. These can include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
- Property Damage. This could consist of damage done to your car, personal belongings, as well as your home if it was damaged in the crash. Most property damage can be handled through insurance.
- Medical Bills. Another significant aspect of damages people need to consider includes medical bills incurred as a result of the accident. This can include hospital bills, physical therapy, as well as counseling for PTSD as a result of the accident.
- Pain & Suffering. A car accident can be a deeply traumatic moment in a person’s life. If you experience undue amounts of suffering, you can sue for damages in civil court. There are many situations where you can also sue for the physical pain that results from the accident as well.
- Lost Wages. Did you end up losing your job as a result of being incapacitated due to the car accident? If so, lost wage claims may be a viable option to recover your wages.
- Miscellaneous Costs. In some cases, you might also have a right to ask for compensation for other costs involved in your accident. Some examples might include travel costs if you were stranded.
- Funeral Costs. If someone died as a result of a car accident, you could also sue to cover funeral costs.
How Do You Calculate Damages for A Car Accident?
Ideally, you don’t. The best way to determine how much you’re owed as a result of a car accident is to go through your bills with a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to see costs you might not even consider, ensuring you’ll get the lion’s share of the compensation you’re owed.
Why Should You Hire A Car Accident Lawyer in Arizona?
Car accidents are one of the most complex types of lawsuits there is. This is true whether or not you’re the one responsible for the accident. Here’s how car accident attorneys can help you get your life together after your crash…
- Your lawyer will help you defend your rights. Both victims and defendants can find their rights infringed if they don’t have a lawyer. Defendants may find themselves on the hook for more damages than necessary, while victims may lose out on damages they’re entitled to.
- A personal injury lawyer will also help you determine your damages. You won’t know what you’re entitled to without someone who understands the proper way to calculate your damages.
- A good lawyer will also explain what you should expect in court and what you should watch out for. A good lawyer will explain your rights, your particular situation for your outcome, and what you should do to maximize your chances in court.
- Medical bills, debt collectors, and other related issues can be mitigated through your lawyer. Lawyers know how to negotiate and use your rights to alleviate problems caused by debt collectors.
- Lawyers will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. This is a significant perk few people genuinely understand. A lawyer is skilled in negotiation and knows the legal loopholes insurance companies use to decrease the amount of money given to defendants. Using a lawyer means you maximize your ability to collect.
- Legal teams can also help gather evidence. They’re great for issuing subpoenas and gathering relevant documents people often forget. Collecting evidence can be tedious, which makes this both a convenient and useful perk.
- Having a lawyer can also alleviate the pressure you feel as a victim. There’s a lot of pressure to capitulate to demands or to pay money you don’t have for bills for which you’re not liable. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help with the pressure and also fight back on your behalf.
Should You Represent Yourself in Court?
In most cases, a car accident that makes its way to court is extremely complex. Most “civilians” don’t know the laws well enough to accurately and successfully represent themselves in court.
If you’re concerned about litigation from a car accident or find yourself facing severe financial distress, getting a lawyer that works with Phoenix clients just makes sense. After all, a lawsuit is a serious matter. Don’t you think you should retain qualified professionals to help you navigate it?
The Final Take
If you live in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, and are involved in a car accident, there’s a lot you need to do to protect your rights. The first things you should do is call the police, help anyone in distress, and make a point of calling your insurance company.
The very next thing you should do is find a lawyer who specializes in car accidents—ideally a personal injury attorney who has a lot of experience. A highly qualified, educated attorney will be able to ensure your rights are protected and that you’ll be able to get the compensation that you deserve.
Do you want to make sure you’re prepared in the event of an auto accident? Our best advice is to save an injury attorney’s phone number in your phone. That way, you can reach out as soon as possible.
What Will It Cost To Hire A Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer?
Not to worry. 423HURT has you covered.
There are NO FEES unless we win. There’s no risk to you.
Your initial consultation is free. There’s absolutely no obligation. This empowers you to receive answers to all your questions about your options without any pressure.
You won’t pay any upfront expenses. There are no attorney fees unless we prevail by negotiating a settlement on your behalf or winning your case in court. We only accept cases we believe we can win. Again, we don’t collect any fees until we deliver payment for your case.
Let’s get started on your claim. Call us or contact us online today. Our lawyers will start working on your personal injury case immediately.
We'll look at all the details of your case and explore all your options for the settlement you deserve.
Available 24-Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week
We Get Results
Dollars Recovered For Clients
Bradley J. Myers
Personal Injury Attorney
As an Arizona Bar member, Brad Myers has been aiding injured clients since 2004. One of the many characteristics that separate Brad from other personal injury attorneys is the individual consideration he gives to his clients and their unique circumstances. When Brad isn’t occupied with fighting for his clients, he enjoys spending time with his wife, his parents, his sister, and his niece and nephew, all living in the Scottsdale area.
Personal Injury Lawyer
As an owner/partner of Kane, Temple, & Myers, PLLC, Jefferson is dedicated to rendering the best possible customer service to all of his clients. No matter the range of injuries his clients have sustained, he does whatever it takes to ensure they receive the maximum possible settlement for their injuries, pain, and suffering.
Personal Injury Attorney
As an owner/partner of Kane, Temple, & Myers, PLLC, Michael prides himself in rendering the most leading standard of legal representation to his injury clients. Using his previous background as a defense attorney, he understands how to handle all aspects of a personal injury case. This includes taking a case to trial to obtain the full compensation his clients deserve.
Let's Talk. We're Available 24/7.
We'll analyze the details of your case and explore your options to get the settlement you deserve.