Important Facts About Car Accident Claims in Arizona
Car accidents are devastating in many respects. Your vehicle is damaged, and you may be hurt as a result. There is also a great deal of uncertainty as to how you go about claiming your accident with the negligent party’s insurance company. Knowing the key facts about car accidents can help you be better prepared in case an unfortunate vehicle crash happens to you.
Hiring A Car Accident Lawyer?
While you will need to exchange information with the other driver involved in your car accident, you also need to consider if you need to hire an attorney to help you with your claim. If you have been injured, you will need the insurance company to offer you a settlement to cover your medical expenses and lost wages from work.
These settlement claims are often lower than the costs you have incurred. This can be a frustrating process as you fight to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damages. A car accident attorney can help. They will negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf and work to get you a fair settlement.
Having a lawyer on your side can make the negotiation process easier as they will look out for your best interest and know what a fair amount for your injuries is. Speaking directly with an insurance company can create problems for you as you may provide inaccurate information when pressured and be quick to take a settlement offer to put an end to your car accident nightmare.
Let your lawyer handle all matters with an insurance company as they will be able to guide you in the right direction. They will provide the facts in your case and help to recover the largest sum possible for your injuries after a car accident.
Filing A Car Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your attorney is unable to settle on fair compensation for your injuries, they may suggest that you take your injury claim to court. Here, your case will be heard before a jury that will determine the settlement amount you should be awarded. It is important to note that Arizona is a pure comparative fault law state, which means that your percentage of fault is calculated into your total settlement amount.
If for example, the jury deems that you were 20 percent at fault for a car accident with a $50,000 settlement to be awarded, your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent. This would provide you with a settlement of $40,000 versus the $50,000 you were to receive. Your lawyer will work to reduce your negligence in a car accident to help you receive maximum value for your injuries and vehicle damages.
Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Car Accident Lawsuit
The other key factor to remember when filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver is the amount of time you have to file. In Arizona, there is a statute of limitation that dictates the deadline for filing a car accident lawsuit where personal injury or property damages occurred. The statute dictates that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. You also have two years from the date of the accident to file a property damage lawsuit.
Failure to comply with these regulations could dismiss your case for late filing. This would leave you without a settlement award to pay for your medical expenses and vehicle repairs or replacement. In the event that you or a family member is killed in a car accident, you also have two years to file a civil suit to collect damages for the loss of life.
Protecting Your Car Accident Case
There is a strong likelihood that you may be injured in a car accident. It is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. You may have life-threatening injuries that need medical treatment, or you may have sustained injuries that will worsen over time if you don’t get the medical assistance you need. Always take the medical attention you are offered to ensure you are not hurt. Waiting to get medical help could affect your injury case and reduce your overall settlement award from an insurance company.
Remember that anything that you say after a car accident could be used against you. Never admit fault for an accident and never apologize to the other driver. Let the police investigate to determine the cause of the accident. It will help you recover a more substantial settlement offer from an insurance company and allow you to receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Liz S. Coyle is the Director of Client Services for Jackson White Attorneys at Law. She also serves as a paralegal for the Family Law Department. She is responsible for internal and external communications for the firm.