Phoenix Car Accident Attorney
Being injured in a car accident can put your personal and professional life on hold, and without a sufficient settlement can cost you a great deal of money. If someone or something else caused your car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for all damages associated with the collision. However, this typically involves dealing with an insurance company that wants to pay as little as possible for a claim. Recovering the compensation you are owed requires the collection of evidence, drafting of a claim, and the successful negotiation of a settlement, or winning of a lawsuit.
At The Entrekin Law Firm, our Phoenix car accident lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you and your family are not left covering the costs associated with your accident.
Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Phoenix Car Accident Resources
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Collecting Damages is a Complex Process
Common Injuries From Car Accidents
Drivers Who Cause Accidents Are Liable for Damages
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Why Hire an Attorney?
Your Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Collects Case Evidence
How is Fault Determined After a Crash
What if I Was Partly Responsible for My Accident?
Insurance Companies Work for Profit, Not Victims
Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
Statute of Limitations for a Phoenix Car Accident Claim
Cost of an Injury Attorney
Speak to a Lawyer Today
Collecting Your Damages is a Complex Process
While it would be ideal if you received the full amount in compensation you are entitled to for your accident automatically after the accident, this is not the case. In order to collect damages, you must first prove them with evidence, then demand them from the party that is responsible for the accident.
When an accident is caused by your own actions, you’ll be liable for your own damages and will likely turn to your own insurance company and accounts to cover them. When another party caused the accident, you will generally be filing a claim with their insurance company. Filing a claim requires the collection of evidence that would be admissible in court, the drafting of a claim that aligns with the format requirements of the insurance company, and it must be filed before your right to do so expires.
The start of the process of collecting what you are entitled to for your car accident is by determining what your injuries are, and then what their costs will be.
Common Injuries from Car Accidents
Motor vehicle collisions, whether car accidents, pedestrian accidents, or truck accidents, can cause severe injury or even death. According to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor-vehicle-related injuries lead to over 2,300,000 visits to the emergency department each year. In 2015 alone, over 35,000 people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents, about 96 deaths each day.
Brain Injuries: Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of serious brain injury in the United States. Experiencing a traumatic brain injury can result in permanent chemical changes to your brain that impact your ability to enjoy your personal life and to engage in your professional life. A traumatic brain injury happens when you experience a bump, blow, or penetrating wound to your head. A minor brain injury you might have heard of is referred to as a concussion, and even a minor injury to your brain can keep you from working and enjoying your life as you had before the accident. A Phoenix brain injury attorney from our firm can help you explore your legal options following a serious crash.
Spinal Cord Injuries: A spinal cord injury is when you experience damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that send and receive signals from your brain to and from the rest of your body. Spinal cord injuries can happen as a result of a direct injury to the spine, or from damage to the tissue and bones that surround the spinal cord, like the vertebrae in your back. A spinal cord injury can lead to partial or complete paralysis, an inability to control bodily functions, and can substantially impact your ability to work and enjoy the same personal life as before your accident. Depending on the circumstances, a Phoenix spinal cord injury lawsuit may help you recover damages after your accident.
A variety of other injuries can result from car accidents, including burn injuries and other disabling injuries. Your damages will include all costs linked to your injuries, including not only the medical costs, but also the impact on your working life.
Drivers Who Cause Accidents are Liable for the Damages
When an accident happens because of someone or something else and you experience damages, a Phoenix car accident lawyer can help you collect compensation from the party responsible for the accident. To collect, you’ll need to prove that the other driver was liable, or “negligent,” a legal term that the unique facts and circumstances of your accident will be applied to.
A driver will be liable for an accident when they have met the four elements of “negligence”:
- Duty – this means the driver owed you some duty or responsibility, which includes following the rules of the road
- Breach – the duty or responsibility must be broken, like when a driver speeds or drives drunk
- Causation – the breach of responsibility must have been the cause of the accident, like when a drunk driver runs a red light because of drunkenness then causes an accident
- Damages – the injuries from the accident must have costs that can be proven with evidence, like medical bills and opinions from medical and occupational experts
Determining that someone or something else caused your accident is the first step, and we have represented the best interests of many clients who have experienced accidents due to the same common causes.
Common Causes of Car Accidents You Could be Entitled to Compensation For
Whenever a driver breaks the rules or laws of the road, they will by default have been negligent in their behavior. When a driver engages in negligence, they will be responsible for the damages resulting from any accident they cause.
Common examples of driver negligence you can recover damages on include:
Distracted driving: One of the most common causes of accidents on the roads today is distracted driving. A driver is engaging in distracted driving when they do anything that takes their eyes, mind, and hands away from their driving, meaning they are visually, manually, or mentally impaired. One of the most common forms of distracted driving is texting while driving, which is illegal under Arizona law. When a driver is texting their hands are on the phone not the wheel, their eyes are on the text not the road, and their mind is on the text not their driving.
Drowsy Driving: Drivers who are not sufficiently rested are engaging in drowsy or fatigued driving. When a driver is not adequately rested, they are unable to safely respond to changes in road conditions or issues on the road. Drowsy and fatigued driving causes accidents, and drowsy drivers will be liable for the damages resulting from the accidents they cause.
Drunk Driving: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration states “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Drunk driving is illegal in all fifty states, and literally all drunk driving accidents are preventable. All drunk drivers will also be responsible for the costs associated with the accidents that they cause. Calling the police from the scene of the accident and requesting that they make a report, and assess the sobriety of the drivers involved, can help determine this. Your attorney will also collect evidence to learn what the other drivers were doing before the accident, and whether or not their driving may have been impaired.
Speeding and Aggressive Driving: Speeding and aggressive driving are among the leading causes of Phoenix car accidents. When a car is moving at speeds beyond the limit, the driver is breaking the law and will be liable for any damages from accidents they cause. Aggressive driving includes not only speeding, but also failing to give other drivers on the road sufficient space, aggressive lane-changing, and other behaviors that do not respect other drivers on the road.
How do you know what the other driver was doing in the moments before they hit you? How can you prove that the other driver was not paying attention, or was drowsy, or was speeding? While fault and liability may be clear in some cases, it can be very difficult to determine in others. A Phoenix personal injury lawyer can help collect evidence that proves another motorist was responsible for the collision.
Why Should You Hire an Attorney After an Accident in Arizona?
Car accidents are often serious, leading to long-term physical and emotional injuries and significant property damage. It’s something that should always be taken seriously. An experienced car accident lawyer can take all the necessary steps to help you obtain the help and justice you deserve. Hiring a lawyer after an accident in Arizona should be done for the following reasons:
- Help with insurance company. While you might think that your insurance company is there to help you, this isn’t exactly the case. They have one primary goal: to make as much money as possible. This means that their goal is to pay out as little money as possible to you, regardless of what you’re entitled to. When you hire a car or motorcycle accident attorney in Phoenix, they can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get what you deserve. The simple fact that you have an attorney makes it more likely that the insurance company will take you seriously and not try to take advantage of you.
- Collect evidence. Your attorney can collect evidence of what caused the accident and find ways to prove that the accident was not your fault. This will allow you to obtain as much financial compensation as possible. Your lawyer can do this by speaking with eyewitnesses, consulting with expert witnesses, obtaining medical records, and finding video footage if available.
- Calculate compensation. Most people involved in a car accident don’t have any way of knowing how much compensation they’re actually entitled to. You’re often owed more than just your medical expenses, including lost wages, lost future wages, and pain and suffering. Experienced car accident lawyers have likely dealt with hundreds of these cases and are very experienced in calculating what you are entitled to.
- Negotiate. The majority of car accident cases are settled outside of court. This is because it’s less stressful, quicker, and less expensive for everyone involved. A lawyer can help negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant so you obtain a fair monetary award without the stress of going through a trial.
- File a claim if necessary. If a settlement can’t be reached, your lawyer will prepare your case, file the claim, and litigate it in court. They will cross examine witnesses and present evidence to the court to try to prove your case.
- Peace of mind. The simple fact of having an experienced attorney will provide you with peace of mind that you’re taking the right steps. You don’t have to second guess yourself and wonder if you’re making the wrong choice or leaving money on the table. Your lawyer can handle all the complicated legal aspects of the case so that you can focus on healing.
Your Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Collects Evidence in Support of Your Case
Proving that another driver is responsible for the accident that caused your injuries requires evidence. While you might not know what the other driver was doing before they hit you to determine liability, your attorney knows how to gather the evidence that is needed to prove it. Your local Phoenix car accident attorney will collect information from police reports and witnesses, and use legal instruments like depositions and requests for production to gather further evidence in support of your case.
Other evidence may include tire skid marks, surveillance or dash camera footage, accident reconstruction, cell phone records, and more.
Once it has been determined that another party is responsible for your damages, you will then need to collect evidence to accurately measure and prove your damages. You can only collect compensation for damages that you can prove with evidence that would be sufficient to submit in court within a lawsuit. Damages in car accident cases can include (but are not limited to):
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
How is Fault Determined After a Car Accident?
One of the most important parts of a car accident case is determining how much fault each party bears, as this allows the insurance company or the courts to decide how much money the victim is entitled to. To determine fault, evidence will be examined. The most common types of evidence that will be used to try to prove fault include the following:
- Medical records showing injuries sustained by each party
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Video footage and photographs
- Police reports
- Weather and traffic patterns
- Cause of the accident
- The egregiousness of the responsible party’s behavior
What if I Was Partly Responsible for My Accident?
Many car accident victims are concerned that they won’t be able to file a successful claim if they were partially responsible for the accident. Fortunately, this isn’t accurate. In Arizona, victims can obtain compensation even if they share some responsibility in the cause of the accident.
If the case goes to trial, the court will determine the percentage of responsibility that the victim bears. Any monetary award will be reduced by that percentage. For example, the court determines that you were 50 percent a fault and awards $100,000. You will take home 50 percent of the award, or $50,000. In theory, victim of a car accident can collect monetary compensation even if they are 99 percent at fault for the accident.
This is known as pure comparative fault.
The Insurance Company Works for Profit, Not For Injured Persons
It is important to understand that you will generally be seeking to collect your compensation from the insurance company, and the insurance company works for profit, not for you. Like any other for-profit business, insurance companies seek to maximize their revenues while minimizing their costs. Revenues for the insurance company are the amounts they collect in premiums from their paying customers, and their costs are mainly payouts to injured persons like yourself.
Insurance companies employ full-time teams of claim analysts and attorneys to carefully scrutinize each and every claim that comes in. They will deny whatever claims they can, and will try and pay as little as possible on those claims that are paid out on, to make greater profit. Your full recovery from your accident is not the primary concern of the insurance company, and if you receive an offer of settlement, it is likely less than what you deserve.
Going against the insurance company without an attorney of your own can put you at risk of being taken advantage of. Working with an attorney ensures that your damages will be completely calculated then demanded from the insurance company. Incomplete settlements leave you and your family paying costs linked to your car accident out of your household budget in the future, and your Phoenix car accident lawyer ensures that this does not happen.
Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
You might think that it’s only worthwhile to consult with a lawyer for major car accidents that cause severe injuries. In many cases, this isn’t true. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you with all types of car accident cases, and there’s no downside to at least consulting with one. Almost all personal injury attorneys provide free consultations so you can discuss your situation and determine what steps you should take next.
When you’re in a minor car accident, it’s possible that you’ve still incurred significant monetary losses, including property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. A lawyer can help you speak with the insurance company and ensure that any payout you receive is fair. If they aren’t willing to provide fair compensation, your attorney can help you with a personal injury lawsuit, even for more minor accidents. If someone else caused the accident and you lose out on money as a result, there’s no reason you should have to pay for that out of your own pocket, regardless of how small the amount is. Let a lawyer help you recover what you’re entitled to.
What’s the Statute of Limitations for a Phoenix Car Accident Lawsuit?
For all car accident claims, there is a deadline by which you must file your lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you will no longer be able to pursue a car accident lawsuit, meaning you won’t be able to collect any monetary compensation to help you with losses related to the accident. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for most car accident claims is 2 years from the date of the accident.
In limited circumstances, the deadline may be extended or decreased. It’s important to talk to a lawyer right away so you can make sure you don’t miss this deadline and miss out on what is rightfully yours.
Your Car Accident Attorney Costs Nothing Up-Front and Nothing Out-of-Pocket
Our potential clients often worry that they cannot afford an attorney, but this is not the case. Your initial consultation is risk-free and cost-free. We’ll review some basic information about your case, and if it might be a fit we’ll collect some further information. When we determine that we can help on a case, you pay nothing for your initial consultation, and nothing out-of-pocket, ever.
You pay nothing out of your own pocket because we take car accident cases on contingency, which means that we only get paid if we win. Our payment comes out of a portion of the winnings that we generate for you that we’ll agree upon before getting started. You will never have to pay anything out of pocket, and when we win our payment comes out of a portion of your winnings.
Given that the more we produce for you the more we make, you can trust that we will pursue the maximum amount of compensation available. You are not obligated to anything until we come to a written agreement and answer all questions you might have about how we’ll work together, so reach out whenever you are ready to learn about your options.
Discuss Your Case with a Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a collision, our experienced car and truck accident attorneys in Phoenix can help. Schedule a consultation or give The Entrekin Law Firm a call to discuss options and to learn how we can help on your case. The consultation is risk-free, cost-free and completely confidential.