A Car Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Arizona, you may be concerned about how you will physically recover from your injuries, how you will pay for medical bills, and what will become of your damaged vehicle.
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by stress and pain in the aftermath of a vehicle crash. The Advocates are experienced Phoenix car accident lawyers who will help you recover from your injuries, make sense of the legal process, and claim the damages you are owed under the law.
What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Crash in Arizona (The Next Steps in Your Case)
After a car accident, it can feel like your entire world has been flipped upside down. Even a seemingly minor crash can have devastating effects, since injuries or damages to your vehicle may not become evident until later on.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. However, without an experienced car accident lawyer on your side, you may end up settling for less than you deserve.
The Advocates are ready to take your case. We are a law firm of caring, compassionate legal professionals who know how to get you the settlement you are entitled to by law. If you’ve been injured due to another driver’s negligence, call us for a free consultation. The Advocates are here to help you get your life back on track.
A Team of Car Accident Professionals Assigned to Your Case
The Advocates have been representing car accident victims for nearly 30 years. We have handled thousands of wrongful death and personal injury cases. We are passionate about helping clients receive fair compensation for their damages. The legal team at The Advocates knows how to build the best case possible and will be by your side every step of the way. We work hard to help you::
- Access necessary medical care
- Find high-quality body shops for car repairs
- Communicate with your employer regarding your accident
- Understand any bills and/or paperwork that come your way
Why Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Being injured in a motor vehicle accident means you likely have bills piling up around you from medical providers and/or auto body shops. You may even be unable to work due to your injuries. A settlement from the at-fault party will help compensate you for expenses and lost opportunities associated with your accident.
However, the other driver’s insurance provider will not make it easy for you to receive the damages you are owed. Your claim will likely be subjected to intense negotiations and pushback from the other party, which can be stressful and detrimental to your recovery.
An experienced, competent personal injury attorney can help you build your case, negotiate with insurance providers, and even represent you in court if necessary. Studies done by the Insurance Research Council have shown that injury victims who hire an attorney can receive up to 3.5 times more than those who settle on their own. The Advocates can help you receive compensation for the following damages associated with your accident:
- Medical expenses
- Car repairs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
Your attorney can offer a free case evaluation and help you determine if you are entitled to compensation.
How to Handle a Car Accident
Car accidents can be shocking, overwhelming, and traumatic. You may find yourself unsure of what to do and say after a collision. The most important thing you can do is remain as calm as possible.
You will need to exchange information with the other driver, and you will likely be questioned by police when they arrive. Hysteria, anger, or panic will make these conversations more difficult.
If you keep a level head, you can ensure that you give accurate information and notice any important details at the scene. It will also better enable you to take stock of your injuries– adrenaline can make it easy to ignore pain until later, when the shock has worn off.
At the scene of the accident
The scene of an accident can be chaotic and confusing. While it may not be a place where you want to spend much time, it is absolutely critical that you do not leave.
Arizona law specifies that drivers involved in a car accident have the duty to stop, the duty to exchange information, and the duty to render aid if necessary. Leaving the scene without fulfilling these duties can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the accident.
While at the scene, what you say and do is important. Your case can be damaged if you aren’t mindful of your words and actions. At the scene of the accident, take the following steps to simplify the claims process and avoid losing your eventual settlement.
Don’t admit fault
After your accident, it may feel natural to apologize to the other driver or admit responsibility. Don’t do this, even if you truly believe the collision was your fault.
Admitting responsibility for the crash can seriously harm your case later on. Even something as simple as a polite apology can be used by insurance companies as an admission of fault.
In many cases, an investigation is needed to determine who was actually at fault in an accident. This investigation may find that you had little to no responsibility for the crash. If you admit fault, the investigation may not be done, and you will have no case. In fact, this may enable the other driver to build a case against you.
Even if you were partially responsible, you can still receive a settlement. Arizona is a comparative fault state, meaning that fault is often split between involved parties. If the investigation assigns you 20% of the blame for the accident, your claim will be reduced accordingly. If you take full responsibility before an investigation is ever done, you will likely lose all basis for your claim.
Call the police
As soon as you can, contact the police. In serious accidents, their assistance might be needed in getting everyone out of harm’s way. In minor incidents, such as fender benders, you still need to call law enforcement in order to make a police report. This is important for several reasons.
The other driver may appear to be friendly at the scene, then deny any responsibility after the fact. You may also have injuries and damage to your car that don’t become evident until later. A police report provides documentation of the incident and helps during the subsequent investigation.
If the police will not come to the scene, exchange information with the other driver and any witnesses, take pictures of the scene, then go to the nearest police station.
You can file a report there. Include any important information, but refrain from speculating or giving an inaccurate account of the incident. Simply provide the police with the facts associated with the crash.
Once the police have been summoned, you should exchange contact information with the driver of the other vehicle. If you fail to do this, you will have difficulty filing a claim later on. Information you should collect from the other driver includes their:
- Full name
- Phone number
- License plate number
- Insurance information
You should also speak to any witnesses of the accident. Collect their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Their accounts of the incident can be used to build your case later.
Slow down and make note of details
While at the scene of the car crash, be as observant as you can. Make note of weather and traffic conditions, marks on the pavement, and property damage. All of this information may be relevant during the investigation. Even things that may not seem important at the time may prove useful later. The more information you can collect, the better.
The best type of evidence comes in the form of pictures. Verbal accounts can be argued against more easily than photographic proof. If you have a cell phone, get pictures and/or videos of the scene from multiple angles.
Even if something doesn’t seem significant or relevant, document it. Your legal team can help you determine what is important later on. You should be sure to take pictures of the following:
- All sides of any vehicles involved
- Marks on the pavement
- Traffic conditions
- Your injuries
- The scene as a whole from several different angles
By obtaining photographic evidence of your car accident, you ensure that your account of the event is accurate and cannot be discounted.
If your injuries are not severe, you can decline a trip to the emergency room. However, be sure to take inventory of any visible injuries as well as any pain you are feeling. If an ambulance arrives at the scene, you should be checked out by the medical staff to make sure nothing is of immediate concern.
While you may not notice all your injuries right away, make sure to document and seek treatment for any you do find while at the scene. The sooner you see a medical professional for your injuries, the better your recovery will likely be. It will also make it easier to build your case.
After your car accident
After leaving the scene of the accident, there are several more steps to take to ensure you make a full physical and financial recovery. You will need to be in contact with medical professionals, body shops, and likely more than one insurance provider. The road ahead may seem daunting, but The Advocates will be there to guide you every step of the way.
When to visit a doctor
You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your accident because you may have serious injuries that you are unaware of. Car accident injuries can be internal as well as external. You may have hairline fractures or internal organ damage without knowing it.
To be certain you did not suffer any unseen injuries, visit your primary care physician and inform them that you were in a car accident. This helps your doctor know what to look for and provides more documentation for your case.
Insurance companies may try to argue that your injuries were not the result of your car accident. The sooner you can get them documented, the easier it will be to make your claim.
Get pictures of any injuries you suffer at the scene, then get checked by a professional as soon as you can. Be sure to pay close attention to your body after your crash. Seek medical attention for any new pain or symptoms that develop later on, and inform your legal team right away.
Take care of your car
Whether you were involved in a fender bender or a head-on collision, chances are your car will need a few repairs. Get the car into a local body shop to be looked at. They can give you an estimate of how much damage was done and how much it will cost to get it fixed.
The auto insurance of the at-fault driver will likely cover some of the costs, though it depends on their coverage. If you have Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist coverage on your own plan, your insurance may cover whatever the other party’s insurance doesn’t.
If your car is totaled, insurance may pay you the current value of your car, rather than the original cost of purchase. It’s important to be familiar with your insurance policy so that there are no surprises when an accident happens.
Getting the damage on your car evaluated is an important step in filing your claim. Damages in the form of car repair costs can be factored into your settlement.
File a car accident claim
You should file a car accident claim through your own automobile insurance. This will allow you to access any coverage you are entitled to through your insurance policy.
Most insurance companies allow you to report online or by phone. You will need to provide the company with some information in order to make a full report. Here is what you’ll need to have handy:
- Your policy number
- Your address and license plate number
- Date of accident
- Location of accident
- Description of accident
- Police report number
- Other driver’s insurance information
It is important to be proactive at the scene of the accident, because you’ll need a lot of information to file your claim. Filing a police report and exchanging information with the other driver will make the claims process much easier.
The Advocates Car Accident Claim Process
Step 1: Investigate the Accident
The first steps The Advocates will take is to investigate your accident. Our attorneys do this by requesting a police report about your accident, examining any videos or photographs of the crash scene, and by contacting any relevant witnesses to the accident. Once we have firmly established liability, we will begin the hard work of building your injury claim.
Step 2: Build Your Claim
Building your car accident injury claim is one of the most time-consuming steps in the entire process. Our staff must wait until you have finished treatment for your injuries before we can compile a comprehensive medical record of the injuries you have suffered from your accident.
Step 3: Negotiate a Settlement
Once you are finished treating your injuries and your medical records have been gathered, your attorney will send out a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance. Afterwards, negotiations with your attorney will begin. If we are unable to negotiate a fair offer, then you will have the option to file a lawsuit.
Step 4: Litigate If Necessary
Time-wise, litigation is the longest step in the claim process, possibly extending the life of your claim one or two years. If you do decide to file a lawsuit, be prepared to potentially appear before a judge and jury.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Figuring out how to file a personal injury claim and receive a settlement offer can be complicated and stressful, especially when you are already dealing with injuries. A personal injury lawyer can make this complex process go far more smoothly by offering legal advice, helping you build your case, and representing you in court if necessary.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in the state of Arizona, it’s time to hire an Advocate. We are prepared to help you file your claim, access medical care, get your car repaired, settle your car accident case, and make the best recovery possible. Call us for a free consultation. You deserve an Advocate.