Car accidents occur every day in the state of Arizona. If you get injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the person or party who caused the collision. If you have never had to file a claim before, the process may seem complicated. Breaking down your options can make the right path clearer.
First, always gather evidence after a car accident. Start this process on the day of the crash, if you are physically able. Immediately after the collision, while still at the scene, call the police to create an official record of the crash. Do not admit fault for the car accident to the other driver or the authorities. Take photographs of both vehicles and the scene of the accident before you leave, if possible. Write down eyewitnesses’ names and phone numbers, as well. The police can help you gather evidence, if necessary.
Your goal while gathering evidence should be to document things that will help you a) prove the other driver’s fault for the car accident and b) prove your losses. These will be your two requirements before you can recover compensation. Keep these goals in mind while you talk to the police, talk to the other driver, take pictures and collect evidence. Go to the hospital right away, as well. An insurance company can use it against you if you do not seek immediate medical attention.
File an Insurance Claim
Once you understand the basic facts of your car accident and have collected relevant evidence, call an insurance company to report the crash. Most insurance companies require claimants to report car accidents right away – ideally within 24 hours of the crash. First, call your own auto insurance company to report the crash. Then, if you believe the other driver is to blame for the collision, call his or her insurance provider to report the accident.
Arizona is a fault-based car insurance state, meaning the driver responsible for paying the costs, including medical bills and property repairs, will be the driver most at fault for causing the crash. Be careful what you say when talking to another driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will not want you to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. It may use tactics to convince you to settle for less than you deserve, such as denying a valid claim.
Bring a Personal Injury Claim
If an auto insurance company makes it difficult to obtain fair compensation for your harm, you may need to go to trial to make the defendant pay. This is rare, as the vast majority of car accident cases in Arizona achieve successful settlements. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit, however, if settlement negotiations are not leading to fair compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses.
Filing a lawsuit takes submitting the proper paperwork to the civil courts in your county within at least two years of the date of your collision. Then, you will need to go to trial to prove the defendant’s fault for your car accident using clear and convincing evidence. Hire a Glendale car accident lawyer to represent you if your case goes to trial.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Arizona
Trust a car accident attorney to help you recover fair and full financial compensation after a crash, especially if you are facing a trial. An attorney will share your goals: to maximize your financial, physical and emotional recoveries. You can trust the values an attorney assigns to your losses and have peace of mind that your lawyer is doing everything he or she can to help you win. You can focus on healing from your injuries while your lawyer deals with an insurance claim or injury lawsuit.