Car Accident Claim Process

Posted On June 19, 2024 Car Accidents by John Allen Phebus

In addition to the stressful experience of a car accident, victims often suffer severe injuries and substantial property damage. Understanding the actions to take after an accident can protect your right to compensation when someone else is at fault.

A car accident claim is an official request by the injury victim demanding compensation from an insurer for accident-related losses. Insurance companies require accident victims to file insurance claims within a reasonable timeline. If you delay making a claim, sources of evidence can disappear, making it difficult to file a claim. A delay may also cause the insurer to deny your claim or make a lowball offer that hardly covers your losses.

Consult a trusted car accident attorney in Glendale to learn how you can file an insurance claim and protect your rights.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do for a Client?

An attorney plays various roles in the aftermath of a car accident. If you’re traumatized after a car accident, an attorney can provide calmness and direction on the suitable steps to protect your right to compensation.

More importantly, an attorney can investigate your accident’s circumstances, gather evidence, communicate with the insurer, and, if necessary, take the matter to court.

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How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Car accidents often result in severe injuries and substantial property damage. A car accident attorney can increase the chance of obtaining the maximum settlement value that covers injury-related losses.

Here’s how an attorney can maximize your settlement value:

Not Settling Too Soon

If you sustained a car accident injury for the first time, you may lack first-hand knowledge in dealing with insurance companies. In most cases, an insurer is quick to make a low settlement offer in the hope that the injured victim may accept it.

You should always work with an attorney to evaluate all offers by an insurance provider. An attorney can negotiate for a higher value if the offer doesn’t cover your losses.

Gather Evidence

The strength of your car accident claim depends on the available evidence. Therefore, arming yourself with suitable evidence can make a substantial difference in your car accident claim. An attorney understands the appropriate evidence to gather to prove fault on the liable party.

Here’s a list of possible evidence that can significantly strengthen your case:

  • Eyewitnesses statements
  • Police reports
  • Image and video evidence
  • Medical records
  • Diagnostic reports
  • Medical bills
  • Expert opinion
  • Tax documents and pay stubs

Litigate Your Case in Court

Many car accident victims obtain compensation from the insurer of the at-fault party. In some instances, the insurer of the liable party tables a low-settlement offer that barely covers injury-related losses.

Working with a trial-ready attorney ensures you have someone who can fight for your right to compensation in court. An attorney will prepare evidence, submit paperwork, cross-examine witnesses, and argue your case against a jury.

Statute of Limitations

Every state has a time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit after the date of the incident, often called the statute of limitations. Arizona residents have two years to file a lawsuit after a car accident. If you wait beyond two years, you’ll be barred from bringing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation, even if it is clear the other driver was at fault. 

Considering the strict deadlines, it is advisable to quickly obtain legal counsel to help protect your right to compensation within the deadlines.

However, some exceptions could extend Arizona’s statute of limitations for car accident victims:

  • Minors: If the car accident victim was a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations pauses until the victim is 18 years of age.
  • Rule of Discovery: The statute of limitations pauses if the victim discovers the injury later after the accident. If the victim could not discover the injury, the deadline to file a lawsuit would begin on the date the victim discovered they were injured or should have reasonably known about the injury.
  • Claims Against State or Federal Government: There are unique regulations when bringing claims against state and federal institutions. According to ARS 12-821.01, you must file a special notice of claim with the government entity or agency responsible for your injury within 180 days.

Losses Associated with Car Accidents

Here’s a breakdown of losses associated with car accidents:

Medical Expenses

If you sustained an injury in an accident, medical expenses comprise a substantial component of your losses. You can file a personal injury case to recover the following medical expenses:

  • Surgeries
  • Hospitalization charges
  • Medication
  • Therapy charges
  • Medical equipment
  • Emergency room charges
  • Physician bill

Lost Wages

You may be entitled to lost wages damages if an injury forces you to miss work, take sick leave, work at a reduced capacity, or exit the workforce altogether. Lost wages compensate injured victims for missed salary, employment benefits, bonuses, commissions, vacation time, and paid time off.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If the resulting injury causes you not to enjoy your life as much or prevents you from participating in pleasurable activities, it can also be a significant loss. A typical example is a car accident victim who sustained an amputated arm preventing them from participating in their favorite sport, cycling.

Vehicle Damage

Vehicle damage is an expected loss in most car accidents. Even a minor accident can result in thousands of dollars in repair costs and sometimes total loss. Arizona law requires drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage, which includes liability coverage.

Therefore, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for vehicle repairs, towing charges, and car rental following the crash.

Contact The Law Offices of John Phebus for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

Car accidents often leave victims with substantial medical expenses, lost productivity, and out-of-pocket losses that disrupt their finances. Instead of facing the challenges of car accidents alone, an experienced attorney can offer insights to hold the at-fault party accountable.

A dedicated car accident attorney from The Law Offices of John Phebus will work to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us online for a free case consultation.

Get In Touch With Us

If you would like to discuss options on your case and how we can provide legal help, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer today and connect with one of our highly experienced Glendale criminal defense attorneys.

John Allen Phebus – Experienced Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Attorney

John Phebus is a seasoned attorney specializing in personal injury and criminal defense law. With a focus on DUI defense, vehicular crimes, and serious injury cases, John has been fiercely advocating for his clients, ensuring they receive the representation and compensation they deserve. His expertise and dedication have led to numerous successful outcomes. If you’re seeking a knowledgeable and passionate attorney who will fight for your rights, John Phebus is here to help.

Years of experience: +30 years

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