Phoenix Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2016, Arizona roads saw a total of 126,987 crashes. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury from a Phoenix car accident, you need experienced legal representation. The Phoenix car accident attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Arizona Car Accident Liability
You can prove the defendant was liable for the accident by showing that he or she was negligent. If a distracted defendant ignored traffic laws, for example, the court will most likely determine he or she is liable.
Arizona courts follow the comparative negligence rule. It gives the court the ability to adjust compensation depending on how much each party is at fault. For example, if the court determines that you are 20% responsible for the accident, it will reduce your compensation by 20%. Many states have laws that require the defendant to be more than 50% responsible for you to receive compensation. In Arizona, however, you can receive compensation even if the court determines that you hold a higher percentage of the blame than the defendant.
If you win your case, the court may award you a certain amount of damages. The first type of damages are any medical expenses, including the cost of hospital bills, surgeries, or any other fees you have because of medical attention you needed because of the accident.
Along with bodily injury, the court could also order the defendant to compensate you for property damage. If your car incurred damages, the defendant may be liable for repairing or replacing your vehicle.
If the accident affected your quality of life, the court may award you damages for pain and suffering. To show pain and suffering, your attorney may have people testify who can provide statements about your overall state of being before and after the accident.
Another type of damages that the court may award you are for lost wages, covering the money that you lost because of days you needed off work. The defendant also may need to compensate you for a difference in earning potential if the injury prevents you from being able to earn a salary as high as before the accident.
Types of Car Accidents
One of the most common is a rear-end accident. Sudden changes in speed can lead to rear-end collisions, especially when one of the drivers is not paying attention to the road. Drivers and passengers in rear-end collisions can get whiplash, an injury that damages a person’s neck or spine.
Side-impact accidents are also common. Collisions on the side, known to many as T-bones, occur when a driver going forward or backward hits the side of another car. They can cause serious injuries, especially to the person on the side the driver hit. Any of these types of collisions can cause significant:
- Head and brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Chest injuries – such as flail chest or stove-in chest
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- And even death
Hit and run accidents are another type of accident that can complicate a lawsuit. After a car accident, some drivers may panic and flee; this is a hit-and-run accident. The penalties are more severe than for most car accidents. In hit-and-run accidents, one of the drivers leaves the scene before providing any identification or contact information. Even if you are not responsible for the accident, leaving the scene may constitute a hit-and-run charge. Courts consider hit-and-runs felonies or misdemeanors and impose serious fines.
Driver smartphone use causes many accidents on highways across the United States. As mobile phones become more prevalent, people are having a harder time putting them down, even when they are driving. Distracted driving is a significant issue. Currently, Arizona has fewer cell phone laws than most other states. However, it is a recurring discussion amongst state lawmakers.
Phoenix Car Accident FAQs
What Should I Do If the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Asks Me Questions?
You may receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company after your accident. The adjuster might ask you for a recorded statement or even make an offer to settle. These calls can occur within days or even hours of your accident. It is best not to give a recorded statement, especially while you are emotionally vulnerable. You also do not want to accept any settlement offers without discussing them first with your attorney.
You should decline to speak with the adjuster. Instead, you can refer the adjuster to your lawyer.
What Happens When the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance?
Arizona law requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance, no matter what types of vehicles they have. Even so, many drivers do not have the right amount of insurance coverage. You can then file an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist claim. An attorney can help you determine your best course of action.
What are the Statistics?
In 2016, there were almost 127,000 vehicle collisions in Arizona; 962 individuals died because of those crashes in the same year, making Arizona the 14th highest state in terms of automobile fatalities. The total annual number of accidents has been steadily increasing since 2012.
Drunk drivers caused 31.19% of fatal Arizona crashes. Almost 2,000 accidents were due to otherwise physically impaired drivers. Speeding drivers accounted for 45,452 crashes statewide.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen?
Many causes for car accidents exist and most of them are the result of driver negligence. Many drivers do not treat getting behind the wheel with the attention it deserves, which can have dangerous consequences. Common causes of car accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to abide by traffic laws
- Bad weather
- Speeding, including driving faster than is safe for road conditions
- Car malfunctions
- Dangerous roadway conditions
- Ill, fatigued, or physically impaired drivers
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Distracted driving
In many cases, proper awareness of road rules and safe driving habits can significantly decrease the risk for accidents. Whenever drivers fail to follow proper driving practices, such as the actions listed above, they then are guilty of negligence. Any of these negligent acts are usable during a personal injury or property damage car accident claim.
What Do I Do After a Car Accident in Phoenix?
A car accident can be very stressful for any of the parties involved. While it can be difficult, it is best to keep calm and follow a logical course of action. Immediately following a car accident, you should:
- Seek medical treatment. Above everything else, your health is the most important. You should check on the safety of everyone involved in the accident and call for an ambulance. If you do not need immediate medical treatment, you should still visit the emergency room or your doctor afterward. Many damages from car crashes can be hard to recognize.
- Gather photos and information. If you can stay on the scene, it is important to take pictures of the accident. You will also want to trade insurance information with the other parties involved. Collect any contact information for potential witnesses. As crash sites do not last long, having evidence of what the area looked like will help your case.
- Get a copy of the accident report. In addition to your own account of the case, the accident report will provide key information. You can contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety to request a copy of the report.
- Consult an attorney. Personal injury cases have short statutes of limitations. If you hesitate to contact an attorney, you may miss your deadline to claim damages. A fast-acting investigation also helps with gathering relevant evidence and witness reports. A lawyer can help you deal with insurance claims and potential settlement offers.
With a skilled car accident attorney by your side, you can have confidence in the direction of your case and focus on recovery. Contact the attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., today for your free consultation.
Phoenix Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can lead to severe damage, not only physically, but emotionally and financially as well. Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., has been helping personal injury victims for more than 60 years. We prioritize your wants and needs and will do everything we can to get you fair compensation for the injuries you have suffered. Contact Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. today.