Car accidents are a common occurrence in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, and the majority of these accidents occur because of distracted, careless or reckless drivers who fail to use reasonable care to avoid injuring or harming others on the road. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were more than 127,000 car accidents on Arizona roadways in 2017, and these accidents resulted in 919 fatalities and nearly 38,000 injuries, which puts Arizona in the top 20 most dangerous states for car accidents. In fact, car accidents occur so frequently in Arizona and in bustling metropolitan areas like Phoenix, that few of us actually stop to think about how a serious accident could change the course of the rest of our lives. To learn more about your rights as a Phoenix car accident victim and your options for legal recourse, contact our knowledgeable legal team at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today.
Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Attorneys
After learning that a loved one was in a car accident, or after being involved in a serious accident yourself, there are so many things you will have to handle, filing a personal injury lawsuit is probably the farthest thing from your mind. After all, the injuries and losses resulting from a car accident can be devastating and life-changing, and pursuing a legal claim adds another uncertain element to an already stressful, overwhelming situation. However, if you have a valid legal claim, filing a lawsuit against the person or party found at-fault in the accident can help you recover crucial compensation for any losses you have suffered as a result of costly medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. Arizona law establishes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage claims resulting from Phoenix car accidents, which means you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, so there is no time to waste.
Car accidents occur every day, in every state, and motorists in Phoenix should be aware of their rights and obligations as drivers, the unique risks they face when they get behind the wheel, and the laws in Arizona regarding car accidents. At Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, our lawyers have represented countless car accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims, and we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you build a strong legal claim for compensation. Over the years, we have earned a reputation for aggressively protecting our clients’ rights, ensuring that they understand every legal option available to them, and going above and beyond to help them receive a fair settlement, and we can do the same for you and your family.
Common Causes of Phoenix Car Accidents
In the aftermath of a Phoenix car accident, determining how the accident happened and who is at fault is the key to holding the right person or party accountable. There are many different types of car accidents that can occur in Phoenix, including head-on collisions, rollover accidents, sideswipe accidents, rear-end collisions and T-bone accidents, and some of the most common causes of these accidents are:
- Drivers who are drowsy
- Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drivers who are distracted
- Drivers who speed
- Drivers who tailgate
- Drivers who run stop signs or red lights
- Drivers who make unsafe lane changes
- Drivers who make sudden stops
- Drivers who make illegal turns
- Drivers who fail to obey traffic laws
- Drivers who are reckless
- Hazardous road conditions
- Improper road design
- Defective auto parts
Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents in Phoenix
Some common injuries resulting from Phoenix car accidents include the following:
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Severe burns
- Severe lacerations
- Severe bruises
What to Do After a Car Accident
The very first thing you should do after being involved in a car accident is to seek immediate medical care. Even if you don’t appear to have suffered any serious injuries in the accident, it is imperative that you see a doctor and undergo a full examination to document any injuries you may have sustained. Many common car accident injuries, like whiplash and other soft tissue injuries, can worsen significantly in the days or weeks following the accident. If you wait to get medical attention, you could end up in severe pain, and without a medical record of your condition after the car accident, you may find it difficult to prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries. Your next step should be to contact a Phoenix personal injury attorney to find out how you can file a claim to recover compensation for your car accident injuries and losses.
Negligence in a Phoenix Car Accident Claim
If you were involved in a car accident in Phoenix, you may know who caused the accident, but knowing who is at fault and proving it to the court are two different things. In order to successfully recover compensation in a Phoenix car accident lawsuit, you must show that the other person or party (the defendant) was negligent, which means he or she behaved in a way that was careless or thoughtless and caused you to suffer harm or injuries. You can claim that the defendant acted in a negligent manner either by doing something that he or she should not have done (i.e. speeding or driving on the wrong side of the road) or by failing to do something that he or she should have done (i.e. failing to follow at a safe distance or yield the right-of-way). The key elements of a negligence claim are as follows:
- The defendant had a duty to be reasonably careful (known as the duty of reasonable care),
- The defendant breached or violated that duty of care,
- The defendant’s conduct caused your injuries, and
- As a result, you suffered compensable damages.
Law of Pure Comparative Negligence
When one person or party is found to be entirely at fault for a car accident in Phoenix, the law is clear – that person is liable for the victim’s injuries and losses. However, in cases where both parties share blame for the accident, Arizona follows the law of “pure comparative negligence,” which assigns fault based on each party’s percentage of negligence and uses this percentage to calculate the amount of compensation the parties are entitled to. For example, if you run a red light in Phoenix and you collide with another car in the middle of the intersection, you may assume you are entirely at fault for the accident, since you failed to obey the traffic signal. However, if the other driver was distracted or speeding when the collision took place, he or she may share fault in the accident, in which case you can still recover damages, but the damages will be reduced based on your percentage of negligence. So, if the judge in your case decides that your total damages award should be $200,000, but finds that you are 40% responsible for the accident, you are entitled to only 60% of the total damages award, or $120,000. Even if you are found to be more at fault than the other driver, Arizona law still allows you to recover compensation for your injuries, but you will still be liable for the other driver’s damages, which in this case will exceed yours.
Filing a Claim for Compensation
Any time a driver gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in Phoenix, he or she is required by law to use reasonable care to avoid causing harm or injury to other motorists, motorcycle riders, cyclists, pedestrians, or anyone else the driver encounters on the road. If a driver fails to use reasonable caution behind the wheel and subsequently causes injury to you or someone else, the driver is liable for the resulting injuries and losses, which may include past and future medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other damages. This duty of care extends to other parties as well, including car manufacturers, car part manufacturers, and the government agencies responsible for designing and maintaining the roadway, all of whom are expected to exercise a reasonable amount of care in preventing injury to another person. Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, you may be able to seek compensation from one or more parties, including:
- The driver of the other car
- The owner of the other car
- The other driver’s employer
- The car manufacturer
- The manufacturer of a defective car part
- The government entity in charge of the roadway
Most people assume that the only parties responsible for a car accident are the drivers involved in the accident, but that is not always the case. If you can prove that the negligence of a third party contributed to your car accident, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation from that party. For instance, if a hazardous road condition or defective car part was the cause of the accident, you may have a claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway or against the company that manufactured the car or car part.
How We Can Help
The main purpose of a Phoenix personal injury or wrongful death claim is to help the injured victim or surviving family members recoup enough financial compensation to cover the losses resulting from the accident. Car accidents occur in Phoenix every day, and while victims in many of these accidents end up with minimal injuries, in the most serious car accidents, victims can be killed or suffer debilitating injuries that leave them incapacitated for life and/or require costly ongoing medical care. In order to recover the compensation you deserve in a Phoenix car accident lawsuit, you must gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim, and that is where our personal injury attorneys come in. When you hire our lawyers, we will handle every aspect of the claims process, including investigating the scene of the accident, recording witness statements, working with car accident reconstruction experts, and interviewing medical experts, in order to build the strongest possible case against the negligent person or party.
Not all Phoenix car accidents result in a lawsuit or trial. Many car accident victims are eager to get the whole process over with and end up settling with their insurance company. However, in some cases, filing a personal injury lawsuit is necessary if you want to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to following a car accident. Insurance companies are notorious for paying out as little as possible for personal injury claims, and in many cases, the compensation the insurance company is willing to pay is not enough to cover the full amount of damages resulting from a car accident, which may include medical bills, lost wages or wrongful death. If this is the case, having a reputable personal injury attorney in your corner who can deal with the insurance company and fight for your rights as a car accident victim is a key to recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve. Our attorneys understand how devastating and overwhelming a car accident can be for you and your loved ones and we will handle your personal injury claim for you, so you can concentrate on your recovery.
Contact Our Phoenix Car Accident Attorneys Today
Every day, hundreds of people are injured or killed in car accidents across the state of Arizona, and unless you and your loved ones feel comfortable negotiating with insurance claims adjusters and navigating the complicated legal principles of liability and negligence, it can be difficult to know the full value of the injuries and losses you can sustain in a car accident. The unfortunate truth is that insurance companies don’t always have your best interests in mind when it comes to paying out personal injury claims, but with our lawyers on your side, you can recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and get your life back on track. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a Phoenix car accident, do not hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today to discuss your possible compensation options with our experienced and compassionate car accident lawyers.