An auto accident is one of the most stressful situations you can experience in your life. But the stress of getting in a fender-bender can linger for weeks, if not months or years.
There’s the hassle of insurance claims; getting your car fixed or replaced; visits to the doctor or physical therapist; or in the event of a serious accident, a prolonged stay in the hospital and the associated steep medical bills; lost wages from work; and coordination of child care/babysitting.
These larger concerns don’t begin to account for the physical pain of your injuries as well as the enormous headache of navigating through the bureaucracy of insurance companies, who may deny you the compensation you deserve.
If you have experienced an auto accident in Arizona, here’s what you need to know about personal injury laws that are unique to the Grand Canyon State:
In some states, if another driver is at least 50% responsible for the accident, you are entitled to receive 100% of the compensation you deserve for your injury and property damages (to your vehicle).
However, when dealing with insurance claims, Arizona is a “comparative jurisdiction” state. This means that if you decide to sue the person who caused your accident, and should your lawsuit go to trial, a jury will determine the percentage of fault for each driver involved in the accident.
Even if you believe the other driver is completely at fault, a jury can hypothetically determine you were 10% at fault. This means that the other driver could actually receive a monetary damage award or reduce your compensation by the amount you may have been found to be at fault for.
If you’re hoping that a lawsuit won’t be necessary, you still need to be able to prove that the other driver is at fault in order to successfully file an insurance claim.
Damage awards are split into economic and non-economic areas. The former applies to out-of-pocket expenses such as car repairs, rental cars, medical bills (including future costs for physical therapy, surgery, etc.), and lost wages, while the latter covers pain-and-suffering, disfigurement, etc.
Certain states cap the amount of compensation one can recover in damages. In Arizona, the silver lining to getting in a car accident is that, by law, there is no cap to damage awards.
After first filing a claim with their insurance company, Arizona residents have two years from the date of their accident to have their case filed in the court system. In the event that a family member dies as a result of an auto accident, the two-year statute of limitations applies starting from the date the death occurred.
Your first call should be to 911 at the scene of the accident, informing the dispatcher you need emergency medical assistance. Your next call should be to your insurance company as soon as possible.
In addition, you should call an experienced Arizona-based personal injury attorney. A skilled, compassionate, and highly effective personal injury attorney can file a case on your behalf and guide you through the various procedures that are necessary to receive the compensation you deserve.
The best place to find a personal injury attorney is Attorney at Law.
At AAL, we match you with the best personal injury attorney in your area. Our partners have the resources, legal expertise, and experience to navigate you through the highly complex and contentious field of personal injury law. In addition to a proven track record, our partners also excel in client care.
Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no obligation consultation and begin your journey to receive the compensation you deserve.