The unexpected, sudden nature of car accidents can make them substantially more difficult to contend with. If you or a loved one were recently injured in a car accident in Phoenix, AZ, you’re likely wondering what your legal options are going forward.
The good news is that you likely have a claim for compensation to pursue against the responsible party. A Phoenix car accident lawyer at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers can guide you through the process and take care of the legal side of things while you focus on your well-being. We have a 98% success rate in the cases we take on; we’re confident that we can help you achieve a favorable result.
We offer a completely free consultation where you can get some initial legal advice and learn about your next steps. Contact us today to get started at (602) 595-5559, and read on to learn the answers to some of the most FAQs about car accidents in Phoenix, Arizona.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Phoenix?
It might seem unfair, but the unfortunate truth is that the immediate aftermath of a car accident can drastically influence how your claim for compensation plays out.
Take note of the following “do’s and don’ts” so that you can protect your interests:
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). This is required for most accidents by state law.
- Call 911 to alert the police about the crash. An officer will arrive at the scene and create a report, as is also mandated by Arizona law. A police report will be helpful in proving your claim.
- Receive medical attention promptly, even if you aren’t obviously hurt. Some types of injuries, such as whiplash and some traumatic brain injuries, do not immediately present symptoms. Further, medical records will strengthen your compensation claim.
- If you can, collect evidence at the scene. This means taking photos and videos, getting the contact information from any eyewitnesses, and any other measures that may be relevant.
- Do not make statements of blame or apologize for the crash. If you do, it could limit your compensation under Arizona’s “pure comparative negligence” law.
You should also contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer as soon as you are able after the crash – and before you correspond with any insurance companies. An attorney can guide you on how best to proceed so that you maintain your rights.
How Common Are Car Accidents in Phoenix, Arizona?
As with every major city in the United States, car accidents are a regular occurrence in Phoenix, AZ. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) publishes motor vehicle accident statistics on a yearly basis. The latest data are from 2021 and indicate as follows:
- Across the state, there were 121,345 accidents in 2021
- Of that total, there were 1,180 fatalities and 51,633 people injured
- Maricopa County experienced 86,687 total crashes, 594 fatalities, and 35,488 people injured
Based on these numbers, most of the accidents in Arizona take place in the Phoenix area. In Maricopa County alone, on average, there are almost 250 crashes every single day according to ADOT figures.
How Should I Deal With the Insurance Company?
Since Arizona is an “at-fault” state for car insurance, you can file a claim directly against the opposing driver’s insurance policy after an accident. Most often, this is your best course of action for recovering compensation.
However, what’s critical to remember is that the insurance company is not on your side. This goes for your own insurance company as well as the at-fault party’s. Insurance corporations exist to make a profit; they make money by raking in monthly premiums, not by paying claims.
With this in mind, it is best to proceed with caution when dealing with an insurance company. The adjuster assigned to your claim will do whatever they can to minimize or escape their employer’s liability. For instance, they may ask you to agree to give a recorded statement about the crash – do not agree to this without legal advice and assistance.
This is why, as noted above, you would ideally get in contact with a car accident lawyer before you reach out to any insurance companies. Your attorney can communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure your rights are maintained at all times.
How Do I Obtain an Accident Report for My Phoenix Car Crash?
There are a couple of different avenues for obtaining your Phoenix car accident report, depending on the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene.
If your crash involved the Phoenix Police Department, you can visit their website to obtain a copy of your report. If your accident instead involved an Arizona State Trooper, you can visit the Arizona Department of Public Safety website to get your report.
If you hire an experienced accident lawyer, they’ll be able to collect a copy of your report during the investigation stage of your case. Your accident report, while not admissible evidence in court, can be beneficial to your case during settlement negotiations.
How Much Time Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Phoenix, AZ?
In the State of Arizona, you’ll generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This deadline is set by the state’s statute of limitations. If you bring your lawsuit to court too late, you will lose your right to pursue legal recourse from the opposing party.
There are exceptions to this deadline in some circumstances, so it’s possible an adjusted timeline applies to your case. For that reason, it is best to contact one of our personal injury lawyers for help determining the deadline for your particular situation.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
It can be especially difficult to know how to proceed if you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. Arizona’s minimum insurance requirements do not require motorists to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
However, it is recommended that you purchase UM/UIM insurance, if possible, for exactly this type of scenario. If you get into an accident with a driver who either doesn’t have insurance at all or does not have enough coverage to pay for all of your damages, it may be more difficult to recover compensation.
Nonetheless, you may still be able to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, even if you win your lawsuit, the defendant might not have the funds to pay your claim. Contacting a qualified car accident lawyer in Phoenix as soon as you can after an accident involving an uninsured driver is the best way to evaluate your best course of action.
Will My Phoenix Car Accident Case Go to Court?
It’s unlikely that your Phoenix car accident case will go to court. Most cases start off as insurance claims and resolve through settlement negotiations.
However, in many instances, the opposing party or their insurance company refuses to offer an adequate settlement. In that circumstance, it might be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against them. Doing so will give your lawyer access to pretrial discovery, which is a process by which each party obtains information from the other.
Oftentimes, discovery will unearth the evidence necessary to persuade the defendant to increase their settlement offer. Keep in mind that car accident cases can still settle all the way up to (and even during) trial. Only a very small percentage of cases will make it all the way to trial.
How Can a Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you hire a Phoenix car accident attorney, you’ll be able to focus on what matters most: your health. During that time, your lawyer can provide you with comprehensive legal services and pursue compensation on your behalf. These legal services include, but aren’t limited to:
- Internally investigating your accident
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Evaluating all of your damages, both economic and non-economic
- Hiring experts as necessary to bolster your claim further
- Handling all the communications, paperwork, and procedures
- Negotiating with the opposing party to reach a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party if needed
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers is a trusted personal injury law firm in Phoenix that you can depend on. Our Phoenix car accident lawyers have over 55 years of combined experience, and we’ve secured more than $30 million in compensation for our clients. We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we obtain a monetary award or settlement for you.
Contact our law office today to get started with a free initial consultation if you’ve recently been injured in an accident. We’re here to help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve to move forward.